|Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva ©Nigel Blake http://www.nigelblake.co.uk/|
This mountain, which rises to 3,629 meters, is sacred to many Azeris, who make pilgrimages to it. I include it here as an excellent place to see alpine birds and enjoy the craggy scenery. Late May through July is the season. The birds, most of which are infrequently seen at lower elevations, include the Caucasian Snowcock, Caucasian Grouse, Great Rosefinch, Guldenstadt`s Redstart, Red-fronted Serin, Snowfinch, and many others. It is 1½ days from Baku. The usual route is from the Guba side of the mountains, starting the trek from the village of Garkhun or higher, depending on what your four-wheel-drive can negotiate.
Cape Gilazi DiliSatellite View
I like this place for its sense of remoteness as well as its birds. It offers wet fields, rocky and sandy shore, and a marsh-fringed lagoon that is often full of birds. In the wet fields north of the road that leads to Yeni Yashma, ducks and geese congregate in the cooler months, along with lapwings and other shorebirds. There is usually a Marsh Harrier or two cruising about, and once I saw a magnificent Imperial Eagle. Shorebirds like Grey Plovers and Dunlins can be seen along the sea fringe. At the end of this track you'll find a shack on stilts and the lagoon mentioned above. Dalmatian Pelican, Short-eared Owl, Common Cranes, and White Stork, along with five kinds of herons can be seen in early October at Cape Gilazi.
Lake Chadzygabul - HajigabulSatellite View
One of the virtues of this lake, just south of Gazimammad, is that much of it has no fringing reeds you have an unobstructed view of the thousands of ducks that winter here. They usually congregate off the north shore or out in the middle. With a telescope you can get a wonderful view of ten or more kinds of ducks - Shoveler, Mallard, Teal, White-headed Ducks, Common and Red-crested Pochard, Tufted Duck, and others. Late summer through spring, you should also see herons and a variety of waders. On one January visit, I saw seven flamingos and a flock of 300 avocets. The ponds along the highway on the west side of the lake can be very good for shorebirds too. To reach the lake, about 1½ hours from Baku, take the southerly bypass around Gazimammad.
Lankaran to LerikSatellite View
This road, running from the coastal lowland to a view of Talish Mountain peaks, follows a stream valley with the lushest, most beautiful forest I've seen in Azerbaijan. I include this area here because of the scenery and the potential for birds – I have not yet studied it carefully. The forest should have the usual complement of permanent residents such as tits, woodpeckers, and treecreepers, and summer birds such as Semi-collared and Red-breasted Flycatchers. Along the stream hunt for Dippers. Past Lerik look for Lammergeier (Bearded Vulture), Radde's Accentor, Alpine Swift, Snowfinch, Alpine Chough, and other birds of the high mountains. Check the routes beyond Lerik and see if permission and/or a military guide is needed to enter this area near the Iranian border. The border guards may be suspicious of someone using binoculars.
Red (Bloody) LakeThis freshwater lake is the best birdwatching area near Baku. Red Lake is full of birds, especially in winter. Up the valley from it, extensive marshes hide lots of other birds. What you can see, of course, changes with the seasons. Early summer is the low season, with a few ducks and herons hanging around and warblers and other small birds creeping about in the reeds. If you can get there just after sunrise, you may see Purple Swamphens catching the sun`s warmth at the edge of the marsh below Wolfgate. In late summer, migrating waders begin arriving, to feed on invertebrates in the mudflats. During the main Autumn migration you can see a great variety of water birds: ducks, waders, herons, gulls, terns, & maybe a flamingo or two. As winter comes on, many of these disappear, but the duck and coot populations build up to hundreds. Often these Shovelers, Mallards, the rare White-headed Duck, and others are easily watched from the highway on the south side. Other days you need to don rubber boots and trek the muddy west shore. Almost always, you`ll see Marsh Harriers coursing over the reeds, looking for prey.
Birdwatching in Azerbaijan– a guide to nature and landscpe by Sebastian Schmidt, Kai Gauger and Nigar Agayeva – Michael Succowe Foundation – 2008 ISBN 9783000241581
Buy this book from NHBS.com
Where to Watch Birds in Azerbaijanby Napier Shelton [with the assistance of Dr. Elchin Sultanov] Baku, 2001, 112p ?15 [write to Napier Shelton at P.O. Box 305, Port Sanilac, Michigan 48469, USA or contact him via e-mail: email@example.com. In Baku, contact Elchin Sultanov, Director, Ornithology Laboratory at Baku`s Institute of Zoology at: firstname.lastname@example.org]
Azerbaýjan Ornithological SocietyWebsite
Azerbaijan Republic, AZ-1001, Baku, Mukhtarov str.13.,ap.16. Tel. 994-12-991588. Mobile 994-50-3161651 email@example.com
Ecological club of Azerbaijan
Ecological club of Azerbaijan (Eco Club of Azerbaijan) offers all kinds of active recreation in Azerbaijan and other countries. Our club was established by a group of young sportsmen-tourists and joins people who love nature, popularise and develop tourism close to nature...
2009 [June] - Pavel SimeonovReport
This was an exploratory trip organised by Branta-Tours Birdwatching Company and with the main goal of accessing the feasibility of running guide ornithological trips to the country. Our aim was to visit several of the reserves and national parks as well as looking for any other good looking areas of habitat and getting a feel for the species on offer as well as their ease of accessibility...
2010 [June] - Kai Gauger & Michael HeißReport
...Starting in Baku on May 20th we went north along the coast with a stop on Cape Gilazi, where there were six Greater Sandplovers at the beach. In the semi desert we had many Collared Pratincoles, Lesser Short-toed Larks and Isabeline Wheatears. Some scanning for migrating raptors on Besh Barmag the next day already produced a mega, the first Crested Honey Buzzard for Azerbaijan was circling among some Europeans. The wadi shrubs in the Candy Cane Mountains were full of resting migrant songbirds, mainly Marsh Warblers. Among breeding birds we had Woodchat and Lesser Grey Shrike, Pallid and Menetries's Warbler, Rufous Bush Robin and a nice male Montagues Harrier. In the hills several Calandra Larks and Tawny Pipits were singing....
2010 [June]- Benoît Paepegaey - Nakhchivan and Greater CaucasusReport
At the south-eastern corner of Western Palaearctic, on the shore of the Caspian Sea and the slopes of the Caucasus lies a country still widely unknown to west European birdwatchers. Known to most of us for its oil fields, Azerbaijan has not so far managed to make it to the favourite destinations list of even the most adventurous west Palaearctic birders, as opposed to Eastern Turkey, Georgia and Armenia...
2011 [June] - Eric BurnierReport
A group of 11 Swiss naturalists guided by Pavel Simeonov (Branta-Tours) had the chance to pay a 10 days visit to the eastern part of Azerbaijan, from the Russian border to the Iranian border, from May 27th till June 6th 2011...
2012 [June] - Kai Gauger - NakhchivanReport
...The Zuvand region was a bit disappointing for us after Mario had two Radde's Accentors and four Crimson-winged Finches a few days before. We didn't see those and also no sign of Irania. So the only special bird was Bimaculated Lark...
2012 [May] - Michael HeißReport
...Calandra Larks and Isabelline Weathears are singing in the steppes, whereas Nightingales, Cuckoos and Turtle Doves are singing in the bushes....
Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area...
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This site was last updated on Wednesday, 11th December 2013.
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