Besh Barmag, bird migration, photography, science

Rare birds, mist netting and students from Baku

Text & Photos © M. Heiß

Daily we observe new species, which arrived from the wintering grounds and pass through the Besh Barmag bottleneck. The last days arrived Black Redstart, Blackcap, Glossy Ibis, Whimbrel, Steppe Eagle, Wryneck, Montagues Harrier and many more. The number of migrating larks is now decreasing, whereas swallows are increasing. The first larger flock of 25 Steppe Buzzards flew along the foothills. Harriers are still numerous.

Long-legged Buzzard

Migrating female Hen Harrier at close range

Migrating male Hen Harrier at very close range

Imperial Eagles are regular visitors of the waste dump nearby

Purple Heron on migration

Good numbers of Greater Short-toed Larks passed through the bottleneck

We also observed rare species such as a single Demoiselle Crane, a pair of Pine Buntings and 3 flocks of Sociable Lapwings. One flock was resting in grassland close to my observation point. Unfortunately, none was ringed or with a satellite transmitter for tracking their flyways (


A small flock of rare Sociable Lapwings

A gorgeous male Pine Bunting in breeding plumage

Mist netting is also getting better day by day with daily totals of 37, 113 and 44 birds the last 3 days. Most common species was Chiffchaff, but also Hoopoes, Cetti’s Warbler, Moustached Warbler, Menetries’s Warbler, Bluethroat and Scops Owl were caught.
On 1st April a group of students from Baku visited the study site and Friedrich and I were glad to show and explain them our field work. Unfortunately, bird migration was not very intense this morning, but at least we caught a Chiffchaff later the day that we showed the students.


Students at the nets
Cetti’s Warbler © F. Eidam
Menetries’s Warbler © F. Eidam
Scops Owl © F. EidamShort-eared Owl © F. Eidam


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