You’ll find visiting Nakhchivan as a birdwatcher hugely worthwhile. The landscape and feel of the place is very different. The region has a continental climate with cold winters and hot summers, and much of the central area is covered by orange-red steppe or semi-desert. The Araz river to the south marks a natural border with Iran, while the Lesser Caucasus Mountains tower across the north. It’s a big place but you can visit the key birdwatching sites in a few days. The region’s avifauna has more in common with eastern Turkey and north-western Iran than mainland Azerbaijan, and if you visit in May or early June especially you’ll see 10-12 species that you won’t see elsewhere in Azerbaijan, including Radde’s Accentor, Mongolian Finch, Trumpeter Finch, Grey-necked Bunting, Upchers Warbler, White-throated Robin, and See-see Partridge.
Mongolian Finch (Eremopsaltria mongolica)
Grey-necked Bunting (Emberiza buchanani)
Red-tailed wheatear (Oenanthe chrysopygia)
White-throated Robin (Irania gutturalis)
Radde’s Accentor (Prunella ocularis)
See-see Partridge (Ammoperdix griseogularis)
Upcher’s Warbler (Hippolais languida)
Pale Rock Sparrow (Carpospiza brachydactyla)
Bimaculated Lark (Melanocorypha bimaculate)
Caspian Snowcock (Tetraogallus caspius)
Eastern Rock Nuthatch (Sitta tephronata)
When to visit:
Late spring and early summer.
Where to stay:
Nakhchivan city, the region’s capital, is the best place to base yourself and has several good hotels: Tabriz Hotel (+994365447701), Hotel Grand Nakhchivan (+994365445930), Duzdag Hotel (+994365444901), and Saat Meydani Hotel (+994365457755).