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Winter Birding Tour Azerbaijan - 10 Days

Winter Birding Tour Azerbaijan
3460

Azerbaijan Winter Birdwatching Tour

A 10-Day Winter Birding Tour in Azerbaijan which is moderately paced and available on request. Azerbaijan is one of the Western Palearctic’s best-kept secrets, and one of the most productive, and exciting winter birding areas in the region. Situated in the Caucasus region, which joins Europe and Asia.

Because of Azerbaijan’s relatively mild winters, many birds from farther north winter here. Water birds by the thousands concentrate in the many wetlands, large and small, coastal and inland. Among these birds are swans, geese, ducks, flamingos, and waders. Additionally,  globally threatened species like Dalmatian Pelican, Pallid Harrier, Red-breasted Goose, Lesser White-fronted Goose, Marbled Duck, Ferruginous Duck, White-headed Duck, Armenian Gull, and vast flocks of Little Bustard are expected to see.

Every evening we discuss what we plan to do the next day. Please note that the following itinerary is a sample, depending on the interest of the group, local weather and bird news we can exchange the order of the days.

* This tour is customisable. We are ready to work with you to create the best tour program for you.

* Please note that currency conversion is calculated in real-time, therefore is subject to slight change. Please refer back to the base price when making final payments.

Day 1
Day 1 - Arrival

Arrival in Baku. Meeting at the airport and transferring to Boutique Hotel Baku.

No meal.

Day 2
Day 2 - Shirvan National Park

After breakfast we head to Shirvan National Park and spend a full day there. The national park was established to protect and increase the numbers of endangered Goitred Gazelles that occur within the park.

Thankfully, the population is rapidly increasing in numbers and we will be able to observe them at fairly close quarters. Besides gazelles the park hosts many wintering bird species and the dominant birds here consist of wildfowl, with a wide range of species present, including Greater White-fronted Goose, Greylag Goose, Whooper Swan, Tundra (Bewick’s) Swan, Ruddy Shelduck, Common Shelduck, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Red-crested Pochard, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Eurasian Wigeon, Eurasian Teal, Common Goldeneye.

There is also great range of species available which are been summarized below: Lesser White-fronted Goose, Dalmatian Pelican, White-winged Lark, Moustached Warbler, Buff-bellied Pipit (japonicus subspecies), Black Francolin, Grey-headed Swamphen, Pallas’s Gull, and large flocks of Little Bustard.

Before it gets dark we leave the park and drive to Masalli for our overnight hotel.

Accommodation: Massali Hotel, Massali city.

Food: Breakfast at hotel in Baku, packed lunch in Shirvan, dinner at the restaurant in Masalli

Day 3
Day 3 - Gizilagaj National Park

After a nice breakfast we visit the Gizilagaj National Park and surrounding lagoons. This is one of the most vital overwintering areas for birds in Europe and the largest wetland in Azerbaijan. Many birds overwinter in the area, with the majority made up of wildfowl and shorebirds.

We can expect to see Black Francolin, Common Kingfisher, Grebes, Dalmatian Pelican, Pygmy Cormorant, Common Shelduck, Ruddy Shelduck, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Wigeon, Eurasian Teal, Garganey, Common Pochard, Red-crested Pochard, Ferruginous Duck, Tufted Duck and more. There is also a diverse range of shorebirds (waders) here including Kentish Plover, Temminck’s Stint, Common Snipe, Jack Snipe, Pied Avocet, Grey Plover, European Golden Plover, Northern Lapwing, Common Ringed Plover, Eurasian Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Dunlin, Little Stint, Sanderling, Common Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Common Greenshank, and Common Redshank.

We will finish the day checking the nearby coastline for stunning Pallas’s Gull, Little Gull, Slender-billed Gull, and Caspian Gull. This is also an excellent area for photographing shorebirds (waders) as they feed along the shoreline.

Time to get close to the Talysh Mountains in Lerik.

Accommodation: Cenub Hotel in Lerik.

Food: Breakfast at hotel in Masalli, packed lunch in Gizilagaj, dinner at the restaurant in Lerik

Day 4
Day 4 - High Mountainous Area of Lerik

Waking up in wooden bungalows and having breakfast. Then we get to the high mountainous area of Lerik looking for the enigmatic Caspian Tit that was recently re-discovered at a very few locations.

