Thought for the Day

"I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we only will tune in."
- George Washington Carver

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Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Shark Attacks in the Red Sea

Sharks have killed and maimed five tourists at the idyllic Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. What's behind this wave of terror?

After a spate of highly unusual and shocking shark attacks in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, the authorities had been on the hunt for the culprits, and it appeared they had triumphed quickly and cleanly. Four attacks had taken place on Tuesday and Wednesday, with three Russians and one Ukrainian left with terrible injuries; one reportedly lost her right hand and left leg in the incident, and another sustained injuries to her legs and back, also lost a hand, had a heart attack and had to be resuscitated.

Full story in the Guardian -

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Mystery Photo - Prepare to be shocked!

Originally taken in 2007, this photo still horrifies me, because very little has been done to stop this happening.

Urgent Action Needed To Avert Badger Cull

It is the government’s intention to kill badgers in 2011 as part of a control to stop the spread of Bovine TB in cattle. This is despite robust and sound science that proves it has ‘no meaningful contribution to the control of Bovine TB in cattle’.
The Government is holding a consultation suggesting different methods and asking you, the general public to tell them what you want to see happen. They have said that they will listen to the replies to this consultation but they have not made it easy for people to reply.
The Badger Trust details suggestions as to how to reply. If you do not want to see badgers cage trapped and shot or free running badgers killed with a rifle – please take the time to reply.
Visit and use follow their guidelines on replying to the English and Welsh consulations. Time is short - Please Do it Now!
Their lives are literally in your hands

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Mystery Bird Ringed In Malta

Help wanted identifying this bird.

Ringers in Malta caught this specimen on October 31st.
Looks like some kind of Accentor.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Costco, Pizza Hut and Dunkin Donuts Aid Species Extinction

Scary Business! Pizza Hut and Dunkin' Donuts serving up rainforest destruction

It doesn’t get much scarier than discovering that both Pizza Hut and Dunkin’ Donuts are adding a gruesome side of "forest destruction" with every meal. These fast food monsters are serving up extinction for species like orangutans, Sumatran tigers, and sun bears. That’s because a very spooky company, Sinar Mas, is slaying tropical rainforests in Indonesia and sucking out palm oil for hungry fast food companies like Pizza Hut and Dunkin’ Donuts to use in their products.

take action today

This horror story doesn’t have to end badly. Last month, Burger King announced that it’s cutting Sinar Mas out of its supply chain. If Burger King can do it, so can the rest of the fast food industry.

Tell Dunkin’ Donuts and Pizza Hut to dust the cobwebs off their environmental policies by cutting forest destroyers like Sinar Mas out of their supply chains once and for all.

The haunted aisles of Costco

If you’ve been into Costco’s lately to stock up for your Halloween party, you may have felt a chill as you walked down the haunted seafood aisle.

We love Costco for their low prices, but are horrified that the wholesale club is destroying our oceans. Costco is gobbling up red list fish species and leaving its customers in the dark by hiding the truth from them.

It’s time for Costco to put an end to their witches brew, "red list" fish with a heaping of ocean destruction.

take action today

Tell Costco to give our oceans a ghost of a chance - implement a sustainable seafood policy and stop selling red list seafood.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Petition Against Poaching in Cyprus

Protest against Poaching on Cyprus

The poaching problem on Cyprus, especially non-selective bird trapping and killing, threatens to reach the proportions recorded before accession to the European Union.
This worrying trend must be urgently halted and reversed. The cyberaction against illegal bird trapping and killing in the Republic of Cyprus is actively supported by BirdLife Cyprus, the Federation of Environmental and Ecological Organizations of Cyprus and Terra Cypria, the Cyprus Conservation Foundation, as well as Friends of the Earth Europe and Friends of the Earth International.

