From 28.10. to 09.11. I did a trip with some friends from Germany. See what we could find during these two successfull weeks!
We arrived in Baku early morning, got our cars at the airport and started immediately to the field. At sunrise we arrived at Besh Barmag, Michas place for the migration counts. He was not there at this time, hanging around in Tiflis and waiting for a new visa... So we took over his work for some time. Although the weather was not the best it was great with thousands of migrating passerines, many harriers, including several Pallid Harriers, Hobbys, hundreds of Great Egrets, huge flocks of Common Cranes, some flocks of geese amoung which we could identify some Lesser White-frontted Geese. The first afternoon we where on the mountain and there was strong migration of raptors. Within only one hour we counted 17 Imperial Eagles, 80 Steppe Eagles, about 250 unidentified large eagles, a late Booted Eagle, a Lanner Falcon and lots of other stuff. There was also a resident Rough-legged Buzzard, a rare visitor here and the first I saw in Aze.
|Imperial Eagle, probably 3cy|
|Asian Buff-bellied Pipit|
|Heuglin's Gull amoung Caspians|
|a juv Imperial Eagle|
|Flamingos in Shirvan|
There birding was great as always! Still there were several Whiskered Terns and a single White-winged Tern, 150 Slender-billed Gulls, a single Pallas's Gull, about 700 waders, including at least 12 Broad-billed Sandpipers, some Temmincks and Marsh Sandpipers and a single Jack Snipe. Very interesting were the passerines: There was a single Citrine Wagtail, and although it was Nov 3rd but we had two Lesser Whitethroats (but didn't get close enough views for any subspecies ID) and an adult male Red-backed Shrike. But the highlight was a Raddes Accentor. As far as I know the only record in Azerbaijan away from the small breeding area in the Talsh Mountains!
|ducks at Machmudchala|
|record shot of Raddes Accentor|
|European Swamp Turtle|
After spending the night in the beautiful Täbässüm Resort in the Hirkan forest the next day was dominated by driving. We went all the way to Migechevir with some short birding stops on the way. We saw e.g. a dozen White Storks, 25 Ferruginous Ducks, several White-tailed Plovers and a Pallid Harrier.
Around Mingechevir, the reservoir and the quarry ponds we had a lot of Armenian Gulls, Pygmy Cormorants, some late Cattle Egrets, a Bittern and much more. Very nice was a flock of more then 40 White-tailed Plovers.
|White-tailed Plover and Snipe|
|Flamingos and Ruddy Shelducks|
|migrating Black-bellied Sandgrouses|
|migrating Bewick Swans|
|lots of Little Bustards, thanks to a Peregrine for the latter one|
|our cars and the rest of the guys|
|a late Dice Snake|
What a great time to go birding in Aze! Thanks to all of you for this perfect trip!