Birding weblog from Iraq

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Birding weblog from Iraq
From: "Whittaker, Mark" <>
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2005 14:36:19 +1100
there's an interesting blog by a birdwatching US soldier in Iraq. IT's
called Birding Babylon at
Here's a sample
"Today I had to drive some people over to get a helicopter ride so I took my
binos and bird book. On the way to the helicopters I saw a nice lesser
kestrel fly right infront of my humvee. I went around the back side of the
base and near the dump again. In an open field across the street from the
burn pit I counted approximately 575 black-headed gulls in various stages of
moult. About half had their summer plumage. I tried but every single one of
the gulls appeared to be black-headed.

While I was watching, a c-130 flying low overhead deployed flares and did an
evasive maneuver. I didn't see any smoke trail of an anti-aircraft missile
(looks like a tight corkscrew) so it may have been a false alarm on its
automatic system.

I was watching the fences and saw a male Chaffinch and a Common Babbler. The
latter bird was a lifer and it was very cooperative while I watched it from
a short distance.

Birding on base doesn't usually elicit any undo attention from the MPs. I
think everyone thinks I'm doing security work when I'm looking into the
distance with binoculars. I'm not sure what they think when I'm looking up
in a tree. " 

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