ECO HVAR: AIMS AND ACTIVITIES OF THE CHARITY

Environment

Eco Hvar's aims for environmental protection, and related articles.

Read more...

maria lidija

Health

Eco Hvar's ideas for encouraging positive health, plus related articles

Read more...

Animals

Eco Hvar's aims for protecting animals and improving animal welfare, plus related articles

Read more...

Birdwatch, February 2017

Steve Jones' bird sightings in February 2017. Happily, gaps are being filled!

Great Tit: more in evidence a year ago. Great Tit: more in evidence a year ago. Photo: Ian Kirk

I have been really pleased with my February sightings as birds I would have expected to see over the Winter have appeared, and I hadn’t seen them last year, the cold spell no doubt responsible. Admittedly I went out pretty much every day in February this year, whereas looking at my notes from last year it was seemingly every two to three days. The days have been a bit warmer and the birds were beginning to take on a bit more colour, with some starting to sing as the breeding season approached.

My garden Chaffinches which come to the feeder were quite active now, but apart from Blackbird, Dunnock, Robin, Blackcap and occasional Black Redstart there wasn’t much else. Last year I was seeing good numbers of Blue Tits and Great Tits. This year I have been hearing the Great Tit, but the Blue Tit and the Wren have been very scarce. The Blackbirds which were so prominent in January had largely moved on in the early part of February.

On February 1st a male Hen Harrier flew right in front of me whilst I was driving into Stari Grad. I saw it a few times in January, but only twice in February, the second time almost at the end of the month on February 27th.

Redwing with a Fieldfare, February 2017. Photo: Steve Jones

February 2nd brings another first – Redwing, not a very good picture but it shows the difference in size between the Fieldfare and the Redwing.

February 4th: feeding on the Vrbanj airfield there were in excess of 100 Fieldfares and Mistle Thrushes.

Then on February 7th I saw my first Pheasant, although I had been hearing them before this.

Cirl bunting, February 2017. Photo: Steve Jones

February 9th: I was out for just an hour in the morning, and concluded that the Fieldfares had moved on. It's interesting what a difference a couple of days can make. Blackcaps were very active. I tried to get a decent picture of them, but they were too flighty. I was hoping to show how the male and female have different coloured "caps", but alas that was not to be at the moment. I heard my first Cirl Bunting of the year singing (22nd in 2016), staking its territory. This bird is an all year round resident and very pretty as you can see from the picture.

There were also two very bedraggled looking Starlings. At first I thought I was mistaken, not having seen them here before, and to make matters worse the battery had run out on my camera. But once I got my binoculars on them it was clear as to what they were.

Starlings lined up. Photo: Steve Jones

On the evening of the 10th I heard my first Eagle Owl of the year, quite close to my house in Dol.

11th February brought me two new species for the year, the Rock Dove and, for the first time on the island, the Wigeon. Keeping an eye on bird movements in migration, I noted that some of the Cuckoos had started moving from their African wintering grounds. Hopefully heading our way! They should arrive in the United Kingdom by about the third week of April.

Wigeon, February 2017. Photo: Steve Jones

February 14th brings me another first for the island – Lapwing. Initially I saw 4 birds on the Vrbanj airfield,  but later in the month I saw them again: 2 on the 17th, 10 on the 20th and 1 on the 22nd.

Lapwing, February 2017. Photo: Steve Jones

February 22nd brings another two species to add to the year list. A solitary Raven which flew off in the Brač direction before I could get the camera out to photograph it. I didn’t see any last year, but heard one with a friend who also recognised it. Then there was a Pied Wagtail, rather late, as it was a bird I had been expecting to see in January.

Chaffinch visiting the Cafe Splendid in Jelsa. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

By far the most common bird on the island during February was the Chaffinch. Far too many for me to count but it seemed to me as the month was coming towards the end that several flocks had flown onwards to their breeding grounds. Many were feeding at my bird tables - I counted 14 at a time towards the end of the month, and they were starting to sing more noticeably. There were also large numbers of hooded crows. Buzzards were still in evidence, but not in such great numbers as in January and early February.

Almond blossom 'confetti', February 2017. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

Well, February left us with blossom beginning to show on trees, more Red Admirals and Brimstone butterflies on the wing. There were birds starting to sing as they set up their territories. While more birds will be leaving us in this early spring phase, we should start to see the arrival of the summer migrants in March.

Almond blossom with bee. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

SUMMARY OF BIRDS SEEN DURING FEBRUARY 2017

© Steve Jones 2017

Lead photo of Great Tit by Ian Kirk from Broadstone, Dorset, UK (Great Tit  Uploaded by tm) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

For more of Steve's beautiful nature pictures, see his personal pages: Bird Pictures on Hvar 2017, and Butterflies of Hvar

You are here: Home Nature Watch Birdwatch, February 2017

Eco Environment News feeds

  • Electric vehicles’ share of new UK registrations rises to 2%, still falling far short of Norway’s 48%

    Sales of electric cars in the UK have risen 11% on last year, putting the country in the premier league of those ditching petrol and diesel engines, though it is still miles behind Norway and China.

