Birds of Armenia 23 May to 1 June 2000


Tuesday 23rd May
Arrived at the Hotel Erebuni in the early hours of the morning. Then an early start for Armash Fish Ponds some 50kms to the south-east close to the border with Turkey, Iran and the Azerbi enclave of Narkhichevan. The birdwatching was fantastic with tens of thousands of sand martins and hundreds of white-winged black terns. We found at least three singing paddyfield warblers plus what were presumably females. The species has only been recorded breeding once before in Armenia. Two pairs of white-tailed lapwings and three pairs of marbled teal were also present. The first of several superb lunches was provided from apparently nowhere in an old house provding shade. Several lifers all round included one surprisingly for Vasil – Eurasian spoonbill. European and blue-cheeked bee-eaters, rollers and hoopoes abounded with great views of three rufous-tailed scrub-robins sorting out their territories and a Menetries’ warblers carrying a faecal sack near a mineral water spring. The day total of species was 96.

Back to Yerevan for a great meal at the Ararat hotel where Mark became familiar with caviar.

Wednesday 24th May
A 30km drive took us to Garni gorge though the birding had begun beforehand when a roadside stop produced a circling honey buzzard nearby. The gorge was spectacular, dominated by hundreds of nesting house martins with choughs, Alpine swifts and our first rock sparrows. As we followed the river downstream we picked up jay, Syrian and great spotted woodpeckers, olivaceous warbler and black-bellied dipper.

A fresh trout lunch was followed by a visit to Garni Temple from which we could see two lesser spotted eagles.Our route back took us through an degraded, arid area where a random roadside stop produced some more great birdwatching including pale rock sparrow, Finsch’s wheatears, Upcher’s warblers and white-throated robin. Again we stayed in Yerevan at the Erebuni.

Thursday 25th May
A 7 am start for Meghradzor from where we drove up to a cold 2730m for Caucasian black grouse getting excellent views of 5 birds on the slope above us although the birding had started much lower down with a lammergeier at the start of the valley. Close views of bear pooh (as opposed to pooh bear) were also obtained. The ease with which we saw the grouse prompted a quick change of plan and so we drove across to Lake Sevan immediately picking up a fly-by short-toed eagle, an obliging river warbler, Caucasian chiffchaffs and a second tick for our guide – garden warbler!! We ate lunch within view of thousands of Armenian gulls.

En route to Vanadzor (1530m) we did our first woodland birdwatching picking up green warblers followed by some more immediately behind our accommodation in what we were told was some sort of psychiatric institute finishing after dark with two tawny owls calling.

Friday 26th May
Adding scops owl overnight courtesy of Meme a pre-breakfast walk enthralled us with close views of black and middle-spotted woodpeckers as well as red-breasted flycatcher and honey buzzard. We then embarked on a gruelling drive to Lake Arpi on the border with Georgia through the earthquake ravaged north-west corner of the country. This provided us with our only real police trouble in the town of Amasia. Again en route birding was great with rock bunting, twite, two male citrine wagtails and an astonishing display by a male Montagu’s harrier. Arpi itself proved disappointing with 5 distant Dalmatian pelicans, tufted ducks and a still-unidentified acrocephalus warbler despite close views. The journey back was interrupted by our only real car trouble – a broken suspension which was fixed in Gyumri. Back to Vanadzor.

Saturday 27th May
Today we drove the long but comfortable journey over 200kms south to Vike in the middle of the country, stopping regularly. At a stop in the Araks River valley a migrating flock of 23 white pelicans drifted by. The best stop near Parooyr Sevak before lunch produced close views of pale rock sparrow and short-toed lark one after the other, and Egyptian vulture. A walk by the river at Aghavnadzor produced woodchat shrikes, Upcher’s, marsh and olivaceous warblers, Western and Eastern rock nuthatches and peregrines. The hotel at Vike perched on top of a small hill overlooking the town had great views and crag martin and blue rock thrush nesting on it. After dark a nightjar was calling above us.

Sunday 28th May
Adam and Mark started early getting good views of several species and adding spotted flycatcher to the list. Heavy overnight rain persuaded the team not to attempt the big hills for snowcock so we birded at around 2000m along Maklishka white-throated robins, barred warbler, ortolan and rock buntings. We then exchanged vehicles for a huge growling jeep-type thing and climbed to 2420m to watch crimson-winged finch, ring ouzel, black redstart and red-fronted serin with tawny and water pipits. Two Egyptian vultures and a close golden eagle rounded off the day. Food by a river was followed by coffee and rosehip juice at the drivers house in a village which held Syrian woodpeckers and nightingale. We returned to the hotel at Vike to watch marsh warbler and black-eared wheatear.

