Winnie-the-Pooh turns 90, meets queen in new book

Updated 27 May 2016

Winnie-the-Pooh turns 90, meets queen in new book

LONDON: Winnie-the-Pooh turns 90 this year and the much-loved children’s character returns for a new adventure in which he meets someone else celebrating the same significant birthday — Britain’s Queen Elizabeth.
A.A. Milne’s honey-loving bear, who first appeared in a story in 1926, the year of the queen’s birth, travels to London with Christopher Robin, Piglet and Eeyore the gloomy donkey to give the monarch a birthday “hum” or poem.
They meet her by chance outside Buckingham Palace, where she is holding the hand of a unnamed young boy, described as “almost as bouncy as Tigger” and looking remarkably similar to Prince William’s son George.
Winnie-the-Pooh famously tried to see the king in the poem “Buckingham Palace,” but he was “much too busy a-signing things.” They watched the changing of the guard, and then went home for tea.
“Winnie-the-Pooh and the Royal Birthday” was written by Jane Riordan with illustrations by Mark Burgess, who also drew the pictures for “Return to the Hundred Acre Wood” in 2009, the first authorized book since Milne’s death.
It is free to download from the Disney website and there is an audio version narrated by Oscar-winning actor Jim Broadbent, who said it had been “an honor” to record.
“I have been a fan of Winnie-the-Pooh since I was a boy, in fact I named my very first and much loved teddy Pooh, and that can only have been after the A.A. Milne character,” he said in a statement.
The queen was also said to enjoy the Pooh tales as a child.


First UAE sighting of one of the world’s rarest birds in Abu Dhabi 

Updated 4 min 13 sec ago

First UAE sighting of one of the world’s rarest birds in Abu Dhabi 

  • Known as a Steppe Whimbrel, the bird is estimated to have a global population of only around 100
  • It is believed to have travelled in time for the autumn bird migration

DUBAI: One of the rarest birds in the world has been spotted in Abu Dhabi by two members of the Emirates Bird Records Committee (EBRC), according to state news agency WAM. 
Known as a Steppe Whimbrel, the bird - estimated to have a global population of only around 100 - was seen by Oscar Campbell and Simon Lloyd at the Saadiyat Beach Golf Course, WAM reported on Saturday.
Believed to have travelled in time for the autumn bird migration, the Steppe Whimbrel is an extremely rare sub-species of the widespread Whimbrel, which regularly passes through the Emirates in spring and autumn.
The Steppe Whimbrel seen in Abu Dhabi is believed to have been born this year, making it the first time a juvenile Steppe Whimbrel has been spotted anywhere in the world, according to WAM.
“On August 29, we were studying around 20 whimbrels on the Saadiyat Beach golf course. We were stunned when one flew off showing the distinctive white wings, clearly different from the other birds,” Campbell and Lloyd told WAM. 
“We immediately realized the potential significance of this so we concentrated on observing the bird and obtaining photographs, allowing us to check the key identification features,” they said.
Campbell and Lloyd then shared their photographs with world’s top expert on Steppe Whimbrels, Gary Allport, who confirmed their findings. 
“The discovery of a Steppe Whimbrel in Abu Dhabi is remarkable in itself, and confirms our suspicion that the migration route of the sub-species passes through the Arabian peninsula region,” Allport said. 
“What is even more remarkable is that this is the first time ever, anywhere in the world, that a juvenile Steppe Whimbrel has been seen in the field…It’s an amazing find,” he added. 
The Saadiyat Beach Golf Course management was delighted with the discovery. 
“When you look at the significance of sighting the Steppe Whimbrel in Abu Dhabi, its history and the subspecies actually being declared extinct in 1995, it is pretty amazing,” Clinton Southorn, Cluster Director of Agronomy for managers Troon Golf, told WAM.
“This is one of the reasons the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club has worked hard to achieve its Audubon certification and showcase the positive environmental impact the course can have on the environment,” he added.