Friday 31 May 2024

Armenia 2023 - Part 5

With breakfast not being served until 9am that gave us enough time to explore the immediate surroundings of the Dili Vita Guesthouse. It didn't take us that long to connect with several of the area's target species such as Green Warbler and Ehrenberg's Redstart (see eBird checklist here). A single Red-breasted Flycatcher was also a nice bonus.

After breakfast we took a drive up into the wooded hillside towards an ebird hotspot that looked good for Semicollared Flycatcher and Green Warbler. We saw and heard both species quite easily and to be fair the habitat was excellent for both and all you really needed to do was pull in off the road somewhere, walk into the woods and you'd come across both species in a short space of time. (See eBird checklist here).

Semicollared Flycatcher



So with those species well covered we headed back towards the northern edge of Lake Sevan and stopped at a small inlet called Hradzan estuary where we hoped to see some water birds. I think overall it was a little bit disappointing here and the breezy conditions didn't help (See eBird checklist here).

We more or less called it a day at this point and headed back towards the Dili Vita Guesthouse for dinner.

The following morning prior to checking out we spent a little around the grounds of our guesthouse. This dapper male Ehrenberg's Redstart was the undoubted highlight.

Ehrenberg's Redstart, Dili Vita Guesthouse, Armenia

Not the greatest poses or perches but it did sing us a little tune!


I also noted another male Common Redstart in the vicinity of the guesthouse but this individual appeared to be of the nominate race rather than 'samamisicus' or Ehrenberg's Redstart. Now this is either a poorly marked 'samamisicus' male (i.e. in terms of the white panel on the wing) or it really is a nominate male and both nominate and subspecies 'samamisicus' can co-exist in the same area - something I need to research.


Presumed male nominate race of Common Redstart

Dili Vita Guesthouse, Armenia


View from the Dili Vita Guesthouse of the wooded slopes of the Dilijan NP

Dili Vita Guesthouse main reception and garden

We decided that before leaving the Dilijan area itself, that we should try to do a bit better with photos of Green Warbler, after all when would we ever be likely to see them again? So, we returned back to our spot from yesterday morning (flushing several roadside Hawfinches en route). We staked out a singing Green Warbler and gave it an hour. Honestly, it was tricky though. The bird was favouring some trees on a steep wooded slope and closer approach would just mean that we would be looking up at the bird rather than level with it. Ultimately, I / we had to settle for these rather distant and cropped photos.

Green Warbler, Armenia



I did fare slightly better with this male Semicollared Flycatcher.


And that was where we elected to leave the Dilijan area and start making our way over towards Mount Agarats where some excellent birding awaited us. More on that to follow!

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