EBBA2 mapping in Azerbaijan and Georgia

Blue-cheeked bee-eaters (Merops persicus) in Shirvan National Park, Azerbaijan (photo by Jakub Machan)

Blue-cheeked bee-eaters (Merops persicus) in Shirvan National Park, Azerbaijan (photo by Jakub
Machan)


In May 2017 we spent our holidays in Azerbaijan and Georgia. The purpose of the trip was not just birdwatching but we did as much mapping for EBBA2 as possible along the way. We have encountered 149 species of birds to which we gave an atlas category and travelled across many different habitats from semi-deserts in the south to high mountains in the north.

 
In the south we have seen high densities of Isabelline Wheatears, different Lark species, Whitewinged terns, European and Blue-cheeked bee-eaters, ubiquitous flocks of Rosy starlings, fairly common Black francolins, hundreds of Cattle egrets and Black-winged stilts at nearly every place with water along the way.

 

In the Greater Caucasus we have seen Lammergeiers and heard Caucasian snowcocks every day, we’ve seen high densities of Water pipits, White-winged snowfinches, Mountain Chiffchaffs, Ring ouzels and many more.

 

Endemic Caucasus species along with a Steppe eagle flying over and a White-tailed lapwing on a probable breeding site were the highlights of our observations. Thanks to its new electronic visa program, Azerbaijan is much more accessible for EU citizens in these days. This country which covers 9 of 11 world’s climate zones is definitely a place we would recommend to visit not just to ornithologists.

Ring ouzel (Turdus torquatus) transporting food to its young near Stepantsminda, Georgia (photo by Jakub Machan)

Ring ouzel (Turdus torquatus) transporting food to its young near Stepantsminda, Georgia (photo by Jakub Machan)

Adult Lammergeier (Gypaetus barbatus) near Stepantsminda, Georgia (photo by Jakub Machan)

Adult Lammergeier (Gypaetus barbatus) near Stepantsminda, Georgia (photo by Jakub Machan)

Breeding site of Black-winged Stilts (Himantopus himantopus) near Tbilisi, Georgia (photo by Jakub Machan)

Breeding site of Black-winged Stilts (Himantopus himantopus) near Tbilisi, Georgia (photo by
Jakub Machan)

Male Black francolin in Shirvan National Park, Azerbaijan (photo by Jakub Machan)

Male Black francolin in Shirvan National Park, Azerbaijan (photo by Jakub Machan)

Female Long-eared Owl (Asio otus) sitting on the nest in Shirvan National Park, Azerbaijan (photo by Jakub Machan)

Female Long-eared Owl (Asio otus) sitting on the nest in Shirvan National Park, Azerbaijan (photo
by Jakub Machan)

Lesser Short-toed Lark (Alaudala rufescens) collecting food on a path in Shirvan National Park, Azerbaijan (photo by Jakub Machan)

Lesser Short-toed Lark (Alaudala rufescens) collecting food on a path in Shirvan National Park,
Azerbaijan (photo by Jakub Machan)

The members of the expedition in the so called Candy Cane Mountains in Azerbaijan

The members of the expedition in the so called Candy Cane Mountains in Azerbaijan

 

Jakub Machan, 24.8.2017