Birdwatching, or birding, is a form of wildlife observation in which the observation of birds is a recreational activity. It can be done with the naked eye through a visual enhancement device like binoculars and telescopes, or by listening for bird sounds. Birdwatching often involves a significant auditory component, as many bird species are more easily detected and identified by ear than by eye. Most birdwatchers pursue this activity for recreational or social reasons, unlike ornithologists, who engage in the study of birds using formal scientific methods.
Dsegh Center - Caucasian Black Grouse site - Dsegh Center
First day early in the morning we will drive about 25km from Dsegh Center up to the mountains and observe birds such as Northern wheatear, Water pipit, Eurasian Linnet, Common Rosefinch.
Camping at the site
Next day we will hike about 5-6 km to reach the site for the Caucasian Black Grouse and will spend a whole day high up in the mountains observing birds such as Northern wheatear, Water pipit, Eurasian Hobby, Booted Eagle, Egyptian Vulture, European Honey-buzzard and others. After spotting the Caucasian Black Grouse we will return Dsegh.
Dsegh Center - Tashir Lakes (Tashir IBA) - Lake Arpi (Arpi Lake IBA)
Early in the morning from Dsegh we will drive to Lori Berd (Lori Fortress). Lori Berd is a medieval fortress located near Lori Berd village in Lori Province. The fortress was built by David Anhoghin approximately in 1005-1020s to be the capital of Kingdom of Tashir-Dzoraget. Ruins of Lori cover about 35 ha and are located on a plateau 1490 m above the sea level between Dzoraget River and its inflow Miskhan. Deep canyons of this area made the Lori berd fortress unapproachable. Here we can spot Egyptian and Bearded vultures, Steppe and Long-Legged Buzzards, Stonechat, Winchat, Corn and Black-headed Buntings, Whitethroat. From Lori Berd we will continue to Tashir Lakes, where we can see Egrets, Herons, Garganey, Tufted duck, Red-crested Pochard, Red-breasted pipit, Red-necked Grebe, which nests only in this area. During spring and fall migration many raptor and waterbird species use the area as a stopover such as Steppe and Long-legged Buzzards, Pallid and Marsh Harriers, and rarely Red-breasted Goose.
Overnight in Tashir
The route from Tashir to Lake Arpi will pass through Karakhach mount pass (2272m), which is one of the most interesting sites for migratory raptors: Imperial Eagle, Steppe Eagle, Greater and Lesser Spotted eagles, Montagu’s and Pallid Harriers, hundreds of Honey, Steppe and Long-legged Buzzards.
Arpi reservoir, located in the very north-west of Armenia, evolved in the 1950s from the small Lake Arpi. Fed by thaws and four streams, it is the source of the Akhurian river. The landscape is mountain steppe with mostly grassy alpine vegetation. The site is adjacent to wetlands. More than 190 species have been recorded around Lake Arpi. Of special concern is the large breeding colony of Armenian Gulls; 7,000-10,000 pairs are known to breed on the two islands, comprising 60% of the population in Armenia. Arpi lake provide foraging habitats for Black Stork and an array of stopover waterfowl, such as Common and Red-crested Pochards, Tufted Duck, Ruddy Shelduck, Smew, Great Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Corncrake, Redshank and other waders. The lake reaches its seasonal peak when flocks of migrant waterbirds and raptors such as Steppe Eagle, Greater and Lesser Spotted Eagles, buzzards, harriers and falcons converge here to refuel.