Sunday, 3 May 2015

Georgia Day 10


After a wet start this morning the weather improved and we drove up to 2000 metres and birded a couple of freshwater lakes on the Javakheti Plain. Here it was cold until the sun came out and it was obvious that the wet early morning had brought quite a number of migrants down. Despite very little cover on this upland plateau, warblers were hopping around in weeds and stalks and very low leafless bushes, and raptors dawdled overhead along a broad front.

The lakes held waterfowl which included Ferruginous Duck, Pintail and Garganey and the more interesting waders were Spotted Redshank, Wood Sandpiper, Greenshank and Ruff. A large falcon attacking the waders caused them panic and us some confusion as to which species we were dealing with. In the end we decided it was a sandy (and aberrant coloured) Peregrine. Night Herons had formed a colony and White Storks were fairly numerous.

Up to fifty Marsh Harriers were either displaying over these upland marshes or were passing through overhead, with still good numbers of Montagu's Harriers also passing through. About three pairs of Common Cranes were trumpeting and nest-building and Armenian Gulls were present in the hundreds.

The remainder of the day was then spent driving to the capital Tbilisi and our last full day of birding Georgia was over.


Neil M

Barred Warbler

Black-headed Wagtail. This bird
was of the green-mantled and most
common form. Some males exhibit
blackish mantles.

Some in our party thought this eagle was a
contender for Spotted Eagle. However
the broken primary tips, worn and displaced
secondaries and heavily abraded tail with
missing feathers plus evidence of active
wing moult didn't help so we decided to
leave this one as unidentified!

Laughing Dove at Tbilisi. This species only
occurs regularly in Tbilisi and is a recent colonist
to the city.

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