Bird Families

Barnacle Bulbul / Pycnonotus leucogenys

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Spinus spinus. A common scanty species. Recorded in the first site several times: April 11 (2 o.), April 13, 14, 16 (2 o.), April 17. Most of the siskins we encountered fed on the ground.

Carduelis carduelis colchicus Koudashev, 1915. Common species, regularly recorded during the entire observation period at the first site. Goldfinches (1-3 birds) constantly fed on the territory of the boarding house, in particular, on April 7, dandelion seeds. On April 13, at 15 h 50 min, a flock of 10 individuals was recorded that flew through the site.

In conclusion, it can be noted that in the spring, many insects and other invertebrates, due to their still low activity, accumulate in the green dense grass of lawns. When mowing grass, they become visible and accessible to birds. Therefore, different types of insectivorous birds gather at this time on mowed lawns. A total of 42 bird species were recorded in the surveyed areas of the Yuzhny boarding house in the first half of April. Of these, two species fed chicks during this period of the year, and three species built nests.

Russian Ornithological Journal 2016, Volume 25, Express issue 1290: 1882-1885

First registration of the white-eared bulbul Pycnonotus leucotis in Armenia

A. Ter - Voskanyan, I. Leestmans

Hasmik Ter-Voskanyan. TSE - Towards Sustainable Development NGO, st. Dimitrova 87b / 14, 0020 Yerevan, Armenia, E-mail: [email protected] Joseph Leestmans. 128 Kirkton avenue, G13 3AD Glasgow, Scotland, UK, E-mail: [email protected]

Received May 5, 2016

The city of Meghri is located in the southernmost part of Armenia, on the Araks River, almost on the border with Iran. The climate in this part of the republic is subtropical; in the foothills of the Meghri ridge, absolute heights fluctuate between 600 and 800 m above sea level. The area is characterized by many small gorges with xerophytic vegetation and rocky outcrops.

On May 29, 2014, with a group of 5 birdwatchers, we visited a small gorge in the vicinity of Meghri (38.91267 ° N, 46.2565 ° E) (see figure). The steepness of the slopes of the gorge is 5-15 °, the slopes are covered with xerophytic vegetation with a predominance of Artemisia fragrans, Paliu-

rus spina-christi, Rhamnus pallasii (Saghatelyan 1985). Our group searched for the Oenanthe chrysopygia, the Hippolais languida, and other native species using 10x42 binoculars. At 11:10 a.m., an unknown bird about 20 cm long crouched on a bush 10 m away from the authors and Arseen Van Verdegem. The bird did not resemble any species known to Armenia, which attracted our attention. For one of the authors, the bird was completely unfamiliar; at first glance, it reminded the other author of a tit because of the white cheeks, but later, having examined the bird in full, he came to the conclusion that it was a bulbul, the third observer also identified the bird as a bulbul. The bird appeared for 8-10 seconds and we were able to clearly see its black head with white cheeks and bright orange under-tail. Then the bird flew off the bush, showing the white edges of the gray tail feathers, and disappeared from sight. It was not possible to photograph her. We immediately checked the observed characters using the field guide (Svensson et al. 2010) and preliminarily identified the bird as the white-eared bulbul Pycnonotus leucotis (Gould, 1836).

The meeting point of the white-eared bulbul Pycnonotus leucotis in the vicinity of Meghri.

After discussing our observation on the same day in the evening, we came to the conclusion that a mistake is out of the question. Thanks to good illumination and close distance, all diagnostic signs (“tit-like” white cheeks on a black head, orange-yellow undertail and white edge of the dark tail) were well examined. The white-eared bulbul cannot be confused with any other bird of the Western Pale-Arctic or with any other type of bulbul. Close View - Himalayan

Bulbul Pycnonotus leucogenys is similar to the white-eared type of coloration, but it has a pronounced sharp crest (which was not observed in the species we saw), moreover, this species does not nest west of the Hindu Kush and is not recorded in the Western Palaearctic.

