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election

In 1962, there was an election to vote for the national bird of Sweden. The Eurasian blackbird (Turdus merula) was pronounced as the winner, but there were suspicions that the election hadn’t been totally fair (the main concern was that most votes represented the capital, Stockholm, and not the whole country) and therefore a new vote was arranged last year. 40 bird species were nominated, and via 4 voting rounds (with voters from the whole country) a true winner would be presented. In each of the first 3 rounds, 10 birds fell out of the competition so in the final (held at the Falsterbo Bird Show) there were 10 birds remaining. And the winner was…. The Blackbird. :)

election

festival

The annual Amsterdam Light Festival brightens up our beautiful city during the dark winter days :)

Slideshow with 10 images-

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w52

Five bird pictures, taken  in Sweden during the last week of 2015-

(1) Bohemian waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus). This bird is called Pestvogel (“Pest bird”) in Dutch, but it has a much nicer name in Swedish: Sidensvans (“Silk tail”).

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(2) Eurasian jay (Garrulus glandarius). In Swedish: Nötskrika (“Nut screamer”), probably named so because of its loud alarm call which is a harsh, rasping screech and its love for nuts.

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(3) Eurasian blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus). One of our most common birds, the whole garden is full of these cute little fluffballs.

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(4) Eurasian nuthatch or Wood nuthatch (Sitta europaea). The name Nuthatch was first recorded as early as in 1350, it’s derived from “nut” and a word probably related to “hack”, since these birds hack at nuts they have wedged into crevices.

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(5) Eurasian bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula). This bird is to Swedes what the Robin is to Brits: It holds a starring role on Christmas cards, Christmas postage stamps, etc. No Winter holiday feels complete without snow and Bullfinches.

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2016

Happy 2016 everyone!!

As in previous years (2015, 2014, 2013), my first image of the year is one of Stuffe. This was taken on Christmas Eve, before the snow came

2016

hackspett

A bit early, but wishing you all HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

I’m off on vacation, see you again in 2016 :)

Here are two pictures of a beautiful male Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) I took this morning

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wired

A Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica), photographed contre-jour in the Amsterdamse Bos

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roodborst

European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) in the Amsterdamse Bos

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taipei-ii

A handsome dog admiring himself in the rear mirror

Looking good! :)

Looking good! :)

taipei-i

I’m just back from a short visit to Taipei, Taiwan :)

Here are some butterfly shots I took there, using Fujifilm X100S & Raynox DCR-150

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Mangrove Tree Nymph (Idea leuconoe chersonesia), a.k.a. Paper Kite, Rice Paper, or Large Tree Nymph

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Blue Glassy Tiger (Ideopsis vulgaris)

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Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus), a.k.a. African or Asian Monarch

wren

The Eurasian Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) is a very small bird with a very strong voice.

Americans might recognize this bird as similar to their Winter Wren or Pacific Wren, those used to be considered sub-species of the Eurasian Wren but in 2010 (based on vocalizations and genetics) they were split into three species.

This little one was photographed in August in Amsterdam.

wren

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