ECO HVAR: AIMS AND ACTIVITIES OF THE CHARITY

bee rasketa blossom

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...

jackie appeal

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

You are here: Home Nature Watch Birdwatch, February 2017

Eco Environment News feeds

  • Demonstration comes hours after court order preventing campaigners from taking ‘unlawful direct action’ came into force

    Campaigners have demonstrated against a “politically controversial” tree-felling programme in Sheffield, hours after the start of a high court injunction against protesters.

    About 50 campaigners, some wearing wigs and dressing gowns and one in a Michael Gove mask, blockaded a Sheffield city council depot to try to prevent tree-felling contractors from leaving on Wednesday morning.

    Continue reading...

  • London’s historic food market also aims to achieve zero landfill with biodegradable packaging and compostable leftovers

    London’s Borough Market is to introduce free drinking water fountains as part of a new pledge to phase out sales of all single-use plastic bottles over the next six months.

    The renowned foodie haven – the only fully independent market in the capital – is aiming to become the UK’s biggest food shopping destination that is entirely plastic-free.

    Continue reading...

  • Two other people missing in Chinese gambling enclave, and flights cancelled and schools closed in Hong Kong

    A powerful typhoon has killed at least three people in the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau and forced offices and schools to close in Hong Kong, where hundreds of flights have been cancelled.

    Related:Asian typhoons becoming more intense, study finds

    Continue reading...

  • Millions affected by severe flooding in south Asia, as aid agencies struggling to cope with disaster warn of food shortages and risk of disease

    More than 800 people have been killed and 24 million affected following widespread floods across south Asia.

    Severe flooding has devastated communities and destroyed crops in India, Nepal and Bangladesh, with NGOs warning of food shortages and the risk of disease.

    Continue reading...

  • The group of strangely coloured canines was first spotted on 11 August prompting locals to complain to the local pollution control board

    Authorities in Mumbai have shut down a manufacturing company after it was accused of dumping untreated industrial waste and dyes into a local river that resulted in 11 dogs turning blue.

    Related:Murder most foul: polluted Indian river reported dead despite 'living entity' status

    Continue reading...

  • Company joins other manufacturers, including Vauxhall and BMW, in seeking to get dirtier vehicles off UK roads

    Ford has announced a car and van scrappage scheme in a bid to get dirtier vehicles off the roads and boost its sales in the UK’s flagging car market.

    While other manufacturers, including Vauxhall and BMW, have launched scrappage schemes this year, Ford’s is unusual in allowing customers to trade in and scrap any brand of older vehicle for at least £2,000.

    Continue reading...

  • Environment Agency figures show severe incidents are weekly occurrence as farms struggle with cost of pollution prevention despite subsidies

    Serious pollution incidents in the UK from livestock farms are now a weekly occurrence, leading to damage to wildlife, fish, farm livestock and air and water pollution.

    The Environment Agency in England and its devolved counterparts in Wales and Scotland recorded 536 of the most severe incidents between 2010 and 2016, the worst instances among more than 5,300 cases of agricultural pollution in the period across Britain. In England and Wales the figures relate to pig, poultry and dairy farms whereas in Scotland they refer to all livestock farms.

    Continue reading...

  • Report reveals improvement but also details danger posed by tourist-generated pollution, oil extraction and climate change

    Just below the surface of the turquoise sea, coral flutters majestically amid schools of puffed up porcupinefish and fluorescent blue and yellow angelfish.

    The gangly staghorn and fanning elkhorn corals are thriving in swimming distance of Laughing Bird Caye, a tiny Caribbean sandy islet in southern Belize, thanks to a restoration project that is yielding striking results.

    Continue reading...

  • Two baby apes were discovered in tiny cages in Ketapang, Borneo. A man has been arrested for trafficking wildlife via social media

    A UK charity has helped rescue two baby orangutans who were found by police in West Borneo caged and ready to be sold through social media to illegal buyers.

    The two apes, a one-year-old male and an eight-month-old female, who were discovered in tiny cages are now in the care of International Animal Rescue (IAR) at its centre in Ketapang, Borneo.

    Continue reading...

  • Common moss changes shape in areas of high nitrogen pollution and drought and has potential to be big bioindicator, say scientists

    Delicate mosses found on rocks and trees in cities around the world can be used to measure the impact of atmospheric change and could prove a low-cost way to monitor urban pollution, according to Japanese scientists.

    Moss, a “bioindicator”, responds to pollution or drought-stress by changing shape, density or by disappearing, allowing scientists to calculate atmospheric alterations, said Yoshitaka Oishi, associate professor at Fukui Prefectural University.

    Continue reading...

Eco Health News feeds

Eco Nature News feeds