Follow the link above for full story and to sign the petition

Friday, 1 October 2010

Rhino Poachers Caught

Professional hunters and vets arrested in swoop on rhino poaching syndicate in South Africa

27/09/2010 14:49:38
world/Africa_nov_09/dawie_groenewald Dawie Groenewald and his wife in court. They have been charged in connection with rhino poaching.
Net closes in on rhino poachersSeptember 2010. In an early morning raid a joint task team comprising of members from SANparks (South African National Parks), South African Polica and other conservation authorities, has yielded a significant success in relation to rhino poaching. The team simultaneously swooped on rhino poachers in the Polokwane, Musina and Modimolle areas, arresting nine people.

Follow the link for the complete article.

Monday, 7 June 2010

The Killing Fields of Kuwait

"Kuwait has the potential to have a rich avian biodiversity if we can nurture and protect rather than slaughter. This could become a fantastic revenue generator for birding related tourism that could be on par with or surpass Israel – normally considered as the Number 1 birding hotspot that international birders flock to each migration. However, but no-one wants to stand watching and photographing birds while shotgun pellets rain down on them as happened to our group last weekend. We should be doing all we can to protect species which generally have the odds stacked against them, together with a human population that is expanding exponentially and is taking more than it gives back to Planet Earth."

Howard King
Read the full story at

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

The Glamorous Side of Wildlife Film-making

Whilst out on an expedition to film Snipe, I was distracted by the activities of some dung flies, so out came the close -up lenses and then it was time to get down and get dirty. Nick Dawtrey was the sneaky photographer who captured the moment. Was it worth getting covered in the smelly stuff? Keep you eye out for the Dung Fly close-ups coming to thebaldibis YouTube channel. Who said making films was a glamorous occupation?

Thursday, 27 May 2010

RSPB Hunt for the Harrier

 Hunt for the harrier
The public are being asked to help with a nationwide survey of England's most threatened bird of prey to be carried out this summer. A special hotline has been set up for people to ring in with sightings of the Hen Harrier, which the RSPB fears may be on the verge of extinction as a breeding species in England. Last year there were just six successful Hen Harrier nests across the whole of the country, despite there being suitable habitat for at least 200 pairs. The RSPB believes the bird's numbers are so low due to years of sustained, illegal killing and nest destruction.

Source - Birdguides

More detaills here -

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Accused plead guilty to assaulting BirdLife volunteers in Dingli

Two men have pleaded guilty to assaulted two BirdLife Malta Spring Watch volunteers on April 18 in Dingli, the NGO said today. They also admitted threatening the volunteers, and slightly injuring one of them.
BirdLife said that on the day of the incident, its Spring Watch team heard shots coming from an area in Dingli. Two volunteers walked up a country lane to gain a better vantage point when a van drove along the track. Two men got out and immediately attacked them without warning.
The incident was caught on camera by one of the volunteers however the camera was dropped while he was attacked, and it was taken by the aggressor. The camera was later handed to the police by the aggressors, with the footage evidence of the attack deleted. Through O&O Media Recovery software the deleted footage was recovered by BirdLife. This footage was handed over to the police as evidence.
On April 22 the aggressors filed a judicial protest accusing the volunteers of trespassing, breaching the peace and assault. However at court today they failed to provide any evidence to support the charges against the volunteers. The charges were therefore dropped, BirdLife said.
The two men were then fined €80, conditionally discharged and held by a personal guarantee of €233 not to approach or molest both the volunteers for 12 months.
This, BirdLife said, is the first time in three years of attacks against its volunteers, where the aggressors had been convicted.
See video on

Friday, 14 May 2010

Greenpeace Anti-whaling Activists Face Jail Despite Having No Case to Answer

Tokyo, Japan, May 14, 2010 – Despite yet another day of compelling evidence of major corruption in the Japanese government whaling programme, Greenpeace activists Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki, known as the Tokyo Two, have been warned by their lawyers that they still run a serious risk of a custodial sentence.

