Birdwatching news and bird photography from Transcaucasia - by Kai Gauger and Michael Heiß

Donnerstag, 20. Juni 2013

Spring Trip from 21 May to 13 June 2013 (Part 2 - Greater Caucasus)

Text & Photos © M. Heiß
The second half of our round trip through Azerbaijan led us along the Greater Caucasus range. We visted the alpine zone of the Shahdag National Park around the villages Laza and Xinaliq, which produced some good views of the Caucasian specialities.
Welcome to Laza - steep gravel roads need good driving skills
Red-fronted Serins are common around the village of Laza
Male Ring Ouzel in the high mountain area
Common Rosefinches can be heard everywhere
The old village Xinaliq
Xinaliq from another perpective
Horned Lark are common around Xinaliq
Snowfinches are also quite common around Xinaliq
 
Displaying Caucasian Twites
Typical habitat of the endemic Caucasian Snowcock...
...which is easier to hear than to see
Caucasian Snowcock in flight


Shepherd dog takes care of a sheep
Lammergeier
Griffon Vulture
 We then drove further west along the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus.

Black-headed Buntings are widespread in the dry foothills
Eastern Olivacous Warbler
Ruins of Yeddi Kilisa, the 'seven churches' complex near the village Lekit



Sonntag, 16. Juni 2013

Spring Trip from 21 May to 13 June 2013 (Part 1 - Shirvan NP, Talysh and Zuvand)



Text & Photos © M. Heiß

Despite this year’s spring trip did not focus on birds, as the interest of the tourist group was in plants and landscape, we had a plenty of good views on the local bird species.
The trip started in the capital Baku and we quickly headed south to the Shirvan National Park. Here, the typical steppe species such as Isabelline Wheatear, Roller, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater and Black Francolin were well visible along the roads. At the lake house White-winged and Whiskered Terns, several heron and duck species and Lesser Kestrels were numerous.

A Black Francolin hidden in the bushland near the entrance of the Shrivan NP
Display flight of an European Roller
Two Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters
Goitered Gazelle in the steppe
Purple Heron in flight

Whiskered Terns at the Flamingo Lake in Shirvan NP

We spent the next days in the Talysh Mountains, mainly in the forest zone. The bird species we could observe here is similar to the Central European forest avifauna with species such as Robin, Nuthatch, Great, Blue and Coal Tit and some woodpecker species.

Field camp in the forest zone
Female Chaffinch

Song Thrush
Coal Tit
The endemic Poelzami-Woodpecker
A Raccoon enjoys some mulberries

Unfortunately, we had bad weather conditions in the Zuvand upland and therefore we could not intensively explore this highly interesting region.

The famous rocks of Mistan in the Zuvand, but upcoming thunderstorms did not allow much birdwatching activity
Almond plantation
Garden Warbler

Riparian forest with some sunshine
 

Great views of a beautiful samamisicus-Redstart

'Nice to meet you!' welcomes a singing Common Rosefinch...
...which later impresses a female
Rock Bunting
The long awaited endemic Caspian Tit found during a tea time. It can be so easy!