Interesting records in 1999

Black-throated Diver (Gavia arctica)
- single was observed on 14 October 1999 at Vartsikhe reservoir (Imereti Rgion, Western Georgia).
Winter visitor to Black Sea coast. Occasionally recorded inland.
A very early record and a rare inland occurence.

Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmaeus)
- 390-395 were recorded on 21 January 1999 at Jandari Lake and 14 - at flood-land of Kura River, Gardabani district, Eastern Georgia (at the border with Azerbaijan);
- 79 birds were at Kumisi Lake, Marneuli district, Eastern Georgia on 16 January and 22 individuals later - on 4 February 1999;
Several records were at banks of Kura River:
- two in Rustavi town, Eastern Georgia on 17 January and three on 8 February;
- single in Tbilisi, lower Ortachala hydro-electric power station on 9 January;
- two between Tbilisi and Rustavi on 10 January and one - on 18 January;
- solitary was in Krtzanisi Park on 17 January.

Lesser Spotted Eagle (Aquila pomarina)
- 112+ individuals were counted on 29 September 1999 at Ochkhamuri, Kobuleti district, Ajaria Autonomous Republic, SW Georgia.
One of the highest day-count since 1975.

Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca)
- single was observed at the territory of Tbilisi Airport on 4 March 1999.
Unusual locality.

Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis)
- three solitary individuals were recorded during survey of wintering birds of prey in the end of January; two were in Eastern Georgia and one in Western Georgia.
Very rare (occasional) wintering species to Georgia.

Eurasian Hobby (Falco subbuteo)
- single was recorded on 18 September 1999 in Vaziani district, eastern outskirts of Tbilisi.
Unusual location.

Saker (Falco cherrug)
- nine were conted during wintering raptors survey in the end of January; eight were recorded in Eastern Georgia and one in Western Georgia.
Unusualy high numbers, the highest recent count.

Common Quail (Coturnix coturnix)
- one was shot on 12 December 1999 near Meria village, Ozurgeti district, Western Georgia. According to report of the local hunters, several birds were recorded here during first decade of December.
Common summer breeder and passage migrant. Occasional winterer in mild winters at western part of Kolkhida Lowland and along Black Sea coast. Data on wintering in other areas not confirmed by any materials. In 1972-2001, the earliest sighting was registered on 3 March 1977, the latest one on 18 December 1992.
Very few winter records for Georgia.

Sociable Lapwing (Vanellus gregarius)
- at least 38 individuals were observed in flock at wet meadow near eastern bank of Paskia Lake (W of Akhalkalaki town, Samtskhe-Javakheti Region) on 4 September.
Very high count, probably the highest to area.

Great Black-headed Gull (Larus ichthyaetus)
- 43 were at Jandary Lake and 6 along canal on 26 January.
Very high concentration.

Armenian Gull (Larus armenicus)
- three individuals were recorded on 2 April 1999 at Liakhvi River valley 6 km north of Gori town, Eastern Georgia.
Rare irregular breeder at some lakes of Javakheti Upland and year-round visitor without breeding at Kura River valley, Eastern Georgia. Vagrant to other areas.
Rare spring record to area.

Crimson-winged Finch ( Rhodopechys sanguinea)
- single adult male was observed feeding at stony gentle slope about 1 km E of Ujmana village, Javakheti Upland, S Georgia on 31 August. Very few records for Georgia. Status uncertain (Kutubidze, 1985; Zhordania, 1961, 1999). Resident non-breeding, accidental visitor. A small population may survive on mountain meadows in Southern Georgia at Javakheti Upland, along Armenian and Turkish borders, but breeding here not confirmed by any factual materials.

Pine Bunting (Emberiza leucocephalos)
- three birds were observed during 3-4 min. at bank of Vere stream in central part of Tbilisi, between Mziuri Park and ZOO on 27 February 1999.
Vagrant. 8th record to Georgia. Five records were in eastern areas and three in West (Abuladze, in press).
The first was in 1964 near Tbilisi (Kutubidze, 1965).

* * * * * * *

Survey of wintering raptors in Georgia was carried out between 26 January and 2 February. At least 4693 individuals of 15 species were recorded:
Black Kite, Milvus migrans - 4012+ individuals (or 85,489%);
White-tailed Sea Eagle, Haliaetus albicilla - 22 (0,469%);
Marsh Harrier, Circus aeruginosus - 104+ (2,216%);
Northern Harrier, Circus cyaneus - 178 (3,793%);
Unidentified harriers, Circus spp. - 31 (0,660%);
Goshawk, Accipiter gentiles - 26 (0,554%);
Sparrowhawk, Accipiter nisus - 122 (2,600);
Common Buzzard, Buteo buteo - 29 (0,618);
Long-legged Buzzard, Buteo rufinus - 57 (1,214%);
Rough-legged Buzzard, Buteo lagopus - 23 (0,490%);
Unidentified Buteo spp. - 10 (0,213%);
Imperial Eagle, Aquila heliaca - 15 (0,320%);
Steppe Eagle, Aquila nipalensis - 3 (0,064%);
Golden Eagle, Aquila chrysaetus - 8 (0,170%);
Unidentified lLarge eagles, Aquila spp. - 4 (0,085%);
Kestrel, Falco tinnunculus - 12 (0,256%);
Merlin, Falco columbarius - 10 (0,213%);
Unidentified small falcons, Falco spp. - 7 (0,149%);
Saker Falcon, Falco cherrug - 9 (0,192%);
Peregrine Falcon, Falco peregrinus - 8 (0,170%);
Unidentified large falcons, Falco spp. - 3 (0,064%).
TOTAL: 4693+ individuals






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