ARCHIVES OF THE BIRD CONSERVATION UNION OF GEORGIA
Interesting records in 1997
Yelkouan Shearwater (Puffinus yelkouan)
- three solitary individuals were observed at Black Sea coast from high rocks near Sarpi village in Ajaria, SW Georgia during 6 hours on 21 August;
- single was in Chorokhi River mouth, Ajaria, SW Georgia on 2 September;
- single was in port of Batumi on 29 September;
Bittern (Botaurus stellaris)
Common but not numerous resident, passage migrant and winterer. Two individuals were watched on Narionali lakes and ponds, Western Georgia.
First record at this locality since 1984.
Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
Rare breeder on lakes with dense shrubs and high trees on banks. More common in eastern areas. No data on numbers and population trends.
Pair was recorded on 28 July 1997 near Gardabani at small (0,5 ha) pond; Solitary individuals - on 29 July 1997 at Jandary Lake, Eastern Georgia and on 15 July 1997 at Narionali Lake, Western Georgia.
Scuacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides)
Common passage migrant. Occurs along Black Sea coast, on the lowland marshes and large lakes of West, seldom in East. Occasional summer non-breeding visitor.
One Scuacco Heron was found on 17 July 1997 near Paliastomi Lake, on the bank of Kaparcha River, southern environs of Poti town, W Georgia.
Black Stork (Ciconia nigra)
Rare breeder in East. Estimated about 20 pairs. Extinct as a regular breeding species in some areas.
- 5 eggs and 4 fledged in nest at Tezami gorge, north of Saguramo Ridge, Eastern Georgia;
- two pairs and two single birds were recorded in Gardabani Forest-Game Reserve at Kura River banks, Gardabani district, Eastern Georgia;
- 12 individuals were counted on autumn passage at Black
Sea coast in Ajaria, Western Georgia on 17 September 1997. The higest day-count.
White Stork (Ciconia ciconia)
Rare breeder in Southern Georgia. Solitary adult was observed on 29 June 1997 at Gardabani Lowland, 2,5 km west of Jandari Lake, Eastern Georgia. Unusual locality.
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Rare winter visitor at Black Sea coast and occasional visitor in Eastern Georgia, very rare summer non-breeding visitor (Abuladze, Eligulashvili, 1990). Solitary was observed on 16 June 1997 at small bog near Supsa, Black Sea coast, Western Georgia. 8th summer record for Georgia since 1972.
White-tailed Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla)
Formerly rare breeder on Kolkhida Lowland and in flood-lands of large rivers of East. Extirpated as a regular breeder in 1950''s (Abuladze, Eligulashvili, 1996).
- adult with juvenile were recorded on July 17 1997 at Paliastomi Lake, Western Georgia. First breeding record in Georgia since 1972;
immature was recorded on 10 November 1997 at Kura
River bank lower Rustavi;
- 14 individuals were counted in Western Georgia in the middle of December: nine at Paleostomi Lake + three along banks of Rioni River, one at Vartsikhe reservoir + one near Kobuleti, Ajaria.
Eurasian Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus)
Rare year-round resident.
- 21 soaring birds were observed on 14 June 1997 along southern borders of the Vashlovani Nature Reserve, SE Georgia. Considerable concentration;
- single was recorded near Goderdzi Pass in Ajaria, SW Georgia on 7 October. Rare visitor to area.
Black Vulture (Aegypius monachus)
Fairly rare year-round resident.
One was recorded on 29 June 1997 near Asureti village, Marneuli district, Eastern Georgia. A few records in area.
Short-toed Eagle (Circaetus gallicus)
Rare breeder and passage visitor. There were in following summer observations in 1997:
two pairs were counted at Udabno Ridge, one pair in Vashlovani Nature Reserve and one at the western end of Kvernaki Ridge + three records of solitary birds in other sites. All summer observation were in Eastern Georgia.
Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus)
Very rare non-breeding summer visitor in semi-deserts and mountain steppes. One adult male was observed on 8 July 1997 at the bank of Kura River near Gori, Eastern Georgia.
Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo) ((B. b. vulpinus (Steppe Buzzard)))
At least 3314 individuals were counted on 23-27 August at Kobuleti Lowland in Ajaria. High concentration.
Rough-legged Buzzard (Buteo lagopus)
One (on 27 October ) and two (on 28 October 1997) solitary birds were recorded in Kura River valley at the northern part of Borjomi distruict, Eastern Georgia.
A very early autumn records.
Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga)
Two solitary birds were recorded with interval of one hour on 17 August 1997 in Khanistzkali River valley near Rokiti village, Baghdadi district, Western Georgia.
The earliest autumn record of migrating birds.
Lesser Spotted Eagle (Aguila pomarina)
Rare migrating breeder and passage visitor. For review of recent status and ecology see Abuladze (1996).
Adult and immature were recorded on 12 July near Ajameti Nature Reserve, Western Georgia. First summer record from this area since 1979.
Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca)
Rare year-round resident, passage migrant and winter visitor. One was observed on 3 November 1997 in Vere River gorge, near Betania monastery, western environs of Tbilisi, Eastern Georgia. A few records from this area.
Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni)
Formerly common breeder; at present rare passage visitor in small numbers. No data on breeding after 1994 (Abuladze, 2001a; Abuladze, 2001b).
Single birds were recorded in E Georgia in summer 1997 two times – on 30 June at Gardabani Lowland and on 7 July at Prone River valley.
Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)
Very rare year-round resident.
- one was observed on 28 May 1997 in Lars, Kazbegi district, Northern Georgia, at the Georgia-Russian border;
- pair (one observation) and solitary individuals (four observations) were recorded from 23 and 29 June 1997 in Matzimi Gorge, Lagodekhi Nature Reserve, Eastern Georgia.
First summer records at this localities since 1970’s.
Caucasian Snow Cook (Tetraogallus caicasicus)
Uncommon to common year-round resident in alpine belt of Great Caucasia. Female with ten chicks were recorded on 4 July 1997 at subalpine meadow with rocky outcrops at 2820 m a.s.l. near northern border of the Lagodekhi Nature Reserve (about 2 km south of Mt.Kochaldag, 3484 m a.s.l.), Eastern Georgia. Unusual size of brood (commonly 4-7).
Eurasian Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus)
Status poorly known. Regular non-breeding summer visitor along some large rivers in East. Probably in very small numbers breeds on stony, pebble plots of Kura River, lower Tbilisi, between Rustavi town and border with Azerbaijan (Abuladze, Kandaurov, 1990).
Two single birds were recorded on 28 June 1997 at Kura River banks at the territory of Gardabani Forest-game Reserve, Eastern Georgia.
Greater Black-headed Gull (Larus ichthyaetus)
Rare winter visitor in small numbers.
- six individuals were counted on 17 December 1997 along banks of Kura River between Gori town and Uphlistsikhe village, Eastern Georgia;
- at least twenty-four individuals were watched at Jandari Lake on 16 December.
Little Tern (Sterna albifrons)
Common passage visitor. Rare summer visitor without breeding or, probably, irregular breeder. A few of summer records.
Solitary birds were recorded during summer 1997 in the following sites:
- on 29 June at the Jandari Lake, Eastern Georgia;
- on 30 June at the small pond near locality Keshalo, Gardabani district, Eastern Georgia;
- on 17 July at the Paliastomi Lake, Western Georgia.
Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo)
Rare year-round resident.
- one nest was found on 5 July 1997 at Kvernaki Ridge, Eastern Georgia. Nest was located in cave on vertical rock of eastern exposition.
- solitary individual was observed in 1,5 km south of resort Sairme, Baghdadi district, Western Georgia. A new location for the rare species.
Alpine Swift (Apus melba)
Common breeder in suitable habitats - at open areas with precipices, rocks, cliffs in middle- and upper belts of mountains (beyond over to 800 m a.s.l.). More common in Eastern Georgia.
Small flocks (10-20 individuals) were recorded:
- on 30 June 1997 at the Udabno Ridge, Gardabani district, E Georgia;
- on 5 July 1997 at Kvernaki Ridge, Eastern Georgia;
- up to 35 birds were observed on 17 August 1997 in Khanistzkali River valley, 1,5 km south of Baghdadi, Western Georgia. Unusual locality.
Syrian Woodpecker (Dendrocopos syriacus)
Rare year-round resident with some seasonal vertical movements. Solitary was noted on 9 July at eastern slope of Likhi Ridge, about 8 km NW of Khashuri. Very few records for this area.
Middle Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius)
Formerly uncommon, but at present rare year-round resident. Two solitary birds were seen in summer 1997:
- on 28 June at the top of a dead tree in Gardabani Forest-Game Reserve;
- on 29 June in garden near Jandari Lake, Eastern Georgia.
Citrine Wagtail (Motacilla citreola)
Pair (on 22 June) and one solitary bird (on 23 June) were recorded along left bank of Algeti River lower Manglisi, Tetri Tzkaro district, Eastern Georgia.
