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Monday 23 November 2015

9 Siberian Chiffchaff on St Mary's

There was an influx of 5 Siberian Chiffchaff today at Porth hellick including one trapped and ringed by Jim

 For the first time in over two weeks it was still and The Roads were like a mill pond. In the blue skies above, a small flock of 20 Redwing flew NE and it wasn't until 10.00 that I could get out after work. It was obvious that there had been an arrival of birds which included Blackbirds as they flew high in ones and twos. In the next few hours overhead I got 5 Brambling, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 3 Siskin, 1 Golden Plover, 3 Skylark, 60+Chaffinch, 100 Redwing, 40 Fieldfare and 20 Blackbird. Of the latter species they would drop like a stone from a great height to join the 50 odd already present on the deck. Chiffchaff and Goldcrest were in higher numbers with 30+ and 40+respectively. By the road I had 3 Firecrest, 1 Siberian Chiffchaff and I only heard the Yellow-browed Warbler.

This Siberian Chiffchaff has been in the area at Porth Hellick for a long time now 

2 of the 70+Blackbird at Porth Hellick

  I eventually reached the ringing station to find Jim with bags full of birds. It was 11.00 and he had court nothin, except a Firecrest, until a few minutes of me coming around the corner. In the bags he had Goldcrests, single Grey Wagtail and Chaffinch and 26 Chiffchff including a Siberian Chiffchaff. While he was ringing these a male Stonechat flew into the nets. When he released the sibe, I immediately found 2 unringed Siberian Chiffchaff feeding together and a unringed Firecrest. These birds had just come in and half an hour later the Chiffchaffs that Jim had trapped before had moved on and been replaced by a lot of unringed Chiffchaff. All the time birds were also moving above and this time, I watched small flocks of Wood Pigeon flying out east. I also moved on and near to Salkee there were more Chiffchaff and Goldcrest, 4 Firecrest and 2 Siberian Chiffchaff. 

Out of the 32 Chiffchaff trapped, we only ringed a single Siberian Chiffchaff

However, above the nets flycatching in the sun were these 2 Siberian Chiffchaff

Two new species for me in the hand included a male Stonechat and a stunning Grey Wagtail

some 60-70 Chaffinch overhead, but Jim only trapped this male

Up to 7 Firecrest were at Porth Hellick

Including Jims birds, there was at least 80+Chiffchaff at Porth Hellick

  When I arrived at Lower Moors it was getting late and the light was fading. Howeever, I got 4 Siberian Chiffchaff, 4 firecrest, 5 woodcock, and 1 Yellow-browed Warbler. Not many Chiffchaff with only 20+ and 15+Goldcrest. The Sibes were at one time in the same bush together with 2 Chiffchaff for comparison

2 of the 4 Siberian Chiffchaff at Lower Moors. The other 2 were just above these 2 in the same bush!

This Yellow-browed Warbler was nearby

Up to 4 firecrest and 15+Goldcrest were also present. The light was disappearing fast when I took all the pics above 

Black Redstarts finished off another good day with 3 still at Porthcressa, 2 at Porthloo and this 1st winter male at Porth Mellon. Higgo had a stonking male yesterday at Sharks Pit.

  An unusal record for this time of year was a Black-tailed Godwit off samson and the Spoonbill was still on Green Island

Over the years I've played RJ2D before. Only 15 views on this cracking instrumental!! Ramble Jon Krohn (born May 27, 1976), better known by his stage name RJD2, is an American musician based in PhiladelphiaPennsylvania. He is owner of record label RJ's Electrical Connections.[6] He has been member of groups such as Soul Position, MHz Legacy,and Icebird

Sunday 22 November 2015

Winter thrushes arrive in force

Nearly 2000 winter thrushes have fallen on St Mary's

 Overnight on the 19th, I could hear Redwings constantly overhead with the occasional 'tick' of Song Thrush in the NNW drizzle. At first light, I walked out to hear the chuckle of Fieldfare and then flushed over 60 Redwing from a tree nearby. It was obvious that there had been a fall of thrushes and altogether I saw up to 2000 birds. Except for a flock of 300 so high up that I couldn't hear them going south over Porth Hellick, the remainder of the birds were all observed in the ENE end of the island. Over 200 Fieldfare came in from the east and settled in the large Elm trees at Maypole. Just around the corner were another 200 Fieldfare with 150 Redwing crammed together feeding in a small field. The surrounding fields were also full of thrushes. In the end I got 1000+Fieldfare and 800+Redwing. Associated with the fall were 100+ Chaffinch and Brambling with 2 each at Porth Hellick and Holy Vale.

