214 Photos - Jun 8, 2013
Photo: The gear, not counting personal clothes, sleeping bags, computers, etc, that we'll be lugging across the length of RussiaPhoto: Liz's personal gearPhoto: Matt, Packed and ready to go.Photo: Come on, you don't really want to leave, do you?Photo: First bird of the trip, in JFK AirportPhoto: Last view of the US for 2.5 months...not too bad..Photo: Landing in Moscow...looks drearyPhoto: Liz at Passport Control, after landing in MoscowPhoto: the backwards in N can't fool me...the Swedish have invadedPhoto: Russia via the expresswayPhoto: tour in the crazy taxiPhoto: we made it!Photo: That's an exhausted Matt, immediately after arrival in MoscowPhoto: Something interesting about this license plate...how did they drive here?Photo: The friendly denizens of the Moscow undergroundPhoto: Liz and Alex Rubtsov don slippers in prep for their shotsPhoto: fancy subway station in Moscow, RussiaPhoto: waiting for the subway in MoscowPhoto: Liz shows off our fancy dinner spread: Ramen, instant potatoes, bread, cheese, and beerPhoto: Dinner!Photo: raptor wrangling at the Darwin MuseumPhoto: Raptor attack at the Darwin MuseumPhoto: Matt, Liz, and Chucky D, himselfPhoto: Goin' food shoppin' at the mall in Moscow...can you spot the biologists?Photo: How do you spell MacDonalds in Cyrillic?Photo: Matt passed out in the back on the way to the field station, (3, read 6, hours) north of MoscowPhoto: Matt, sauteeing mushrooms for pastaPhoto: Our first dinner at the research station near MoscowPhoto: Alex washing dishes in the Moscow University field station kitchenPhoto: Check this place out! Moscow field stationPhoto: Moscow field station...pasted on the inside of one of the cabinetsPhoto: Moscow field station...the wallpaper is watching youPhoto: Moscow field station...first sunrise of the field season!Photo: a carpenter bee?Photo: The "Warehouse" site...the first we checked out in the Moscow areaPhoto: The Warehouse site North of Moscow...about 20 birds here, but, how to catch them?Photo: Aerial Romance 0...Strike a PosePhoto: Aerial Romance 1...Going for ItPhoto: Aerial Romance 2...RejectionPhoto: Aerial Romance 3...Disengage!Photo: Aerial Romance 4...Square 1Photo: Aerial Romance 5...Starling, the InterloperPhoto: Liz, looking for barn swallows or somethingPhoto: Liz and Alex, making the roundsPhoto: A pale male barn swallowPhoto: House martin and fluffy cloudsPhoto: House martin and fluffy clouds 2Photo: Milo and Otis...The Starling and the Yellow HammerPhoto: A Yellow hammer singsPhoto: ChaffinchPhoto: Liz and Alex, searching for barn swallows...and getting bitten by mosquitosPhoto: Moths looove dandelionsPhoto: Proud Russian barn swallowPhoto: Yay! Someone wants to show us their barn swallows!Photo: A huuuge  bee! (What do I look like, an entomologist?!)Photo: A barn swallow shot where you can actually see some colors (they're very pale-breasted, compared to most other subspecies)Photo: bee and a mosquito?!  chowing downPhoto: Surprisingly, the first cow we've seenPhoto: Another house, another barn swallow pairPhoto: Typical Russian home in the Moscow study areaPhoto: What is this sea gull doing here?! We are a long way from any seaPhoto: Tulips at a potential sitePhoto: Bee aerobaticsPhoto: Excuse me...your bum is showing...Photo: The regal starling (Sturnus vulgaris)...jerks of the skyPhoto: Another helpful site owner, perplexed, but happy to show us her barn swallow nestPhoto: Any barn swallows in here?Photo: Close...it's a barn swallow nest that's been taken over by a house martin (who like to make the nest totally enclosed)Photo: a potential site...unfortunately it didn't contain any barn swallow nestsPhoto: A site owner at her dacha (weekend house in the country)Photo: Liz checking out a leadPhoto: Dandelions galore!Photo: a Swift, silhouettedPhoto: