Birds, mushrooms and big wasp, Terschelling island


Hornet attacks ant, 23 September 2019

After 22 September 2019 on Terschelling island came 23 September. Early in the morning, not far from Doodemanskisten lake, this hornet attacked this ant.

A coal tit. A firecrest. Two great tits. And a female blackcap.

As we walked through the woodland, false death cap fungi.

Clustered brittlestem.

Blusher mushrooms.

Gymnopus dryophilus.

Melanoleuca brevipes, 23 September 2019

And these Melanoleuca brevipes fungi.

Common rustgill, 23 September 2019

And these common rustgill mushrooms.

A great spotted woodpecker. A robin sings.

Saffron milk cap, 23 September 2019

Saffron milk cap.

Some of many Jersey cow mushrooms we saw today.

A slug feeding on one of them.

Yellow stagshorn, 23 September 2019

These yellow stagshorn fungi.

Horse mushrom, 23 September 2019

Horse mushroom.

Common roll-rim.

Young shaggy ink caps.

Sticky bun fungus, 23 September 2019

Sticky bun present as well.

Sticky bun fungi, 23 September 2019

Sulphur tuft.

Penny bun, 23 September 2019

Penny bun.

Collybia confluens.

Smooth puffball, 23 September 2019

Smooth puffball.

Common puffball.

Lactarius glaucescens.

A jay calls.

Velvet roll-rim fungi on 23 September 2019

Velvet roll-rim.

Beefsteak polypore, 23 September 2019

And, as last fungus photo of that day, this beefsteak polypore.

When we are back at Doodemanskisten lake, two grey herons. A teal. A wigeon. A female migrant hawker dragonfly.

Stay tuned for more on Terschelling wildlife!

Ladybug on mushroom, video


Ladybug on mushroom

This photo by Joke van de Poppe, made in the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen nature reserve in the Netherlands, shows a ladybug on a Mycena mushroom.

Golden plovers, red knots, wheatears of Terscheling


Golden plovers, 22 September 2019

Still 22 September 2019 on Terschelling island. We went west from Oosterend village. There, these golden plovers on a meadow.

Most in winter plumage, but some still in summer plumage.

Golden plover, 22 September 2019

South of Lies village, again to the Wadden Sea shore.

Two grey herons. Five eider ducks.

Red knots, 22 September 2019

Close to West-Terschelling: oystercatchers. These two red knots. A wheatear. And wigeons.

Red knot, 22 September 2019

Dunlin, 22 September 2019

Near Seerijp hamlet, this dunlin.

Redshanks, 22 September 2019

And redshanks.

Wheatear, 22 September 2019

And this northern wheatear.

Northern wheatear, 22 September 2019

And this one.

Waders and big moth of Terschelling island


Whimbrel, 22 September 2019

Still 22 September 2019 along the Wadden Sea coast of Terschelling island. A whimbrel standing on a small stone dike.

Curlew, Terschelling, 22 September 2019

A bit further, a bigger relative of whimbrels, this curlew.

Greenshanks, 22 September 2019

Then, a flock of hundreds of dunlin and redshanks. And greenshanks.

Meadow pipit, 22 September 2019

Two meadow pipits on a pole and a fence.

Meadow pipit, 22 September 2019

There was also one closer to the shore.

Convolvulus hawk moth, 22 September 2019, Terschelling

As we walk back, we see a big moth on a fence: a convolvulus hawk moth.

Convolvulus hawk moth, 22 September 2019

Convolvulus hawk moth, on 22 September 2019, Terschelling

On a roof, not just lichen, but also this white wagtail.

White wagtail, 22 September 2019

Near Oosterend, a buzzard on a pole.

Stay tuned, as there will be more about Terschelling on 22 September 2019!

Guillemots, waders of Terschelling Island


Dead guillemot, Terschelling, 22 September 2019

After 21 September 2019 on Terschelling island came 22 September. We went to the North Sea coast north of Oosterend village. Where we saw two dead guillemots on the beach.

Two sanderlings flying past.

A turnstone.

Then, east of Oosterend, about 50 golden plovers in a meadow.

Rabbits, 22 September 2019

There were rabbits as well.

In the Grië area, a flock of goldfinches.

White wagtail, 22 September 2019

And this white wagtail.

Along the Wadden Sea shoreline, shelducks.

Wigeons, Terschelling, 22 September 2019

And wigeons.

And a greater black-backed gull.

Female pintail duck, 22 September 2019

A female pintail duck flying past.

A dunlin.

Bar-tailed godwit and greenshank, Terschelling, 22 September 2019

Greenshanks between Salicornia plants. On this photo, a bar-tailed godwit on the left, a greenshank on the right.

Two bar-tailed godwits.

Red knots, 22 September 2019

Four red knots.

Red knots, on 22 September 2019

Later, many more red knots. With some black-headed gulls in winter plumage in the background.

Stay tuned, there will be more on Terschelling on 22 September 2019 on this blog!

