Outline itinerary

Day 1Batumi
Day 2 Batumi
Day 3 Batumi (Botanic Gardens)
Day 4 Batumi (NP Kolkheti)
Day 5 Batumi
Day 6 Batumi (Mtirala)
Day 7 Batumi (NP Kobuleti)
Day 8 Batumi
Day 9Batumi

Included

All accommodation in home stays, all meals, local transport, local guides and BirdingBreaks tour leader included

Not included

International flight, airport taxes, drinks, gratuities and personal expenses

Extra

Single room supplement EUR 225.-

Price

EUR 1850,-

Tour leader

Folkert de Boer

Number of participants

Minimum 6, Maximum 12

Accommodation

basic accommodation at local guesthouse

Difficulty level of the tour

In general easy hikes. Steep climb to one of the migration watchpoints

Climate

The daytime temperature is generally between 20 and 28 degrees Celsius. Rain showers are possible, September has regular rainfall.

Georgia – Raptors of Batumi

Itinerary Georgia Batumi
Duration:10 days
Departure:30-08-2018
Price: EUR 1850,-
Tour leader:Folkert de Boer
Code: G18122

Batumi is a place in southwestern Georgia, along the Black Sea coast. It is famous among birdwatchers because of the large scale raptor migration that takes place here every year, especially in autumn. Days with 10.000s of migrating raptors, mainly European Honey Buzzard and Steppe Buzzard, are no exception! The sky can be filled with raptors, an extraordinary sight. The birds migrate southwards from Europe and Asia through a narrow strip of land between the Lesser Caucasus and the Black Sea. When foreigner birders became aware of the scale and significance of the raptor migration, many came to witness it theirselves, thereby contributing to the knowledge of this place. During the autumns from 2013 untill 2017 more than 1.000.000 (one million!) migrating raptors were counted, among them were several days with a whopping 100.000 birds! Batumi has more to offer than only raptors though, and during the tour we will also focus on passerines, waterfowl and waders. We do this by visiting some nature reserves nearby.

The tour starts with a flight to Batumi, the place where we will stay during the trip. We'll stay in a small village north of Batumi, very near to the most important watch point. However, there are more spots where migration can be watched, all situated just north of Batumi. These spots are situated in the hills where the Lesser Caucasus descends to the Black Sea. Raptor migration is strongly concentrated and thus best watched from here. European Honey Buzzard will be the dominant raptor species, but the following species will probably also be commonly seen: Short-toed Eagle, Booted Eagle, Steppe Buzzard, Black Kite, Montague, Marsh and Pallid Harrier, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Levant Sparrowhawk and Hobby. We will specifically look out for Lesser Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Merlin, Osprey, Lesser and Greater Spotted Eagle, Steppe Eagle, White-tailed Eagle and Eastern Imperial Eagle.

Usually we will start the day at a raptor watch point. This can even be our own homestay, as it situated perfectly for watching raptors. Depending on the intensity of the migration we spent a part of the morning or even a full day here. When migration is a bit slow we will visit nature areas nearby. For example, the nearby Chorokhi Delta is definitely worth a trip. If possible, we we try to visit the bird ringing center here too. After two days (subject to change) we will visit the Kolkheti National Park. This is a wetland among the Black Sea coast, where we will make a boat trip. Among the migrating and wintering birds we hope to see species like White-winged and Whiskered Tern, Little Bittern, Armenian Gull, Pallas’s Gull (rare), White-tailed Eagle and Greater Spotted Eagle.

During the tour we will spent a day at Mtirala National Park where we will search for Krüper's Nuthatch, Middle Spotted Woodpecker and, if we are lucky, White-backed Woodpecker. We also expect to see local subspecies of various European bird species. In the meanwhile we keep an eye on the sky, because migrating raptors can fly by anywhere! All too soon time has arrived to fly back home, bringing home memories of a very special birdwatching spectacle!

Photo gallery


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