Tree pipit, stonechat and whitethroat

This video is called Black-necked grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) with young.

After 3 May 2015, 4 May 2015 in Drenthe.

Near Kraloo, a black redstart on a roof.

In the Dwingelderveld, an Egyptian goose near a lake.

A cuckoo on a tree.

From the hide at the Davidsplassen lakes, one can see coots swimming. Barn swallows nest in the hide.

Grey lag geese fly past.

One can hear a little grebe. Two slightly bigger relatives, a black-necked grebe couple, dive again and again.

Just past the hide, a grey heron. Tufted ducks swimming. A Canada goose.

In a peat bog ditch, pondskaters.

Ground-ivy, 4 May 2015

Ground-ivy flowers.

Big caterpillars of oak eggar moths.

Tree pipit, 4 May 2015

On a shrub in heathland, a tree pipit sings.

Stonechat male, 4 April 2015

A bit further, a male and a female stonechat.

Stonechat male, on 4 April 2015

A whitethroat sings.

Whitethroat, 4 May 2015

A yellowhammer in a tree sings.

Long-tailed tits drive away a jay.

On the edge of a peat bog, male and female common pochard swimming.

A brimstone butterfly lands on a dandelion flower.

Dung beetle transporting dung, video

This is a video about a dung beetle transporting dung; while a slug watches.

Michael de Vries in the Netherlands made this video.

Peacock butterfly flying along flowers, video

This video from the Netherlands shows a peacock butterfly flying along Japanese cherry flowers.

Ralph Hoekstra made this video.

Birds eat harmful caterpillars

This 4 May 2015 video from the Netherlands is about blue tits and great tits, feeding on caterpillars which are harmful to humans.

Oak processionary caterpillars’ hairs inflict burns on people.

Translated from Hellingman Biocontrole Onderzoek and Advies De Natuurkalender in the Netherlands:

Monday, May 4th, 2015

For the first time it has been captured on film that blue tits and great tits may play an important role in combating oak processionary caterpillars. It is now known that a large number of birds feed on oak processionary caterpillars. Stimulating birds could well play an important role in the control of the oak processionary caterpillar.

Ants have their own Highway Code, new research

This video is about Formica pratensis ants.

From Wildlife Extra:

Researchers find ants have their own Highway Code in high traffic areas

Researchers in Germany have discovered that ants have a sophisticated code of conduct in high traffic areas and their own rules of the road, according to new research published in Springer’s journal The Science of Nature – Naturwissenschaften.

One of the scientists’ observations is that ants speed up in response to a higher density of traffic on their trails, rather than slowing down as might be expected.

Not surprisingly, when the researchers increased the supply of food by leaving it next to the trail, ants accelerated their speed by 50 per cent. What was unexpected was that this was despite more than double the density of traffic.

When food increases in supply, more forager ants are sent out to carry it back to the nest. With this increase in ant density, the number of encounters between outbound and incoming individuals increases.

Researchers at the University of Halle-Wittenberg in Germany suggest that the encounters provide an opportunity for ants to swap information and to change their behaviour according to conditions.

Rules of ant etiquette were also observed. For example, workers returning to the colony more often moved to the left than to the right to avoid colliding with an oncoming ant.

Rather than segregating strictly into lanes like human traffic, the ants used only a degree of segregation, with inbound ants more frequently using the left side of the trail.

The observations were made of the black-meadow ant, Formica pratensis, a species that lives mainly in open grassland and forages on aphid honeydew as its carbohydrate source.

The colonies studied were situated near favoured foraging sites where the ants protect and cultivate aphid populations. Repeated journeys in these colonies are made more efficient by the use of well-worn trails that can persist for over a decade.

A total of 1,865 individual ants were filmed on a 15cm (6in) section of trail. The video was stopped every 50 frames and the number of ants on each lane was counted. At low and medium densities, ants preferred the central lanes.

Of the total number, 496 ants were also studied for their speed. Encounters between ants included touching antennae or exchanging fluids. The number of encounters increased with density but this did not reduce the traffic flow.

“Even under the highest densities we could achieve, we did not observe any traffic jams,” says Christiane Hönicke, co-author of the study. “The ants increased their pace and were driven off the central lanes of the trail, resulting in a self-organised optimisation of the traffic.”

Ant carrying bee, video

In this video, an ant carries a dead, much bigger, Andrena vaga mining bee to its anthill.

Matthijs Herremans in the Netherlands made this video.