A few days ago I got to go down to the Tigris River to help take water samples. The birding was good and I managed to see a few new birds.
The dirt road down to the river passed by some clay banks. There were holes which I assume were made by all the Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters that were flying around. On the telephone wires I saw several Indian Rollers and a Smyrna Kingfisher. I also saw a Hoopoe flying near the road. They are incredibly cool birds.
The river is lined with reeds and is about 1/4 of a mile wide. The water was very muddy looking. On the river I saw about 25 white-winged terns flying low over the water. Also I saw a night heron slowly flying upriver.
A small, spry bird emerged out of the reeds next to me and hopped around on a log. It was plain colored with a rufous tail that it held upright like a wren. This new bird for me turned out to be a Rufous Bush-robin. The other new bird I saw was a European Roller flying low over me.
We returned to the base and took a boat out into the middle of a drainage pond. The pond had dissolved solids of over 1000 parts per million. Everything we put in the water had a white residue on it.
As I dipped the scoop in the water I came up with sea monkeys, err Brine Shrimp. The marines who were operating the zodiac thought I was pretty weird when I exclaimed "yesss, sea monkeys". The little red brine shrimp may be the only animals in the pond. There were also some mats of blue-green algae.