donderdag 16 mei 2013

Armenia: the Armash fishponds and more

Yesterday May 15, I did not take one picture! And we added only two new species to our list: a Hobby and a Rufous-tailed Wheatear. Yesterday morning, after a walk in Agarak we left this nice city for a long way (long in time not in distance!) back to the north. We stopped in the Karavget gorge where we found the Isabelline Wheatear and the Rufous-tailed Wheatear. It is the only place in Armenia where one can see this last one! We were lucky, we had Mika as guide! I tried to have this bird closer in my viewer but I could not take a picture: it was to nervous. Via a scenic road (57km in 1h25!) we arrived in Goris for lunch. The owners welcomed us (the second time we were there) with a well-known song in Belgium (Chicken Dance!). In the afternoon we visited in the rain Gndevanq, an Armenian monastery and we arrived at 7 PM in the Touristic Centre Lucy in Hermon. Our group still don't understand why we had to stay here overnight!

This morning we left this resort in Hermon for the fishponds of Armash. During a short stop we all photographed the Rosy Starlings! Hundreds of these birds were sitting in the trees along the road.

Rosy starlings

The ponds are laying nearby the Turkish/Armenian border and we had already a permission to visit this place. It are large ponds surrounded by reed fields. We walked between the old fishponds and had not eyes enough to see all those birds. A few pictures I took:

Bearded Reedling

Black-headed Wagtail

Blue-cheeked bee-eater

Glossy iris

Great Reed Warbler

Night heron

Purple Heron

Pygmy Cormorant

White-tailed Lapwing

Lesser short-toed Lark

The most spectacular - for us Belgian birders - was indeed the White-tailed Lapwing. Therefore an other picture of this bird, this time in flight:

White-tailed Lapwing

We had a wrap as lunch along this ponds so we hoped to stay there a little bit longer but we had to go. On the program was still for today a visit of the Vedi gorge. There we saw the Isabelline Wheatear, the Woodchat Shrike, the Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, the Booted Eagle, the Egyptian Vulture ... and last but not least a Grey-necked Bunting. This beautiful little bird was too far away to take a picture.

Isabelline Wheatear
Woodchat Shrike

In that gorge, I also could take a picture of our driver Andronic and of our "wonderful" guide Mika. My warmest greetings go to the both of them accompanied with a kiss for Mika!!



(Please click on the images for a larger view!)

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