Articles of the Day September 1–5, 2021
Featured articles of the day for this month, selected by Wikipedia contributors.
Abberton Reservoir is a pumped storage freshwater reservoir in England near the Essex coast, with an area of 700 hectares (1,700 acres). Most of its water is pumped in from the River Stour. Constructed between 1935 and 1939, it is currently owned by Essex and Suffolk Water, and lies 6 km (4 mi) south-west of Colchester. In World War II, the reservoir was mined to deter invading seaplanes, and it was used by the RAF's No. 617 Squadron ("The Dam Busters") to practise for the bombing of the German dams in the Ruhr. A project to increase the reservoir's capacity to 41,000 megalitres (9.0×109 imperial gallons) was completed in 2013, along with a new link to transfer water from Norfolk's River Ouse to the Stour. The reservoir is important for its breeding cormorants, wintering and moulting waterfowl, and migrating birds. It is an internationally important wetland, designated as a Ramsar site, SSSI and SPA and listed in A Nature Conservation Review. A small part of the site is managed by the Essex Wildlife Trust. (Full article...)
Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan (c. 646 – 705) was the fifth Umayyad caliph, ruling from April 685 until his death. At his accession, Umayyad authority in the Caliphate had been restricted to Syria and Egypt as a result of the second Muslim civil war. Abd al-Malik reunited the Caliphate after defeating the Zubayrids at the Battle of Maskin in Iraq in 691 and the siege of Mecca in 692. The wars with Byzantium recommenced, resulting in Umayyad advances into Anatolia and Armenia and the recapture of Kairouan, which led to the conquests of Northwest Africa and most of the Iberian Peninsula during the reign of his son and successor, al-Walid I. Abd al-Malik founded the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, the earliest archaeologically attested religious monument built by a Muslim ruler. He introduced a single Islamic currency and established Arabic as the language of the bureaucracy, replacing Greek in Syria and Persian in Iraq. His centralized government became the prototype of later medieval Muslim states. (Full article...)
The Battle of Dunbar was fought between the English New Model Army, under Oliver Cromwell, and a Scottish army, commanded by David Leslie, on 3 September 1650 near Dunbar, Scotland. The first major battle of the Third English Civil War, it was decisively won by the English. The English crossed into Scotland in July, and Cromwell attempted to draw the Scots into a set-piece battle, but the Scots resisted. At the end of August Cromwell withdrew to the port of Dunbar. The Scottish army followed, and before dawn the English launched a surprise attack on the Scots, who were poorly prepared. The fighting was restricted to the north-eastern flank. Leslie was unable to reinforce those fighting, while Cromwell used his last reserve to outflank the Scots. The Scottish cavalry broke and routed; the Scottish infantry made a fighting retreat but suffered heavily. Between 300 and 500 Scots were killed, with approximately 1,000 wounded and about 6,000 or more taken prisoner from an army of 12,500 or fewer. (Full article...)
The Indian roller is a bird of the family Coraciidae. It is 30–34 cm (12–13 in) long with a wingspan of 65–74 cm (26–29 in) and weighs 166–176 g (5.9–6.2 oz). The face and throat are pinkish, the head and back are brown, and the rump is blue. The brightly contrasting light and dark blue markings on the wings and tail are prominent in flight. The sexes appear similar. It occurs widely from West Asia to the Indian subcontinent. Often found perched on roadside trees and wires, it is common in open grassland and scrub forest habitats, and has adapted well to human-modified landscapes. It mainly feeds on insects, especially beetles. The species is best known for the aerobatic displays of males during the breeding season. Adult males and females form pair bonds, raising the young together. The female lays three to five eggs in a cavity or crevice, lined with a mat of straw or feathers. It is the state bird of three Indian states. (Full article...)
Level Mountain is a large volcanic complex in the Northern Interior of British Columbia, Canada, with a maximum elevation of 2,164 m (7,100 ft). The lower half of Level Mountain consists of a shield-like edifice while its upper half has a more steep, jagged profile. Its broad summit is dominated by the Level Mountain Range, with prominent peaks cut by deep valleys. The mountain began forming about 15 million years ago, with volcanism continuing up until geologically recent times. Level Mountain can be ecologically divided into three sections: an alpine climate at its summit, firs and birches on its flanks and a spruce forest at its base. Several animal species thrive in the area of Level Mountain, with caribou being the most abundant. Due to its remoteness, Level Mountain can only be accessed by air or by trekking great distances on foot; the closest communities are more than 30 km (19 mi) away. (Full article...)