Long-tailed skua passes Texel island


This is a long-tailed skua video from Sweden.

This morning, a long-tailed skua was reported flying west of Texel island in the Netherlands.

Good nightjar news from the Netherlands


This video shows an European nightjar in Sweden.

Translated from Dutch conservation organisation Natuurmonumenten:

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Good news from Heumensoord: shepherd Bart Willers found on the open moorland of this nature reserve near Nijmegen two young nightjar chicks.

It is the first time that these vulnerable birds have been detected breeding outside the area of Heumensoord which is closed to the public. Earlier, nightjars were seen at the airfield site as breeding birds. That the animal now nests succesfully outside this zone indicates that the management is going in the right direction.

Swedish musicians against neo-fascist racism


This video says about itself:

Silvana Imam Discusses Speaking out Against Neo-Nazis, Describes Swedish Rap & ‘Power Pussy’

16 April 2015

A strong women with little fear when it comes to speaking her mind, Silvana Imam is taking Swedish music by storm by making music that takes on right wing Swedish Democrats. We recently had the pleasure to have her on Sway In The Morning to outline her movement and what she thinks needs to change in her country.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Sweden’s Folk Musicians Against Racism join chorus against far right

Stockholm festival sees people of all ages gather to take Swedish folk music and traditional costume back from the anti-immigrant SD party

Emma Hartley in Stockholm

Sunday 9 August 2015 19.03 BST

On the cobbles in front of Hasselby castle – a peach-coloured 17th-century confection run these days as a hotel – around 70 musicians play a stately polka on fiddles, nyckelharpa, clarinet, flute and accordion. The youngest looks about five, the oldest in his 80s, and a handful wear Swedish traditional costume: the women in full skirts, aprons, lace collars and red woollen stockings, the men in waistcoats, shorts and socks with ribbons. Nearby, a Danish klezmer band on a big sound stage is lifting a crowd to its feet.

But music wasn’t the only thing on the agenda at this year’s Stockholm folk festival. The mass play-in on the cobbles was a demonstration organised by a group called Folk Musicians against Racism (FMR) and their outrage was directed squarely at the third-largest party in Sweden’s parliament, the far-right Sweden Democrats (SD), who won nearly 13% of the vote in last year’s general election.

Earlier in the week, an advert on Stockholm’s metro paid for by the SD, addressing tourists in English, said: “Sorry about the mess here in Sweden. We have a serious problem with forced begging. International gangs profit from people’s desperation. Our goverment (sic) won’t do what’s needed. But we will!”

“Everyone knows this advert was directed against Romanians,” said Kim Persson, 23, of Tunnelbaneorkestern, a Stockholm band made up of three Romanians and him. “And the SD knew that people would get really angry and tear the ad down. Running the ad in English was a PR trick.

“But the best way to deal with SD is to meet them with good arguments. They have an obscene dream that 100 years ago everyone had blond hair and blue eyes and was very happy. But 100 years ago we had the Sami people, as we have now, and Sweden was really poor. Hunger drove many to emigrate to the United States.”

Sweden led Europe last year in the number of asylum applicants it accepted per capita; in absolute numbers it was second only to Germany, a country with a population eight times larger than that of Sweden. But an electoral backlash to the longstanding policy has resulted in the fracturing of its centre-left political consensus and a public self-examination that many say has barely begun.

The relative youth of many of Folk Music Against Racism’s leading activists is noticeable. Anna Gustavsson, 24, said it started because folk traditions have come in for special attention from the SD. “It began really when Jimmie Åkesson – the leader of the Sweden Democrats – wore a traditional costume when entering parliament in 2010. Many parliamentary people have worn the national costume to the opening but when he did it, it became clear that the aim was political and that the clothing was worn not only as formal wear.

“Also nationalistic papers have visited folk festivals in Sweden and sent journalists to report about the ‘true Swedishness’ of the event and written about how good and white the folk scene is.”

The problem, Persson says, “is that the Sweden Democrats are the only party talking about immigration”.

“The other parties dare not address it, so it seems to ordinary people that there is no other way of thinking about immigration except as a bad thing. When nobody else has a contribution to make, people find it easy to believe the Sweden Democrats’ version of events.”

This nyckelharpa kills fascists: Swedish folk musicians stand up to the racist right: here.

World War I Russian submarine discovery off Sweden


This 27 July 2015 video is called Footage Shows Foreign Submarine Found In Swedish Waters.

From AFP news agency:

Sweden says submarine wreck probably Tsarist-era Russian vessel

Submarine likely to be Som-class submarine, nicknamed Catfish, which sank after collision with Swedish vessel in 1916

Tuesday 28 July 2015 17.37 BST

The wreck of a submarine found off Sweden’s coast was probably a Tsarist-era Russian vessel that collided with a ship about a century ago, the country’s military has announced.

“We are most likely talking about the Russian Som-class submarine – nicknamed Catfish – which sank after a collision with a Swedish vessel in 1916 during the first world war and before the Russian Revolution,” the Swedish armed forces said.

