95% Boredom

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

95% Boredom

Postby Lesser Spot Finder » Fri Jul 06, 2012 2:09 pm

The Fun Police have been at work and I now don’t have the ability to write reports from my work computer. Until I get new access, which I am led to believe costs the MOD £500 per account to get, I will again have to use Roger as my conduit to the outside world. Who signs these sort of contracts? I can get internet access for £18 with AOL.

Combat is 95% boredom and 5% terror and birding has pretty much been the same over the last two weeks. The Battle group has been busy and much of my time has been in the Rear Ops Room reacting to incidents. That, combined with the reduction of our vehicle fleet, has left me grounded around Camp 508, the Grenadier hub in Bastion 2.

Swallows have made a welcome return, either over the ‘Poo Pond’ in Leatherneck or flying south over the camp. I very much doubt that these are returning bird but maybe failed breeders from the local villages. The Common Myna pair also appear to be failed breeders as both are to been seen around Camp together and without young. Conversely Tree Sparrows and Laughing Doves have done very well with fledglings throughout the complex.

I have managed two memorable quick trips within the wire and into the usual stomping grounds. The first on Saturday 9th June at the now revitalised Runway’s End Marsh produced several Crowned Sandgrouse drinking from the effluent filled stream but best of all three Pin-tailed Sandgrouse (incl 1 ♂). This was an expected Afghan addition and a wonderful species to see.

Today (17th June) I hijacked a Tata pick-up and quickly drove to the Leatherneck Poo Pond to find a mixed flock of 30+ Green and Wood Sandpiper and, as I drove around looking for other waders, a Lesser Sand Plover feeding on the edge. I took a record shot of the bird which I hope to post soon.

Again, this place can still surprise and I very much hope to get out a little more when I can. Watch this space.

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