On the final day of witness testimony, two whalers at the heart of the whale meat embezzlement scandal, exposed by Sato and Suzuki, consistently contradicted themselves, each other, their own police statements, the prosecutor’s claims, and the official statements from Japanese authorities.

“Our investigation set out to prove that there is routine embezzlement from the  taxpayer-funded whaling programme and our defence that this investigation was in the public interest has been proven,” said Junichi Sato, Greenpeace Japan Programme Director. “It is deeply worrying that despite overwhelming evidence showing that we should be acquitted, we are being told that there is a growing chance that we will be sent to jail.”

Evidence given by the whalers today revealed that whale meat was being illegally taken, not only by crew, but also by officials. In addition the whalers testified that meat was even delivered to the Fisheries Agency of Japan (FAJ) – which is responsible for deciding on the future of the whaling programme, and the politically influential Whaling Association – a group with close ties to Kyodo Senpaku, which operates the whaling fleet, management and pro-whaling politicians.

“Through the course of this trial we have consistently proven that we acted in the public interest, which is protected under international law,” said Toru Suzuki, Greenpeace Japan. “The United Nations Human Rights Council’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention was clear in its
opinion(1) that neither Junichi or I should have been detained and that our prosecution is political. We trust that the court will take this into account, and acquit us.”

Closing arguments will be heard on June 8th, 2010.

Greenpeace is an independent, global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment, and to promote peace.

Greg McNevin - Greenpeace International Communications, +81 (0) 80 5416 6506, Kyoko Murakami - Greenpeace Japan Communications, +81 (0) 3 5338 9816, Sara Holden – Tokyo Two Campaign Coordinator, + 31 (0) 6 1500 7406,


1) In March 2009, Amnesty International lodged a complaint about the treatment of Sato and Suzuki to the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Working Group on Arbitrary detention. The Working Group asked the Japanese government to explain its actions, however, the authorities limited their response to explaining Japan's criminal justice system and claiming, without substantive explanation, that the 'source' was factually incorrect.

The Working Group did not concur, stating that the Japanese authorities have breached articles 18, 19 and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and articles 18 and 19 of the ICCPR. It also expressed concern that articles 2, 10 and 14 of the ICCPR, relating to the presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial, have not been respected.

The full opinion can be found here:

Monday, 3 May 2010

Ten protected birds of prey have been confirmed poisoned across the Irish Republic in recent weeks.

Ten protected birds of prey have been confirmed poisoned across the Irish Republic in recent weeks.
The birds included a golden eagle, as well as two red kites, two white-tailed eagles, three buzzards and a peregrine falcon.
One of the red kites had been released in Northern Ireland and was found dead in County Kildare.
The birds died after eating meat baits laced with pesticides, one of which is illegal in Ireland.
Two red kites and the peregrine were found dead in County Wicklow, the third red kite in Kildare, a golden eagle in County Leitrim, and buzzards in west Waterford, east Cork and County Donegal.
Within the last few weeks two white-tailed eagles were found dead near Beaufort, County Kerry.
Both eagles were said to be in excellent condition and had been surviving well in the wild for two or three years.
An investigation is being carried out by the Department of Agriculture and the Garda.
"The loss of a further two white-tailed eagles at this time is devastating," said Dr Allan Mee, manager of the White-tailed Eagle Reintroduction Project in Kerry.
"The older male could have been one of the first birds to breed in the wild in Ireland in over 100 years had it survived. Indiscriminate poisoning is literally killing our chances of re-establishing a population here," he added.
Fifty-five of the eagles have been released in Kerry since 2007. Thirteen of them have now been found dead, seven of them confirmed poisoned.

Source - London Wired News

Several members of the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) have been attacked in the Ayios Mamas area of Paralimni

A team of international bird conservationists from the German-based Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS), who had just dismantled 30 limesticks and freed protected migrant species have been savagely attacked by three local men with stones, fists and boots near Paralimni.

Two Italian activists suffered severe bruising and were treated at the Famagusta General, whilst another Italian, German and British man - as well as an American journalist were also subjected to a beating.

