This Circus aeruginosus was flying over the reeds of Otmoor, an RSPB reserve. The species is facing threats like shooting and in Otmoor in particular habitat loss because some nitwits want to build another road in the area. If you’re like me not happy with this and you live in the UK or are a Brit, please consider signing this petition: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/217244 Thank you!
When you visit Barcelona, you shouldn’t miss out on a walk in the surrounding hills. You’re quite likely to see a Regulus ignicapilla or at least to hear its high-pitched song.
Santa Cruz is the place to visit in Oran and the Wikipedia article gives plenty of background information.
It’s possible to walk up the hill, but be prepared for steep paths and exposure to sun and wind. Alternatively, take a taxi. The price for going up, the driver waiting and getting you down again depends on the goodwill of the taxi driver and your negotiating skills. We paid the meter price (about 800 Dinar), but people have also paid much more than that.
Unless you’re heavily interested in Spanish military architecture, the fort itself is not that exciting because it’s mostly empty halls and yards these days.
One goes up there for the views (and possibly the picnic area). You can see all of Oran, the Lion Mountains and Canastel to the east, the big salt lake to the south and more hills and the military port to the west (not photos of the latter though – the military doesn’t take kindly to that).
When we were there the church was still under reconstruction, as is the cable car which might hopefully be running again … soon. Things take time in Algeria, but they get done eventually. So, here’s to our next visit, including l’église and le téléphérique!
Chloris chloris is an amazing singer, and this C. c. voousi in a woodland near Oran, Algeria, was no exception. This is also the reason why some nitwits put them into cages.
Work keeps me busy and I find it tough to focus on anything longer than your average newspaper article or half an hour here and there for an audiobook. So when I’m reading a book which isn’t totally gripping things take even longer, as for instance with my choice for Haiti. As for an update on the equality count: 158 books read, 67 written by female authors, 11 with mixed authorships and one with unknown authors. That also means 99 places left to read.
156 Cabo Verde: Germano Almeida – Das Testament des Herrn Napumoceno
It’s been a while since I’ve read a book in German, and I kind of enjoyed the linguistic experience of a sentence being half a page long. Luckily, the book was less than 200 pages. To begin with, it was a quite sarcastic story but sadly lost its bite in the final third of the book. It did raise some interesting questions about relationships and what we can actually know about other people, though.
157 Haiti: Marie Vieux-Chauvet – Love, Anger, Madness
This book has been showered with praise but I’m at a loss to see why. I found parts two and three utterly contrived and artifical. It might be because I’ve really had enough books about dictators and violence and experiencing the destruction of everything you love.
158 Singapore: Balli Kaur Jaswal – Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows
This was easily the best out of the three books in this post. It was great fun although it dealt with some harrowing topics like child marriage and honour killings. I liked the main character, perhaps because I’m a teacher too and I’ve also heard some rather odd stories about my students’ lives.
Corvus corax is an amazing bird. I saw this one in the Lion Mountains near Oran, but the species is fairly widespread in the Northern Hemisphere. Major threats are habitat loss and stupid people who think culling these intelligent corvids would actually be good for the planet.
Ptyonoprogne rupestris is a fantastic flyer, so grant me some artistic licence with the photo. I saw this one sailing by the fortress of Santa Cruz in Oran. Usually the species lives higher up, but I guess the steep cliffs provide good habitat.