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Birdwatching Tour

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Birdwatching Tour Situated in the extreme southeast of the Western Palearctic Armenia has been somewhat neglected as a birding destination. Armenia has an advantage in that the majority of the key birding sites are located . .
Country: Armenia
City: Yerevan
Duration: 9 Day(s) - 8 Night(s)
Tour Category: Birdwatching Tour
Package Itinerary

Birdwatching Tour 

Situated in the extreme southeast of the Western Palearctic Armenia has been somewhat neglected as a birding destination. Armenia has an advantage in that the majority of the key birding sites are located within easy striking distance of the capital, Yerevan. 

Day 1: Arrival

Day 2: Yerevan / Khor Virap / Noravank / Yegheghnadzor

Armash fish farm is one of the Caucasus’ richest ornithological hotspots and the only place that boasts the largest concentration and variety of birdlife in Armenia.

Birds in this area: Pygmy Cormorant, Greylag Goose, Ferruginous Duck, Gadwall and Northern Shoveler, Black-tailed Godw and etc.The site is an Important Bird Area of global significance.

The Khor Virap (meaning deep pit) monastery is a 7th century Armenian monastery in the Ararat plain in Armenia, very close to the border with Turkey and the closest point in Armenia to Mount Ararat, the national symbol of Armenia.

Birds in this area: Highlights in the area are: Herons, Rufous-tailed Scrub-Robin, Menetries’s Warbler, Sedge and Reed Warblers.

Our next station is Noravank Important Bird Area where we will be hosted by a local Caretaker and have dinner in a grotto café. Birds in this area: Over 190 species have been recorded in this site, a number of which are listed in the International Red Data Book of Endangered Species. Species of conservation concern supported at the site include Short-toed and Golden Eagles, Bearded and Egyptian Vultures as well as European Roller, Eastern and Western nuthatches, Chukar, Red-billed Choughs, Blue Rock Thrush and buntings. Overnight stay in a hotel in Vayk town.

Day 3:  Vayk / Gorayk / Stonehenge / Tatev / Goris

Early Morning we will drive from Yeghegnadzor across the Sisian plateau to Gorayk Important Bird Area (IBA), where we will see the only known breeding colony of globally threatened Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) in Armenia.

Then we will drive to Zorats Karer, or ‘Carahunge’ the ‘Armenian Stonehenge’, a mystical site which is at least 3rd millennium BC and believed to be an ancient Observatory. En route we can see Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrels, Cuckoo, Crimson-winged finch, Black-headed bunting, Red-backed shrike,

Our next stop is Tatev Monsatery and its incredible Gorge.

Birds in this area: The gorge supports colonies of Griffon Vulture. Also Lammergeyer Egyptian Vulture and Lesser Spotted eagle. Great Spotted and Eurasian Green woodpeckers.

We will make our way back on Tatev Wings which is the world’s longest cable car line, a 5.7-kilometer engineering feat that spans a spectacular gorge to the country’s ancient Tatev monastery and was launched in 2010.

Day 4: Goris / Shikahogh State Reserve / Meghri

We will drive from Goris to Shikahogh State Reserve.

Birds in this area: Black Woodpecker, Common Buzzard, Black Kite, Short-toed Snake-eagle, Eurasian sparrowhawk, Egyptian Vulture.

Birds in this area: Meghri’s variety of habitats hold rarities such as See-see Partridge, Sombre Tit and Red-tailed Wheatear.  Finsch's, Black-eared and Red-tailed Wheatears are local breeders, while other residents include Black Francolin and the duo of Western and Eastern Rock Nuthatches, which breed side-by-side in many rocky gorges in the region. 

Day 5: Meghri / Kapan / Jermuk

From Meghri we will drive to Jermuk and will cross the highest pass (2535 m) in Caucasus.

