In this introduction to Kurdistan birding, only 10 species were seen but it gave me a first feel of what to expect in the region.
One of the most surprising finds for me was a greenfinch. According to my regional guide's map there is an isolated community of this northern bird around Sulaimani. It seems I found it.
Eastern olivaeous warbler
Before that I spent some time trying to identify the relatively large number of warblers in the park. It didn't take me too long to wok out that they were all of two types.
Eastern olivaceous warbler was extremely common.
second view of Menetries's warbler
I had been told that white wagtail could be found at the park and so it proved. I came across a family of 2 adults and 2 juveniles next to one of the three artifical lakes. The adults were very worn.
juvenile white wagtail
The park's most obvious residents are the doves: collared dove, laughing dove and feral pigeon. Unfortunately there was no sign of turtle dove. The latter bird is in serious trouble throughout its range.
The main problem with birding in Kurdistan at this time of year is the temperature. It reached 42C on July 26th. Birding became increasingly difficult after 9am as we walked round the park.
Thanks are due to my non-birding friend Steve Kaplysz who lives and works in Kuridstan and who came out on this visit with me.
After returning to Steve's place mid morning, at 4pm as the temperatures began to drop, I resumed birding in another part of the city. Still with low key birding, another seven species were added to my embryonic Kurdistan list including a lifer.
Species seen in Azadi park
Eastern olivaceous warbler