This morning I met our Battalion surgeon for a little early morning birding. I grabbed one of the humvees and we headed out to the laundry pond. There was more activity than the last time I was there. On the fenceline 3 red-wattled plovers ran on the ground in front of us. Down in the pond there were mallards, northern shovelers, coots and a few gallinules. A Marsh harrier flew up out of the reeds and cruised around the perimeter of the pond. This long winged raptor was a new bird for me. As we walked back to the truck we saw a great egret flying over. In the low Syrian Mesquite bushes we found a stonechat and a few white wagtails running around.
The next stop was the sewage pond on the other side of post. One black-winged stilt was feeding in the shallow water along with a green sandpiper. A pair of spur-winged plovers were hanging out on the bank.
We continue on to another of the storm water basins that are now covered with reeds. Several avocets flew around the pond and landed in the shallow water to feed. The only other time I saw these striking black and white birds was in the southern marshes on my first day in Iraq convoying up from Kuwait. We also saw a magpie flying around and a common redshank and
some more black-winged stilts near the waters edge.
Our final stop was the large flock of gulls near our dump. Like last time it was mostly black-headed gulls along with a single lesser black-backed and a couple Armenian gulls.
After dropping off our surgeon I spotted a nice male chaffinch on a fence while driving back to my building.