Jermuk is a town-resort in the southern Armenian province of Vayots DzorIt was a popular destination during the Soviet era and nowadays is still famous for its hot springs and its brand of mineral water that is bottled in the vicinity. The town is considered to be attractive for its huge waterfall, the natural bridge, the lake, its forests with the walking trails and mineral water pools. Jermuk is currently being redeveloped to become a modern centre of tourism and health services. The distinctively fresh air makes Jermuk unpolluted.

Birds in this area: A part from the variety that was mentioned on the way to Meghri, we Might also see Wheatears, Warblers and diversity of Larks.

Day 6: Jermuk / Selim Pass / Sevan / Yerevan

Selim Caravan Saray is situated in the Selim (Sulema) mountain pass, 2410 m asl, on the old road that connected historical Gegharkunik with Vayots Dzor.  Passing the Selim pass we will stop in the village Eghegis, where the observation point is based for bezoar goats (wild goats) in the cliffs.

Birds in this area: It is an interesting spot for Ortolan Bunting, Hoopoe, Common Rosefinch, Red-backed Shrike, Lammergeier, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Buzzard and many other raptors, as well as White-throated Robin and Chukar, Linnets and Twites.

Lake Sevan is the world's second largest alpine lake covering an area of nearly 1,300 square kilometers. Lake Sevan plays host to an impressive wealth of species. Breeding birds are rather limited, but the area does hold a substantial colony of Armenian Gulls (mainly along the northwestern shore).

Birds in this area: you may see large numbers of herons, Acrocephalus warblers, Glossy Ibis, Osprey. Little Grebe ,Grey Heron Little Egret, Common Coot, Common Pochard, Red-crested Pochard, Common Moorhen, Common Black-headed Gull,
Common Kingfisher, Cetti’s Warbler, Common Snipe, Green Sandpiper 

Day 7: Yerevan / Aragats / Ejmiatsin / Yerevan

Aragats mountain lies to the north-west of Yerevan, and reaches 4090m.

Birds in this area:It is an excellent area for mountainous species such as Alpine Accentor, Snowfinch, Skylark and Crimson-winged Finch, Red-billed Chough are all common in the upper boulder field zones. Raptors are impressive and include Short-toed, Booted and Lesser Spotted Eagles and Long-legged Buzzard, Ring Ouzel, Rufous-Tailed Rock-thrush, Bluethroat, Horned Lark. Wallcreeper can be found on the precipitous peaks surrounding the crater.

Amberd is the name given to the 7th century Armenian fortress located 2,300 meters (7,546 ft) above sea level, on the slopes of Mount Aragats at the confluence of the Arkashen and Amberd rivers in the province of Aragatsotn, Armenia. The name translates to "fortress in the clouds" in Armenian. It is also the name incorrectly attributed to Vahramashen Church, the 11th century Armenian church near the castle.

Etchmiadzin is the fourth largest city in Armenia and the spiritual centre of the Armenians being the seat of the Catholicos of All Armenians, the head of the Holy Armenian Apostolic Church. The Etchmiadzin Cathedral is listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Day 8: Yerevan / Garni / Gerghard / Yerevan  

Gorge: Egyptian vulture, European Roller. Other rare species include Griffon vulture, Lammergeier, Lanner and Peregrine Falcons, Golden eagle, Alpine Swift, Syrian Woodpecker, Woodchart Shrike, White-Throated Robin, Blue-Rock Thrush and other Passerines.

Garni is a village in the Kotayk Province of Armenia, situated approximately 28 km southeast from Yerevan. It is notable for its fortress complex with the 1st century AD Garni Temple.

The monastery of Geghard is a unique architectural construction in the Kotayk province of Armenia, being partially carved out of the adjacent mountain, surrounded by cliffs. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While the main chapel was built in 1215; the monastery complex was founded in the 4th century by Gregory the Illuminator at the site of a sacred spring inside a cave.

Birds in this area: Common Stonechat, Whinchat Greg-Martin.

Day 9: Departure

Tranfer to the airport. Departure home!



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