Tuesday, October 24, 2006
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.