Easter Sunday I was up at 0530 to meet one of our doctors for a little early morning birding. We've had a lot of rocket and mortar attacks in the last few days. One day we had 8 or 9 hit inside the wire. As a result we need to go everywhere in body armor and helmet.
So Saturday was a day for birding in "full battle rattle", weapon included of course.
At the Laundry pond. We had a squacco heron clambering around in a patch of reeds in the middle of the pond. It was a lifer for me. Also at the pond was a big purple Gallinule (Purple Swamphen). A great egret flew over while I was checking out the Barn Swallows to see if there was anything different. There wasn't.
Later on after I dropped our Doc off I went to the pond by the Junk Yard. I found a new approach which I drove up to in my humvee. The pond is probably 2 or 3 acres of open water surrounded by a large amount of tall reeds.
There was lots of commotion in the reeds and 5 or 6 Dead Sea Sparrows darting in and out. They are in the same family as the house sparrow, but quite a bit noisier. They are pretty little birds with a chestnut wingpatch and a face markedwith black, white, and yellow.
While I was watching the sparrows a large brown warbler hopped up on on of the reeds. It was my second lifer of the day, a Great Reed Warbler. On the far shore two spur-winged plovers flew back and forth.
Most of the rooks have left and the numbers of black-headed gulls at the dump have dropped dramatically.
The temperature has been in the 90's for the past few days. I've notices that the crickets have started calling at night. Our preventive medicine guys have been trapping mosquitos and also getting good numbers of both green and brown lacewings. I've caught some large ground beetles and seen quite a few moths at our outside lights at night. I'll have to run some light traps myself soon and see what I can catch.