Osprey nest, flowers, spoonbills in Dutch Biesbosch


This 12 June 2016 video is from Biesbosch national park. For the first time ever in the Netherlands, as far as is known, an osprey couple built a nest there this year. It is said that three young birds have hatched.

You cannot see the young ospreys yet on this video, filmed at about 450 meter from the nest. However, at about 30 seconds into the video, you can see a young osprey defecating, in a curve over the side of the nest. About ten seconds later, the male bird arrives, to bring fish to the nesting female and the youngsters.

In the video, you can also hear edible frogs call.

On 18 June 2016, we went to the Biesbosch, to see the ospreys and other wildlife.

Biesbosch, 18 June 2016

Water and land interlock in the Biesbosch estuary scenery, creating opportunities for many wildlife species.

As we arrive, we see a male roe deer and a flying common tern.

We hear a Cetti’s warbler sing.

A sedge warbler.

Male and female reed bunting.

A male marsh harrier.

An osprey flies. A lesser black-backed gull tries to drive it away, though ospreys eat fish, not birds.

Crow garlic flowers.

A willow warbler sings.

Swifts flying.

A wren flies across a ditch. Beneath it, a coot couple and their three chicks swim.

A spoonbill foraging.

Tufted ducks.

A greenfinch sings.

Common bird's-foot trefoil

Yellow flowers: common bird’s-foot trefoil.

Two great crested grebes.

Hare's-foot clover, 18 June 2016

Pink flowers: hare’s-foot clover.

We arrive at the ospreys’. One of the parents sits on the nest.

This 4 June 2016 video by Luuk Punt is called Ospreys feeding their chick. First time seen in the Netherlands ever.

A cuckoo calls.

A juvenile white wagtail. Two little ringed plovers on the bank.

Two Egyptian geese flying.

Canada geese.

A northern lapwing. A great egret.

Then, we see about eight ruffs in summer plumage. Rare in the Netherlands!

We walk to a hide. We can see swifts and sand martins fly over the water.

Mural in hide, 18 June 2016

There is a mural on the inside of the hide: depicting a kingfisher, pintail duck, spoonbill, great cormorant, black-headed gull, wren, robin, great egret, tufted ducks and other birds.

Biesbosch museum, 18 June 2016

There was more art outside the Biesbosch museum.

Not far away, a nesting colony of many sand martins.

Biesbosch sky, 18 June 2016

Then, many gadwall ducks resting in the water.

Avocets with chicks.

A song thrush sings from a tree.

Biesbosch islet, 18 June 2016

On an islet, yellow fen ragwort flowers.

We return to the osprey nest. The female and the youngsters are inside. The male arrives, sitting on a branch.

A flock of about thirty spoonbills.

A buzzard lands on a tree.

A skylark sings.

Rare spiny water nymph in The Hague city center


Spiny water nymph

Dutch warden Casper Zuyderduyn reports today that a rare water plant has been discovered in the big pond of Haagse Bos woodland, in the center of The Hague city.

It is spiny water nymph. In South Holland province, that species so far had only been known from Meijendel, the Nieuwkoopse Plassen and a few places near Rotterdam.

Rare butterfly on flower, video


This 9 June 2016 video is by Luuk Punt from the Netherlands. It shows a specimen of a butterfly species which is rare in the Netherlands, a Glanville fritillary.

Glanville fritillary caterpillars feed on several species of plants in the genera Plantago and Veronica.

Bialowieza forest in Poland, videos


This 11 June 2016 Dutch video shows a visit to the forest of Bialowieza national park in Poland; about its plants and animals.

This 4 June 2016 video is also about Bialowieza (the non-primal forest reserve parts).

Avoiding poison ivy and poison oak in North America


This 2015 video from North Anmerica says about itself:

Poison IvyToxicodendron radicans – Poison Ivy vs Virginia Creeper – How to identify poison ivy.

From eNatureBlog in the USA:

How Can You Avoid Poison Ivy and Poison Oak— And Treat Them If Disaster Strikes?

Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 by eNature

Knowing how to avoid poison ivy is a good skill—but you should also know what to do if you happen to encounter it.

As we move into the summer season, people across the country will celebrate and enjoy it by taking weekend hikes through places scenic and undisturbed. Most of folks will return from their hikes revived, but some will find themselves itchy afterwards.

It’s inevitable. And it’s unfortunate, too, because there are ways to avoid the adverse effects of Poison Ivy and Poison Oak.

Actually, five species of rash-inducing plants flourish in North America: two species of Poison Ivy, two species of Poison Oak, and Poison Sumac. The last is a wetland plant and not nearly as common or commonly encountered as the others. One or more of these species is pretty common throughout the country, particularly along the edges of woodlands.

And all contain the same essential oil that irritates human skin.

Urushiol is its name, and it exists in the roots, stems, leaves, and even the berries of these plants. Roughly 85 percent of the population is allergic to Urushiol, which can cause a rash in sensitive people who come into contact with as little as one millionth of a gram of the stuff. And all of these plants are more than willing to share their Urushiol if they are bruised, crushed, or opened up in any way.

Thus it’s important for people to know how to identify these plants. Most field guides, including eNature’s online version, provide concise descriptions and photos. But even the most attentive hiker can inadvertently brush against a Poison Ivy or Poison Oak leaf.

When that happens, there are two ways to rid the skin of Urushiol.

The first involves washing the affected area with great amounts of water. Plain water is best, since soap has no effect on Urushiol and when used with only a little water it can actually spread the offending oil. So use room-temperature water and lots of it.

To be clear, we’re not saying here to avoid using soap! Just be sure to use lots of water if you do— the object here is to get the oil off, not redistribute to other parts of your skin.

The second way to rid the skin of Urushiol is to swab with rubbing alcohol. The alcohol counteracts the oil and can even draw oil from the skin four or five hours after exposure. Waiting any longer than that, though, is inadvisable.

Whether cleaning with water or alcohol, use care. Don’t scrub violently—it does no good and can actually do harm. Similarly, don’t use very hot water or harsh soaps and chemicals. The point is to remove the oil, not to annihilate it.

There’s no shortage of folk remedies as well— some of which are more effective than others.

We’ve received several reports from folks in the Eastern US saying that they’ve encountered more Poison Ivy this year than past years— perhaps because of the mild winter and spring large parts of the country experienced.