The group said that their cameras and video recording equipment were stolen by the attackers.

CABS general secretary Alex Heyd, also part of the team, gave a vivid description of the incident: "Without warning the men drove up in a pick-up and ran towards us throwing stones. Two of the team were thrown to the ground and mercilessly kicked and punched. Our video camera was grabbed, smashed on the ground, and then battered against the temple of a barely conscious Italian bird guard."

Police have detained a 37-year-old man from Paralimni who is thought to have driven the three attackers to the area.

The attackers are still at large.

The local police are actively pursuing the investigation of the attack against the conservationists and the data on the hard disc of a shattered video camera will be evaluated by laboratory IT experts.

"The Paralimni police chief has assured me that his officers will follow a policy of zero tolerance against such criminals" reports CABS civil liaison officer David Conlin.

"I am confident that we have established a firm basis for cooperation with the Cyprus police at a local as well as a national level," he said.

Over the past 5 days members of CABS have discovered 961 limesticks and nine large mist nets in the east of Cyprus.

According to CABS, the scale of illegal trapping, which diminished dramatically before EU accession, appears to have reached new heights.

Source - The Famagusta Gazette Cypru

Monday, 19 April 2010

Springwatch Malta Update

During the first week of Spring Watch, BirdLife Malta volunteers have suffered several violent attacks while carrying out their duties recording bird migration and reporting illegal hunting and trapping incidents to the police.

The following attacks have taken place:

1. Sunday 11th April - a team was harassed and verbally abused at Nadur Tower.
2. Monday 12th April – after filming an illegal hunter, the team at Mtarfa was threatened by men with sticks.
3. Wednesday 13th April – a team discovered hate messages, swastikas and threats at the Mtahleb watch point.
4. Friday 15th April – a team discovers hate messages, swastikas and threats at the Dingli watch point.
5. Saturday 17th April - stones were thrown at team members in Has-Saptan
6. Saturday 17th April – a team at Mtahleb was verbally abused and the team leader given a death threat.
7. Saturday 17th April – windscreen of a team’s vehicle parked in front of the Manikata village church, 20 mt away from a children’s playground, shattered by a shot from a shotgun.
8. Sunday 18th April – 2 team members thrown to the ground and beaten in Dingli after witnessing illegal hunting in the area.

For more information:

Updated: Shot car was being used by BirdLife volunteers

Updated: Shot car was being used by BirdLife volunteers

Friday, 9 April 2010

Frantic Times

Spring is pretty busy and I have been in the field as much as possible. Over the past two weeks I have been visiting several sites on a regular basis filming the wonders of spring as they happen. Frogs spawning, Woodpigeons and Herons mating, Tree Sparrows, Rooks, Long-tailed Tits and Nuthatches building their nests, Robins, Blackbirds and Chiffchaffs advertising their territories, Brown Hare bucks chasing after does, odd hybrid ducks on canals, exotic, elusive Mandarins and my first experience of calling out Weasels. I'm not sure which moment has been the most memorable, the ball of intertwined frogs slowly drifting down stream into the reservoir, a plucky male Mandarin scrapping with a Mallard twice its size, calling out the Weasel, or filming a pair of Dippers making their nest in an old outflow pipe of a mill.
Having filmed so much, I'm surprised that I have managed to get some of it on line already. when the weather was grim, I managed to find time to piece together a little video of Buzzards and Turnstones that I filmed on Anglesey in December.
It may be a while before all of this materialises as completed pieces, but it should be worth waiting for. At the moment I'm working on a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker piece, and I have a Yellowhammer piece that still needs some work.
Meanwhile, I have yet to film Hares actually boxing. I have some good shots of a pair of Brown Hare but they are being somewhat elusive at the moment. Let's see what tomorrow brings........