barn swallow silhouettePhoto: Liz washing hands at outdoor sinkPhoto: Allow me to show you our silicon-based outhousePhoto: The outhouse...not as high tech on the insidePhoto: Escaping the mosquitos momentarily!Photo: And the mosquitos are back!Photo: Hey, this field station's not so badPhoto: A more different frogPhoto: Mosquito and apple blossomPhoto: Matt shows off his weapons of choicePhoto: Liz takes notes inside an abandoned boxcar (where we caught the male with the longest streamers ever! [141mm, if you were curious!])Photo: Another small village, another bunch of people to bother about their birdsPhoto: Barn swallow, dacha, and another cloudy day in RussiaPhoto: barn swallow nest inside the box carPhoto: This dog followed us around for several hours and gave us a bad rep by association (Not a popular dog)Photo: A thrush with some nesting materialPhoto: Barn swallow switchboard (This guy's streamers are 141mm! That's the longest I've measured anywhere in the world so far)Photo: House martins nest buildingPhoto: House martinsPhoto: House martin tusslePhoto: Some crane watchers show Liz the map of breeding areasPhoto: View of the crane viewing station...note that it's constructed on top of storage containersPhoto: part of the study area from the Crane viewing stationPhoto: Nice dachaPhoto: This dacha has seen better days...Photo: Another friendly Russian site owner...cammo is apparently very common Russian apparelPhoto: budding tulips at a site (and is that? Yes, I think it's a mosquito)Photo: Sunrise apple blossomsPhoto: Apple blossom and field sparrowPhoto: A guy walking by told us, "There are no fish here."Photo: One of our less luxurious sites...Photo: Not sure what nests that guy was thinking of...we saw nonePhoto: Alex, following up a lead in an abandoned church. We didn't see a single nest...but it was coolPhoto: Murals in the abandoned churchPhoto: Portal at the abandoned churchPhoto: Former entryway to the abandoned churchPhoto: Abandoned church rotunda from outsidePhoto: Hey, here's me waiting for some birds inside a random Russian guy's shedPhoto: Net setup outside a guy's house (he was out grilling and we said, "Hey, we saw some barn swallows fly into your shed...mind if we cach em?" And he said, "Knock yourself out." He later brought us out some grilled meat.Photo: Snack break!Photo: So, we've been striving for a couple days, and caught two birds. Then we found horses (and their barn) and caught six birds in a couple hours! WOOO!Photo: Long pants are advisablePhoto: Front porch of the field stationPhoto: reed warbler (Acrocephalus domes)...a really amazing singer!Photo: A reed warblerPhoto: Alex admiring the barn (lots of barn swallows, no people around, and very few mosquitos--everything a biologist could ask for!)Photo: Matt stalks an Acrocephalus warblerPhoto: Matt tries to blend in with the weedsPhoto: These sheep didn't like me for some reasonPhoto: Liz tries to make a friendPhoto: Banding setup in a stall at the horse barnPhoto: I feel your pain, buddy!Photo: A bee, like us, hoping for some bloody sunshine!Photo: A damselfly, hangin in therePhoto: When your poles are slightly too short, what do you do?!Photo: In hiding from mosquitoesPhoto: In hiding from mosquitoesPhoto: Poetic justice? Liz gives blood as she takes itPhoto: A May beetlePhoto: Not a happy camper...SOOOOO many mosquitosPhoto: May beetle hanging outPhoto: May beetle preps for escapePhoto: May beetle unfurls wingsPhoto: May beetle takes flightPhoto: Our worst and best site! (Thunder Dome)...8 birds, 3,000 mosquitos!Photo: The approach to Thunder DomePhoto: Nothin' like mosquito bites all over your face to brighten your dayPhoto: My new pal, the May beetle relieves himself on my fingerPhoto: That's right, I pooped on your finger, whatcha gonna do about it?Photo: Yep, that's