TRIP REPORTS - ARMENIA
BIRDS OF ARMENIA PROJECT
Trip Report on birds seen during project
In late July many juvenile Rose-coloured Starlings were moving west. Red-footed Falcon at Vedi on 29th was third record. Early August Blue-cheeked Bee-Eaters peaked at 73 at Armash, 14 at Massis.
One Marbled Teal at Armash 31st - 4th August. Waders continued to move through the Araks Valley with 15 Terek Sandpipers, 3 Whimbel, Greater Sand Plover, Broad-billed Sandpiper and Black-winged Prantincole.
By mid-August raptors were moving through with c30 Steppe Eagles, 7 Pallid Harriers, 143 Montagu's Harriers - but some may have been breeding.
Grasshopper Warbler, 2 River Warblers and 7 Black Storks (pictured left) around Lake Arpi on 9-10th. Female Isabelline Shrike also in that area. A Paddyfield Warbler seen and netted (released) near Stepanajan, also Citrine Wagtail and Baillon's Crake. Another Baillon's Crake, 2 Little Crakes at Massis on the 18th. Passerine migration commenced with c50 Marsh Warblers, 30 Thrush Nightingales, Green Warblers, and Semi-co llared Flycatchers moving in the north.
Highlight of the month was Armenia's first, Shikra, an immature near Meghri 24th with 4 Red-tailed Wheatears there next day.
Raptors passed through in large numbers all month. Totals of 280 Steppe Eagles (167 on 17th), 64 Pallid Harriers, 28 Levant's Sparrowhawks, 63 Lesser Spotted Eagles, 2 Red-footed Falcons with the majority passing near Lake Sevan.
Over 1,000 Demoiselle Cranes moved through Lake Gilli Sept. 2nd - 9th.
Armash produced 2 Paddyfield Warblers (2nd record - possibly breeding), Pied Flycatcher and several Temminck's Stints. Another Temminck's Stint was at Sevan 9th with a Broad-billed Sandpiper and Yellow-legged Gull (3rd record). A 'maura' Stonechat was at Massis Fish Ponds September 29th (1st record).
Early in the month Red-throated Pipit, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Steppe Buzzard, Pallid Harrier and Steppe Eagle moved south in large numbers.
18 Great Black-headed Gulls were at Lake Sevan 4 - 7th, with c. 600 Mountain Chiffchaffs and two new sites for Radde's Accentor also discovered.
Male Black-throated Thrush near Yeghegnadzor 15th (first since 1953) with the countries first Red-rumped Swallow nearby on 13th. There were 3 Great Bustards in the Arax Valley west of Yerevanin mid October.
Single Purple Gallinule Massis 5-6th, White-headed Duck at Armash 4th and 10th, 11 Spotted Eagles near the Georgian border 13-14th, Caspian Snowcock and Wallcreeper at Mount Lejan 14th, 6 Caucasian Black Grouse near Hrazdan 15th, and 3 Great Grey Shrikes through the month were the other highlights with the main prize being the first Desert Wheatear at Horom on 30th October.
About 100 Bewick's Swans were at the south of Lake Sevan between 15th and 17th and White-tailed Eagles were reported from the north during the month.
Waders included a Sociable Plover at Massis fishponds on 8th, Spur-winged Plover at Polar Uedii on 15th when also a Black-winged Pratincole.
At Armash there were 60 Slender-billed Gulls on 9th while at Lake Sevan there were about 200 Great Black-headed Gulls in mid month with a Yellow-legged Gull on 15th.
Black-throated Thrush was seen at Mormazar on 16th with 2 near Uedii on 25th. Large flocks of Red-fronted Serins included 350 around Uedii/Dashtakar on 25th.