Part of a flock of 200+Fieldfare over Green Farm. Earlier I had 300+ south over Porth Hellick. They were so high up that I couldn't hear them.

This field at Watermill was packed with Fieldfares and Redwings and 5 Continental Song Thrush

Fieldfare and Redwing

Altogether I had over 1000 Fieldfare


I had well over 800 Redwing

The night before with the Redwings, I could hear now and then the 'tick' of Continental Song Thrushes moving with them

It's been a good year for Mistle Thrush. This individual was found by Tony at old Town

Altogether I had 6 Black Redstart. 3 each on Porthcressa and Porthloo

  At Porth Hellick there were 2 Firecrest, 2 Brambling and 1 Yellow-browed Warbler. There also seemed to be a slight increase in Chiffchaff and Goldcrest. On the pool there were 12 snipe and a small noisy flock of Fieldfare flew over above me. While scanning these thrushes, way above them I could make out some dark dots. Although I couldn't hear the birds, because they were so high up or my hearing is going, they turned out to be over 300 Fieldfare going south. How many more was I not seeing flying high overhead?

  A 2nd winter Laughing Gull was at Middle Town, 17-18th Nov


I've had single Yellow-browed Warblers at Holy Vale and this individual was at Porth Hellick 

  In my last blog, I did an article on how the Israeli Government is scaring the BBC into changing their titles to make out that Israel are the good guys after their countless massacres on Palestine. So I thought I would share some good news. It was a bit of shock, but a welcoming one, when I read two days ago, that the BBC are going to break their £80 million contract with the British/Danish private security firm, G4S. Pressure from a petition and notable figures including film directors, Ken Loach and Mike Leigh, novelist, Ahdaf Soueif to the BBC, which called on the organization not to spend licence fee-payers money to finance the public broardcaster on a deal with G4S) G4S is provide security systems to help Israel secure prisons and interrogation centres where Palestinian children are being gaged and tortured. These include the notorious Al Jalame interrogation centre in northern Israel with it's cell 36 where Defence for children International reported cheldren are locked in small filthy cells in solitary confinement, some for 65 days, with their only escape being the interrogation room where they are shackled by their hands and feet to a chair whilst being abused, sometimes for hours. G4Sprovides the securitysystem that keep this torture den operational.

The Home Secretary, Theresa May, her husband (Phillip John May) is a shareholder with G4S! 

  Shortly before this announcement, it was no surprise when the Labour leader, Jermemy Corbyn, said that he is Boycotting the company because they do business with Israel. Labour have used G4S for the last four years. 

  However, I still find it hard that the BBC have cut their ties with G4S because of their involvement with the torture to children in Israel. The reason for this is:
  The BBC’s director of news and current affairs, James Harding, covers BBC radio, TV and online, including its current coverage of October’s violence in Palestine and Israel. The position he holds at the BBC is described by The Guardian as “arguably the most important editorial job in Britain.”He once told a conference organized by the pro-Zionist Jewish Chronicle newspaper: “I am pro-Israel. I believe in the State of Israel.” 
  Speaking in 2011, when he was still editor of Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper The Times, Harding added, “I would have had a real problem if I had been coming to a paper with a history of being anti-Israel. And, of course, Rupert Murdoch is pro-Israel.”
  Harding came to the BBC in April 2013. There he joined James Purnell, who had been appointed two weeks earlier as the BBC’s director of strategy and digital. Purnell is a former Labour MP and minister who, for two years, served as chair of Labour Friends of Israel.
  But the pro-Israel bias is not present only in the BBC’s current appointments. Another signatory of the letter in last week’s Guardian is Michael Grade, who served as chair of the BBC between 2004 and 2006. This could explain why BBC editors failed to see the pro-Israel bias of commissioning historian Simon Schamato make a five part series for BBC Two in 2013, during which he made what he called “the moral case for Israel” and announced, in one episode, “I am a Zionist and quite unapologetic about it' Schama, unsurprisingly, joined Cohen in adding his name to The Guardian letter on cultural boycotts.
  Consumers of BBC news and current affairs may often wonder why the number of Israeli spokespersons appearing across the BBC’s output far outnumber Palestinian spokespersons, why Palestinians, when they do make a rare appearance, are constantly interrupted by BBC presenters, while Israelis such as diplomat Mark Regev are given free rein to speak almost without challenge. They may wonder why the killing of Palestinian children by Israeli soldiers goes unreported by the BBC, whilerockets fired from Gaza which cause damage to roads make headlines.