Birdwatching and artificial intelligence computing


This 12 April 2018 video says about itself:

In 2016, Arjan Dwarshuis took his love for birdwatching to extreme lengths. He boarded over 140 flights to 40 different countries, journeying through jungles and forests in search of the birds of the world. During his 366-day trip, he smashed the world record, observing 6,856 species of birds—that’s 65% of the global bird population. Now, he’s using his epic adventure as a way to raise awareness for conservation efforts, here.

From Duke University in the USA:

This AI birdwatcher lets you ‘see’ through the eyes of a machine

New research aims to open the ‘black box’ of computer vision

October 31, 2019

It can take years of birdwatching experience to tell one species from the next. But using an artificial intelligence technique called deep learning, Duke University researchers have trained a computer to identify up to 200 species of birds from just a photo.

The real innovation, however, is that the A.I. tool also shows its thinking, in a way that even someone who doesn’t know a penguin from a puffin can understand.

The team trained their deep neural network — algorithms based on the way the brain works — by feeding it 11,788 photos of 200 bird species to learn from, ranging from swimming ducks to hovering hummingbirds.

The researchers never told the network “this is a beak” or “these are wing feathers.” Given a photo of a mystery bird, the network is able to pick out important patterns in the image and hazard a guess by comparing those patterns to typical species traits it has seen before.

Along the way it spits out a series of heat maps that essentially say: “This isn’t just any warbler. It’s a hooded warbler, and here are the features — like its masked head and yellow belly — that give it away.”

Duke computer science Ph.D. student Chaofan Chen and undergraduate Oscar Li led the research, along with other team members of the Prediction Analysis Lab directed by Duke professor Cynthia Rudin.

They found their neural network is able to identify the correct species up to 84% of the time — on par with some of its best-performing counterparts, which don’t reveal how they are able to tell, say, one sparrow from the next.

Rudin says their project is about more than naming birds. It’s about visualizing what deep neural networks are really seeing when they look at an image.

Similar technology is used to tag people on social networking sites, spot suspected criminals in surveillance cameras, and train self-driving cars to detect things like traffic lights and pedestrians.

The problem, Rudin says, is that most deep learning approaches to computer vision are notoriously opaque. Unlike traditional software, deep learning software learns from the data without being explicitly programmed. As a result, exactly how these algorithms ‘think’ when they classify an image isn’t always clear.

Rudin and her colleagues are trying to show that A.I. doesn’t have to be that way. She and her lab are designing deep learning models that explain the reasoning behind their predictions, making it clear exactly why and how they came up with their answers. When such a model makes a mistake, its built-in transparency makes it possible to see why.

For their next project, Rudin and her team are using their algorithm to classify suspicious areas in medical images like mammograms. If it works, their system won’t just help doctors detect lumps, calcifications and other symptoms that could be signs of breast cancer. It will also show which parts of the mammogram it’s homing in on, revealing which specific features most resemble the cancerous lesions it has seen before in other patients.

In that way, Rudin says, their network is designed to mimic the way doctors make a diagnosis. “It’s case-based reasoning,” Rudin said. “We’re hoping we can better explain to physicians or patients why their image was classified by the network as either malignant or benign.”

The team is presenting a paper on their findings at the Thirty-third Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS 2019) in Vancouver on December 12.

Other authors of this study include Daniel Tao and Alina Barnett of Duke and Jonathan Su at MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

CITATION: “This Looks Like That: Deep Learning for Interpretable Image Recognition“, Chaofan Chen, Oscar Li, Daniel Tao, Alina Barnett, Jonathan Su and Cynthia Rudin. Electronic Proceedings of the Neural Information Processing Systems Conference. December 12, 2019.

Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards exhibition


Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards, finalist photo

This comical photo shows a king penguin quarrelling with a southern elephant seal. It is one of the finalists of the 2019 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.

The Brabant Natural History Museum in Tilburg, the Netherlands writes about it (translated):

Recognizable! That’s what you think when you look at the photos of the international Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards. A nosey seal with a weak smile, two sea otters where it seems that one is trying to save the other, or a marital fight between two exotic birds [European bee-eaters], one of which seems to think his or her own thoughts about it.

Bee-eaters

At least you have to smile about it. And that is precisely the power of the photos: humour to draw attention to – international – nature conservation. Even better when you see them all together.

Dancing bears and lions, a philosophizing monkey and a dreamy squirrel. The prize-winning photos of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards, prizes for the most comical animal photos of the year, are coming to Tilburg! The irresistible images can be seen in the sperm whale hall from November 14 on. Also special, because the photos can only be seen in a few places in the world in exhibition form. A great opportunity to show how nice nature can be. The museum immediately seized the opportunity to bring the exhibition to the Netherlands for several years.

With the photo competition, Comedy Wildlife Awards supports the Born Free organization, which is committed to animal protection and welfare. With the competition they call attention to wild animals and the preservation of their living environment. And with the sale of the photos via an auction, they raise money for the Born Free Foundation and the local project Natuur om de Hoek. This allows children to get to know nature in their own neighbourhood on the basis of questions, research and experiment.