Friday, 22 June 2012

Georgia - Birding Photos & Batumi Raptors

This is a very late blog post but I thought I would at last put some photos up from my trip to Batumi, Georgia when we weren't ringing. Over the last 4 years the raptor count at Batumi has shown it to be the greatest bottleneck for raptors in Europe. We carried out our ringing activities and by lunch, when it had slowed down, we were able to enjoy the spectacle of the raptor migration back at our home stay accommodation. More details of the Raptor Count can be found here www.batumiraptorcount.org

Opposite our ringing site was a coastal strip consisting of a pebble beach, a bit of short grass and a few bushes. Here we found:

 An Armenian Gull amongst the Caspian's and Yellow-legged.

A Steppe Grey and several Red-backed Shrikes

Yellow Wagtails of various forms

Ortolans and Issy Wheatear

Sibe Stonechat maura

and a few migrant herons (grey and purple)


Our accommodation, in the small village of Sakhalvasho of was ideally situated for the constant raptor passage. As we sat back and ate dinner and drunk wine and/or vodka (insisted upon us by our host) we admired the raptors overhead.

 Booted Eagles were numerous

 Short-toes Eagles dwarfed the Black Kites

 A few passing Hobbies

 Large numbers of Honey Buzzards

 and 'Steppe' Buzzards


A few kilometers further inland was one of the Batumi Raptor Count points where we spent a morning. Here we saw more Steppe Buzzards & Aquila Eagles though less harriers:


 A few Steppe Eagles

 a few more Lesser Spots

 the occasional Black Stork

and this Buteo, Long-legged?

Finally we also spent one late morning/afternoon at the Choroki Delta, here we found a few waders, plenty of unphotographable and these bits an pieces

 Sibe Stonechat variegata

 Richard's Pipit

 A juvenile male Pallid Harrier





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