Dilijan is a town in a valley in northern Armenia surrounded by deciduous forest. It was Semi-collared Flycatcher Ficedula semitorquata that attracted us to the area, and we took the opportunity to study its songs and calls. Finding Common Chiffchaffs Phylloscopus collybita caucasicus and Caucasian Mountain Chiffchaffs P lorenzii side by side at Dilijan gave us a rare opportunity to compare them directly. We also had the chance to compare migrant nominate Common Redstarts Phoenicurus phoenicurus phoenicurus with the Caucasian subspecies, Ehrenberg’s Redstart P p samamisicus, which has slightly different song and calls and may in fact be better regarded as a species. The Caucasian Wren Troglodytes troglodytes hyrcanus is the most genetically divergent of the various Eurasian Wren subspecies, so I was fascinating to record its song and calls. Judge for yourself whether it sounds any different from its western European cousins.

Dilijan, Armenia

Semi-collared Flycatcher Ficedula semitorquata, Dilijan, Tavush, Armenia, 2 May 2011 (René Pop)

Semi-collared Flycatcher Ficedula semitorquata, Dilijan, Tavush, Armenia, 2 May 2011 (Magnus Robb). Song and calls of a male. Background: Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus, Green Warbler Phylloscopus nitidus, Eurasian Nuthatch Sitta europaea, Common Blackbird Turdus merula, Song Thrush T philomelos and European Greenfinch Chloris chloris.

Dilijan, Armenia

Caucasian Mountain Chiffchaff Phylloscopus lorenzii, Dilijan, Tavush, Armenia, 2 May 2011 (René Pop)

Caucasian Mountain Chiffchaff Phylloscopus lorenzii, Halidzor, Syunik, Armenia, 6 May 2011 (Magnus Robb). Plastic song of a spring migrant. Background: Middle Spotted Woodpecker Dendropicos medius, Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius, Eurasian Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus, Coal Tit Periparus ater, Common Chiffchaff P collybita caucasicus, Common Blackbird Turdus merula and Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs.

Dilijan, Armenia

Ehrenberg’s Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus samamisicus, Dilijan, Tavush, Armenia, 2 May 2011 (René Pop)

Ehrenberg’s Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus samamisicus, Dilijan, Tavush, Armenia, 3 May 2011 (Magnus Robb). A medley of calls and a fragment of song, possibly amounting to plastic song. Background: Caucasian Wren Troglodytes troglodytes hyrcanus, Song Thrush Turdus philomelos and European Greenfinch Chloris chloris.

Dilijan, Armenia

Caucasian Wren Troglodytes troglodytes hyrcanus, Dilijan, Tavush, Armenia, 2 May 2011 (René Pop)

Caucasian Wren Troglodytes troglodytes hyrcanus, Dilijan, Tavush, Armenia, 2 May 2011 (Magnus Robb). Song duel between two males, one near and one further away. Background: Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus, Coal Tit Periparus ater and Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs.

Dilijan, Armenia

Green Warbler Phylloscopus nitidus, Dilijan, Tavush, Armenia, 3 May 2011 (René Pop)

Green Warbler Phylloscopus nitidus, Dilijan, Tavush, Armenia, 2 May 2011 (Magnus Robb). Song of a male. Background: Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus, Eurasian Blue Tit Cyanistes caeuleus, Common Chiffchaff P collybita, Common Blackbird Turdus merula, Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva and Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs.