Birdquest are planning an Afghanistan bird watching expedition to the Bamiyan region focuses on the little-known Afghan Snowfinch (also known as Theresa’s Snowfinch) and Large-billed Reed Warbler in 2018. This is planned as a once-off visit to this little-birded country. Mark Beaman last saw the little-known Afghan Snowfinch or Theresa's Snowfinch in the wild Hindu Kush mountains at the scenic Band-i-Amir National Park in July 1973. Indeed Mark reached Kabul on the very day the Afghan monarchy was overthrown in a revolution, and the country has been troubled ever since!

As well as the great prize, the snowfinch (a bird on hardly anyone's life list), there is a good chance there are Large-billed (or Long-billed) Reed Warblers breeding at Bamiyan, birds that in the distant past were misidentified as Blyth's Reeed Warblers both here and in the former Soviet Central Asian states.

Bamiyan is now the only region of Afghanistan with a tourism office, although the number of foreign visitors is still in the low hundreds per year. There are, however, extraordinary scenic wonders here (the landscapes of Band-i-Amir are truly awesome) and some fascinating archelological sites. Sadly the famous buddhas of Bamiyan were blown up as idolatrous when the Taliban ruled the country, much to the disgust of the local people, but the niches are still there, as are the lonely ruins of the cities Genghis Khan laid waste when his grandson was killed in battle in the area, leading to the repopulation of the area by Mongols, the ancestors of the present day Hazaras who inhabit the Hazarajat. A much persecuted ethnic group when the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, they look to a more peaceful future for the country and the return of the tourism that was once a mainstay of the local economy. (text courtesy Birdquest)

Large-billed Reed Warbler

Large-billed Reed Warbler, copyright Peter Kaestner

Showing the 1 Most Recent Trip Reports Posted

South Afghanistan: Kandahar - November 2006 - April 2007, author gajus scheltema (added February 18, 2008)
(report on 107 species observed during winter)

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