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.
Jakub Machan, 24.8.2017