Saturday, 4 October 2014

Basic Guide to Understand the Climate Change

Is this all related? Or it is just a coincidence? Although there have been several climate changes along the Earth's history, this one is not natural. It is the Climate Change caused by humans, and leading quickly towards a warmer Earth. You might already know the (quite) catastrophic consequences, but do you know how does it work?

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Is the new European Commission less environmentally friendly?

In many ways, the European Union has been a big umbrella for the environment, a point where there is a big consensus about the usefulness of the institution. Whereas many states members had a dim legislation regarding the protection of the environment, European Directives, such as the Birds and Habitats ones, pushed them towards a more protective law (although those directives could be better applied). But after the last elections to the European Parliament and the new composition of the European Commission (the EU executive body) that might change.

Monday, 14 July 2014

The Red Kite Kingdom

Red Kite (Milvus milvus)
Since a few months ago I'm living in the wonderful city of Reading, located in the south-east of England. When I arrived, I noticed many different things comparing with my hometown in Catalonia. British people drive on the left, and use strange coins with an old lady printed on them, but that's common knowledge. It was also amazing the amount of people from so different countries and ethnicities that you could make a perfect scale of tonalities of skin colour. And it also seemed that I travelled in time, two months back, regarding the weather. 

But I want to focus on another topic. If you look up at the sky, you will see planes going to Heathrow Airport at almost any time of the day. But as often as planes, you can spot Red Kites soaring! First I thought I was lucky to see them, but after a while I noticed it was quite usual to see them, even over the city. There was even one which used to fly over my home every now and then. All of this was fascinating, as I've hardly seen Red Kites before.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Where to go birding: the Ebro Delta

Traditional cottage. Source: Wikimedia Commons
I would like to initiate a series of posts about places I like to go birding as often as possible. I will start with a big one. Last Saturday I had the opportunity to go to the one of the most important wetlands in Europe: the Ebro Delta. This huge wetland lies in north-east Spain, in the Mediterranean Sea and is shelter for many many birds, including some sensitive species. You can imagine what kind of paradise it is for many birders of the region (me included). However, it has also some threats that endanger not only the wildlife but the delta itself: invasive species, sea level rise and the Popular Party.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

5 reasons to protect wetlands

Las Tablas de Daimiel. Photo taken by Yannboix
It was 2nd February, 43 years ago, in the city of Ramsar (Iran) where the Ramsar Convention was signed. It has only one main aim, but crucial: the protection of wetlands worldwide. Since 1977, 2nd February became the World Wetlands Day, where a huge number of events are organised around the world, to celebrate the date and the importance of these water bodies. But, what actually are wetlands? Why should we protect them? Which are their benefits?

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Austrian insects (II): butterflies and moths

Lycaenidae on Lotus corniculatus
Those are always the most difficult
to identify.

For a few months I was stalking diurnal butterflies in the amazing land of Tyrol (Austria). Although I was focused on butterflies, it was impossible not to see the huge diversity of other kind of insects and arthropods I found, which I tried to take as many pictures as possible. In the first part of this series, I talked about beetles.

On this second part of the Austrian insects series I will show you some of the butterflies and moths I spotted, many of them very impressive. I probably had seen them before, but never paid attention. Now, when I'm in the nature hiking or birdwatching I always keep an eye to the grass to see if I can spot some bug.

Pictures were taken in grasslands and meadows, so most of the species are related to this kind of habitat. My photography gear consists in a Canon Ixus 95 IS, so you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear (I love idioms in other languages). I'm very happy of the quality of some pictures, but some others are quite low. I hope you enjoy the gallery anyway. I couldn't take a picture to all of the species I spotted because that wasn't my job, and... many weren't quiet enough!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

The Big Year

Last Saturday I participated in the Annual Winter Bird Census as the last years, in Els Muntanyans, the natural beach of my town. There, I met several ornithologists experts, who talked me about the American competition "Big Year" and the true story film related to this competition: "The Big Year".

A Big Year is a competition among birders, with the aim to see as many birds as possible in a calendar year. Far to be a cinephile blog, I will only say that the film (2011) is a comedy about three birders who compete to beat the record of one of them. I think it's a good comedy and worth watching, and although (of course) a little bit exaggerated, many birders will feel themselves identified with these characters.

After the film, this competition started to be more famous worldwide, and now there are many Big Years around the world. Although I don't consider myself ready to compete at this level, I thought that it'd be interesting to write down all the species I can see in a year. Then I'll compete only with myself, and I'll learn to identify many species.

You can find my progress here: Bird List 2014