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Storks falling from the sky at Sharm El Sheikh sewage ponds in Egypt

Posted on October 17th 2007 by Arthur in Birds, Nature, Travel

Yesterday we visited the sewage plant North East of Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt to look for birds. We had a very hard time getting there as our taxi driver didn’t speak English (see the directions below), but the visit was well worth all the trouble. We saw many birds, including thousands of White Storks!

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Vogelfestival 2007

Posted on August 26th 2007 by Arthur in Birds, Events, Life in Holland, Nature

Yesterday we visited the annual Vogelfestival (“Bird Fair”), organised by the Dutch State Forestry, SOVON and Vogelbescherming Nederland, the Dutch partner of BirdLife International. It is a major event for bird and birding enthusiasts and is modelled after the British Birdfair held in Rutland Water. The annual Dutch event has grown to include over 100 exhibitors and is attended by more than 15,000 visitors. The fair is held at the Oostvaardersplassen, an important nature reserve (see also our visit there in March 2007).

Vogelfestival 2007

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Our first Dutch Kingfishers, at Lepelaarsplassen in Flevoland

Posted on August 26th 2007 by Arthur in Birds, Life in Holland, Nature

Yesterday we saw our first Common Kingfisher (‘IJsvogel’) in the Netherlands. Also known as the European Kingfisher, it is the only Kingfisher in the Netherlands and most of Europe. We had just visited the Vogelfestival (“Bird Festival”) in nearby Oostvaardersplassen, an important nature reserve (see also our visit there in March 2007). We had already seen the Common Kingfisher in India (on 26 April 2006) and 9 different species in other countries, but for a long time I wanted to see one in Holland. Finally seeing these two at such close proximity was an exceptionally nice end to a great birding day that was also my birthday.

Common Kingfisher

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Starving vultures cause panic in Pyreneesexternal link

Posted on August 7th 2007 by Arthur in Birds, Nature, News

10,000 hungry vultures are causing panic in the Pyrenees and Basque Country. They have been attacking live animals and have also been aggressive towards humans. The vultures are starving due to a new EU directive which prohibits farmers from leaving cattle carcasses on their land to rot. The dead animals must now be burned or disposed of in another way. The initiative is to prevent disease spread among cattle but the results have been devastating for the vultures. More »

Aggressive sparrows attack apple pie

Posted on July 21st 2007 by Arthur in Birds, Funny, Life in Holland, Nature

On our visit of the beautiful town of Marken in Noord Holland today we sat down outside at café ‘De Visscher’ and we each ordered a hot chocolate and a piece of apple pie. The weather was beautiful and we had a great view of the harbor. Here is Amy in her FBI shirt, still unaware of the invasion that would soon follow.

Sparrows in Marken

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Our visit to Waverhoek and Botshol

Posted on July 16th 2007 by Arthur in Birds, Life in Holland, Nature

On Saturday we visited Waverhoek and Botshol, north of Utrecht, for a ranger-led boat excursion by Natuurmonumenten. We arrived about an hour early for the boat excursion, which left from number 2 on the map below, so we drove on left a little bit and came across a new nature reserve of Natuurmonumenten that just opened to the public on 30 June 2007, Waverhoek at number 1 on the map below. Until recently this triangular area was just farmland, as you can still see on this map, but they flooded the area to make a wetlands for birds.

Map of Botshol

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Birding around Huelva in Spain

Posted on June 8th 2007 by Arthur in Birds, Nature, Travel

Last week we came back from a vacation in Andalucia in Spain. The area is perfect for birding. Highlights for us were the Purple Gallinule, Red-knobbed Coot and Azure-winged Magpie. Another great sight were the hundreds of Stork nests on almost every electricity pole along the highway between Sevilla and Huelva. Here is a list of some great places to go birdwatching. More »

The cutest parrots and parakeetsexternal link

Posted on April 13th 2007 by Arthur in Birds, Shopping & Stuff

Cute Monk ParakeetMore new birds have been added to Birdorable, including several cute parrots and parakeets. The collection now includes a Yellow-crested Cockatoo, Scarlet Macaw, Monk Parakeet (pictured here), Peach-faced Lovebird, African Grey Parrot, Sun Conure, Rose-ringed Parakeet and Red-masked Parakeet. Birdorables are cute and colorful birds you might find in your backyard or when you go birding. They have been cutified closely matching the natural shapes and colors of the bird. Visit the Meet the Birds page to view all 38 different Birdorable birds.

New cute birds at Birdorable.com

Posted on March 16th 2007 by Arthur in Birds, Shopping & Stuff

Birdorable.com has been updated this week with 17 new cute birds, including African Grey Parrot, Peach-faced Lovebird, Brown Pelican, Keel-billed Toucan, Osprey, Egyptian Plover and Bald Eagle. There are also some nice free graphics for use in MySpace comments. More »

134 Gambian birds added to lifelistexternal link

Posted on January 26th 2007 by Amy in Birds, Nature, Personal, Travel

We went to The Gambia for 11 days earlier this month, and saw about 150 birds, 134 of which we managed to photograph. They have now all been added to our online lifelist. More »