This morning our Rockjumper tour went up to the mountains south of Samarkand. We had a fantastic morning around Takhta-Karacha mountain pass, at about 1700 m.
We saw so many wonderful birds, including Eastern Rock Nuthatch, Irania, Upcher’s Warbler, Indian Paradise flycatcher, Red-headed and White-capped Buntings, ‘vittata’ Pied Wheatear, Lammergeier, Grey-headed Goldfinch, Hume’s Lesser Short-toed Lark and many more.
Just check this mouthwatering eBird checklist- bliss. No time to edit more photos tonight, more to follow. The most surprising find was a Rusty-tailed Flycatcher.
Timur expertly first heard it singing, then all the group enjoyed great views of it.
Rusty-tailed Flycatcher is a Himalayan-breeding species that extends its range NW to Tajikistan and just into SE Uzbekistan. It winters in SW India.
Apparently this is the first record for Samarkand region. It normally occurs in higher elevations and in thicker forest. Possibly this is a migrant rather than a breeder.
Not the most colourful bird of the day, but certainly of high quality.
I have been birding since the age of 9, and from the age of 15 I started working professionally in birding. I have been working for the Israeli Ornithological Center since 1998. I was a member of the Israeli rarities committee between 2001 – 2007. I have an MSc in Ecology from the Ben Gurion University. I did my research on the ecology of Nubian Nightjars in Israel, and spent hundreds of nights with these fascinating birds. I lead tours in Israel, and especially focus on Nubian Nightjars obviously. I traveled and birded Asia extensively, and also Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Africa and North America. I am married to my lovely wife Adva and father to two sons – Uri and Noam, and one daughter – Libby. Currently I live in Norwich, where I am starting a PhD project at UEA.