Mourning Wheatear (Oenanthe lugens)
Status largely unknown. Probably rare breeder in small numbers along Armenian border.
One was observed on June 29 1997 at Gardabani Lowland, 2 km NE of Jandari Lake, Eastern Georgia. A few of summer records.
Wallcreeper (Tichodroma muraria)
Rare year-round resident. Pair was recorded on 29 May near Gergethi village and two solitary birds - on 30 May 1997 at slopes of Mt. Kuro, east of Kazbegi, Northern Georgia. A few of breeding records.
Wintering birds were observed in environs of Tbilisi (Okrokana, 9 January; Gldani, 27 February; Mtatzminda, 2 December), Mtskheta (Jvari church, 21 February), Gori (17, 22 and 30 January, 11 February and 12 December) abnd in Khashuri (7 March).
Rook (Corvus frugilegus)
New, unknown earlier colony (around 250 nests on the old poplars) was found on 29 June 1997 at the bank of Jandari Lake, Gardabani district, Eastern Georgia.
Rock Sparrow (Petronia petronia)
In general rare, but locally common resident in semi-deserts, rocky table-lands. About 300 individuals (ad. & juv.) were counted on 30 June 1997 at the territory of David Gareji Monastery + up to 60 individuals along the rocky slopes of Udabno Ridge, Eastern Georgia.
Largest known colony in Georgia.
Guldenstadt''s Redstart (Phoenicurus erythrogaster)
Rare, locally uncommon resident. During nesting period occurs only in the most upper altitude belt of Main Caucasian Ridge and its southern spurs at central and eastern parts of Great Caucasia. Breeds in the sub-nival habitats at narrow, dark gorges with glacers, rocky plots of steep slopes, alpine meadows. In winter goes down to river valleys, occurs in thickets of sea-buckthorn, other berry species (October-March). Adult male was recorded on 5 June in 1,5 km north-east of Jvari pass (2379 m a.s.l.). Unusual summer locality.
Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator)
Subspecies L.s. niloticus breeds in Georgia. Rare breeder in eastern and south-eastern areas. Very rare on passage in East and along sea coast. Continuous decrease during last decades (Gusev, Bednyi, 1961). Present number in suitable biotopes - 2-3 pairs/1 sq. km (Abuladze, Eligulashvili, Shergalin, 1998).
17 pairs were counted during 11-16 June 1997 at the 3,5 sq.kms along the northern borders of Vashlovani Nature Reserve, SE Georgia. The highest present density - 4,85 pairs per 1 sq.km;
Great Rosefinch (Carpodacus rubicilla)
Rare and sporadic resident. Occurs only at Main Caucasian Ridge and its spurs. Data on nesting in Caucasia Minor (Zhordania, 1962) are erroneous and probably are related to sightings of vagrant birds. The mistake in identification is not excluded. Typical species - indicator of sub-nival belt, where they are nesting at the heights of 3000-3500 a.s.l., and feeding mainly in alpine and subalpine belts in summer not lower 2500-2700, in winter - 1900-2000. In foothills they appear seldom, only in the most severest winters and under unfavorable feeding conditions (Loskot, 1991). Probably several hundred pairs nests in Georgia (Loskot, 1991).
Seven adult individuals, including two pairs were observed during field works in Thruso Gorge, Terek River sources, Kazbegi district, Northern Georgia: one pair and one solitary bird on 1-2 June 1997 at northern slope of Mtiuleti Ridge (2940 - 2975 m a.s.l.), 2 km
south of Ketrisi village and one pair + 2 ad males on 3-4 June 1997 north of Gimara village.
Three small flocks (3, 3 and 4 birds) and two solitary were observed on 16 November 1997 between resort Gudauri and Russian border along motor-road Tbilisi-Vladikavkaz.
In addition, the data on 1997 autumn passage (120,739 individuals of 29 species) and winter 1997/1998 survey (9065 individuals of 18 species) of raptors are presented in the following publications:
Abuladze, A. 1998. Daten zum Greifvogelzug Herbst 1997 in Georgien. Ornith. Mitt., 12: 369-371;
Abuladze, A. 1999. Materials on the wintering of Falconiformes in Georgia. Birds of Prey of the Eastern Europe and Northern Asia, 2. Stavropol: 9-13 (in Russian).
Abuladze, A. 1999. On the passage of raptors in Georgia in autumn 1997. Birds of Prey of Eastern Europe and North Asia, 2. Stavropol: 13-16 (in Russian).
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