An Afghan First?

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

An Afghan First?

Postby Lesser Spot Finder » Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:37 pm

I snuck down to Runway's End Marsh today; I needed to see something after a disasterous CLP to PB Clifton when I saw the square root of nothing! I arrived armed with binoculars and almost immediately saw a bird which didn't look quite right. I walked over in the general direction and the bird flew to an adjacent area of rubble, landed and cocked its tail. The bird was pied and clearly not a Wheatear or a Pied Bushchat. I viewed the bird and picked up the large white (almost down to the primaries) wing bar and pied appearance and was confident that I was looking at a male Oriental Magpie-robin which, I believe, given information receved from Mike Blair, is an Afghan first, albeit, an expected one.

The bird disappeared over the rise towards the USMC Osprey flightline and was not relocated; it was very flighty so I continued to walk around and possibly had the best days birding since I arrived.......more to follow at the end of the week report.

At lunchtime I went back with my camera but the bird was not present. I have already put a report into OSME and await their feedback. Life does not get much better. Oh and did I say I amon R&R next week? 8)

From Mike Blair:

Oriental Magpie-Robin (formerly Indian Magpie-Robin) Copsychus saularis Recent expansion in Pakistan to Khyber Pass 2002 Anssi Kullberg in litt. Expected Afghanistan soon. Popular cagebird.

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