vrijdag 10 mei 2013

Armenia: from Yerevan tot Dilijan

Yesterday evening we, 8 Belgian birders (Chris & Guido, Hedy & Harry, René, Marc, Jef & I) arrived in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia.

This morning Jef and I woke up rather early and before breakfast we went out for a little walk in the neighboorhood of our hotel "Cascade" situated nearby "The Cascade". The first birds which were welcoming us were the Common Swifts high above the city and we also noticed already a Laughing Dove and some Hooded Crows.

Mika (our guide), Sam (a co-ordinator of the Armenian Tourist Office) and Andronic (our driver) picked us up at 9 o'clock and off we went for a ride in a little reddish Ford bus for Dilijan.  The birds we saw along the route were noticed and when we saw some birds of prey in the air we asked our driver to stop. We all went out and we saw plenty of birds migrating above our heads: Long-legged and Common Buzzards,  Honey Buzzards and Sparrow Hawks, Bee-eaters and Tree Pipits, ... I was very lucky when I could take a picture of a Greater Spotted Eagle ... or was it a Lesser Spotted Eagle. The picture is sent to a ornithologist specialized in birds of prey for determination.

During a second stop we added to our list different small birds, such as the Green Warbler, the Common Redstart, the Lesser Whitethroat ...

For lunch we stopped at Parz Lich (= clear lake), a small lake with some tourist infrastructures. In the afternoon we continued our way to Dilijan, but before arriving there, we stopped at the Haghartsin Monastery, really worth a visit! Once in the hotel Casanova in Dilijan, we made up the list of the observations today and we ended with 57 species, not so bad for our first day.

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

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