Leatherneck Recce

Birding reports from from our rep in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
Lesser Spot Finder
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Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:25 am
Location: Farnborough and anywhere between there and Norfolk
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Leatherneck Recce

Postby Lesser Spot Finder » Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:22 am

Sunday is always a quiet day in Bastion with most units starting work at midday. Subsequently I have an easy time with no telephone calls or emails. It had rained considerably last night, much more so than on Friday, so today most of the camp is under water.

I took the opportunity to drive to Leatherneck to check out a potential site between the camp and Camp Shorabak. I found what could have been site but it is now within the wire. If I had got out of my vehicle with binoculars I would have possibly risked the wrath and bad shooting of the Afghan National Army Guards so decided to try elsewhere.

I headed to the south of Leatherneck and found their tip and waste water site. Unlike similar sights at MOB Price or Kandahar there were no waders or raptors but the area looked like it might produce birds during migration and I now intend to visit weekly and may adjust my running route to take the site in. There is no vegetation around but the area contains a grey water lagoon similar to the RSOI lagoons at KAF. Leatherneck seemed to have had the worst of the flooding and subsequently I found plenty of both Masked and the nominate White Wagtails around filled drainage ditches. I also caught the back end of what may have been a Pied Bushchat but could not confirm.

It is now sunny and I’ll probably head that way this afternoon during PT. Watch this space for birds seen whilst out running.
Last edited by Lesser Spot Finder on Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:36 am, edited 4 times in total.

Lesser Spot Finder
Posts: 230
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:25 am
Location: Farnborough and anywhere between there and Norfolk
Contact:

Re: Leatherneck Recce

Postby Lesser Spot Finder » Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:00 pm

Lesser Spot Finder wrote:Sunday is always a quiet day in Bastion with most units starting work at midday. Subsequently I have an easy time with no telephone calls or emails. It had rained considerably last night, much more so than on Friday, so today most of the camp is under water.

I took the opportunity to drive to Leatherneck to check out a potential site between the camp and Camp Shorabak. I found what could have been site but it is now within the wire. If I had got out of my vehicle with binoculars I would have possibly risked the wrath and bad shooting of the Afghan National Army Guards so decided to try elsewhere.

I headed to the south of Leatherneck and found their tip and waste water site. Unlike similar sights at MOB Price or Kandahar there were no waders or raptors but the area looked like it might produce birds during migration and I now intend to visit weekly and may adjust my running route to take the site in. There is no vegetation around but the area contains a grey water lagoon similar to the RSOI lagoons at KAF. Leatherneck seemed to have had the worst of the flooding and subsequently I found plenty of both Masked and the nominate White Wagtails around filled drainage ditches. I also caught the back end of what may have been a Pied Bushchat but could not confirm.

It is now sunny and I’ll probably head that way this afternoon during PT. Watch this space for birds seen whilst out running.
What the difference a 70 minute run around Leatherneck makes. The run started well with the unmistakable shape and flight of a Hoopoe followed almost immediately by 100+ Crowned Sandgrouse over the southern berm. Several Crested Larks later at the western perimiter of the camp I spotted the flap, flap, flap, glide of a lone Shikra which headed over the centre of the camp. Little else appeared for 20 minutes or so until I was overflown by 20+ Gulls, mostly likely Caspian at the junction of the Camp Shorabak entrance road. Surprisingly I had 3 Laughing Doves at various points during the run; possibly the largest amount I have had here in 1 day. At this rate all my birding will be on US real estate.

Lesser Spot Finder
Posts: 230
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:25 am
Location: Farnborough and anywhere between there and Norfolk
Contact:

Postby Lesser Spot Finder » Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:48 am

Having taken advice from regional experts it would appear that the Gulls I saw over Leatherneck were Heuglin's Gull - a lifer for me, a full species to some and a sub-species to others. 8)


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