birdwatching inBesh Barmag Reserve
This is a haven for birders especially in spring and autumn, when as many as 200,000 birds pass through on a daily basis. Over 320 species have been recorded in the area and it’s possible to see over 100 or more species in a single day! They include a wide variety of raptors as well as thousands of ducks, herons, terns, gulls and waders that pass along the shoreline, while some very exciting species regularly rest in the area. The majority of the birds, however, are passerines: tens of thousands of larks, finches, pipits, swallows and much more flow south on a good October day. Well over 100,000 Starlings have been counted in one day! The site has gained fame for discovering rarities seen for the first time ever in Azerbaijan, like the Yellow-browed Warbler in 2015 or the Long-tailed Rosefinch in 2018.
Black-winged Pratincole (Glareola nordmanni)
Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca)
Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis)
White-winged Lark (Alauda leucoptera)
Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus)
Pallas’s Gull (Ichthyaetus ichthyaetus)
Buff-bellied Pipit (Anthus rubescens)
Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus)
Black Kite (Milvus migrans)
Eurasian Hobby (Falco subbuteo)
Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax)
Blue-rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius)
Rock Sparrow (Petronia petronia
Wallcreeper (Tichodroma muraria)
When to visit:
The spring migration is from March until late May, but the best time for both species and numbers is mid-April to early May. Autumn sees both a longer period, from mid-August until mid-December, and also higher volumes of birds. The peak for both species variation and numbers seems to be from mid-October until late November.
Where to stay:
Located 3km from the birding observation site, Zarat Hotel (+994555258707) is a convenient and comfortable option. Other hotels can be found further south in Gilazi. For greater luxury, opt for Qalaalti Hotel & Spa about 30km north.