Finsch’s Wheatear at Gobustan museum and visitor center

Unfazed by the passing coaches, a male Finsch’s Wheatear (Oenanthe finschii) stands on a rock. On the way down from the famous Gobustan rock paintings in the south of the Azerbaijani capital, Baku, I want to give the male Finsch’s Wheatear a chance for a photo. In fact, the male cannot be seen at first. I imitate his singing. The Finsch’s Wheatear is immediately coming, the male flies in. Wow, that went well. With every further attempt, the Finsch’s Wheatear keeps flying around us. Now and then it stands on a thick boulder and peeks over the edge so that it doesn’t have to expose itself completely. Then it looks directly at us at a distance of a good 10 meters.

At some point a policeman who controls access to the rock carvings comes strolling over to us. No, we are not allowed to get out and take pictures here. Fortunately, the photos were already “in the can”. Unfortunately, the long-awaited Rock Nuthatch (Sitta neumayer) is not in the area.

At 8:30 a.m. we had made our way south out of the city. Although it is the beginning of November, another beautiful day is announced, even if a strong north wind prevails. Gobustan (or spelled Qobustan) is quite a famous place due to many rock paintings, which is about 45 minutes drive south of the center of Baku and easily accessible from any tour from the city. The fenced area is located on a ridge of rubble just inland from the main road south and is (you might say almost) well signposted from the main road.

We arrive just before 9:30 am to find that the center to the Qobustan excavation is closed and access to the site was not possible before 10:00 am. The policemen at the gate turn us away. If you don’t want to wait, you can explore the surrounding area. A well-developed road leads further east.

When we return shortly after 10:00 a.m., the museum and visitor center are already surprisingly well attended. The surrounding gardens are worth a detour. First some songbirds greet us. Of course, there are a few Crested Larks (Galerida cristata) with the unmistakable call again. We intensively rattle the rows of trees or something like an orchard (with pomegranate). We see a few European Goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis), which can be photographed quite well on the junipers. The sun has now really asserted itself; but the wind is still noticeable and even a little chilly.

We don’t want to miss the petroglyphs. A number of coaches have already gathered in a parking lot higher up between rocks. We leave the car in the parking lot and are already on our way to the main petroglyph site. The laughter of an Indian tour group is already echoing from the rock face. However, the prehistoric drawings are also really impressive. The outlines of aurochs or donkeys are clearly visible. The drawings of men can only be seen or recognized with a lot of imagination and phantasy. The view from up here of the sea and the flat, monotonous land is impressive.

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