Besh Barmag, bird migration, photography, science

Glaucous Gull and some more

Text & Photos © M. Heiß

Seawatching became more and more boring the last weeks with only a few migrating terns and waders, but last week I was surprised by an immature Glaucous Gull. The gull
had whitish wings and tail and was much larger than the Caspian Gulls and despite the large observation distance the black bill tip was well visible with the spotting scope. Unfortunately, the bird was too distant to produce any record shots and a search for it one day later on a waste dump nearby was unsuccessful. Glaucous Gulls are known to be vagrant in the northern Caspian Sea (Glaucous Gull in Kazakhstan) and this observation is probably in connection with the cold winter and the massive influx of arctic gulls in Europe. This is the first record of this species for Azerbaijan, if accepted by a rarity committee. Also interesting was the observation of at least three Caspian Seals along the coast.

However, spring migration continuous with still good numbers of Red-throated Pipits and Yellow Wagtails. The first Rollers and Rose-coloured Starlings arrived. In the bushes Nightingales, Lesser Grey Shrikes and Cuckoos are singing. And at night the frequent calls of Scops Owls can be heard.

French birdwatchers observed another White-headed Yellow Wagtail and a Demoiselle Crane.

European Bee-eater
Tawny Pipit in the steppe
Small flock of Black-winged Pratincoles on migration
Collared Pratincole resting in the lagoon
Currently thousands of White-winged Black Terns fly North
White-winged Black Terns resting in the lagoon
Griffon Vulture flying overhead
Several colonies of gerbils exist at the study site, but observation can be difficult
A Jackal at the lagoon

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