Monday, 29 March 2010

Much To Do

It seems like there are never enough hours in the day. The last couple of weeks have been pretty hectic with a lot of time in the field filming Frogs spawning, and birds singing, displaying, mating, nest-building or just sitting on nests. Underwater filming in the frog pools was largely unsuccessful due to poor visibility in the water and the shallowness of the pools and filming at a local Heronry involved a lot of standing around whilst the birds just sat around waiting for their partners. We have also had some changeable weather. Gusting Arctic winds prevented me getting any really useful Lapwing and Curlew footage this weekend, and now the rain has arrived. I have lots of material shot over the last few months, that I have yet to fashion into watch-able pieces but creating the music is slowing me down a little. I'm working on a traditional Welsh tune at the moment, to use with some material that I shot on Anglesey in December. Some nice Buzzard and Turnstone clips. Once this is nailed down, I can move on to the Frog material. Lesser-spotted Woodpecker and Yellowhammer pieces are waiting in the wings and I hope to be filming Toads in a day or two...Watch this space.....

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Hunting Dog Trials

This piece is a somewhat disturbing posting on You Tube by JadgeterrierFan. It appears that Badger baiting is alive and well and living in Russia.....and Bulgaria.....and Serbia.

Such videos are currently being "flagged" to YouTube HQ as inappropriate content containing images of animal abuse. As far as I know, such flagging of content only gets the video taken down and does nothing to prevent such abuse taking place. It is also unlikely to result in the prosecution of the perpetrators.It does not solve the problem, and having the video removed will merely drive the problem underground and allow it to continue out of sight. Rather than flagging these videos, a campaign involving increasing public awareness would be far more appropriate. 
This particular video clip is of a "CACT Badger Trial". Some people , breeders perhaps,  wish to gain "hard core certification" for their working particular, by pitting them against "game" , such as wild boar, badger, foxes, wildcats, rabbits and ducks. CACT appears to be one such certificate involving German Jadg Terriers and Badgers. This would be illegal in the UK and probably (?) throughout the EU although I have no accurate information on current EU animal abuse legislation. Perhaps a reader could enlighten me on this point.  Such certification is currently practised in Russia, Bulgaria and Serbia where it may (?) still be legal. Breeders from abroad may take their animals to these contests in order to gain these certificates. 
Rather than flagging these videos, an e-mail campaign to the appropriate  authorities would have far more impact.
Can you imagine this happening at Crufts?

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Hunter Harassment Law is Unconstitutional - Support Jan Haagensen and her fight to demolish it.

Jan Haagensen writes:

Every citizen has the right to say NO to armed invasions of private property. Without the sanctuary I provide for wild creatures in my community, they would be mercilessly hunted, without hope of any refuge from the slaughter. The Commonwealth has to be shown the futility of attempting to help the killers muscle their way onto private land, over the legitimate and constitutionally protected resistance of individual landowners.

My suit will help to save the lives of many wild creatures, in addition to protecting (sometimes physically) those property owners who exercise their free speech rights to say I DO NOT WANT KILLING ON MY GROUND. I need the protection of a federal court to carry on the fight in my community, in defense of my home, and in defense of the home which I provide for wild creatures. I am at risk if I do not repair the damage to my reputation and livelihood; I am at physical risk if the hunters are not made to understand that further attacks on me could be dangerous to their financial health, and will not be tolerated by a federal court with jurisdiction over my challenge to the constitutionality of the harassment statute.


Anthony Marr interview with Jan Haagensen

Leg of a young fawn left behind by hunters

From Committee to Abolish Sports Hunting also has many subject on Jan Haagensen and where you can help with monetary support

There are three ways to donate to C.A.S.H. for Jan Haagensen:

1) Check made out to C.A.S.H. or Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting with Legal Fund-Jan Haagensen on the check, and mailed to: C.A.S.H., P.O. Box 562, New Paltz, NY 12561

2) Visa or MasterCard by calling 877-WILDHELP and specifiying that its for the Legal Fund-Jan Haagensen

3) PayPal from the C.A.S.H. website: and clicking on Donate

Steps toward a Legal Challenge to Hunter Harassment Statutes



Anthony Marr website
HOPE (Heal Our Planet Earth)

...Recreational hunters are a danger to society and do not care about human lives at all. (obviously why would they when they could care less how animal suffer for their own amusement)


Wednesday, 10 March 2010

March could be the month where the future of whales is changed forever.

