Monday, September 29, 2014

Book Review - Birds of Uzbekistan: Photoalbum

Birds of Uzbekistan: Photoalbum by Boris Nedosekov and Roman Kashkarov (Hertfordshire Press, London, 2012). 100 pages, 200 colour photos, ISBN 9780955754913. Hardback. (Cover: Common Myna and Chaffinch). (Cost in UK 25 Pounds)
This is a superb collection of full-colour photographs provided by the members of Uzbekistan Society for the Protection of Birds, with text in both English and in Russian. This book follows on from the recently published Central Asia field guide, itself a great advert for the region’s avifauna.

A coffee-table sized book, Birds of Uzbekistan: Photo-album presents almost 200 photos of over 100 species, with 95% of the photos having been taken in the wild and being unique to this publication. Each photo caption provides the exact date and place which makes it a great guide to travelling birdwatchers.

There are 468 species of birds in Uzbekistan, with 32 included in the International Red Data Book. After independence, Uzbekistan began to attract the attention of foreign tourist companies, and particularly those specialising in ornithological tourism and birdwatching. Birds of Uzbekistan is therefore a much-needed and timely portrait of this element of the country’s remarkable wildlife.

It has a two-page introduction and a double-page map showing the natural history sites of Uzbekistan. The authors present the photos by broad habitat types. Thus we have the birds of the plains (including deserts), waterbirds, birds of mountains and a short chapter entitled birds and people. Most species are illustrated with an image. Birds on the Critically Endangered such as the Sociable Lapwing, for instance, is given two whole pages, perhaps understandably, including some photos of the recently discovered large post-breeding flocks.

The taxonomic names (designation and sequence of orders, families, and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of Clément's 5th edition. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflects this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account. Accidental species are included in the total species counts for Uzbekistan.

Uzbekistan boasts a wide range of avian fauna because it lies on the crossing of migratory routes from Western Siberia and Kazakhstan to Iran-Caspian and Indo-Pakistani wintering grounds. More than 460 bird species are encountered in Uzbekistan because of this; and of these, more than 265 species are nesting. It is one of the most accessible places in the world to see birds such as Pander’s Ground-Jay, and other species such as the Pygmy Cormorant and Marbled Duck.

This book serves to highlight what a superb birding destination Uzbekistan is and how much there is still to explore. And for those who tire of birding, there are always the wonders of the ancient Silk Road to explore. Situated in the heart of Central Asia and measuring 448,844 km2 in surface area, Uzbekistan is the most densely populated of all Central Asian states.

Despite this, nature and wildlife in Uzbekistan remains rich and diverse. The extraordinary Ustyurt Plateau, the escarpments of which form the shores of the Aral Sea, is situated in the North of the country, while the vast Kyzylkum Desert neighbours the flood-lands of the tugai forests, which fringe the two largest Central Asian rivers, the Syrdarya and the Amudarya. The spurs of the Pamyrs-Alai and Tien-Shan mountain ranges, which are capped with snow all the year round, rise in the South and the East. There are also more than 500 lakes and reservoirs in Uzbekistan.

Recommended Blog: Birds of the Kyzylkum Desert (Uzbekistan) - Local and migrant species of birds of the Uzbek part of the Kyzylkum Desert.

Go to  Birds of Kyzylkum

Sunday, September 28, 2014

En la Edad Media, los científicos del Jwarizm y Bujara salvaron la cultura

La Gran parte del progreso científico islámico de la edad media se basó en el trabjo de dos hombres: al-Biruni y Avicena, que fueron ambos unos grandes eruditos y científicos del siglo X. Al-Biruni (973-1048) nació en el estado de Jwarizm  y creció hablando el dialecto jwarizmi, la lengua persa y el árabe. Fue educado por un astrónomo y matemático. Al-Biruni aprendió el sánscrito y estudió minerales desde China e India hasta Bizancio. Su obra estableció un vínculo decisivo entre el saber hindú y el árabe.

Avicena Stamp USSR 1980

Nacido en Bujará, en Asia Central. Avicena (arriba) conocido también como Ibn-Sina (980-1037), vivió la mayor parte de su vida en lo que actualmente es Irán. A los dieciseis años llegó a ser médico. Se dice que al final de su vida comentó que había aprendido ·todo lo que sabía” a los dieciocho años, cuando estaba estudiando psicología, química, astronomía, farmacología. Fue prolífico traductor de Aristóteles, pero, para lo que aquí nos ocupa, es conocido sobre todo por su obra De Congelatione et Conglutatione Lapidum (Sobre la Congelación y conglutinación de las piedras), un comentario sobre la obra de Aristóteles. Afirmó que los meteoritos vienen del espacio y caen en la Tierra. Aristóteles sostenía que se originaban en la Tierra y eran lanzados a los cielos por el viento.

al-Biruni Stamp USSR 1973

Tanto al-Biruni como Avicena fueron pioneros enn el sistema de clasificación de minerales. Al-Biruni en su Compilación de datos sobre el estudio de metales preciososrecoge una lista de alrededor de cien minerales conocidos. Determinó el peso específico de dieciocho minerales conocidos por el procedimiento de desplazar agua con estos minerales y pesar la cantidad de agua desplazada. Entretanto, Avicena clasificó las rocas en cuatro tipos: piedra, metales, sales y materia sulfúrica combustible. Esta clasificación se utilizó mucho en Occidente hasta la de´cada de 1750.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Stamp Issues : Fauna Ustyurt Nature Reserve

Uzbekistan shares the Plateau Ustyurt with neighbours Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

Stamp issue 25th Dec 2013, KAZAKHSTAN - Fauna, Ustyurt Nature Reserve; 60: Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus); 150: Bush Cricket (Soga pedo); 190: Short-toed Snake Eagle (Circaetus gallicus)

Stamp Issue: 27th Dec 2013, KAZAKHSTAN - Fauna, Saiga (Saiga tatarica)

Friday, September 26, 2014


The The Summer 2014 has sadly marked yet another milestone for the Aral Sea that has been shrinking markedly since the 1960s. For the first time in modern history, the eastern basin of the South Aral Sea has now completely dried. The ast time it dried out was 600 years ago in a  desiccation associated with diversion of Amu Darya to the Caspian Sea in Medieval times.

This image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectro-radiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite shows the sea without its eastern lobe on August 19, 2014.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the government of the former Soviet Union began large scale diversion of  the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya—the region's two major rivers—to irrigate farmland. The diversion began the lake's gradual retreat. By the start of the Terra series in 2000, the lake had already separated into the North (Small) Aral Sea in Kazakhstan and the South (Large) Aral Sea in Uzbekistan. The South Aral had further split into western and eastern lobes. The eastern lobe of the South Aral nearly dried in 2009 and then saw a huge rebound in 2010. Water levels continued to fluctuate annually in alternately dry and wet years.

The desiccation in 2014 has occurred as there has been less rain and snow in the Parmir and so less water released into the watershed as well as continued high irrigation withdrawals.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Узбекские авиалинии Uzbekiston Havo Yullari Uzbekistan Airways

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Uzbekistan Airways (Uzbekiston Havo Yullari) the state Airline of Uzbekistan is the leading carrier in Central Asia liking Tashkent with 60 international and domestic destinations.


Узбекские авиалинии  - Uzbekiston Havo Yullari - Uzbekistan Airways Video (13:06)