Monday 29th May
An early start again to breakfast by the river where we could hear quail, sedge and grasshopper warblers. Again we swapped vehicles and climbed, this time to 2880m for Alpine accentor, white-winged snowfinch, golden and booted eagles, crimson-winged finch, red-fronted serin and finally after much searching Caspian snowcock. Back at the village we had an excellent lunch with the drivers family before leaving south for Kapan. A wetland produced 3 teal, a random stop snipe overhead and one in woodland Eurasian nuthatch, and a pair of semi-collared flycatchers. Our surprise stop was a flat in the town where we ate very well, made lots of toast and Mark was asked whether he was familiar with alcohol.

Tuesday 30th May
After we all got up, some with more difficulty than others, we headed south towards Meghri. Even Kapan before we left, held some birding highlights with a peregrine perched on the head of Lenin and a Western rock nuthatch feeding young on the roof of a tower block. We picked up Commonchiff chaff and a golden eagle en route. Despite the heat we were instantly successful in a dry gorge within sight of the Iranian border seeing several rufous-tailed or Persian wheatears, pale rock sparrows, Eastern rock nuthatch and a sombre tit. Lunch in a pomegranate orchard included tastily cooked mushrooms bought from the roadside yesterday and the best views yet of Menetrie’s warbler. The accommodation was refreshingly cool and comfortable and from there we walked after the heat had gone picking up a distant Levant sparrowhawk and good views of roller and rose-coloured starlings in a dying tree.

Wednesday 31st May
We were joined by another young ornithologist Karen who showed us a Levant sparrowhawk but we did not see Orphean warbler. The journey back was full of birds including a flock of lesser kestrels, stock dove, Egyptian and a black vulture, honey buzzard and short-toed eagle and included a rushed scan of Armash fishponds which produced pygmy cormorants, purple and squacco heron. It ended with a frantic dash to the dry hills of Vedi as a storm brewed around us where we saw grey-necked bunting, Finsch’s wheatear and only one little owl but dipped on trumpeter finch. The day list ended on 108 species. We headed back to Yerevan, pizza and chips wine and beer and the Hotel Erebuni.

Thursday 1st June
Our last day had us up Mt Aragats leaving sunny meadows behind as we drove up to, and in the case of Haradj, into the snowfields. We ate lunch at a scenic ancient fort and church before searching for and finding the last of the Armenian specialities – we finally saw several Radde’s accentors as well as numerous Alpine accentors, white-winged snowfinch and crimson-winged finch both displaying plus plenty of bluethroats. A bottle of beer each to celebrate Vasil’s birthday was accompanied by a singing olivaceous warbler. Back to the hotel and a disappointing last Lebanese meal before an early morning departure.
The final trip list was 218 species.

Systematic list

Little grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
One at Armash Fishponds

Great crested grebe Podiceps cristatus
200 at Armash FP, 45 at Lake Sevan and 2 at Lake Arpi

Black necked grebe Podiceps nigricollis
Five at Armash FP

Great cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
One at Lake Sevan

Pygmy cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmeus
Over 500 at Armash FP where they breed

White pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus
A flock of 23 migrating alomg the Araks river valley on 27th May

Dalmatian pelican Pelecanus crispus
Five at Lake Arpi but no sign of breeding there

Little egret Egretta garzetta
Seen only around Armash FP with a maximum of 30 there

Cattle egret Bubulcus ibis
Seven at Lake Sevan

Grey heron Ardea cinerea
Ten at Armash and 4 at Arpi

Purple heron Ardea purpurea
Seen only at Armash where there were 45 on 23rd May

Great white egret Egretta alba
A single bird at Armash FP

Squacco heron Ardeola ralloides
Seen only at and around Armash where there was a maximum of 30 on 23rd May

Black-crowned night heronNycticorax nycticorax
20 at Armash at one at Spandarian reservoir en route on 29th May

Little bittern Ixobrychus minutus
One at Armash FP

White Stork Ciconia ciconia
Seen in several places eg between Yerevan and Armash

Glossy ibis Plegadis falcinellus
Ten at Armash

Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucordia
Three at Armash

Greylag Goose Anser anser
Two pairs at both Armash FP and Lake Arpi – the latter both with young

