An improvement

Birding reports from from our rep in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
Lesser Spot Finder
Posts: 230
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:25 am
Location: Farnborough and anywhere between there and Norfolk
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An improvement

Postby Lesser Spot Finder » Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:47 am

The week had started off on a sombre note with a vigil for the six Yorkshire soldiers killed in the incident with the Warrior AFV. The vigil coincided with a massive sandstorm which minimised patrols, grounded helicopters and put much of the Middle East and Central Asia under a cloud of sand.

I had expected not see a bird that day and indeed all the local feral pigeons, Laughing Doves, Tree Sparrows and Crested Larks were keeping a low profile. However halfway through the vigil three passerines flew past me at head height making little headway in strong winds – it was immediately evident that three Trumpeter Finches had just struggled to get past; two were males and in full breeding plumage.

On Wednesday I started a three day Quad Bike course with hopes of seeing birds in the more inaccessible parts of Bastion. In the end I only managed to see a passage of Swallows, a single Variable Wheatear and on the final day we flushed a single male Rufous-tailed Bush Robin on the vehicle test track. All in all though I had a superb three days which I would have gladly paid money for.

On Saturday there was an obvious vis-mig over camp with plenty of Swallow, alba Wagtails, a lone flava Wagtail and a number of unidentified finches over. As I walked from breakfast I was overflown by two Steppe Buzzards which were followed by an unidentified accipiter. In the afternoon I headed for my tent and flushed a bird which, once at distance, was obviously a Quail; I hadn’t seen this species in Afghanistan since HERRICK 6.

This morning, after being stopped for speeding by the USMC MPs, I visited Runway’s End Marsh in the hope of picking up some migrants. I wasn’t to be disappointed with the first two waders of the trip, a Wood Sandpiper and a Little-ringed Plover swiftly followed by a Daurian Shrike, 4 chattering Bluethroats (1 magna and 3 svecica) and a lifer, a Paddyfield Warbler which I picked up after a pishing session. With a smile on my face I headed back to Bastion 2 and picked up a number of Turkestan Shrikes on barbed wire. I’ll try and get out again now that things are picking up.

Wandering Tattler
Posts: 134
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:57 pm
Location: Beverley, East Yorkshire
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Paddyfield Warbler

Postby Wandering Tattler » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:18 pm

Really pleased you found a Paddyfield Warbler, makes up for the one that wintered at Pagham whilst you have been away. There has to be a God!

Just heard some unwanted AGC news, hope you and the team are OK!!

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

Re: Paddyfield Warbler

Postby Lesser Spot Finder » Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:20 am

Wandering Tattler wrote:Really pleased you found a Paddyfield Warbler, makes up for the one that wintered at Pagham whilst you have been away. There has to be a God!

Just heard some unwanted AGC news, hope you and the team are OK!!
His name has just been released. Not one of ours but a lesson that no-one is safe in theatre nowadays. A sad day.


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