In St. Petersburg, Florida the International Whaling Commission (IWC) just finished a meeting where they discussed a proposal to resume commercial whaling a final vote will take place in the coming months.

And in Tokyo, the Japanese government just resumed its efforts to silence us from exposing the true nature of Japanese “scientific whaling.”

Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki, Greenpeace Japan activists, are currently standing trial for theft and trespass. What they really did was expose a scandal of government corruption in the whaling industry. They’ve already been held for 26 days - 23 of them without charge - interrogated daily for up to ten hours, often strapped to chairs and without access to counsel. Now they face up to ten years in jail for doing what any honest citizen should do - expose corruption.
The charges against these two incredibly brave activists are for allegedly intercepting a box of whale meat and presenting it as evidence to the Public Prosecutor. The box of whale meat had been illicitly removed by crew of a whaling factory ship, marked as "cardboard" and shipped to a private address. Tracked by our activists, it was intercepted and turned over as evidence of corruption at the heart of the whaling operation.

It’s an outrage that these brave activists are treated as criminals for defending whales, while the U.S. Administration and other IWC members consider rewarding the real criminals by legalizing their slaughter of whales.

I can only guess that whaling nations like Japan, Norway and Iceland and some members of the IWC believe that Greenpeace and our supporters can be bullied by excessive prosecution or sidelined by simply removing the moratorium.

Have they got it wrong! Greenpeace was one of the first groups to take action and highlight the plight of the whales over 35 years ago, and we'll continue to defend these amazing creatures for as long as it takes.

Source - Greenpeace mail shot.

Help Protect US Mustangs

Not quite a conservation issue, but more of an animal rights issue and a misappropriation of public resources, this story just came over the wire.
US Mustangs are actually feral descendants of European horses brought to North America by Spanish invaders. The US Yukon Wild Ass, like the European Tarpan is extinct.

A Cruel Waste of Your Tax Dollars

"President Obama and his Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar are asking for $75.7 million dollars in fiscal year 2011 primarily for more roundups and $43 million to buy one preserve likely in the East to warehouse some of the wild horses the BLM has condemned to captivity.......

Saturday, 6 March 2010

10th Anniversary: The Battle for Laguna San Ignacio

In 1994, a group of environmentalists took on the might of the Mitsubishi Corporation in a bid to prevent them from destroying a a World Heritage Site, a biosphere reserve, a whale sanctuary, a migratory bird sanctuary, and the last place on Earth where Grey Whales breed and calve undisturbed by human intrusion.........6 years later, they won that battle.

Stop Poisoning Eagles In Ireland

In 2009, 1 Golden Eagle, 1 White-tailed Eagle and 1 Red Kite were found poisoned, with three different toxins in 3 separate provinces during the springtime. There was widespread public dismay and national, and some international, media concern regarding these incidents. The Scottish Authorities called for a detailed review of the Golden Eagle donor stock licence for the Donegal project as a direct result of the confirmed poisoning near Glenveagh National Park. The Irish Government repeatedly promised at the time, that a legislative change would be introduced all but banning the use of poisoned meat baits, outside exceptional licensed exemptions. This small legislative compromise, still allowing for the use of non-meat baits according to the existing poisoning regulations, has still not been introduced.

Now almost twelve months later and nothing has changed since last year. The White-tailed Eagle Steering Group in Kerry has produced a leaflet, with the support of the Irish Farmers Association, Teagasc, the Department of Agriculture and local Gun Clubs asking people to improve aspects of livestock and game protection, to avoid the use of poison meat baits, and only use alternative poison baits or control methods as a last resort.

