Birding reports from from our rep in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
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Postby giles » Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:02 pm

First of all I must apologise for the lack of posts over the last couple of months; access to the site is becoming increasingly more difficult as the new runway forges ahead. Vehicle access is almost impossible as the road is now closed and you take your life in your hands when you run down as you have to weave your way through the flurry of construction traffic that is busy flattening every sand dune within the immediate area.

Temperatures are now regularly reaching 45 degrees in the afternoon which has seen a sharp decrease in the amount of birds down the site. That being said I have managed to eventually capture on film the Great Reed Warbler which has been heard on the majority of visits but never seen (new images can be found in the gallery).

Other new sightings are three white tailed lapwings (unfortunately not in the procession of a camera at the time), a single European Roller and a pair of red collared doves. Also on one visit flying above the reeds in the distance were two jet black birds about crow size with a very distinctive long forked tail which after study the guide book on my return I believe they must have been black drongos.

I am just about to return to Bastion after having two weeks back in UK on R&R during which I spent a few days in mid Wales staying at a B&B which currently has 5 barn owl chicks in their purpose built barn owl box. So a few late nights watching the two parents constantly coming back and forth bringing in food for the chicks. The trip also included a good visit down to Nant yr Arian to see the red kites, approximately about 80 birds where on show at feeding time. On the way back we stumbled across a fairly new conservation project on the Dyfi Estuary that is encouraging Ospreys to breed in the area, they currently have a pair but they have not breed this year. We didn’t manage to sight the Ospreys but it is good to know they are in the area.

Not looking forward to returning to the intense heat, but it will be good to see how the site has changed in the last couple of weeks and hopefully there may be some new species to tick off. Check out the gallery for new pics…

roger dickey
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Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:58 pm
Location: Somerton, Somerset


Postby roger dickey » Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:40 pm

These are really good photos Tony and will be just the job for any post tour write up!

Hope some of the development dust has settled by the time that you get back.

Many thanks and best of luck.


Lesser Spot Finder
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Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:25 am
Location: Farnborough and anywhere between there and Norfolk

Postby Lesser Spot Finder » Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:13 pm


glad you are back on the message board - I was beginning to worry! Please send PM or email and I'll pass on details of a USMC Major in Leatherneck who's a birder and, I suspect, been trying to get hold of you.


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