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Birdwatching in Azerbaijan: A Guide to Nature and Landscape

Wildlife Guide

By: Sebastian Schmidt, Kai Gauger and Nigar Agayeva

224 pages, colour photos, maps, includes audio CD

Michael Succow Foundation

Paperback | Jan 2008 | #174965 | ISBN-13: 9783000241581
Availability: In stock
NHBS Price: £19.99 $25/€24 approx

About this book

The first comprehensive nature guidebook to Azerbaijan - it covers bird species as well as detailed landscape and nature descriptions. Filled with details, it will also take you to the country's remotest corners, describe its natural highlights and assist you with practical hints like finding a place for the night.

Azerbaijan, located at the very border of Europe and Asia, is a country of sharp contrasts: alpine mountain ranges and lush forest, dry semi-desert and vivid wetlands are in close proximity to each other. This publication by the Michael Succow Foundation presents Azerbaijan's amazing birdlife and illustratively depicts why this is a country worthwhile to travel to.

An audio CD Listening Landscapes: Sound Excursions to Nature in Azerbaijan (running time: 74 minutes) accompanies the book.

"Visitors to Transcaucasia with an interest in wildlife will welcome the publication of this new birdwatching guide."
- Michael Patrikeev, IBIS - The Journal of the British Ornithologists' Union

"The book provides a mass of valuable informatino for an independent traveller, and easily fits into the pocket of a backpack or travel bag. Just looking through the illustrations may inspire you to visit Azerbaijan or learn more about its natural and cultural treasures."
- Michael Patrikeev, IBIS - The Journal of the British Ornithologists' Union

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"Part historical monologue, part site guide, part gazetteer and part rough guide this is a most unusual `where to watch' guide I've reviewed to date; it even has an Azerbaijan soundscape CD on the back cover!

Its diversity is its great strength and also its weakness. Whilst the scope is ambitious, that ambition is really fulfilled and if you read this tome cover to cover you will know far more about the natural history of Azerbaijan than 90% of Azerbaijanees! However, this does mean that simple directions and site accounts are often hard to find in the detail. The map is a physical representation of the same problem; it combines a topographical map with various levels of environmental protection illustrated in colours so similar to those used by the topography that one first assumes most of the country is protected instead of the few percent currently so designated.

Nevertheless, there is a way to ensure you mine the information you want and separate the diamonds from the detailed ore. First read the regional descriptions then one can understand the site details in that context and it soon all falls into place. What is more, if this is insufficient to show you where the top birds could be found in a birding tour, then turn to the back and the suggested itineraries!

There are some issues that a second edition would want to address but it is also a treasurehouse for those prepared to stick with it and see what wonders the relatively newly independent nation has to offer the intrepid nature lover."
- Fatbirder.com, June 2008.

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"This is the first comprehensive ornithological site guide to Azerbaijan. The authors have divided the country into seven regions to help readers decide where to go. These are the coasts, central lowlands, dry foothills, Greater Caucasus, Lesser Caucasus, Talish Mountains and Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. Each chapter identifies several sites to visit, and each of these is accompanied by a list of typical species. Maps of the general location of each site is included, and while these are fine for seeing where the site is in relation to local villages generally they do not give detail of paths or access.

Throughout the book is well illustrated with photographs of habitats and species. The accompanying CD contains 75 minutes of stereo atmospheric recordings covering the main habitats. These are very pleasant, and a welcome addition to the book. Some 55 species are selected for individual treatment as they are target species for the region. A checklist of 394 species is also included indicating both the regions in which each is found but also the time of occurrence.

A typical two week summary to see much of Azerbaijan is sketched out for those wanting to create their own trip and there is also plenty of useful information to assist with planning. A lot of work has gone into the production of this book, and hopefully it will inspire OSME members to visit this country - now just sixteen years into its second period as an independent republic."
- Keith Betton, Sandgrouse, Volume 30(2), 2008.


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