Tuesday 7 May 2024

Azerbaijan Spring 2024- Shikra twitch

 On day four we headed south from Baku to Masalli to twitch the local breeding Shikra (that just make it into the Western Palearctic here). We had a pair at the soviet plantations in Masalli and then we visited Gizilgaj National Park where we had another male. 

In the later afternoon we visited the wetlands at Gizil Agach. 

I had a bonus lifer (a bogey bird) at the Shikra site when a Black-winged Pratincole flew over. My numbers are now 3209 World list, 730 WP list (89th ranking) and 948 for False WP (42 ranking). We also a bit of vis mig there including Black Storks, Rose-coloured Starlings and Lesser Kestrels. 

Ebird trip report HERE
Female Shikra (above and below)- awful photos (will post Vincent's ones when he is ready as better). The central throat stripe is visible, the five primary fingers (four in Levant Sparrowhawk and six in Eurasian Sparrowhawk) and the broken black tips to the primaries (solid in Levant) are all visible. Also  the light underpart barring and tail band (males don't have a tail band) indicate a female. 

Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin- not seen one of these since Turkey in 2009. We also had a few at Shirvan NP on the last day. 
Black-headed Bunting- photographed this bird and the Scrub Robin above while our driver was being nicked by the police for not having the correct paperwork. Nice not to be driving this year (we hired a driver) as last year it was us having to pay bribes to the police. 
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater- surprisingly quite common in this region 
Eastern Olivaceous Warbler 
Rose-coloured Starlings migrating 
First-summer male Lesser Kestrel 
White Wagtail (dukhenensis
Collared Pratincole 
Whiskered (above) and White-winged Black Tern (below). Good numbers of these in the bay. 

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