Monday, 20 March 2023

The Caucasus, Azerbaijan

In order to break up the monotony of waiting for Omid for nearly two weeks our group split on occasions (leaving behind a constant stake out at Shirvan i.e Darryl). On one day Vincent, Renee and I headed north to the Caucasus mountains which is a stark and stunning contrast to the flat steppe and arid environments in the south. 

Ebird list for the day here. Trip report here, Nice to see some mountain birds that I haven't seen in years (last time I was in the Caucasus was 20 years ago on a recee with Sunbird which help to open up birding in Georgia) here

Male and female Guldenstadt's Redstart- we had a group of 18 which are presumably wintering birds near Cek 
Lammergeier- haven't seen one of these in years. 
'Caucasian Dunnock'. More on these from last year here
'Caucasian Twite', brevirostris. A less warm coloured bird than nominate lacking the rich rusty-tinged throat and face
Red-fronted Serins 
Another photo of the stunning local White Wagtails ' dukhunensis'
Plenty of Ring Ouzels presumably of the local race 'amicorum' which is darker on underparts (no white edging to feathers) than nominate with a striking pale wing panel. The striking white wings and dark underparts seem to be shown well in the image below of a bird in flight at Shirvan which is also presumably 'amicorum'. 

Not sure yet. This was in a mountain pool. Last year we had Hircanian Wood Frogs in the Talesh mountains  here. 210323 update- these were Caucasian Frogs, Nana macrocnemis . (Thanks Pierre!) 

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