This species is endemic to the South-Caspian region and despite its inconspicuous brownish appearance, it is a true highlight during the trip. Other forest species in this area are well-known for many European birdwatchers: Blue, Great and Coal Tit, Wren, Robin, Blackbird and Nuthatch, but the Great Spotted Woodpecker of the poelzami-subspecies looks slightly different to its European counterpart and is currently under consideration to become full species status.

After spending some time we drive up to the higher altitudes of the Zuvand upland. The landscape is featured by dry mountain semi-deserts with riparian forests and rocky outcrops. Local resident species are Chukar, Horned Lark, Western Rock Nuthatch, Ring Ouzel, Rock Bunting and Red-fronted Serin. Black-throated Thrush and Pine Bunting are the species we have to search for, but chances are good to find them.

Accommodation: Cenub Hotel in Lerik.

Food: Breakfast at hotel, packed lunch in the mountains, dinner at the restaurant in Lerik

Day 5
Day 5 - Aggol National Park

After early breakfast we will depart for Aggol National Park in Agjabadi. On the way to Aggol we will stop in Mahmudchala lake for thousands of ducks, waders and Greater flamingos.

Finally, Aggol National Park is a vitally important area for several species classified as of global conservation concern by BirdLife International, including Lesser White-fronted Goose, White-headed Duck, Marbled Duck, Ferruginous Duck, Dalmatian Pelican, and Little Bustard (where 10,000 birds regularly overwinter).

During our visit to the park, we have a good chance of seeing all of these species. This area also attracts a wide range of passerines in winter with Great Grey Shrike, Brambling, Hawfinch, Eurasian Siskin, Yellowhammer, Dunnock, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Bearded Tit, and Eurasian Penduline Tit and more.

Accommodation: Royal&Xan Palace in Agjabadi

Food: Breakfast at hotel in Masalli, packed lunch in Aggol, dinner at the restaurant in Agjabadi

Day 6
Day 6 - Agh Gol National Park

Once again, we will explore the Agh Gol National Park. The ponds, lakes, and mudflats of the western half of the national park are great locations to look for White-tailed Lapwing and Grey-headed Swamphen, and shorebirds (waders) should be numerous here too, with Pied Avocet, Northern Lapwing, Eurasian Curlew, Ruff, and Spotted Redshank.

On our way to Mingachevir, we will spend the afternoon at the Varvara Wetlands. Here is the first chance to find the Armenian Gull. Other exciting species at this site include White-tailed Lapwing, Pallas’s Gull, Dalmatian Pelican, Pygmy Cormorant, Ferruginous Duck, Whiskered Tern, Cinereous Vulture, White-tailed Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, and interesting passerines like Red-fronted Serin, Moustached Warbler, Hawfinch, Brambling etc.

Accommodation: River Side Hotel, Mingachevir city.

Food: Breakfast at hotel, packed lunch in Ajinohur, dinner at the restaurant in Mingachevir

Day 7
Day 7 - Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape

Time to move north. On our way to the north we make the first stop in Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape to look for two species that are restricted to this part of the Western Palearctic: Finsch’s Wheatear and Red-fronted Serin, with plenty of other highlight species including Western Rock Nuthatch, Rock Sparrow, Rock Bunting, Chukar Partridge and Red-billed Chough. Having lunch in Baku city and heading to Candy Cane Mountains in Khizi district. Here we look for Golden Eagle, Chukar and Finsch’s Wheatear and even Pine Bunting.

We will end our long day up in Grizdahna village in Guba and stay overnight in the Panoramic Hotel.

Accommodation: Panoramic Hotel in Guba.

Food: Breakfast at hotel, packed lunch at the restaurant In Baku, dinner at the hotel in Guba

Day 8
Day 8 - Rural Mountainous Territory

We leave the hotel early in the morning and drive up to the rural mountainous territory by 4x4 cars. While we take breaks at different altitudes we can observe alpine species like Red-fronted Serin, Wallcreeper, Ring Ouzel, Bearded Vulture, Golden Eagle, Rock Bunting etc. Higher up we add White-winged Snowfinch, Horned Lark and Red-billed Chough to our list. Overhead soar Griffon and Cinereous Vultures.

