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Friday 12th May - Saturday 27th May 2006

Ray O'Reilly

We completed a highly enjoyable tour combining fine birding with spectacular scenery. I cannot stress enough how well we were received by the local people who were very helpful and extremely friendly – we were often treated as long lost friends. Although we were a small group we still clocked up 242 species and had fine views of virtually all of them. It should also be noted that nearly all of the birds seen were at their best, in full breeding plumage. This tour must rank as one of the most spectacular in the Western Palearctic. Local specialities included Scopoli’s and Yelkouan Shearwaters, Pygmy Cormorant, White-headed Duck, Caucasian Grouse, Caspian Snowcock, See-see Partridge, Armenian Gull, White-spectacled Bulbul, Radde’s Accentor, White-throated Robin, Cyprus, Finsch’s and Kurdish Wheatears, Moustached, Upcher’s, Olive-tree, Ménétries’s, Cyprus, Rüppell’s, Green and Eastern Bonelli’s Warblers, Caucasian Chiffchaff, Sombre Tit, Krüper’s and Eastern Rock Nuthatches, Dead Sea Sparrow, Pale Rock Finch, Red-fronted Serin, Crimson-winged Finch and Cinereous Bunting.