Please sign the petition at:

Friday, 5 March 2010

Cheeky Herring Gull

First we have a visiting Ring-billed Gull preferring polystyrene blocks to my offerings of bread and crisps. Now we have Scottish Herring Gulls doing their own shopping....or should that be shop-lifting.

Trapping in Cyprus

BirdLife CyprusCyprus has a mountain to climb if it is to reverse disturbing recent trends in illegal bird trapping.   Autumn 2009 was a disastrous season for bird trapping and more specifically for mist netting. A 35% increase in mist net use showed that Cyprus is rapidly loosing all that it has gained in the battle against bird trapping over the past 10 years. 
Bird trapping is an illegal and indiscriminate practice that threatens many bird species of conservation concern and especially migrants. With the well-documented combined effects of Climate Change, habitat loss and habitat degradation already hitting migrant birds hard, this is an added pressure this vital portion of biodiversity cannot afford. BirdLife Cyprus’s monitoring of autumn bird trapping continued for the 8th year in a row with data gathered systematically in the field by a trained team of surveyors and all evidence of trapping relayed to the relevant enforcement authorities.
The field evidence points clearly to a rise in trapping activity last autumn – an alarming one in the case of mist netting. A total of just over 3 km of active net rides were located by the survey team – a 35% increase on the autumn of 2008.  Netting levels were particularly high in the British Sovereign Base Areas (SBAs), notably on the Pyla Range. A British-army backed sweep operation in this area in early October was a welcome first step in tackling ‘industrial’ trapping on the Range.  Lime stick use also increased in autumn 2009, and was largely the preserve of the Republic areas.
In keeping with the pattern of recent years, there was widespread evidence of many restaurants in the Republic serving illegal bird delicacies (ampelopoulia), and no reports of effective enforcement action against these. Hundreds of thousands of birds can be estimated to have fallen prey to trappers in autumn 2009 – an unacceptable toll. Adding insult to injury, a group of members of the Parliament from the trapping ‘heartland’ of Famagusta made a repeat attempt to push thorough the parliament a bill slashing penalties for trapping.
The UK House of Parliament passed a resolution pressuring the Cyprus Government to adopt harder actions against this illegal practice.
Repeats of the October 2nd large-scale sweep operation of the Cape Pyla trapping ‘black spot’ must become the norm, BirdLife Cyprus insists. Crucially, Nicosia must at long last decisively tackle the restaurants fueling trapping by serving ambelopoulia.

For more information please contact Martin Hellicar, Campaigns Manager at BirdLife Cyprus at 

Source - Birdlife International

No change there then?

"The new power organisations are destroying the forests of the world at headlong speed, ploughing great grazing areas into deserts, exhausting mineral resources, killing off whales, seals and a multitude of rare and beautiful species, destroying the morale of every social type and devastating the planet. The institutions of the private appropriation of land and natural resources generally, and of private enterprise for profit, which did produce a fairly tolerable, stable and "civilised" social life for all but the most impoverished, in Europe, America and East, for some centuries, have been expanded to a monstrous destructiveness by the new opportunities. The patient, nibbling, enterprising profit-seeker of the past, magnified and equipped now with the huge claws and teeth the change of scale has provided for him, has torn the old economic order to rags. Quite apart from war, our planet is being wasted and disorganised. Yet the process goes on, without any general control, more monstrously destructive even than the continually enhanced terrors of modern warfare."
H.G. Wells: The New World Order, January 1940

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

How To Report The News

Okay, it's not about natural history, nor about conservation, but I thought you might like a little light relief from the more serious stuff. Enjoy this clip whilst it's still available on-line.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Italy - Protest campaign against the new proposed hunting law

Following the e-mail protest campaign against proposed changes in Italian hunting legislation, the following post-script appeared on the CABS website.......


