Good Dalmatian pelican news from Bulgaria


This video is about Dalmatian pelicans in Greece.

By Emilia Yankova in Bulgaria, 20 May 2016:

New colony of Dalmatian Pelicans established in Bulgaria

A new colony of the globally threatened Dalmatian Pelican, 60 years in the making, has finally been formed in Bulgaria. Ten pairs now nest on one of two artificial wooden platforms built for them in the Peschina Marsh, located in the Persina Nature Park.

The Peschina Marsh is the largest on the Bulgarian part of the Danube River and was once a bird haven. In the past, the wetland dried up due to lack of sufficient water from the Danube. In 2008, restoration work on the marsh began with the financing of the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), as part of a World Bank-managed Wetlands Restoration and Pollution Reduction project. The project was the first of its kind under the umbrella of the GEF Black Sea/Danube Strategic Partnership – Nutrient Reduction Investment Fund which aims to control or mitigate nutrient inflow into the Black Sea.

Thus the marsh, situated on the largest of the Danube islands and part of the Ramsar site Belene Islands Complex, is once again rebuilding its position as a paradise for birds: since the restoration, about 250 Dalmatian Pelicans have used it for roosting and feeding. The Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB, BirdLife in Bulgaria) and the park’s directorate are monitoring the ecological effects of the wetland restoration project on biodiversity.

Dalmatian Pelicans have been threatened globally by a variety of manmade causes, including wetland drainage, illegal killing, human disturbance, water pollution and over exploitation of fish stocks, among other things. Until the Peschina Marsh site was developed, the only breeding habitat for this species, native to Bulgaria, was in the in Srebarna Lake near the town of Silistra.

In 2011 and 2012, as part of a conservation project, BSPB and the directorate of the park, with the help of WWF Bulgaria, Whitley Fund for Nature, and many volunteers, built three artificial wooden platforms in the marsh to stimulate the breeding of the Dalmatian Pelicans. These wooden structures were covered with reed bundles to make them attractive as nests to the pelicans at the beginning of the breeding season.

Four years after the platforms were constructed, the area is already occupied by a group of 30 Dalmatian Pelicans, including young birds. Public access to the island is still very limited, which helps to ensure minimal human disturbance, a vital factor for the pelicans to breed.

“We are very happy to see the Dalmatian Pelicans returning to breed in the Belene marshes. After more than 60 years finally we have a second pelican colony established in Bulgaria!” Svilen Cheshmedzhiev, coordinator of BSPB in the region, says. “It’s a great nature conservation success, and an example of good cooperation between institutions and non-governmental organizations.”

Barn swallows and electricity


This 24 May 2016 Dutch video is about barn swallows. Hundreds of them live at a farm. They used to sit down on electricity wires. However, then electricity there moved underground, removing the poles and wires. This meant the swallows lacked places to rest. The farmer decided to have new poles and wires, not for electricity, but for the swallows.

Mute swan cygnets on video


This May 2016 video is about mute swan cygnets in Ede in the Netherlands.

Honeybees leave hive, video


This 26 May 2016 video shows honeybees leaving, and arriving at, their hive at Eemlandhoeve ecological farm in Bunschoten-Spakenburg in the Netherlands.

African scops owl video


This video says about itself:

Birding in the Eastern Cape, South AfricaAfrican Scops Owl

22 May 2016

African Scops Owl video clip with call added, near Bathurst, South Africa.

I was privileged to see this beautiful small owl species in the Gambia.

Counting birds in Nigeria


This video says about itself:

Wonderful wildlife in Nigeria

22 July 2014

Chester Zoo has been supporting conservation work in Gashaka Gumti National Park, Nigeria, since 1994. The park is a biodiversity hot-spot, and is the home to a huge variety of wonderfully diverse wildlife, including probably the last viable population of the Cameroon-Nigeria chimpanzee sub-species.

By the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, 23 May 2016:

Giving verve to Nigeria’s Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas

As part of its commitment and dedication to the conservation and management of Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) within and outside protected areas, the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF, BirdLife Partner) has conducted an Annual Water Bird Census at Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands in Yobe and Jigawa States. This was also followed up with a capacity building workshop on effective monitoring of IBAs in Cross Rivers State, facilitated by NCF’s Ruth Akagu and Professor Augustine Ezealor, a renowned ornithologist.

The exercise was carried out with the support of Mr. Y.M. Kolo, Conservator of Cross River National Park (CRNP). The 2016 training was targeted at 10 unprotected IBAs, in contrast to the 2015 training, which focused strictly on Protected Areas.

The main purpose of the Water Bird Census was to ascertain the population of water birds. The census took place in six communities: Baturia, Nguru Lake, Dagona, Gsahua (new site), Katagum and Marma Chanel. Water bird species seen included storks, herons, geese, ducks and cormorants. A total of 166,439 individual birds across 212 species were recorded in the six sites visited.

The IBA workshop focused on IBAs in unprotected areas. The participants were taught basic bird identification techniques, standardised collection and recording of scientific birds and habitats data (using the IBA monitoring form and the use of the Monitoring Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT) ), emerging conservation opportunities (carbon credits, payment for ecosystem services, ecotourism etc.) and establishment of Site Support Groups (SSGs).

The participants acquired skills in basic field techniques on bird sampling and identification, effective utilisation of the IBA form and METT framework and learned about the processes involved in establishing SSGs. They also received field equipment (field guides, binoculars and GPS) to further develop their expertise in IBA monitoring.

The training was funded by the RSPB (Birdlife in the UK) and facilitated by NCF with support from A.P. Leventis Ornithological Research Institute and National Park Service.