  But, if the pro-Israeli views of those at the top of the BBC have created a corporate culture of pro-Israeli bias throughout its editorial ranks, then such one-sided reporting, while disgraceful, should no longer come as a surprise to anyone.
  So no, I don't believe that the BBC have stopped there contract with G4S because of the largest security firm is complicit in torture of Palistine children. Far from it! I believe that they did it because G4S are not good at their job. 
I beieve 100% that the Labour Party boycotted G4S because of their involvement with Israel and not because they were voted as one of the worst companies in the world.

Nearly 400 children are being held and tortured in Israeli prisons from the ages of 8-17 years old

BBC says no to occupation profiteer Israeli company, G4S after major campaign

  A campaign which was joined by notable figures including film directors Ken Loach and Mike Leigh, and novelist Ahdaf Soueif, calling on the BBC not to award a multi-million pound security contract to G4S appears to have been successful.
This month, the £80 million ($132 million) contract to provide “manned guarding and security services” across all the BBC’s premises was awarded to G4S’ rival, First Security. The three-year contract, which has an option to be extended for two extra years, comes into effect on 1 April.
The campaign to block any successful bid from G4S was launched early last year when the bidding process was announced, and was co-ordinated by the Stop G4S Network.
In April, the Network sent an open letter to BBC director general, Tony Hall, pointing out that: “G4S directly supports Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands through provision of guards to illegal settlements and electronic systems in checkpoints as part of the illegal ‘Apartheid Wall.’”
The letter continued: “It supplies security services to prisons and detention centers within Israel which hold Palestinian prisoners illegally transferred from the occupied territories in violation of the Fouth Geneva Convention. These include children, despite the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Israel is a signatory.”
The letter was signed by more than 100 people, including Loach, Leigh and Soueif.
Many patrons of Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), a member of the Stop G4S Network, also signed on, including the author William Dalrymple, poet and writer Benjamin Zephaniah, and member of parliament Jeremy Corbyn.
Lawyers for Palestinian Human RightsJews for Justice for Palestinians, and Football Beyond Borders were among the groups to add their signatures to a letter which demonstrated the strength of feeling against such a lucrative contract going to a firm so complicit in Israel’s human rights violations against Palestinians.

Welcome news

Meanwhile, more than 2,000 people signed PSC’s petition to the BBC, which called on the organization not to spend licence fee-payers’ money — the compulsory charge paid by most UK households to finance the public broadcaster — on a deal with G4S.
Sarah Colborne, director of PSC, welcomed the news that the BBC had passed over G4S.
She said: “We are delighted that the BBC has taken on board the concerns of their viewers and listeners and not awarded this lucrative contract to G4S.
“The BBC must be well aware by now of the controversy that surrounds G4S’ involvement in human rights abuses against Palestinians. For the BBC to associate itself with such a company would have been deeply damaging to the BBC’s reputation.”
G4S’ role in Palestine is not the only stain on its record, however. Today it was announced that three men who worked as security guards for G4S are to be charged with manslaughter over the death at Heathrow airport of Jimmy Mubenga, an Angolan man who was being forcibly deported in 2010.
Mubenga, 46, died after falling ill as the aircraft was about to take off. He had been restrained by the G4S security guards.
G4S is also at the at the center of allegations over rioting and the death of a detainee on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea, where the Australian government has hired the firm to operate an offshore detention facility for asylum seekers.
The awarding of the contract is the first time the BBC has chosen one national security provider to cover all its premises. A BBC spokesperson confirmed to The Electronic Intifada that the organization does not have any separate contracts with G4S.

Series of blows

The BBC’s decision is the latest in a series of blows to G4S, whose annual general meeting in 2013 was upstaged by activists from PSC, War on Want and Stop G4S, who posed as shareholders in order to confront board members with their company’s involvement in human rights abuses.
In December 2013, the Dutch trade union, Abvakabo, severed its links with G4S. Three months earlier, the Dutch Green Left party (GroenLinks) announced it would no longer make use of G4S security services for its national office in 2014 due to the company’s “activities in Palestinian territory occupied by Israel.”
In the last four months in the UK, universities and student unions in London, Kent, Southampton and Dundee have severed or voted to sever links with G4S, a move replicated in Norway by the universities of Bergen andOslo.
And so the BBC’s decision highlights what G4S must already know — that the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions is growing and working and no amount of slick PR will be able to gloss over the reputational damage caused by association with Israel’s human rights abuses.