Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Some birds from Azerbaijan

This post shows some birds (and scenery) from a 2 week trip (11-24 Sept of this year). Above is a Black-winged Pratincole.

Sunrise over Baku on my first day.

Sunrise over the Caspian Sea, 100 km North of Baku.

A view of the coastline, from the mountains at Corbustan, approx 50 km S from Baku.

A typical coastal landscape, with the oil legacy clearly evident.

Coastal bushes c 100 km North of Baku where I spent most of the trip, looking for migrants.

My campsite in the Caucasus.

A rather wonderful sediment-laden river, Caucasus

Lammergeier and Wallcreeper territory in the Caucasus

Red-breasted Fly - an extremely common migrant

Red-backed Shrike; another common migrant

White Wagtail; note the extensively white greater coverts of the albas in this area.

Rock Sparrow

The Caucasus race of Water Pipit (coutellii) - a really sandy buffy taxon that took me by surprise

Another example.

Horned Lark - rather tatty at this time of year.


The same bird

And again.

Long-legged Buzzard

The same bird - the tail pattern gives it away as a juv

Pied Wheatear

A rather stunning Yellow Wagtail. As always, autumn birds provided headaches; I need to do some desk research when time permits, to see if this can be identified.


Blue Cheeked Bee-eater.

Lesser Kestrel


Rose-coloured Starling

Lesser Whitethroat

Black Redstart. More work needs doing on these; textbooks suggest ochoros should occur in Caucasus but this looks more like (but perhaps not a perfect) a semirufous to my eye.


The same individual as above

The stonechats were some of the more interesting and troublesome birds. I will add a post dedicated to these later, but this bird most resembled variagatus due to the extensive white in the bases of the outer feathers which was clearly visible in flight or when it tail-flicked.

Pallid Harrier

Pallid Harrier

Monday, 12 September 2011

Caspian Gulls in the Caspian - Day 1 in Azerbaijan

At last - my first ever 'Caspian Caspian'. Day 1 of the trip was spent sorting out a hire car etc, but I found some time to look at some Caspian Gulls along the main sea promenade in Baku. A great moment, to see this species within the core of its range; here they should be far from the spectre of hybrid breeding with Herring and Yellow-legged Gulls.