Kingfisher catches fish, video


This video is about a kingfisher catching a fish.

Rob Van Thienen made it on 19 September 2011 from the hide in nature reserve Demerbroeken in Belgium.

German Pegida racists’ anti-refugee violence


This video is called Pegida: Hatred on the march. It says about itself:

11 February 2015

In this episode of Observers Direct, we had to the city of Dresden in eastern Germany. Dresden is home to the PEGIDA movement, which stands for “Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West”. Since October, they’ve held weekly rallies over what they see as the threat posed by Muslim immigrants to … society.

Our Observer works with refugees in Dresden. Julien Pain went to meet him there.

Translated from Wirtschaftswoche weekly in Germany:

Dresden: Right-wing Pegida protesters attack refugee camp

Pegida boss Bachmann always pretends that his followers are peaceful. After a recent “walk” by these critics of Islam, however, rightist persons tried to attack a protest camp of refugees.

After the end of a Pegida demonstration in Dresden about two dozen right-wing extremists have tried to attack a protest camp of refugees. On Monday night the police in the square in front of the Semperoper immediately positioned themselves between the two sides and prevented worse. Of injured people, initially nothing was known, a police spokesman reported in the early hours of Tuesday. In the square, several hundred supporters of the refugees had gathered to prevent an evacuation of the camp expected that evening.

Around 6,000 supporters of the anti-Islam movement Pegida had gone on Monday evening to Dresden. After the end of the rally, about 100 people flocked to the protest camp. While about two dozen of them tried to storm the place, others demanded verbally the evacuation of the camp.

According to Dutch NOS TV, the Pegida attackers threw incendiary devices at the camp, while shouting: ‘Ausländer raus!’ [Foreigners out].

The Wirtschaftswoche article continues:

Despite a ban, in the Belgian port city of Antwerp on Monday night about a hundred Pegida supporters gathered. The police surrounded the demonstrators according to a report by the Belgian news agency Belga. Some people have been arrested. The city government had banned the demonstration as too dangerous.

Among the demonstrators was Filip Dewinter, leader of the extreme right party Vlaams Belang. Also, Dutch neo-nazis of the Nederlandse Volksunie (NVU) had traveled to Antwerp to join the demonstration, according to the NVU Facebook page. Dutch (right wing) daily De Telegraaf writes that 12 Pegida people were arrested, and one policeman was injured.

16th century book on fish and whales on the Internet


This Dutch video is about a whale, beached near Antwerp in 1577; as described in Adriaen Coenen’s Visboek about marine animals.

From the National Library of the Netherlands, in The Hague:

Adriaen Coenen’s Visboek

In 1577, at the age of 63, Adriaen Coenensz from Scheveningen, a Dutch fishing port, started his Vis booc. Over a period of three years he collected all kind of information about the sea, the coasts, and coastal waters, fishing grounds and marine animals: 410 pages written by an expert. Throughout his life he had earned his living from the sea, as fisherman, as wreck master of the county of Holland, and from 1574 as official fish auctioneer at Scheveningen.

Digital version of Adriaen Coenen’s Visboek in flash (for newer pc’s)
Digital version of Adriaen Coenen’s Visboek in html (for tablets and older pc’s)

Coenensz made nearly every page into a miniature work of art by framing his texts and illustrations by borders, edges and cartouches painted in water colour. He must have realised the special value of his book, as appears from the minutes of the court sessions in Leiden from 1583. They contain a note indicating that Coenensz asked permission for his book and his collection of dried fish ‘to be shown on the coming free annual fair and the festival of the relief of the city [3 October], receiving from every person five cents and from those wanting to see the book twenty-five’. So looking at his book was five times as much as marvelling at his dried fish. Coenensz certainly cashed in on his knowledge. On the reverse of folium 11 he even promoted it:

‘Whoever reads or studies it
May spread the word to Another
that he may see and hear’.

Beached whale, from Coenensz' book

One of the marvels of the sea that the inhabitants of Leiden could admire in the book was ‘The true Portrait and size of this whale that has been captured on the ij of July AD m.d.lxxvij’, painted in water colour over two pages. Coenensz had drawn this whale after an engraving that had appeared in the same year (1577). Drawing and caption record an event that would also be considered newsworthy in our own time: a whale cast ashore. The whale depicted here landed in shallow waters, the Scheldt near Doel above Antwerp, and attracted a lot of attention. A few years later Coenensz made a second book, based on this manuscript, the whale manuscript, which is now in Antwerp; a third, also with drawings of whales, is part of a collection in Cologne.

Literature

E.Cockx-Indestege, ‘Een walvis gestrand in de Schelde boven Antwerpen op 2 juli 1577′, in: Noordgouw. Cultureel Tijdschrift van de provincie Antwerpen 6 (1966), p. 1-18
K. Barthelmess, ‘Potvisstrandingen in de Lage Landen in de 16de eeuw. Geschiedenis en iconografische ontwikkeling’, in: Op het strand gesmeten. Vijf eeuwen potvisstrandingen aan de Nederlandse kust. [Zutphen] 1992, p. 35-56.

Belgian chaffinch eats sunflower seed, video


This is a video about a male chaffinch eating a sunflower seed.

Wendy Snoekx from Rotselaar in Belgium made this video on 26 December 2014.

Rare mushroom in Flanders for first time ever


Hygrocybe viola waxcap, photo by Yves Deneyer

Translated from the Flemish mycologists of Paddenstoelenwerkgroep Westhoek:

Monday, December 22, 2014

In Elverdinge (Ypres) during an excursion of the Mushroom Task Force West Flanders Hygrocybe viola was discovered. It is the first observation of this species in Flanders. Across Europe there are only a handful of reports of this mushroom with its lilac-colored hat.

In Belgium one other discovery was made of the rare Hygrocybe viola: in 1977, in Vencimont (Wallonia). There are only a handful of known observations in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Denmark (Boertmann, 2010). That makes Hygrocybe viola one of the rarest of the scions of the waxcap family.