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April 06, 2005

Various Birds of Iraq

Over at the photoblog, new LTC Bob pictures of what I presume is a mated pair of White Breasted Kingfishers.

And another military birder in Iraq has popped up; USMC Capt. Kate, who sent us a list of what she has spotted in her tours--she's on her third, now--of Iraq.

Hopefully next time I'll get to go someplace with a little more greenery and see some of the water species. I have the Field Guide to the Bird of the Middle East... published in 1996... it sounds like it's pretty much the only thing that's out there. Here's the list I have so far:

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater
Common Babbler
Little Bittern
White-cheeked Bulbul
Common Buzzard
Hooded (Mesopotamian??) Crow
Collared Dove
Rock Dove
Little Egret
Hoopoe
Grey Hypocolius (???)
Common Kestrel
Crested Lark
Black-billed Magpie
Common Moorhen
Egyptian Nightjar (one of my personal favorites)
Little Owl
See-see Partridge
Rock Pigeon
Red-wattled Plover (or Lapwing)
Common Raven
Great Grey Shrike
Masked Shrike
Red-backed Shrike
Woodchat Shrike
House Sparrow
Spanish Sparrow
Common Stonechat
Barn Swallow
Red-rumped Swallow
Common Swift
White Wagtail
Plain Leaf Warbler
Red-tailed Wheatear
Woodpigeon

Most of them I have seen more than once or twice, but a couple, like the Nightjar, Egret, Owl and Bittern have been single sightings. I'm rather surprised by the wide variety of species here on this relatively isolated base, but I know that Iraq is known for it's birdlife, ironically. Well, thanks again for providing a little entertainment in my dull brown world. It's nice to know that there are more out there that are interested in Iraq's birdlife.

Capt Kate

That's three military birders in Iraq that I know of, not counting J of Birding Babylon, who is after all back from his tour. He knows of six, so far.

Posted by Bigwig at April 6, 2005 03:22 PM | TrackBack
Postscript:
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Comments

Bigwig,
You're doing a fantastic job on the photopages and I appreciate your in-depth coverage of the species. Lets hope the ranks of Iraqi birders grow.

Jonathan

Posted by: Jonathan at April 7, 2005 01:14 AM

I'm more of a herp guy, but I enjoy checking out the birds around Liberty. The Pied Kingfisher is my favorite. I have falcons (likely Kestrel, possibly Saker) near BIAP. Photoed a road-killed Black Francolin yesterday.

I would like to walk with any of you before I head out to a new FOB in the next two weeks. Feel free to send an email. Thanks.

Posted by: Bill Barthen at April 17, 2005 03:42 AM
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