Speculation had been swirling about the origins of the vessel after Swedish divers announced on Monday that a submarine had been found about 1.5 nautical miles off the coast of central Sweden.

The announcement came nine months after a high-profile hunt for a mystery submarine in Swedish waters, which some suspected was a modern Russian vessel.

The Swedish military said pictures of the wreck taken by the divers confirmed its own analysis and that it did not think a full technical analysis was necessary. Experts identified it as an imperial Russian navy sub that sank with an 18-member crew in May 1916 after a collision with a Swedish vessel.

Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter said it was a submarine built for the imperial Russian navy in Vladivostok in 1904 and integrated into the naval fleet in the Baltic Sea in 1915.

“Judging by the pictures, it is the Som,” Konstanin Bogdanov, head of a state-backed team of wreck divers in Russia, told AFP, referring to what appears to be Cyrillic lettering on the submarine’s outer shell.

He said his team would be happy to study the find together with the Swedish divers. “We are ready to conduct a joint expedition,” he said, adding that if the wreck is confirmed as the Catfish it would be important to also “immortalise the memory” of those who perished.

Stefan Hogeborn, a diver with the Ocean X Team that made the discovery, said the mini-sub was completely intact with no visible damage to the hull and the hatches were closed. “It is unclear how old the submarine is and how long it has been laying at the sea floor, but the Cyrillic letters on the hull indicate that it is Russian,” he said in a statement on Monday.

In October, Sweden’s navy launched a massive hunt for a foreign submarine, suspected to be Russian, in the Stockholm archipelago. The military subsequently confirmed that “a mini-submarine” had violated its territorial waters, but was never able to establish the vessel’s nationality.

Last year’s hunt for the mystery vessel came at a time of particularly high tensions between Russia and the West over the conflict in Ukraine.

Great snipes’ great migration, study


This great snipe video was ‘Filmed on the night in Lapponia Sweden in June 2010’.

From Biology Letters:

Great flights by great snipes: long and fast non-stop migration over benign habitats

Raymond H. G. Klaassen, Thomas Alerstam, Peter Carlsson, James W. Fox, Åke Lindström

25 May 2011

Abstract

Migratory land birds perform extreme endurance flights when crossing ecological barriers, such as deserts, oceans and ice-caps. When travelling over benign areas, birds are expected to migrate by shorter flight steps, since carrying the heavy fuel loads needed for long non-stop flights comes at considerable cost. Here, we show that great snipes Gallinago media made long and fast non-stop flights (4300–6800 km in 48–96 h), not only over deserts and seas but also over wide areas of suitable habitats, which represents a previously unknown migration strategy among land birds.

Furthermore, the great snipes achieved very high ground speeds (15–27 m s−1), which was not an effect of strong tailwind support, and we know of no other animal that travels this rapidly over such a long distance. Our results demonstrate that some migratory birds are prepared to accept extreme costs of strenuous exercise and large fuel loads, even when stopover sites are available along the route and there is little tailwind assistance. A strategy of storing a lot of energy before departure, even if migration is over benign habitats, may be advantageous owing to differential conditions of fuel deposition, predation or infection risk along the migration route.

Good Irish little tern news


This is a little tern video from Sweden.

From the Kilcoole Little Tern Conservation Project in Ireland:

Friday, 22 May 2015

Egg-citing news for Kilcoole!

After a week of hopeful waiting and scanning the shingle with our telescopes, our patience was rewarded yesterday. Just before dark, we spotted a Little Tern sitting among the stones while all the other Terns had gone to roost. She was sitting on two eggs, so we are delighted to announce our first Little Tern nest for the 2015 season!

Last year’s Terns began laying on the 25th of May due to very bad weather the week before. This year, the first nest was laid on the 21st of May, four days earlier. However, even four days earlier, the Terns began nesting later than expected. Perhaps this is due to last week’s gale winds and heavy rain.

We have not come across a second nest since last night, but judging by the courting activity and the large number of Terns, we are expecting lots more! Our largest colony count this week was in and around 200 Terns. Hopefully many of these will choose to stay and nest in Kilcoole.

Susan and Paddy

Little terns on Texel, the Netherlands: here. On Vlieland, the Netherlands: here.

English coastal birds news


This is a knot video from Sweden.

Another video says about itself:

Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) (Scolopacidae: Snipe, Godwits, Curlews etc.)

In Australia the Whimbrel is found in coastal locations during the warmer months of the year. Birds which migrate to Australia generally originate from eastern Siberia. Here filmed on the Cairns seafront in North Queensland. Can be found in Australia with the larger Eastern Curlew.

From Debby Saunders in Dorset, England, on Twitter today:

Ferrybridge on the outgoing tide 3 Knot, 2 Whimbrel, 10 Sanderling, 5 Turnstone, Bar[-tailed God]wit, 80 Dunlin, 20 Ringed Plover.