Ruddy shelduck Tadorna ferruginea
Small numbers at Armash, Sevan and Arpi

Common shelduck Tadorna tadorna
One at Armash FP

Gadwall Anas strepera
20 at Armash and 10 at Sevan

Common teal Anas crecca
Two at Armash and three near the Spandarian reservoir en route to Kapan on 29th May

Mallard Anas platyrhnchos
Small number as Armash, Sevan, and Arpi

Northern pintail Anas acuta
Six at Armash FP

Garganey Anas querquedula
Five at Armash FP

Northern shoveler Anas clypeata
40 at Armash FP

Marbled duck Marmoretta angustirostris
Six (three pairs) on a small reed fringed saline lake at Armash FP

Red-crested pochard Netta rufina
150 at Armash FP

Common pochard Aythya ferina
20 at Armash FP

Ferruginous duck Aythya nyroca
20 at Armash FP

Tufted duck Aythya fuligula
Six at Lake Arpi

European honey buzzard Pernis apivoris
Five seen throughout the Country

Lammergeier Gypaetus barbatus
One seen circling low at the start of the climb towards the Caucasian black grouse site at Meghradzor

Egyptian vulture Neophron percnopterus
13 seen in total all in drier areas and associated with vertical rock faces. One was seen picking up off a road a black-eared wheatear that had been stunned by a car

Black vulture Aegypius monachus
One seen with Egyptian vultures on 31st May

Short-toed eagle Circaetus gallicus
Three seen

Western marsh harrierCircus aeruginosus
A maximum of 10 at Armash FP and one at Lake Arpi

Montagu’s harrier Circus pygargus
Three at Armash and a colony of five including a wonderful displaying male en route to Lake Arpi

Levant sparrowhawk Accipiter brevipes
Three seen at Meghri.

Eurasian sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
Two seen

Common buzzard Buteo buteo
25 seen widely distributed and commonest in wooded and hilly areas. Most if not all of the birds appeared to be of the race Buteo b. menetriesi

Long-legged buzzard Buteo ruffinus
35 seen widely distributed but in more open and drier country than the common buzzard

Lesser spotted eagle Aquila pomerina
Six seen widely distributed

Golden eagle Aquila chrysaetos
Seven seen all in mountainous country

Booted eagle Hieraaetus pennatus
Five seen including at least one dark phase bird

Lesser kestrel Falco naumanni
A flock of 16 en route on 31st May

Eurasian kestrel Falco tinnunculus
26 seen, widely distributed up to over 2800m

Eurasian hobby Falco subbuteo
Two at Meghri and one at ca 3000m on Mt Aragats

Peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus
Four seen

Caspian snowcock Tetrogallus caspius
A maximum of four heard and seen mainly in flight at 2880m at Gnecheek

Caucasian grouse Tetroa mlokosiewiczi
A maximum of five seen (3 males) at 2730m at Meghradzor on a steep damp hillside

Chukar Alectoris chukar
22 heard and seen mainly in dry rocky country

Common quail Coturnix coturnix
Two heard

Water rail Rallus aquaticus
One heard at Aghavnadzor

Common moorhen Gallinula chloropus
Heard at Armash FP and Aghavnadzor

Eurasian coot Fulica atra
300 at Armash FP and 10 at Sevan

Black-winged stilt Himantopus himantopus
A maximum of 150 at Armash FP

Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus
Two at Sevan and three at Arpi

Pied avocet Recurvirostra avocetta
A maximum of 40 at Armash FP

Collared pratincole Glareola pratincola
20 at Armash FP

Ringed plover Charadrius hiaticula
15 at Armash FP

Kentish plover Charadrius alexandrinus
Four at Armash FP

Northern lapwing Vanellus vanellus
A maximum of six at Armash FP

White-tailed lapwing Vanellus leucorus
Three including one apparently on a nest at Armash FP on a dried out saline area

Little stint Calidris minuta
300 at Armash FP

Curlew sandpiper Calidris ferruginea
Five at Armash FP

Dunlin Calidris alpina
51 at Armash FP

Common snipe Gallinago gallinago
One heard in flight on 29th May

Black-tailed godwit Limosa limosa
150 at Armash FP

Spotted redshank Tringa erythropus
One at Armash FP

Common redshank Tringa totanus
30 at Armash FP and one heard at Spandarian Reservoir

Greenshank Tringa nebularia
Two at Armash FP

Wood sandpiper Tringa glareola
30 at Armash FP

Ruff Philomachus pugnax
70 at Armash FP

Terek sandpiper Xenus cinerus
One at Armash FP

Common sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
Five seen

Red-necked phalarope Phalaropus lobatus
Nine at Armash FP

Armenian gull Larus armenicus
20 immatures at Armash FP. 2000 nesting at Lake Sevan and 5000 at Arpi

