Kentish plovers are back at Dutch beach

Dutch Zeeland Kentish plover sign, photo Omroep Zeeland

This photo shows a closed off part of a beach near Renesse village in Zeeland province in the Netherlands. The sign shows a Kentish plover picture, with as caption: I am nesting here.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Rare Kentish plover revives in Renesse

The Kentish plover is back in Renesse. The rare bird appears to benefit greatly from the closure of a stretch of beach near the Zeeland village. Eight chicks were born from twelve litters.

Staatsbosbeheer is happy with the result. The beach will close again next year, the nature management organization has already announced to Omroep Zeeland. …

“I think it is very important to protect this bird species because I want to maintain biodiversity,” says Margo van der Meulen, bird warden. She is pleased with the intervention by Staatsbosbeheer, which closed the so-called Verklikkerstrand near Renesse to the public for the first time last year.


The problem last year was that the closing off was not sufficient. The Kentish plover nests were trampled by holidaymakers and dogs.

This year, the set-up by Staatsbosbeheer was successful, mainly due to the deployment of birdwatchers who warned the tourists. They shared flyers and gave explanations.


Religious homophobia in Dutch Zeeland

This 2013 video from the USA says about itself:

Televangelist Pat Robertson made homophobic remarks regarding same-sex couples, saying gay couples make him want to vomit. Watch a clip in the video.

Televangelist Pat Robertson responded to a viewer question on his Christian Broadcasting Network show “The 700 Club”, saying there should be a vomit button so that he could press it every time he sees a photo of a same-sex couple kissing on Facebook.

Unfortunately, in Dutch Zeeland province there are not only beautiful birds, but there is also ugly religious homophobia.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

22 of the 33 churches in Tholen

former island in Zeeland; in the Dutch ‘Bible belt’.

strongly protest against the hoisting of the rainbow flag and the Sunday opening of a number of tourist shops. In a full-page advertisement in the local Eendrachtbode paper they write that the “Christian norms and values on Tholen are pushed aside”.

The municipal council of Tholen last month agreed with the hoisting of the rainbow flag on Coming Out Day, the day that LGBTQ people can come out for their orientation. …

According to the church councils, of [fundamentalist Calvinist] congregations, there can be no other relationship than that between a man and a woman. The hoisting of the rainbow flag on Coming Out Day goes “against the Biblical creation order.”

Starling murmuration among windmills

This 16 November 2018 video shows a starling murmuration among windmills.

Anja van Riet made this video in Zeeland province in the Netherlands.

Fish and birds are able to move in groups, without separating or colliding, due to a newly discovered dynamic: the followers interact with the wake left behind by the leaders. The finding offers new insights into animal locomotion and points to potential ways to harness energy from natural resources, such as rivers or wind: here.

LGBTQ liberation and homophobia in Dutch Zeeland

Zeeland rainbow flag design, by Vos Broekema

This is the design for the rainbow flag of Dutch Zeeland province. It is inspired by both the international rainbow flag and the Zeeland provincial flag.

Zeeland provincial flag

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

As the last province in the Netherlands, the province of Zeeland now also will hang out the rainbow flag. That will happen next Thursday on Coming Out Day. This has been happening for years in the other provinces. “It’s just logical to do it”, says a spokesperson for the province against Omroep Zeeland broadcasting organisation.

Coming Out Day is since 2009 an annual event on 11 October. The intention is that gay men, lesbians, bisexuals or transgenders (LGBTQ people) can then more easily express their sexual preference. Under the slogan ‘come out of the closet!’ there are in schools, but also at companies and in the hospitality sector social gatherings and meetings.

For support, the rainbow flag is hung out in many places. Zeeland province was always an exception. That changed when the GroenLinks party in the provincial legislature came with a motion earlier this year to declare Zeeland a rainbow province. The motion received a narrow majority. Yesterday, the provincial executive also changed tack.

SGP [right-wing Protestant party] executive member Harry van der Maas remains the only one against it. He said earlier that the fight against LGBT discrimination does not belong to the core tasks of the province. Van der Maas was not available for comment this morning, but the official position of the SGP is that “on the basis of the Bible no approval can be given to homosexual practice“. The SGP also opposes “the opening of marriage for same-sex couples, because marriage is a unique and exclusive union between one man and one woman”.

The decision of the province does not mean that all municipalities in Zeeland will also participate. Schouwen-Duiveland, Tholen and Reimerswaal [where the SGP is strong] have already announced that they will keep the rainbow flags out.

Children branded in scouting hazing

This 2015 video from the USA says about itself:

Former Boy Scout sues Mormon church for sexual abuse

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and The Boy Scouts of America are facing a lawsuit from a former Boy Scout over alleged sexual abuse at a church-sponsored Scouting trip. CNN’s Kyra Phillips reports.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Jail term demanded for branding in hazing scouting children

A youth leader of scouting in Goes [in Zeeland province] is suspected of branding three children. The 23-year-old Mark B. stands accused of having pressed a hot branding iron against the backs of the children during a camp in Belgium last summer, the public prosecutor confirms after RTL Nieuws reported about it.

B. had to appear in court today. The Public Prosecutor suspects him of inflicting serious bodily harm on purpose. Against B. seven months in prison, three of which were conditional, has been demanded.


B. is said to have taken the branding iron to the camp in the village of Sint-Joris-Weert with the idea of ​​branding the children. According to the Public Prosecution Service, it was a hazing ritual in which the children suffered first and second degree burns. The scars can still be seen.

The victims are two boys and a girl between the ages of 12 and 14. They got the letters “F” and “N” on their backs, the abbreviation of scouting group Frans Naerebout from Goes. Then they were not taken to a hospital.

“We think it’s terrible that this happened”, says a spokesperson for Scouting in the Netherlands. …

Hazing rituals

In some scouting groups new members are put to the test in initiation rituals. Sometimes a new member is supposedly branded with a branding iron as a joke. In reality it is a cold iron that is pressed against new members.

Children are instructed to scream, to make it even more terrible for those whose turn will be later. According to the public prosecution service, such rituals do not belong at a scouting camp with young children. Other, less intimidating hazing rituals occur often.

Hazing is despicable; whether in scouting, student fraternities, religious cults, armed forces, etc.

OVER 1,200 SCOUTS ALLEGEDLY ABUSED An expert hired by the Boy Scouts of America to review allegations of child sexual abuse in the organization identified 7,819 alleged abusers among scout leaders and volunteers dating back to 1944, according to a newly released court document. Of the files examined over five years, 12,254 alleged victims were identified. [HuffPost]