From Tarsiger on Twitter today:
Yesterday’s Booted Warbler reidentified as Sykes’s Warbler, Iduna rama – the 1st for the Czech republic!
This video from Romania, by Finnature from Finland, says about itself:
12 December 2014
Finnature and Ultima Frontiera arrange bird photography tours Danube delta are. Excellent opportunities for hide photography of exotic birds! For more info please visit www.finnature.com.
The video shows many people coming from, eg, Finland, to Romania to watch and photograph birds. This is economically important for Romania. The proposed new hunting law might ruin that.
Romanian hunting law threatens wild birds and violates the Birds Directive
By Lisa Benedetti, Tue, 05/05/2015 – 12:58
Romania is about to approve a law that will allow spring hunting and trespassing on private property. The legislation would clearly violate the Birds and Habitats Directives, but it also poses some serious implications for Romanian citizens. BirdLife Romania and other NGOs are on a mission to stop this.
This new law, being pushed forward at very high speed, goes against the Birds Directives because it would allow the killing of birds during spring migration. This is a critical time for migrating birds on their way to breed and it just does not make any sense to kill birds before they have a chance to reproduce and replenish numbers. The legislation would extend the legal hunting periods for up to 3 months, including spring migration, for 18 species of birds, mostly goose and duck species (Northern Pintail and Garganey among them). It is particularly threatening for non-target species like the endangered Red-breasted Goose, which forms mixed flocks with target species and then gets accidentally killed.
One of the other 18 species for which this law would apply is the Eurasian Skylark. It’s one of Romania`s most beloved birds and has been an inspiration for many great musicians all over the world. It is so appreciated for its beautiful song that Romanians give all their best singers the nickname ‘Skylark’. It is currently legal to hunt Skylark in Romania and five other EU countries – Greece, Cyprus, Italy, France and Malta. But the Skylark population in Europe has declined up to 50% since 1980, so extending the hunting period would only worsen the situation. Also, people are known to hunt under the guise of targeting skylark, but end up killing other species that are legally protected as well.
The proposed law is an attack on the rights of land and property owners. If it passes, it would allow anyone in pursuit of a wild bird to walk onto any private field or property without permission from the owner. The rather weak argument from the government is that wild game is owned by the state, so anyone in pursuit of wild game should be allowed to follow their target wherever they like without consent. A bit ironic in places where NGO`s and foundations have bought lands and forests with the precise purpose of protecting wildlife. This proposed law also has implications for places that are supposed to protect birds and nature in Romania, like Natura 2000 protected areas. That is, hunting liberalisation would undermine the management of these sites.
Another remarkable thing is that the law would not just change the game for Romanians. If it goes ahead, it would actually lift all restrictions from foreign hunters and allow them to legally set foot on anyone’s land all across Romania in chase of wild birds. Until now, foreigners needed an invitation from a land owner or administrator to access land to hunt wild game. Songbirds are already being hunted in massive numbers in Romania, especially by Italians who travel to Romania to hunt. If this piece of legislation goes through, there will be a songbird massacre.
“In 2009, police caught an Italian hunter with 2000 Crested Larks, a species that is not on the list of huntable species. In 2010, 15 Italian hunters were caught with 1000s of Skylarks, Crested Larks and Quails. In 2011, a shipment of over 11,000 Skylarks hunted in Romania and ready to go to Italy were intercepted by the Hungarian border police. In 2013, an Italian hunter was caught with over 5400 Skylarks. At this rate, we will only hear songbirds in the museum”, said Ovidiu Bufnilă, spokesman for Societatea Ornitologica Romana/BirdLife Romania.
Our BirdLife Partner, with support from its members and other NGOs, are not remaining silent as all this is happening. They are now leading a campaign to send a message to their Parliament that nature is important and Romanians will not stand by and see their songbirds massacred.
Romania: ANGRY protesters surged through the capital Bucharest at the weekend, demanding an end to illegal mass logging of forests in the Carpathian and to government collusion in the crime. Thousands of demonstrators carried banners proclaiming: “United we can save the forests” and “Deforestation is a crime”: here.
There are 171 great egret nests.
This 16 March 2015 video is about a dipper near its nest in northern Finland, trying to make its song audible as the fast-flowing river makes noise.
Then, time for singing again.
Time to look around a bit.
And time to go back to the bridge.
Time to sing again.
A great tit called.
Two dippers on the bridge.
A hooded crow flies past.
A dipper cleanses its feathers on a small stone in the stream.
Time for us to say goodbye to these beautiful birds.
This video is about a dipper in the Netherlands.
Our plane went to Helsinki. There, we changed planes.
More bird photos from Finland are here.
They came down from the trees to the snowy roadside, attracted by raisins.
They were not shy.
Stay tuned for the next blog post, about the birds of 16 March 2015, our last morning in Finland!
After 14 March 2015 in north-east Finland came 15 March. Our last full day in Finland. Again, we went to the dipper nest where we had already been on 14 March. On this video, you can hear the dipper sing. You can also see the dipper’s environment; the water, flowing fast through ice and snow. But, you cannot see the dipper.
On this photo, you can.
The dipper sang on rocks in the river, and on the wooden bridge.
A second dipper, extremely probably his female partner, joined him on the bridge.
Then, back to the river for a song.
And back to the bridge again.
Then, together in the snow.
Then, to an ice-covered rock.
While the water kept speeding past the birds.
Every now and then, the dippers would bring nesting material to the wooden nestbox under the bridge.
Meanwhile, a red squirrel crossed the bridge, covered with snow.
A raven flies past, calling.
A bit further, pine grosbeaks high up a tree. They are not feeding on Swedish service tree berries this time, but on coniferous tree cones. Like their scientific name says: Pinicola enucleator; literally, ‘inhabitant of coniferous trees, removing cones’ cores’.
In another big coniferous tree: a siskin.
We continued to a Siberian jay spot. That will be a separate blog post.
This video is called Hazel Grouse / Bonasa bonasia.
A bird species which we saw once in Finland, in the evening dusk.
In the morning of 16 March, our last morning in Finland, we still saw dippers and other birds. So, stay tuned!
Northern Finland, still 14 March 2015.
After the great grey owls, we went to a fast-flowing river.
Though there was still ice and snow all around, including on top of rocks in the river, the water there flows so fast that it is open.
This benefited a dipper couple.
They live in a wooden nest box underneath a wooden bridge. There is another nestbox, a bit further under the same bridge. Maybe grey wagtails will use that box when they will be back from spring migration.
14 March dipper photos, unfortunately, were not so good. However, we went back to the dippers later, with better photographic results. So, stay tuned!