Black-headed gull Larus ridibundus
Five at Lake Arpi

Slender-billed gull Larus genei
15 at Armash FP

Gull-billed tern Sterna nilotica
Three at Armash FP

Common tern Sterna hirundo
Eight at Armash, two at Sevan and 10 at Arpi

Little tern sterna albifrons
15 at Armash FP

Whiskered tern Chlidonias hybridus
15 at Armash FP including some in non-breeding plumage

White-winged black tern Chlidonias leucopterus
3000 at Armash FP

Black tern Chlidonias niger
Two at Armash FP

Rock dove Columba livia
Parties of pure looking rock doves seen widely throughout the country though not common. Feral pigeons also present in rural areas.

Stock dove Columba oenas
One seen

Wood pigeon Columba palumbas
Eight seen

Laughing dove Streptopelia senegalensis
Four seen mainly in Yerevan

European turtle dove Streptopelia tutur
Four seen

Common cuckoo Cuculus canorus
Seen and heard almost everywhere except in the driest areas and up to 2880m

Eurasian scops owl Otus scops
One heard at Vanadzor

Tawny owl Strix aluco
Two heard at Vanadzor

Little owl Athene noctua
One seen at Vedi

Eurasian nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus
Heard on several occasions as early as 1610 usually in dry hilly countryside with some scrub

Alpine swift Apus melba
40 at Garni and 6 elsewhere

Common swift Apus apus
Tens of thousands seenthroughout the country

Common kingfisher Alcedo atthis
Four at Armash and heard at Aghavnadzor

Blue-cheeked bee-eater Merops persicus
Ten at Armash FP

European bee-eater Merops apiaster
Widespread in small numbers

European roller Coracius garrulus
Widespread though nowhere common

Eurasian hoopoe Upupa epops
Widespread and relatively common throughout

Middle spotted woodpecker Dendrocopus medius
Four seen – at Garni, Vanadzor, Aghavnadzor and nearVike

Great spotted woodpecker Dendrocopus major
Three seen

Syrian woodpecker Dendrocopus syriacus
15 seen often in towns and gardens

Black woodpecker Dryocopus martius
One seen at Vanadzor. Heard on two other occasions

Green woodpecker Picus viridis
Heard on four occasions

Calandra lark Melanocorypha calandra
One en route in an area of flat agricultural land on 29th May

Bimaculated lark Melanocorypha bimaculata
A total of 34 seen. Common where present but limited in distribution

Short-toed lark Calandrella brachydactyla
Only four seen – all in the Araks River valley in the west of the country

Crested lark Galerida cristata

Wood lark Lullula arborea
24 seen and heard – widely distributed

Eurasian skylark Alauda arvensis
Common especially at higher altitudes with eg thousands recorded in the north of the country as we crossed steppe type areas towards Lake Arpi. Also common at altitude eg at 2400m plus near Vike

Horned lark Eremophila alpestris
Over 100 recorded all at higher altitudes where the species could be incredibly numerous. All were of the greyer pencillata race lacking in all traces of yellow

Sand martin Riparia riparia
Incredibly common in the Araks river vally with tens of thousands around armash FP. Regularly recorded throughout our trip

Eurasian crag martin Hirundo rupestris
142 recorded often near human habitation eg nesting on our hotel at Vike

Barn swallow Hirundo rustica
Recorded daily usually near human habitation

House martin Delichion urbica
Huge cliff nesting colonies at Garni where there were thousands of birds present. Otherwise recorded regularly often at high altitude when seen feeding with swifts

Tawny pipit Anthus campestris
Ten recorded in a variety of habitats and song flight seen at over 200m near Vike. Thinly distributed

Tree pipit Anthus trivialis
Common in some areas including many without trees and again at high altitudes. Displaying at well over 2500m

Water pipit Anthus spinoletta
Over 100 recorded all at higher colder altitudes sometimes as on Aragats still among areas of melting or newly fallen snow

White wagtail Motacilla alba
Common around human habitation

Yellow wagtail Motacilla flava feldegg
47 seen around wetlands all of the race M. flava feldegg Black-headed wagtail which Russian taxonomists treat as a separate species

Grey wagtail Motacilla cinerea
14 recorded along fast flowing rivers. Widely distributed

