On June 3rd, on our way to the Zuwand region, we could observe a good number of waterfowls around Bilasuvar (Great and Pygmy Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo and pygmaeus, Grand Cormoran et Cormoran pygmée), Shelducks (T.tadorna, Tadorne de Belon), Ferruginous Ducks, (Aythya nyroca, Fuligule nyroca), Terns, Herons (including a huge Cattle Egret breeding colony), and many Penduline Tits (Remiz pendulinus, Rémiz penduline)..Further south, we had the pleasure to find a colony of superb Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters (Merops persicus, Guêpier de Perse) and on the edge of Kizyl-Agach, several Collared Pratincoles (Glareola pratincola, Glaréole à collier), 21 Glossy Ibis (Ibis falcinellus, Ibis falcinelle) in the sky and two Coypus (Myocastor coypus, Ragondin) swimming between the reeds.
After the hot day, we spend the night in a very pleasant and fresh place, in the middle of the forest, above the Lankaran torrent, where we could observe Dipper (C.cinclus, Cincle plongeur), Red-breasted Flycatcher (Ficedula parva, Gobemouche nain) and Middle Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius, Pic mar).
The next day at dawn, two Golden Jackals (Canis aureus, Chacal doré) and later on a Fox (V.vulpes, Renard) crossed our way as we were going to explore the enigmatic Talish Mountains. Heading South, the track is passing through a deep gorge - where a Blue Rock Trush (Monticola solitarius, Monticole bleu) was singing - and once in the slopes above the village, it was replaced by several Rock Trushes (Monticola saxatilis, Monticole de roches).
Within the last willows and poplars, a Syrian Woodpecker (Dendrocopos syriacus, Pic Syriaque) was actively searching for food.
The mountain landscape near the Iranian border is spectacular, and many more species could be seen during the day, when exploring the crests and the rocks : Griffon Vultures (Gyps fulvus, Vautour fauve), Booted Eagle (Aquila pennata, Aigle botté), Short-toad Eagle (Cicaetus gallicus, Circaète Jean-le-Blanc), Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus, Epervier d’Europe), Long-legged and Common Buzzards (Buteo rufinus , Buse féroce & B.buteo, Buse variable), Chukar (Alectoris chukar, Perdrix choukar) and Grey Partridge (P.perdix, Perdrix grise), Quail (C.coturnix, Caille des blés) singing on both sides of the crest, Finsch´s, Northern and Isabelline Wheaters (Oenanthe finschii, Traquet de Finsch; O.oenanthe, Traquet motteux & Oenanthe isabellina, Traquet isabelle) as well as Eastern Orphean Warbler (Sylvia crassirostris, Fauvette orphéane), Rock Nuthatch (Sitta neumayer, Sittelle de Neumayer), Rock Bunting (Emberiza cia, Bruant fou), Tree, Water and Tawny Pipits (Anthus trivialis, Pipit des arbres; Anthus spinoletta, Pipit spioncelle and Anthus campestris, Pipit rousseline) were noticed among many others. And a good finding was that of four Crimson-winged Finches (Rodopechys sanguinea, Roselin à ailes roses) in the middle of the rocks.
Brown Hare (Lepus europaeus, Lièvre brun) and Voles (Microtus sp, Campagnol sp) are many, good preys for the raptors.
Off early morning the last day, in order to reach and visit Baku in the afternoon, we could add the Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta, Avocette élégante) to the impressive list of bird species seen during these ten days in Azerbaijan.
We are very grateful to all the ones who offered us their hospitality in the villages, to the excellent drivers and to all the smiling people we had the chance to meet.
Many many thanks to Kheyraddin Jabbarov and Pavel Simeonov, the organizers of the trip.
Eric Burnier, Geneva, June 2011