Thursday, 23 May 2013

Armenia; Megri & Sisian

We pushed on to Meghri which is located just a few kilometres away from the Iranian border. Our accommodation for the next two nights here could best be described as "rustic". Breakfast consisted of an egg and bread with butter or cheese. Otherwise the food during the duration of the trip really was fantastic.
We moved right down to the sensitive area next to the border to a disused quarry at the entrance of a large wadi/valley to look for Persian Wheatear. We managed to pick up at least one pair here who were feeding very recently fledged young. Also seen here over the evening and the following day were Upcher's Warblers, Chuckar, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Sombre Tit, Eastern & Western Rock Nuthatch, lots of Eastern Orphean Warblers, Red-backed, Woodchat & Lesser Grey Shrikes and Black-headed Bunting.

We also tried for Caspian Snowcock during our two day stay. We managed to get one distant view of a single bird but despite hiking up after it we didn't have any others. Great views of Rock Thrushes, Alpine Accentor, Shore Lark and Twite up there also.

On the long way back North we jammed in on a pair of Bimaculated Larks in a ploughed field near Sisian. Some of the ploughed fields in this area were filled with resident and migrant species such as Northern Wheatears, Whinchat, Skylark, Horned Lark, Water Pipit, Red-throated Pipits, Goldfinch, Linnet, Twite and Ortolan Bunting. Some of the migrants well probably grounded by dank misty conditions. We also had a few flocks of Wood Sandpipers and White-winged Black Terns flying over arable and grass fields.

Persian/Red-tailed Wheatear

Persian/Red-tailed Wheatear

Upcher's Warbler, birds don't get more exciting than this...

brevirostris Twite

Alpine Accentor

Lesser Grey Shrike

Our transport up to the Caspian Snowcock site.
Left to right; myself, Paul French, Wilton Farrelly, Ian Graham, Garry Armstrong & Davy Steele with Iran in the background to the left.

I think this just the local race of Brown Hare? This guy was up at 2950m

Paul just about to open a randomly placed fridge at a isolated picnic spot, just anticipating someone to jump out at him.


Monkey Orchid

Bimaculated Lark

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