Citrine wagtail Motacilla citreola
Two males recorded around small pools in grassland near Lake Arpi

White-throated dipper Cinclus cinclus
Seven recorded in typical habitats. All of the black-bellied form

Winter wren Troglodytes troglodytes
Heard on several occasions and seen just once in woodland habitats

Alpine accentor Prunella collaris
40 recorded on Mt Aragats displaying amongst the melting and newly fallen snow. One at Gnecheek

Radde’s accentor Prunella ocularis
Six recorded among dwarf juniper on th middle slopes of Mt Aragats on our final day

Dunnock Prunella modularis
Heard on five occasions all in woodland areas

Rufous-tailed scrub-robin Cercotrichas galactotes
16 recorded at Armash and Garni

European robin Erithracus rubecula
Heard on four occasions in woodland habitats

Common Nightingale Luscinia megaryhynchos
16 heard all in the southern half of the country

Bluethroat Luscinia svecica
Eight recorded on Mt Aragats in similar habitat to Radde’s accentor

White-throated robin Irania guttaralis
Nine recorded in scrubby habitat on hillsides

Black redstart Phoenicurus ochuros
Recorded in urban and mountainous habitats up to 3000m

Common redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus
19 recorded – all except one were of the race P. p. samamisicus. One of the nominate race was recorded singing in a village at the foot of Mt Aragats

Whinchat Saxicola rubetra
12 recorded all in open hilly grassy country

Stonechat Saxicola torquata
23 recorded, all of the race armenica which is included in the “Siberian stonechat” group Saxicola torquata maura

Northern wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
Over 100 recorded most at higher colder altitude above the other species of wheatear

Finsch’s wheatear Oenanthe finschii
24 recorded. Locally common at Garni, Aghavnadzor and Vedi – arid, rocky hilly areas often alongside black-eared wheatears

Black-eared wheatear Oenanthe hispanica
54 recorded widely throughout the country including around buildings such as the hotel at Vike – seems much more tolerant of vegetation than all the other species of wheatear

Rufous-tailed wheatear Oenanthe xanthoprymna
Six recorded in a hot, dry, rocky gorge near Meghri on the Iranian border reflecting well it’s other name of Persian wheatear

Isabelline wheatear Oenanthe isabellina
21 recorded in very dry habitats with little vegetation usually flatter than the other species

Rufous-tailed rock thrush Monticola saxatilis
22 recorded throughout the country at higher altitudes than the next species (up to 3000m)

Blue rock thrush Monticola solitarius
14 recorded

Ring ouzel Turdus torquatus
15 recorded

Eurasian blackbird turdus merula
38 recorded in well wooded areas often near water

Song thrush turdus philomelos
Only four heard or seen

Mistle thrush Turdus viscivorus
Three seen

Cetti’s warbler Cettia cettia
Ten seen and heard

Grasshopper warbler Locustella naevia
One heard singing from farmland near the Arpa River on 29th May

River warbler Locustella fluviatilis
One confiding bird at Lake Sevan

Savi’s warbler Locustella luscinoides
Two heard at Armash FP

Paddyfield warbler Acrocephalus agricola
At least four singing males and a total of eight birds at Armash FP

Sedge warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
Only four recorded

Eurasian reed warblerAcrocephalus scirpaceus
20 at Armash FP

Marsh warbler Acrocephalus palustris
Seven recorded mainly on the Arpa River

Great reed warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus
Hundreds singing at Armash FP and heard at several other wetland sites

Olivaceous warbler Hippolais pallida
Seven recorded mainly associated with willow scrub

Upcher’s warbler Hippolais languida
17 recorded all in desert areas with low vegetation or scrub

Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla
20 recorded in woodland and thickly wooded gardens

Garden warbler Sylvia borin
Two recorded

Whitethroat Sylvia communis
Common in all scrubby areas

Lesser whitethroat Sylvia curruca
Recorded in both drier scrubby habitats and moister hilly scrub. At least two song types noted. The subspecies present is S. c. caucasia considered to be part of the S. c. althaea group or Hume’s lesser whitethroat – treated be some taxonomists (a minority) as a separate species

Barred warbler Sylvia nisoria
Two pairs in moist hillside scrub

Orphean warbler Sylvia hortensis
Vasil recorded one at Meghri

Menetrie’s warbler Sylvia mystacea
Recorded at Armash and in the Araks River valley and at Meghri both drier hotter habitats

Common chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
Heard and seen in woodland.

