Throughout the first Gulf War opportunities for birding presented themselves quite a bit, in particular around our camouflage nets, they just seemed to attract the birds.
I guess because they looked like trees or bushes, but I suspect it was more likely because they offered shade for the other wildlife, certainly the flies were drawn to the nets, this in turn provided the birds with a good supply of easy food. Once on my return to my location I saw a Hoopoe sitting on top of my net and on another day a Hume's Scops Owl landed a short distance from my net. One of my men opened the cab door to his truck and out flew an owl.
On another occasion I hi-jacked a JCB from Phil one of my men and drove off at speed to watch a Red-breasted Flycatcher which I had spotted earlier perched on a pile of ammunition boxes. Phil was not happy with me as in the process of going for the flycatcher I managed to burn a hole in his Bergen (backpack) on the exhaust pipe.
I seem to remember my ears were burning that day and I suspect not from the sun either, sorry Phil.