The known breeding area of ​​the white-eared bulbul covers Afghanistan, Pakistan, western India and the Middle East: Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Jordan, Syria (Porter et al. 1996, BirdLife International 2012). In the western part of the range, the species is distributed in isolated foci, confined to settlements and oases. For example, the outbreak of this bulbul exists in Tehran and its environs (Koblik et al. 2005), but the authors suggest that this population may come from introduced birds. There is no evidence of this species in Armenia in the available sources (Leister, Sosnin 1942, Dal 1950, Adamyan, Klem 1999, http: //www.armenia birding.info/listbirds.html, http: //osme.org/trip-reports / armtrip3, http://osme.org/trip-reports/armtrip4, http: // osme.org/trip-reports/armtrip5) could not be found. There is no published evidence of sightings of the species north of Syria and Iraq. The nesting areas of the white-eared bulbul closest to Meghri are Tehran (northern Iran) and the Upper Tigris basin (northern Iraq).

Thus, we believe that our registration of the white-eared bulbul is the first for Armenia and the entire Transcaucasia. The species was recorded in the middle of a typical breeding season (Snow, Perrins 1988), but no signs of breeding were observed. We preliminarily qualify the find as a natural distant flight (although it is possible that the bird comes from introduced populations, or could have flown out of the cage in one of the Middle Eastern countries). Further observations are needed to clarify the status of the species in Armenia.

We thank Karen Aghababyan for providing his unpublished data and checking the manuscript, Evgeny Koblik for valuable advice and information about the white-eared bulbul, Vasil Ananyan for providing the literature and checking the draft of this note, and Arseen Van Verdegem for help in identifying the species.

Dal S.K. 1950. Fauna of the Armenian SSR. T. 1. Vertebrates. Yerevan: 1-415. Koblik E.A., Ilyashenko V.Yu., Mohammadian H., Sadegi F.R. 2005. Ornithological observations in Central Elburz and adjacent regions of Northern Iran // Ornithology 32: 123-130. Lyayster A.F., Sosnin G.V. 1942. Materials on the avifauna of the Armenian SSR (Ornis

Armeniaca). Yerevan: 1-402. Saghatelyan A.A. 1985. Xerophilous vegetation of the foothills of Meghri region

Armenia // Flora, vegetation and plant resources of the Armenian SSR 9. Adamian M.S., Klem D.Jr. 1999. Handbook of the birds of Armenia. Oakland, AUA Press.

BirdLife International 2012. Pycnonotus leucotis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. ... Downloaded on 02 February 2015. Porter R.F., Christensen S., Schiermacker-Hansen P. 1996. Field Guide to the Birds of

the Middle East. London. Snow D.W., Perrins C.M. 1988. The Birds of the Western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, 5.

Svensson L., Mullarney K., Dan Zetterstrom D., Grant H. J. 2010. Collins Bird Guide. Harper Collins Publishers Ltd.

Russian Ornithological Journal 2016, Volume 25, Express issue 1290: 1885-1889

Mass appearance of the blue-tailed Tarsiger cyanurus in the near-White Sea region in 2009: a continuation of the process of spreading to the west or a sign of a pulsation of the range?

I. N. Panov, V. Yu. Semashko, G. M. Tertitsky, A. E. Cherenkov, E. V. Shutova

Second edition. First published in 2011 *

Until the middle of the 20th century, it was believed that the western boundaries of the nesting areas of the bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus lie in the area of ​​the upper and middle reaches of the Pechora River (Gladkov 1954, Ivanov 1976). In the 1930s, the first data on the breeding of this species appeared much to the west - in 1938 near Arkhangelsk (Gladkov 1954) and in 1937 in the Lapland Nature Reserve (Malchevsky 1947). Subsequently, periodic encounters of blue-tails in different regions of the European North and North-West of our country, as well as in Finland, allowed the authors to draw the western border of the species distribution over the territory of the Kola Peninsula, Finland, the Leningrad region, and even Estonia (Cramp 1988, Stepanyan 2003). However, despite the abundance of reports on sightings of bluetail (see, for example, review: Kokhanov 2005), cases of reliably confirmed nesting are not so numerous. In 1977, a female with a brood patch was captured in the eastern Priladozhie (Noskov et al. 1981); in 1997, nests were found in the Kirov region (Sotnikov 1997) and in the Komi Republic (Robul, Demetriades 1997). According to Finnish research

* Panov I.N., Semashko V.Yu., Tertitskiy G.M., Cherenkov A.E., Shutova E.V. 2011. Mass appearance of blue-tailed beetle in the near-White Sea region in 2009: continuation of the process of spreading to the west or a sign of a pulsation of the area? // Ornithology 36: 216-219.

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