Peregrine Bird Tours
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Peregrine Bird Tours

Azerbaijan Birdwatching Tour

Azerbaijan Birdwatching Tour
When: Fri 24 April - Thu 7 May 2020
Leaders: Chirs Doughty and Elchin Sultanov
Azerbaijan Birdwatching Tour
Melbourne/Melbourne (14 Days) $7,842
Single Room Supplement $550
Ground Conetent (ex Baku) $6,182
Legend has it that Azerbaijan was the site of the Garden of Eden, and that it was once part of the empire of Alexander the Great. This small, seldom visited country, is squeezed in between the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian Sea, where Central Asia edges into Europe. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, in the early 1990s, Azerbaijan became an independent, Moslem republic. On this exciting tour we will explore one of the most mysterious and scenically attractive countries in the Western Palearctic. It is a land of great contrasts. In the north lies one of the least- birded yet most bird-rich and spectacular mountain ranges in Europe: the Great Caucasus, an area of jagged snow-capped mountains and remote mountain villages. The southern half of the country is made up of dry, semi-desert steppe, lakes and rivers, small fishing villages and forests of oak and beech trees. This small country is home to more than 400 different species of birds, but our main purpose will be to see the most sought after and rarely seen birds of the High Caucasus, including such exciting species as Caucasian and Caspian Snowcocks, Caucasian Black Grouse, Guldenstadt's Redstart, Green Warbler, Mountain Chiffchaff, Semi-collared Flycatcher, Red-fronted Serin and Great Rosefinch. Our journey begins along the coast of the Caspian Sea, at Shirvan and Quizil- Agaj National Parks, where we will find an excellent selection of wetland birds. Next we explore the Caspian Forests, at the southern end of the Caspian Sea, in search of the highly localised Caspian Tit. We then climb high into the magnificent Caucasus, birding close to the remote mountain villages of Khinalik, and Laza, in search of Caucasian Snowcock, Caucasian Black Grouse, Guldenstadt's Redstart and many more alpine specialities. From the mountains we head south to an area of arid grassland steppes and striking rocky landscapes, where we will search for a different set of birds, more reminiscent of the Mediterranean. At this time of year, literally hundreds of thousands of birds are migrating northwards from wintering grounds in Africa, to breeding grounds in Europe and northern Asia. Most migrating birds are reluctant to fly over the Greater Caucasus and the Caspian Sea; instead, they fly northwards, through a narrow coastal plain along the western edge of the Caspian Sea. This frequently leads to a high concentration of migrants at Mount Besh Barmag. Here, we will experience the thrill of migration in full swing, and hopefully, the odd vagrant or two! Next, we visit Absheron National Park, situated at the tip of the Baku Peninsula, where we should see the stunningly beautiful Common and Red-crested Pochards. Our final destination is the enclave of Nakhchivan, home to such interesting species as Caspian Snowcock, See-see Partridge, Radde's Accentor, Persian Wheatear and Crimson-winged Finch.
Come with us and enjoy this Azerbaijan birdwatching tour.

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