Dinosaur of the week: Mallard

mallards

These two Anas platyrhynchos had made their home in the little park around lake Kuchajda in the middle of Bratislava. I find mallards beautiful and totally underrated. The species is considered least concern and in some regions invasive.

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Dinosaur of the week: European Bee-eater

european bee-eater

In late August and in September we had plenty of Merops apiaster in the forest close to our house and also birds flying directly over our roof. The birds’ diet consists largely, but not exclusively, of bees. With the decline in bees and insects in general, well, you can imagine the consequences.

Algeria – A visit to Tlemcen

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.