After a tasty lunch in the guesthouse in Khinalig we hike some distance to the steep slopes of Gizilgaya Plateau to search for White-winged Redstart, Caucasian Snowcock, Alpine Accentor, Wallcreeper, White-winged Snowfinch, Caucasian Twite, Horned Lark and others

Accommodation: Panoramic Hotel in Guba.

Food: Breakfast at hotel, lunch in Khinalig, dinner at Panoramic Hotel

Day 9
Day 9 - Mountain in Khizi District

On the way back to Baku we will visit Candy Cane Mountains in Khizi district. We look for Golden Eagle, Chukar and Finsch’s Wheatear and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding colorful landscape. After a long trip you will have the second part of the day to relax or explore the central streets of Baku city.

Day 10
Day 10 - Departure

Flight back to your home country.

Wildlife species expected to see:

Greater White-fronted Goose, Greylag Goose, Whooper Swan, Tundra (Bewick’s) Swan, Ruddy Shelduck, Common Shelduck, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Red-crested Pochard, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Eurasian Wigeon, Eurasian Teal, Common Goldeneye, Lesser White-fronted Goose, Dalmatian Pelican, White-winged Lark, Moustached Warbler, Buff-bellied Pipit (japonicus subspecies), Black Francolin, Grey-headed Swamphen, Pallas’s Gull, and large flocks of Little Bustard, Black Francolin, Common Kingfisher, Grebes, Dalmatian Pelican, Pygmy Cormorant, Common Shelduck, Ruddy Shelduck, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Wigeon, Eurasian Teal, Garganey, Common Pochard, Red-crested Pochard, Ferruginous Duck, Tufted Duck, Kentish Plover, Temminck’s Stint, Common Snipe, Jack Snipe, Pied Avocet, Grey Plover, European Golden Plover, Northern Lapwing, Common Ringed Plover, Eurasian Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Dunlin, Little Stint, Sanderling, Common Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Common Greenshank, Common Redshank, Chukar, Horned Lark, Western Rock Nuthatch, Ring Ouzel, Rock Bunting and Red-fronted Serin. Black-throated Thrush, Pine Bunting, Lesser White-fronted Goose, White-headed Duck, Marbled Duck, Ferruginous Duck, Dalmatian Pelican, Little Bustard, Great Grey Shrike, Brambling, Hawfinch, Eurasian Siskin, Yellowhammer, Dunnock, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Bearded Tit, Eurasian Penduline Tit, Armenian Gull,  White-tailed Lapwing, Pallas’s Gull, Dalmatian Pelican, Pygmy Cormorant, Ferruginous Duck, Whiskered Tern, Cinereous Vulture, White-tailed Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Red-fronted Serin, Moustached Warbler, Hawfinch, Brambling, Western Rock Nuthatch, Rock Sparrow, Rock Bunting, Chukar Partridge, Red-billed Chough, Red-fronted Serin, Wallcreeper, Ring Ouzel, Bearded Vulture, Golden Eagle, Rock Bunting, White-winged Snowfinch, Horned Lark,  Red-billed Chough, White-winged Redstart, Caucasian Snowcock, Alpine Accentor, Wallcreeper, White-winged Snowfinch, Caucasian Twite, Horned Lark and more…

What is included?

  • All accommodations
  • Domestic flights
  • Ground transportation and driver throughout the tour
  • English speaking bird guide
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Unlimited water supply and snacks during the whole trip
  • All entrance fees for nature reserves

What is not included?

  • International flights
  • Airport departure taxes or visa fees
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Additional nights during the trip due to flight cancellations or reasons beyond our control
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Insurance of any kind
  • Laundry
  • Phone calls or messages
  • Reconfirmation of flights
  • Items of personal nature
  • Anything that is not mentioned in the itinerary and "what is included"

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10 Days

Price & Availability

From
EUR3,460 / per person
Single Supplement EUR 420
This tour is operated by: Birdwatching Azerbaijan

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Tour Facts

  • Azerbaijan
  • On Request
  • Multi-Day Tour
  • Birds
  • 6 to 10 px
  • 10 Days
  • 14+ Years
  • Moderate
  • No
  • English
  • Heydar Aliyev International Airport, Baku, Azerbaijan
  • Heydar Aliyev International Airport, Baku, Azerbaijan