17 April 2009

Trindade (not Trinidade or Trinidad)

Spent the day looking at dead birds, mostly redpolls to be precise ('redpolls' being about as precise as one can be when peering at what we laughably shoe-horn into three distinct species at this point in taxonomic history.

I haven't been up to the museum for ages. If there is a single location on this planet incandescent with ornithological raw data then Tring is it. In addition to housing specimens incorporating 95% of the planet's avifauna, they have a library to get emotional over and a tea-room where your favourite beverage is available for just 15p,... I'll probably take my sleeping bag next time and claim squatters' rights. Let's face it, it's not everywhere you get to say "My hands stink of dark morph Trindade Petrel".

The ultimate fly in the cardueline ointment (Copyright Natural History Museum, London).


Flammea! said...

Was this visit to 'help' the Welsh OS panal make a decision on a certain county first?

Darryl said...

It was a trip to double-check a few things but mostly redpoll-oriented. Just for the record, none of the birds in the photo are flammea although the are probably all inseparable from flammea without reference to a large series of skins and a statistical approach requiring the use of the US Nuclear Security Administration's 1.7-petaflop Roadrunner computer (those guys at Los Alamos have always had the best toys).

Darryl said...

Sorry, that should read "... although they are probably..."