Week 25 - That's me, I've gone

Richards reports, mostly from Camp Bastion. Now a closed site (until he gets back!)

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

Week 25 - That's me, I've gone

Postby Lesser Spot Finder » Sun Sep 30, 2007 6:40 am

As you read this I will be out of theatre and will not return for the time being. The last week has been excellent with a further two lifers and a couple of new additions to the Bastion avi-fauna. As I type my replacement is in my seat and looking at this blog with a bemused look on his face.

Monday, as always, was quiet with a single Masked Wagtail at the EFI compound, a scattering of Pied Bushchats around camp, several Crested Larks and a single House Sparrow. The lone Shikra was around the hospital at last light.

Tuesday finished well with a single Arctic Warbler, a lifer, at the cement works. I cannot find this species on the Afghan list although the list I have is incomplete. It passes through Kasakhstan on migration, is seen on passage in Pakistan so there is no reason why it doesn't turn up in Afghanistan. In many respects this was the best bird of the tour and one I was over the moon to find. The run around camp in the afternoon produced a Bay-backed Shrike at the ammunition compound and one male Pied Bushchat.

Another lifer on Wednesday as 25+ Crowned Sandgrouse flew low over the cement works at last light. I was pleased to see this species and, indeed, was surprised I hadn't done so before. The camp appeared to have a few more species and as I ran around both Bastion 1 and 2 I found one female Stonechat, five Pied Bushchat, three Isabelline Shrikes, all male, one immature Pallid Harrier and the usual male Shrikra. The Pallid Harrier was also seen by the RSM who is re-kindling his love of all things ornithological and indeed has just applied to join the AOS.

No new birds on Thursday although again a few species were present. The Jingly Village (the LEC Compound) had two Common Mynas, three House Sparrows, three Pied Bushchats, several Crested Larks and five Masked Wagtails appeared at the cement works. The Shikra appeared again at last light hawking for passage birds.

A small fall on Friday saw two Red-breasted Flycatchers, two Bluethroats, one immature and an adult, a single Blyth's Reed Warbler, all at the cement works, and unusually an adult Little Bittern over the QMs in the morning. A Hobby flew over at last light and the immature Bluethroat was still present along with a Moustached Warbler on Saturday.

I have enjoyed my time here. The birds have been excellent and I have seen more lifers than I imagined I would. For the middle of the desert this has been an outstanding birding location and birding in such an austere environment has kept me sane. It's amazing how the troubles of the day can be cured whilst sitting down and watching a Syke's Warbler! I will produce a more comprehensive list next week on this message board once I am sat in the front of my own PC. I'll sign off now and will see some of you on Texel soon. Many thanks for all your favourable comments about this blog during the last six months and I hope to see blogs in the future as CAOS members depart to various locations around the world.


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