Caucasian chiffchaff Phylloscopus lorenzii
Eight recorded around Garni and Sevan

Green warbler Phylloscopusnitidus
Nearly 50 heard more than seen in woodland

Spotted flycatcher Muscicapa striata
One at Vike

Semi-collared flycatcher Ficedula semitorquata
A pair in an oak tree en route to Kapan

Red-breasted flycatcher Ficedula parva
One at Vanadzor

Bearded tit Panurus biamicus
20 plus at Armash FP

Long-tailed tit Aegithalos caudatus
At least 13 seen and heard. Those seen well at Meghri appeared to be of the race major lacking any trace of pink and being much darker than the nominate race

Sombre tit Parus lugubris
Two seen at Meghri in scrub inarid desert

Coal titParus ater
Four at Vanadzor

Great titParus major
Regularly recorded in woodland and gardens throughout the Country

Blue titParuscaeruleus
Regularly recorded in woodland and gardens throughout the Country

Eurasian nuthatch Sitta europaea
Six recorded in woodland

Rock nuthatch Sitta neumayer
Common in most dry hilly rocky areas and as an urban bird breeding on blocks of flats in Kapan

Eastern rock nuthatch Sitta tephronota
Common in the same areas as the above often audible or visible at the same time

Eurasian penduline tit Remiz pendulinus
Heard at Sevan and at Aghavnadzor

Golden oriole Oriolus oriolus
Over 20 heard and seen

Red-backed shrike Lanius collurio
60 seen throughout the Country

Lesser grey shrike Lanius minor
13 seen – all in cultivated land with orchards etc often associated with tall poplar trees where the species nests

Woodchat shrike Lanius senator
Two seen in arid rocky hills at Aghavnadzor

Eurasian jay Garrulus glandarius
Seen and heard in woodland and thickly wooded cultivated areas. The birds of this race G. g. krynickiwere much darker than those of the nominate race

Black-billed magpie Pica pica

Red-billed chough Pyrrhocorax phyrrhocorax
Nearly 40 recorded in a number of areas especially around Maklishka

Eurasian jackdaw Corvus monedula

Rook Corvus frugilegus
Widespread in cultivated areas

Hooded crow Corvus corone

Common raven Corvus corax
32 heard and seen – widespread in hillier areas

Rose-coloured starling Sturnus roseus
Over 1500 seen always in flocks throughout the Country

Common starling Sturnus vulgaris
Less than 120 seen – widespread though never very common mainly in agricultural areas and villages

House sparrow Passer domesticus

Eurasian tree sparrow Passer montanus
32 recorded

Rock sparrow Petronia petronia
Nearly 50 recorded especially at Garni and around Vike

Pale rock sparrow Carpospiza brachydactyla
60 recorded in hotter drier areas such as Meghri -certainly more numerous in the south of the Country

Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
Heard in several areas of woodland

Red-fronted serin Serinus pusillus
16 recorded both in mountainous areas up to 2880m and in more arid desert type areas around Meghri

European greenfinch carduelis chloris
Closely associated with human habitation – an urban bird in Yerevan

European goldfinh Carduelis carduelis
Widespread especially in cultivated areas

Twite Carduelis flavirostris
Over 70 recorded all at higher altitudes. All were of the race brevirostris much more like a linnet than the nominate race

Eurasian linnet Carduelis cannabina
Over 60 recorded some at similar altitudes to the above species. These were of the racebellae

Crimson-winged finch Rhodopechys sanguinea
Nine seen on Mt Aragats, Meghradzor and Gnesheek

Trumpeter finch Rhodopechys githaginea
One heard at Vedi

Common rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus
Nearly 150 recorded the largest numbers being at Sevan and Vanadzor – a widespread species

Hawfinch Cocothraustes cocothraustes
One seen in woodland en route on 29th May

Rock bunting Emberiza cia
Over 40 seen and heard

Grey-necked bunting Emberiza buchanani
Two seen at Vedi

Ortolan bunting Emberiza hortulana
Over 20 seen and heard in a number of habitats

Black-headed bunting Emberiza melanocephala
Nearly 300 recorded-widespread

Reed bunting Emberiza schoeniclus
One at Armash FP

Corn bunting Miliaria calandra
Common and widespread – hundreds seen and heard

Total 218 species

Simon Busuttil
For Birdwatching Breaks June 2000

© Birdwatching Breaks

For further information on tours to Armenia please contact Simon Busuttil at Dungeness RSPB Reserve, Boulderwall Farm, Dungeness Road, Lydd, Kent, TN 29 9PN, UK