Many black-winged stilts in China


Black-winged stilts, 6 April 2018

Still 6 April 2018 in Shaanxi, China. After we had seen the ibisbills and mandarin ducks, we continued along the river. There, we saw this beautiful group of at least forty black-winged stilts. Both adults and juveniles; both males and females.

Black-winged stilts river, 6 April 2018

They were there probably to spend the night, as the evening dusk was approaching fast; as this photo shows.

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Ibisbill and mandarin ducks in China


This 2010 video says about itself:

Ibisbill – Ibidorhyncha struthersii

Ibisbill, Bai He River, China. Digiscoping video using a Swarovski ATS65HD, DCA, 20×60 Zoom with a Nikon Coolpix P5100.

Still 6 April 2018 in Shaanxi province in China. After the birds we saw in the morning, in the afternoon we went in search of this rare species, the ibisbill.

We looked at a river bank, where the ibisbill may live. We did not see it, though we did see sixteen black-winged stilts.

Ibisbill, 6 April 2018

At 16:35, we did see two ibisbills at the opposite bank.

Ibisbill, on 6 April 2018

On this photo, a grey wagtail to the right of the ibisbill.

Ibisbill in water, 6 April 2018

They were feeding and cleaning their feathers.

Ibisbill and common sandpiper, 6 April 2018

A common sandpiper kept an ibisbill company.

Mandarin duck, 6 April 2018

We saw five mandarin ducks as well, both males and females. This male was on the opposite river bank.

Mandarin duck swims, 6 April 2018

A male mandarin duck swimming.

Stay tuned, there will be more on birds in China!

Daurian redstart, Darjeeling woodpecker in China


Daurian redstart, 6 April 2018

Like in my earlier blog post, still in the Han Shui river region in Shaanxi province in China. As we walked around a village, we saw this Daurian redstart.

Darjeeling woodpecker, 6 April 2018

A bit further, this Darjeeling woodpecker on a tree.

Black-throated tits

Still further, these two black-throated tits.

Wisteria, 6 April 2018

We continued, to a valley, where there was a common pheasant and these Wisteria flowers.

Crested ibis on taxi, 6 April 2018

We arrived back in Hanzhong city. On a taxi there, this crested ibis picture.

Stay tuned; there will be more on birds in China!

London Grenfell inquiry opens with tributes to victims


London Grenfell fire victims

By Sam Tobin in London, England:

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Grenfell inquiry opens with tributes to lost loved ones

Sam Tobin reports from Kensington

THE BEREAVED of Grenfell Tower opened the public inquiry into the disaster today with emotional tributes to their loved ones who perished in the blaze.

A dozen of the 72 people who lost their lives last June 14 were commemorated on the first of six days of tributes held at a hotel in Kensington, west London.

Lead counsel to the inquiry Richard Millett QC read out the names of six victims on behalf of those families for whom “the weight of grief is simply too great to bear [and who have] chosen to grieve privately or in silence.”

They were Victoria King, 71, and her daughter Alexandra Atala, 40, Marco Gottardi, 27, Abufars Ibrahim, 39, Abdesalam Sebbar, 77, and Sheila, 84.

Marcio Gomes, who escaped from the 21st floor with his wife Andreia and two young daughters, gave a moving tribute to his son Logan, who was stillborn just after the fire.

He said that Logan “might not be [here] physically, but he will always be here in our hearts and that will be forever.”

Anne-Marie Murphy, the sister of Denis Murphy, 56, said he was as much “a dad” as a brother to her and her siblings, Mick and Tim.

She said: “We as a family feel strongly that there is no reason in the world why anyone should have death forced upon them in such a horrific way.”

Statements from Saber Neda’s family were read out. His son Farhad said of the the 57-year-old former Afghan army officer: “In the 18 years that we lived in Grenfell, there was never a bad word said about him.”

His widow Flora told the inquiry how they had met in Kabul in 1989 — “It was love at first sight” — before they fled the Taliban in 1998.

She mourned the fact that “my beloved husband will not be with us at Farhad’s wedding and will not be there to … share in the joy of becoming a grandparent.”

Samuel Daniels — who brought a legal challenge to Theresa May’s refusal to appoint a diverse panel to the inquiry earlier this month — gave a brief tribute to his father Joseph, 69, saying: “The events of that night took his life and all trace of his existence from this world.

“He stood no chance of getting out and this should never have happened.”

