Bird Watch early January 2016

Published in Nature Watch

Steve from Dol reports:

Blue tit. Photo Steve Jones Blue tit. Photo Steve Jones

I have been out bird watching a couple of times but a little disappointing. Made the mistake of going out on the 6th January.

Hunters everywhere and not a bird in sight. Came over on the back road from Vrbanj to Jelsa yesterday as the land promises much but once again very quiet. I managed to get two poor pictures of the Hooded Crow, both these and Buzzards are very flighty. Even photographing from the car they take flight at the slightest movement.

My Blackbirds which I thought were nest building due to all their activity are not. I noticed yesterday morning that 4 males were all eating the berries on the ivy on a ruined building next door.  My garden list for 2016 stands at 7 species which have touched down, my garden in the UK would generally hit 15 species by January looking back at the last 2 years, I am putting this down to just natural food sources. I keep looking for Brambling here amongst the Chaffinch but it's just wishful thinking it seems.

Steve Jones, Dol 9th January 2016

Crows on posts. Photo Steve Jones

Comment from Eco Hvar

Sundays and Wednesdays are hunting days during part of the winter - roughly October 15th to January 15th, although the dates may be subject to change each year. Officially hunting should stop at 2pm, maybe 3pm (it seems to vary according to who you ask), but the hunters sometimes stay out longer, at least round here. Very tedious, as I have to go down to my field to feed the dogs in the afternoon, and it's a bit scary. I don't think I look like a rabbit or pheasant, but I'm wary in case they shoot on sound rather than sight, especially if they've had a few rounds of wine with their lunch!

Dol: roadside herbicide. 6th January 2016. Photo Vivian Grisogono

Your garden birds may be suffering rather than simply dining elsewhere. I was in Dol on Wednesday, dining at the (extremely fine) Stančić restaurant, and saw that just outside their property someone has sprayed Cidokor (Roundup) liberally over some fields of vines and olives, also over a bit of land on the edge of the woodland abutting the road. Presumably the last bit was to use up what was left in the spray canister. Any birds around during the spraying would have been poisoned at least to some degree, their habitats and ground feeding possibilities eliminated.

Herbicide in Dol, 6th January 2016. Photo Vivian Grisogono

Sadly, the spraying has started early this year, possibly because of the fine weather up to New Year. We (Eco Hvar) are organizing a seminar in February about organic agriculture, with the aim of pointing up the hazards and detriments of pesticides, and the alternative ways of controlling unwanted plants and insects which are more environmentally friendly. The message will take a long time to percolate through.

VG 9th January 2016

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 Bird Watch early January 2016

Eco Environment News feeds

  • Exclusive: major supplier to brands including KFC and Nando’s used offshore companies allowing them to reduce UK tax payments, investigation suggests

    The global megacompanies supplying some of Britain’s most popular meat brands, including KFC, Nando’s chicken and Sainsbury’s organic range, appear to have been using offshore companies that allow them to avoid paying millions of pounds in tax in the UK.

    An investigation by the Guardian and Lighthouse Reports has found that two companies – Anglo Beef Processors UK and Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation (owned by Brazilian beef giant JBS) – appear to have reduced their tax bill by structuring their companies and loans in a way that allows them to take advantage of different tax systems, in what one expert has described as “aggressive tax avoidance”.

    Continue reading...

  • Nature protection rules in proposed investment zones would in effect be suspended

    There was little room for doubt about the reaction to the prime minister’s plans to scrap environmental regulations this weekend. “Make no mistake, we are angry. This government has today launched an attack on nature,” tweeted the RSPB, its most forceful political intervention in recent memory.

    Liz Truss’s proposals to create investment zones, where green rules on nature protection would in effect be suspended, represented a step too far for some of Britain’s biggest environment charities. “As of today, from Cornwall to Cumbria, Norfolk to Nottingham, wildlife is facing one of the greatest threats it’s faced in decades,” the RSPB went on.

    Continue reading...