Postscript 8 February 2010: Italy‘s Vice-President Letta reacts to the protest campaign

Gianni Letta, the Italian Deputy PM and one of the addressees of our protest campaign, has reacted with a curious mail to CABS. On 4 February, only one day after the start of the campaign, we received a short and somewhat less than diplomatic email from Berlusconi’s deputy. The short electronic communication from the Roman government palace reads:

"BASTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!! Basta, con queste innumerevoli mail!" - translation: "STOPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!! Put a stop to this mail flood!"

It appears as though someone in Rom is losing his cool - and that the campaign is having the desired effect! Up until midday on 8 February more than 3,000 mails had been sent to the Italian government via the CABS website …

Finch Numbers Increase in Malta Since Ban On Trapping

“The increases in the number of finches seen last year and the confirmed breeding of two species of finch show that given the chance, these birds could also breed in the Maltese islands. Finches are common breeders in Europe and they also breed on other small central Mediterranean islands.” 
Geoffrey Saliba, BirdLife Malta Campaigns Coordinator

Follow the link below for the full story.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Not all Maltese Shoot to Kill

This superb shot of a Mediterranean Gull appeared in the Times of Malta and was taken by 15 year old Nicholas Galea.
In time, most shooting on Malta will be done this way.
Follow the link to read the complete article, read the comments, and post your own responses. Then book a holiday in Malta, pack your binoculars, telescopes and cameras, and go birding there.

Say "No!" to commercial whaling

Quoting Greenpeace press release.....

"In an altogether baffling move, a small working group of the International Whaling Commission has proposed the reinstatement of commercial whaling in order to save the whales.

This proposal is not about saving whales, however, as much as it's about saving the whaling industry. It would allow whaling to take place in the Southern Ocean whale sanctuary, not only letting the slaughter of whales there to continue but legitimizing it as well. And by legitimizing all whaling, the proposal would secure the future of whaling instead of seeking to phase it out. With a single stroke, this proposal would reverse nearly three decades of progress in protecting endangered whale species............"

Follow the link above for further information and to SIGN THE PETITION! Sorry for shouting but it's important to take decisive action on these matters, and act swiftly. Thanks.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Ring Billed Gull

Mirfield is just over the border in Kirklees, and whilst I tend not to twitch much these days, an American gull just a few miles away was worth a visit. The weather conditions were not ideal, dull, overcast and occasional light rain.
The few birders that were there, when I arrived were all viewing the bird, at some distance, through their 'scopes............. Why?........ It's a gull....................Chuck it some food and it will merrily come and perch on your head if you'll let it.
Well, as it happens, every other gull in the area came to check out my offerings of bread and crisps, but the Ring-bill was far too busy investigating a piece of floating polystyrene. Perhaps this has something to do with the plastic food that American companies get so fat on or, perhaps this gull associates polystyrene packaging with food...Hmmm.
Ring-billed Gulls are similar to our Common Gulls but are bigger, heavier billed, and seem to be more assertive in a mixed flock. Notice how this guy interacts with the other gulls.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

For the past couple of months, Calderdale has looked like this most of the time. Nestled into the Southern Pennines between Leeds and Manchester, we tend to have colder winters than the lowlands on either side.
This photo was taken over a month ago, but the thaw keeps being interrupted by brief periods of snowfall.
During this period, flocks of Fieldfares and Redwings have stripped the berries from almost all of the Rowans and Cottoneasters.
This time last year, the weather was milder, and we had plenty of berries left to support flocks of visiting Waxwings. At the moment, there have only been the occasional Waxwing siting as most of the flocks appear to be hanging around in Finland.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Life The Universe and Everything

Welcome one and all to the first posting on thebaldibis blog.
This is the sister site to thebaldibis YouTube Channel, where I hope to cover all things to do with conservation and natural history that it is not possible to cover on the YouTube channel.
It will also serve as a vehicle for some of my moans, gripes and ramblings, but hopefully should be of interest to one or two like-minded viewers.
So, stand by this space.