    An analysis of the latest global sales of electric vehicles found that nearly half the vehicles registered in Norway in the first three months of 2018 were electric (48%), compared to just over a third (35%) during the same period in 2017. The vehicles are run almost exclusively off the nation’s hydropower resource, underlining Norway’s claim as the world leader.

    Continue reading...

  • Supermarket chain’s new range includes spicy chilli buffalo worms and smoked crickets

    Despite being a country that guards its culinary traditions more jealously than most - the recipe for the perfect tortilla proves enduringly divisive, and woe betide the anglosajón celebrity chef who dares pollute a paella with chorizo - Spain could be set to swell the ranks of the two billion people on the planet who regularly eat insects.

    Or so the supermarket giant Carrefour is hoping.

    Continue reading...

  • The Drastic on Plastic initiative will target single-use plastics, including drinks and toiletry bottles, straws, food trays, cable ties and glitter

    More than 60 independent British music festivals have committed to ban single-use plastic from their sites by 2021. The Drastic on Plastic initiative, led by the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), will lead to the removal of plastic drinks bottles, plastic straws, glitter, plastic food trays, cable ties and toiletry bottles from festival sites.

    All 61 of AIF’s members have signed up to the pledge, including End of the Road, Bestival, Boardmasters and Kendal Calling. As an initial measure, participants will also support the Final Straw initiative to ban vendors from supplying plastic straws at their sites this year.

    Continue reading...

  • Report chronicles ‘mass mortality’, the extent and severity of which has shocked scientists
    Sign up to receive the top stories every morning

    Scientists have chronicled the “mass mortality” of corals on the Great Barrier Reef, in a new report that says 30% of the reef’s corals died in a catastrophic nine-month marine heatwave.

    The study, published in Nature and led by Prof Terry Hughes, the director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, examined the link between the level of heat exposure, subsequent coral bleaching and ultimately coral death.

    Continue reading...

  • The designer’s ethical stance made her a style outsider – but now the industry is finally catching up. Ahead of a new V&A show, she talks about reclaiming her name, the joy of nature and the trouble with fast fashion

    Stella McCartney is a designer, a businesswoman and an environmental activist, but of the three, she says, fashion will always come first. “It has to, you see. Because the only way for me to start the conversation I want to start is by making a product that you want to buy and that you are going to spend your hard-earned money on. If the product is rubbish, then there is no conversation to be had. If I don’t have a successful business, then I’m an environmentalist who happens to be Paul McCartney’s daughter, and that is a conversation which lasts about three seconds. No one is going to come back for more of that chat.”

    Early years

    Continue reading...

  • California base faces claims of unreported injuries as it struggles to roll out Model 3

    Tesla is facing an investigation by Californian safety regulators into reports of serious injuries at its factory in Fremont, California, where it is struggling to scale up production of its Model 3 mass-market electric car.

    The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration said on Wednesday it had begun an inspection on Tuesday, a day after the news website Reveal alleged that Tesla failed to disclose legally mandated reports on serious worker injuries, making its safety record appear better than it was.

    Continue reading...

  • Research shows people with healthy diets rich in fruit and vegetables are the most wasteful and calls for better education for consumers

    Americans waste about a pound of food per person each day, with people who have healthier diets rich in fruit and vegetables the most wasteful, research has found.

    Continue reading...

  • Latest ambush worst attack to date at home to world’s largest population of mountain gorillas

    Five rangers and a driver have been killed in an ambush in Virunga national park in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

    A sixth ranger was injured in the attack on Monday that took place in the central section of the vast reserve, known globally for its population of rare mountain gorillas.

    Continue reading...

  • As the price of pods has soared so has violence – and forest defenders are increasingly risking their lives to protect precious wildlife habitat from being felled for profit

    The vanilla thieves of Anjahana were so confident of their power to intimidate farmers they provided advance warning of raids. “We are coming tonight,” they would write in a note pushed under doors in this remote coastal village in Madagascar. “Prepare what we want.”

    But they either undervalued their target commodity or overestimated the meekness of their victims. After one assault too many at the turn of the year, a crowd rounded up five alleged gangsters, dragged them into the village square and then set about the bloody task of mob justice.

    Continue reading...

  • This year, in collaboration with Global Witness, the Guardian aims to record the deaths of all people killed while protecting land or natural resources. At the current rate, about four defenders will die this week somewhere on the planet

    Continue reading...

Eco Health News feeds

Eco Nature News feeds