Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Deliriously tired

but back safe from Azkaban, as thesis supervisor Professor X insists on calling anywhere I go in Central Asia. Look, here I am in the ornithological collection of the University of Tashkent with a Lammergeier shot in the nineteenth century by the first man to winter alone in the Pamir mountains. Apparently it took him two days of wading through chest-deep snow to retrieve the corpse. Fantastic.

Also in the collection: merlins! Look (or look away, if you found the picture above gruesome)

among which was the biggest merlin I've ever seen; a sandy, steppe merlin getting on for the size of a tiercel peregrine. Blimey!

I'm ashen inside with lack of sleep, but more soon. Highlights include howling jackals, learning how to make Plov, black-throated accentors, goshawks, thunderstorms, and being fed a beaker of medicinal alcohol by the directors of the Uzbek plague institute on my birthday. Wot larks.


Steve Bodio said...

Pluvi with a Lammergeier-- be still my heart! Tales, tales...

I had a Gyr- Merlin hybrid smaller than that.

Matt Mullenix said...

Welcome back! Can't wait to the see the photos!

Those merlins look bigger even than our Richardson's---interesting that both these arid country races are large and pale...

But that BIG one with the huge beak and white breast you're holding, that's the largest merlin I've ever seen!

Heidi the Hick said...

Medicinal alcohol! Uzbek plague institute! Your birthday! Your life is incredibly cooooool!!!!!

That first picture is amazing. I think you should adopt him and carry him around with you.

Welcome back!

Old Scrote said...

Welcome back, Pluvialis. If you are planning a plov evening, I will happily do the dishes as the price of an invitation!

fatrobot said...

i will crossbreed these birds with giant mighty lizards and maybe scorpions
all will tremble at the sight of my battalion of beasts