The inquiry finally heard tributes to Mary Mendy, 54, and her daughter Khadija Saye, 24, read out on behalf of Ms Mendy’s niece and Ms Saye’s father.

Marion Telfer said Ms Mendy, who moved to Britain from the Gambia in the 1980s, was a “humanitarian” who had “completely devoted her life to Khadija.”

She added: “She was warm and kind. She welcomed everyone into her home. Grenfell Tower was a place all her family and friends could find shelter if they ever needed it.”

The inquiry was shown a short documentary featuring Ms Saye just before exhibiting her photography at the prestigious Venice Biennale.

Her father Mohammadou Saye said his daughter’s “burning passion was photography”, recounting how she one day told him: “Daddy, I’m in love with images.”

Moyra Samuels from Justice4Grenfell told the Star that the decision to begin with commemorations was “significant because it actually changes what happened at Grenfell from statistics and cladding and technicals and science to humans, because the fight for justice is not for a building.

“It’s for the community that was affected and the families and the lives that were cut short unnecessarily.”

Labour MP David Lammy told the Star that he was “pleased that the chair has heard some of the criticism” of his appointment and had begun the inquiry with commemorations.

But he added: “Anyone who knows their history knows that we have to remain vigilant and I remain a critical friend of the inquiry.

“[But] it isn’t solely about the inquiry, it is also about the police investigation.

Until we see a case in the Old Bailey, there will be no justice.”

Butterfly, woodpeckers, little egret in China


Little egret, 6 April 2018

Still 6 April 2018. Still in the Han Shui river region in Shaanxi province in China; like in the previous blog post. Where this little egret flew.

We passed a crested ibis nest.

Crested ibis lamppost, 6 April 2018

There was a crested ibis sculpture on this solar panel powered lamppost.

In dense bamboo thickets, a rufous-faced warbler.

Village, 6 April 2018

We arrived at a village.

Village bench, 6 April 2018

The village bench attracted people who wanted to sit.

Butterfly, 6 April 2018

And the village yellow flowers attracted this butterfly.

A Japanese tit.

Grey-capped pygmy woodpeckers, 6 April 2017

In a woodland, this grey-capped pigmy woodpecker couple.

Grey-capped pygmy woodpecker female, 6 April 2017

Stay tuned: there will be more Chinese birds!

Grey-capped greenfinch, crested kingfisher in China


Grey-capped greenfinch, 6 April 2018

Still 6 April 2018. Like in my earlier blog post, along the Hanshui river in Shaanxi province in China. Where we saw this grey-capped greenfinch.

Two barn swallows flying. A grey heron. A common pheasant.

Crested kingfisher, 6 April 2018

On a wire across the river, this crested kingfisher.

Crested ibis and little egret, 6 April 2018

A bit further, a little egret and a crested ibis. The ibis had caught a prey. The crested ibis has recovered from only 7 birds left to about 2,000-2,500 individuals.

Farm woman, 6 April 2018

We passed a farm couple sowing for spring.

A hoopoe flying.

Crested ibis, 6 April 2018

Then, this crested ibis in a tree.

A jay calls.

Black-throated tit, 6 April 2018

In a small tree at a village entrance, this small bird: a black-throated tit.

Black-throated tit, on 6 April 2018

Ornaments on village buildings.

Ornaments, 6 April 2018

Stay tuned, as there will be more about birds on 6 April 2018!

Crested ibis, egrets, wagtails in China


Little egrets, 6 April 2018

After 5 April 2018 came 6 April. Still in Yangxian county, Shaanxi province, China. After our day at the golden pheasant hide, now river birds. Like the little egrets on this photo.

These egrets were at the Hanshui river close to Hanzhong city. Before arriving there, we saw crested ibis sculptures on city lamp posts.

Crested ibis, 6 April 2018

At the river, this living crested ibis arrived.

Crested ibis and frog, 6 April 2018

This ringed crested ibis caught a frog.

Crested ibis and frog, on 6 April 2018

It took the bird some time to eat the frog.

There were also smaller birds, like a snipe. And a plumbeous water redstart. A greenshank. A common sandpiper. A common kingfisher. A tree sparrow.

Yellow wagtail, 6 April 2018

And like this yellow wagtail.

Citrine wagtail, 6 April 2018

And this citrine wigtail. There was a white wagtail as well.

A male goshawk flying.

A bit further, a little ringed plover. And a wood sandpiper.

There will be more on birds in river areas in China. Stay tuned!