This Linaria cannabina was perching in the dunes of Dunkirk in France. The species is in decline because of ‘the intensification of agriculture, resulting in destruction of hedgerows, improved harvesting of cereals, and the eradication of fallow and weedy fields through application of herbicides‘.
The bird is also commonly mentioned in popular culture, e.g. mentioned by Charles Dickens or Oscar Wilde. Thanks to the people on birdforum.net for their help with the ID.
The year started off with some very good books for my undertaking of reading a book from each country/dependent place on this planet. Many thanks to Shona Potts for recommending Lucy Caldwell.
88 Madagascar: Michèle Rakotoson – Dadabé
This was a short but powerful book. It contained a novella and two short stories, one of which dealt with the plight of people who lived in a refugee shelter. Where and how do you get clothes, food, privacy, education, work, hygiene …?
89 Malawi: Tiyambe Zeleza – Smouldering Charcoal
Another rather political book which I found immensely gripping. Dealing with corrupt people in power (morally and otherwise), getting by when living below the poverty threshold or having to live with ill family members were just some of the topics explored.
90 Northern Ireland: Lucy Caldwell – All the Beggars Riding
This was my audiobook of the month, and it was wonderfully narrated by Catherine Harvey. At first I found the stream of memories of the main character quite confusing, especially since she didn’t remember the facts and eventually made up things that could have happened. In the end, however, all of this came neatly together as an intriguing example of how we create stories, professionally or just the every day ones. Like the other two books, I can definitely recommend this one.