When The Tide Goes Out

This wonderful BBC One video, tells of a risky escapade to gather food in a hostile terrain

Posted in Survival | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Should Cats Be Culled?

The Week has summarised this subject in an interesting article from various sources on both sides of the pond, giving both sides of the argument.

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http://api.app.theweek.co.uk/editions/uk.co.dennis.theweek.single.issue1093/data/64410_9eb86a38446fe2346dacac3875632851/web.html

Different countries have different viewpoints about cats. The ferals of Australia are a serious environmental concern, which must be addressed sooner rather than later. In Kotor, Montenegro, town ferals/pets are a tourist draw.

Pet lovers will of course be protective of their “innocent” moggies. Bird lovers will have a different viewpoint – especially those without a feline pet.

I’m on the fence on this one. Yes, where ferals are out of control, they must be controlled. Where pets are cared for by their loving owners, who then is to say that they should restricted, especially when there are other more sinister reasons for declines in avian populations?

My daughter keeps her cats totally under control. They were bred as house cats and never leave the protection of her home. Good girl!

Posted in Bird Conservation | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Hilarious Winners of the First Annual ‘Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards’

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Silver Runner Up, William Richardson / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

Check them out here courtesy of This Is Colossal

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Western Tienshan Declared UNESCO World Heritage Site

As reported by BirdLife International, Europe and Central Asia, the Western Tienshan region of Kazakhstan has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Not surprising as it is not only very beautiful, it also abounds with wonderful flora and fauna – it’s a very special place.

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http://www.birdlife.org/europe-and-central-asia/news/western-tien-shan-declared-world-heritage-site

Now, if only we can stop it from being used as a garbage dump…

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White-capped Bunting – rarity in Kazakhstan

White-capped Bunting 3 Kazakhstan July 2016

White-capped Bunting, Kokpek Pass, Kazakhstan, July 2016

Posted in Birds of SE Kazakhstan, Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The debt we all owe to the humble wasp

Our Great Literary Works Would Not Exist Without Wasps

What is the point of wasps? Is their sole purpose to harass human beings trying to enjoy a nice summer? Good question, says Simon Barnes, and the answer is a resounding “no”. If you’re a gardener, the wasp is your “best friend”. Each kills four million tiny insects – “aphids, rose-killers and tormentors of favourite plants” – every season. Wasps are also terrific pollinators: in parts of China where they’ve eliminated wasps they “have to pollinate fruit trees by hand”. But more than that, wasps have made a huge contribution to human civilisation, responsible for The Spectator, for Hamlet, the Bible and Ulysses. How? Because it was the wasp’s nest, that miraculous straight-walled structure of hexagonal cells, that inspired the Chinese of the Han dynasty (which ended in 220AD) to copy the wasps’ technique and develop man-made paper. So yes, wasps can be a nuisance in late summer when, in desperate search of sugar, they ruin your picnic. But we owe them a huge debt. “It’s really high time we started loving the bloody things.”

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Black-bellied Sand-grouse in Flight

Black-bellied Sand Grouse in Flight Kazakhstan July 2016

Kazakhstan July 2016

Posted in Bird Photography | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments