Mid tour

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

Mid tour

Postby Lesser Spot Finder » Fri Jul 06, 2012 2:10 pm

The last week has increasingly become warmer with afternoon temperatures topping +40oC something that has not been lost on me as I see patrols going out on the computer system from the Ops Room knowing that the guys, in some cases, are carrying in excess of 80kg of extra kit (body armour itself weighs 15kg without ammo attached). As such much respect to Bearskinnedbirder who not only got himself interviewed on television but also found a single Black Stork in the Green Zone.

Surprisingly there is still a wader passage here with both Green and Wood Sandpipers appearing in suitable habitat throughout Bastion and Leatherneck; the former which now has a new filter bed planted with young reed stems. Sadly the Poo Pond in Leatherneck is drying up and I would suggest that in a week will have gone. That said, a single Black-winged Stilt was still feeding on the remaining water on 24 Jun.

The Runway’s End Marsh is quickly growing back with stream side vegetation and I am sure will be a cracking place by the end of August. It is now used by Crowned Sandgrouse as a drinking area during the day and yesterday there was upwards of half a dozen flighty birds in the area. I had seen this species at distance in the past but now find myself looking at them a close quarters; a lovely bird which is well worth more than a cursory look. There are at least two pairs of Pied Stonechat holding territory there.

Swallows are now here in good numbers with odd birds flying south on a daily basis but upwards of 15 birds around the Poo Pond and adjacent tip feeding on insects which abound there. Crested Lark, Laughing Dove, Tree Sparrow and the odd Common Myna remain around. I have encouraged some of the local employees to leave the stand pipe open for a couple of extra minutes when they fill up their buckets and now have an area where Larks, Sparrows and Doves are using to bathe and drink.

All in all a quiet week but species are still appearing and I am managing to keep ornithologically interested. A month until my next R&R and I really hope that the rain in the UK continues until I get home.

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