  • Prominent members of farmers’ union express dismay after comments by Minette Batters

    Farmers are threatening to quit the National Farmers’ Union after its leader said she supported the UK government’s apparent move to scrap post-Brexit nature subsidies.

    This weekend, the Observer revealed that the government was poised to abandon the “Brexit bonus”, which would have paid farmers and landowners to enhance nature, in what wildlife groups have described as an “all-out attack” on the environment.

    Continue reading...

  • Stars of film about 500-mile trek to Scotland for Cop26 hit the road again for Bristol premiere

    There will be no red carpet, no designer outfits and definitely no limousines. In fact, the stars of the film have shunned any sort of mechanical transport and instead walked 135 miles from London to Bristol for the premiere, and are asking their audience to accompany them by foot on their last leg before the screening.

    The film, which is being premiered on the harbourside in Bristol on Tuesday evening, is Of Walking on Thin Ice (Camino to Cop26), which tells the story of a group of climate pilgrims who hiked 500 miles from the south of England to Scotland for last year’s climate conference in Glasgow.

    For more details and tickets visit the Encounters film festival website.

    Continue reading...

  • Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire:It feels like sitting in a crypt – I am surrounded by the skeletons of dried perennials

    I try not to make excuses so I’m just going to tell the truth: everything in my garden is dead. The drought was fierce and I was sick, distracted. I couldn’t bear to look at it but I’m trying to look now.

    It feels like sitting in a crypt. I’ve pulled up a damp chair and I am surrounded by skeletons, the limbs of my perennials dried, bent and snapped. The hydrangea’s flowers have turned to ghostly brown lace too soon, drooping leaves turned almost black like prayer flags. There is copper, rust and blood; piles of viburnum leaves dropped early in fright. The penstemon looks as if it has been set alight then frozen, its orange flames still and hellish. When the rains finally came, too late, the parched snails came out of hiding and ate everything that was left. Talk about overkill.

    Continue reading...

  • Movement aims to make the mass damage and destruction of ecosystems a prosecutable, international crime against peace

    California winemaker Julia Jackson has long grasped the threats posed by the ongoing global climate change crisis, from more intense wildfires and hurricanes to rising sea levels. But for her, those ideas crossed over from the abstract to the tangible when her home was razed by the Kincade wildfire that devastated her native Sonoma county in 2019.

    “I lost everything – all my belongings,” Jackson said. “It shook me to my core.”

    Continue reading...

  • The deaths within days of 11 sturgeon, a species unchanged for thousands of years, have puzzled scientists

    When the first spindly, armour-clad carcass was spotted in the fast-flowing Nechako River in early September, Nikolaus Gantner and two colleagues scrambled out on a jet boat, braving strong currents to investigate the grim discovery.

    Days later, the remains of 10 others were spotted floating along a 100km stretch of the river in western Canada.

    Continue reading...

  • Defra accused of ‘all-out attack’ on environment by wildlife groups

    The government is to scrap the “Brexit bonus” which would have paid farmers and landowners to enhance nature, in what wildlife groups are calling an “all-out attack” on the environment, the Observer can reveal.

    Instead, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) sources disclosed, they are considering paying landowners a yearly set sum for each acre of land they own, which would be similar to the much-maligned EU basic payments scheme of the common agricultural policy.

    Continue reading...

  • Super Typhoon Noru tore its way out of the northern Philippines on Monday, leaving casualties, floods and power outages. Government work and classes at schools have been suspended in the capital and beyond

    Continue reading...

  • David Malpass apologises after saying he ‘doesn’t know’ if he accepts climate science

    David Malpass, president of the World Bank, faces an uncertain future this week, after the White House joined a chorus of influential figures in condemning his apparent climate denialism.

    Malpass remains in post for now but under severe pressure, despite issuing an apology and trying to explain his refusal last week to publicly acknowledge the human role in the climate crisis.

    Continue reading...

Eco Health News feeds

Eco Nature News feeds