[April 28th 1916]
Birds: There is scarcely anything worthy of mention in the scanty bird life of Basra. I have observed that the only bird with a pleasing note was the White Eared Bulbul.
The European Hoopoe (Upupa epops) appeared shortly after our arrival. Later I saw it throughout the summer. The distribution of this bird is certainly remarkable. It appeared a bright stranger in this sandy wilderness.
The White Breasted Kingfisher (Halyson smyrnensis) was common. I notice that in addition to its usual shrill call, this species utters a soft vibrating musical note. Numbers of Tern (Sterna) were common on the river. Their rapid turns and revolutions in the air were in keeping with their graceful forms. I notice that this bird in common with