my pant leg after a few secondsPhoto: Mosquitos fight for space on my thumbPhoto: What other outhouse has this on the front?!Photo: Two recordists, ready for actionPhoto: Checking for parasites, and bundled up so the mosquitos can't get mePhoto: Lunch!Photo: Lunch break at Thunder DomePhoto: A Russian Chain (Dixie--as an Alabamian, I felt I had to take a picture)Photo: At the butcherPhoto: Now that's some lunch meat!Photo: A vodka aperitifPhoto: Not the best day for recording...looked like it was going to rain on my equipment at any momentPhoto: Photo: Photo: Photo: Posing with our 30th bird! (Our target sample size for each study area)Photo: Photo: Liz poses with our 31st bird (one more than our target sample size for the Moscow research area)Photo: Liz shows extreme concentration while measuring bill length (they're tiny!)Photo: Pretty wildflowers and a gray skyPhoto: Salo ("Sala"): smoked, peppered pork fat, taken as a vodka chaser or in lieu of cheesePhoto: Typical Russian vodka chasers: Sala (smoked and peppered pork fat), ham, pickles, and hot mustardVideo: Yum! Anton sings about delicious food in RussianVideo: Alex sings in the rainPhoto: Alex Rubtsov, our very generous collaborator and friendPhoto: Last night at the field stationPhoto: Matt, watching the rain come downPhoto: Alex shows us his guitar skillsPhoto: That's a lotta rainPhoto: Matt enjoys some Russian Shashlik (kebab)Photo: Anton and Alex singing us some traditional Russian songsPhoto: Liz gets serenadedPhoto: This dog seemed like it was going to attack MattPhoto: Matt records some singingPhoto: Sheep on the grounds at the barnPhoto: Study of a mosquito bite 1Photo: Study of a moquito bite 2Photo: Goodbye to the Moscow field station! (Notice Alex smashing one last mosquito)Photo: Apparently in Russian culture, it's a good omen to leave town when it's raining. We'll take it!Photo: The road back to Moscow! It's a wet onePhoto: How to ride in style in MoscowPhoto: Matt in front of the Moscow University main buildingPhoto: Liz poses in front of the City Center in MoscowPhoto: Downtown MoscowPhoto: The new arena in MoscowPhoto: Matt posing in front of a huge TheaterPhoto: Amazing architecture of a hotel; near Red Square in MoscowPhoto: Area outside Red Square--everything is huge!Photo: Entrance to Red Square, MoscowPhoto: Red Square (with some guys setting up for some kind of event)Photo: View of St. Basil's Cathedral in MoscowPhoto: St. Basil's Cathedral, MoscowPhoto: Photo: Outside red square...each truck has a guard standing by, ready to hop in the cab at all timesPhoto: Just inside the red squarePhoto: Walking in Red Square, Moscow: Lenin's tomb is on the leftPhoto: A museum and the back of somebody's head at Red Square in MoscowPhoto: What is going on with this huge pipe, which apparently shoots something out onto the sidewalk?Photo: Yelena explains about Russian traditional foods she has preparedPhoto: Alex's wife Yelena prepared an amazing spread for our going away dinner!Photo: Borscht and Vodka: delightful!Photo: Alex's pet rat: apparently it was supposed to be a museum specimen, but nobody had the heart to kill it, so now it has a nice homePhoto: Alex's wall clock: in 2 hours, it'll be time for some ShirazPhoto: Alex's wife Yelena and their son IgorPhoto: Our pile of gear on the Moscow subwayPhoto: Our train has arrived!Photo: Liz and Alex, loaded down, ready to board the train to KamislovPhoto: Matt is definitely relieved to to load all this gear onto the train after transporting it across MoscowPhoto: Well, we made it on the train for our first trip on the Transiberian Railroad (33hrs from Moscow to Kamislov)Photo: Liz tries to decode the schedule to figure out when to get off the train at Kamislov (there's no bell, electronic display, or announcement!)Photo: Photo: View from the train