I saw this Psilopogon lineatus a few years ago in Thailand. I like the contrasting colours.
Recently, we had friends over from Germany and we decided to spend a day in Tlemcen, a city close to the Moroccan border. It’s steeped in history and there’s plenty to do and see. One day is not enough to explore everything, but we got a really good impression – also thanks to a colleague who acted as our local guide.
One thing that immediately caught the eye is the countless minarets, all square brick towers. I still need to find out about the architectural background because I used to think of a minaret as a round and much higher structure.
An amazing surprise was the number of minarets with stork-nests on top, a lot of them occupied or under territorial disputes. It was amazing to see so many White Storks so unexpectedly.
One of the many places of interest in Tlemcen is the Mosque Sidi Boumediene and the adjacent ruin of the palace of the Zayyanid sultan. There are some beautiful remnants of calligraphy in the palace and one can enjoy a view of the city.
We also ventured into the surrounding areas, but that’s for another post.
Thalassarche melanophris lives circumpolar in the southern oceans. I saw these two and their colony on West Point Island in the Falklands.
The numbers of the black-browed mollymawk are decreasing, and the species is labelled Nearly Threatened. Longline fishing kills the birds as does trawl fishing, and of course plastic intake kills too.
On a recent walk through farmland near Oran, we came across this Lanius excubitor (probably ssp. algeriensis). Shrike taxonomy is a minefield.
The birds have a varied diet but eat mostly large beetles – which are in decline because of pesticides and habitat loss. Hence the birds suffer.
Here are a male and a female Copsychus saularis which I spotted some years ago in Ayutthaya in Thailand. The species is threatened by pet bird trade and habitat changes.
Thank you to the members of the Birdforum who helped with the ID.
Despite its duck-like look, Scopus umbretta is a wading bird. I saw this one a few years ago in Kruger Park.
This Corvus frugilegus and I met a couple of years ago in Scotland, on a beach near St. Andrews. These highly intelligent birds face the threads of losing habitat because of extensive agriculture, of losing food because of mercury coating on seeds and the use of pesticides, and of losing their life because stupid humans shoot them (http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22705983/0).