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Category: GEORGIA
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STEPPES from TIBILISI to CHACHUNA NATURE RESERVE

GEORGIA

(c heading SE)

00o00´S/00o00´W, rolling steppe, arable and pasture some marginal open broadleaf woodland and orchards 
Late April early May (30.04.12 to 09.05.12)

 

Birding Site Guide

Travelling away from the foothills and broadleaf forest around Tibilisi, the trees gradually thin out and the land flattens to a broad belt of arable land peppered with many orchards. In these orchards there are Golden Orioles, Common Nightingales (Eastern) and various warblers including Barred. Wood Lark may also be heard. Lisi Lake lies on the outskirts of Tibilisi and a wide range of aquatic species can be seen here. Typically Garganey, herons, Coot, Common and Wood Sandpiper, Black-winged Stilt and possibly other waders, we saw Red-necked Phalarope. White-winged Terns were seen on other areas of water and could be seen here. Other birds were Kingfisher and Great Reed Warbler. As the trees become ever sparser the good arable soil and orchards start to give way to extensive long rolling grasslands on poorer soils with less predictable rainfall. The avifauna changes and now is the time to start scanning for Montagu’s Harrier. Though reasonably common, they often stay low to the ground following the hill contours and so can be easily missed, though displaying birds are much easier to spot. At every stop when you scan the hills you will hear Calandra and Crested Lark and the less common Sky Lark. Pipits and wagtails become more common as the landscape opens up and the best place to find large flocks are with the livestock herds. 

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Lisi Lake, Georgia 2012 (BPW)
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Spur-thighed Tortoise, Georgia 2012 (BPW).


Isabelline, Pied and Eastern Black-eared Wheatear replace Northern Wheatear as we get further east. Ortlan Buntings can be found near outcrops and small groups of Black-headed Buntings are seen. Corn Buntings are found at every stop.

 

Species seen

GEORGIA FULL TRIP LIST

  • ANSERIFORMES: Anatidae
  • Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea
  • Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
  • Garganey Anas querquedula
  • Common Pochard Aythya ferina
  • GALLIFORMES: Phasianidae
  • Caucasian Snowcock Tetraogallus caucasicus
  • Black Francolin Francolinus francolinus
  • Common Quail Coturnix coturnix
  • Caucasian Grouse Tetrao mlokosiewiczi Near-threatened
  • PODICIPEDIFORMES: Podicipedidae
  • Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
  • Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus
  • PELECANIFORMES: Pelecanidae
  • Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus
  • PELECANIFORMES: Ardeidae
  • Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus
  • Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
  • Little Egret Egretta garzetta
  • ACCIPITRIFORMES: Accipitridae
  • European Honey-buzzard Pernis apivorus
  • Black Kite Milvus migrans
  • White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla
  • Lammergeier Gypaetus barbatus
  • Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus Endangered
  • Eurasian Griffon Gyps fulvus
  • Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus Near-threatened
  • Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus
  • Eurasian Marsh-Harrier Circus aeruginosus
  • Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus
  • Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus
  • Levant Sparrowhawk Accipiter brevipes
  • Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
  • Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis
  • Common Buzzard Buteo buteo
  • Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus
  • Lesser Spotted Eagle Aquila pomarina
  • Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca Vulnerable
  • Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos
  • Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus
  • FALCONIFORMES: Falconidae
  • Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni Vulnerable
  • Eurasian Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
  • Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo
  • Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
  • GRUIFORMES: Rallidae
  • Corn Crake Crex crex Near-threatened
  • Spotted Crake Porzana porzana
  • Eurasian Coot Fulica atra
  • GRUIFORMES: Gruidae
  • Demoiselle Crane Anthropoides virgo
  • CHARADRIIFORMES: Charadriidae
  • Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
  • Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
  • CHARADRIIFORMES: Recurvirostridae
  • Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus
  • CHARADRIIFORMES: Scolopacidae
  • Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
  • Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
  • Ruff Philomachus pugnax
  • Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus
  • CHARADRIIFORMES: Laridae
  • Armenian Gull Larus armenicus
  • White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus
  • COLUMBIFORMES: Columbidae
  • Rock Pigeon Columba livia
  • Stock Dove Columba oenas
  • Common Wood-Pigeon Columba palumbus
  • European Turtle-Dove Streptopelia turtur
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove Streptopelia decaocto
  • Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis
  • CUCULIFORMES: Cuculidae
  • Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus
  • STRIGIFORMES: Strigidae
  • European Scops-Owl Otus scops
  • Little Owl Athene noctua
  • CAPRIMULGIFORMES: Caprimulgidae
  • Eurasian Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus
  • APODIFORMES: Apodidae
  • Alpine Swift Apus melba
  • Common Swift Apus apus
  • CORACIIFORMES: Alcedinidae
  • Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
  • CORACIIFORMES: Meropidae
  • European Bee-eater Merops apiaster
  • CORACIIFORMES: Coraciidae
  • European Roller Coracias garrulus Near-threatened
  • CORACIIFORMES: Upupidae
  • Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops
  • PICIFORMES: Picidae
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major
  • Green Woodpecker Picus viridis
  • PASSERIFORMES: Laniidae
  • Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio
  • Lesser Gray Shrike Lanius minor
  • Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator
  • PASSERIFORMES: Oriolidae
  • Eurasian Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus
  • PASSERIFORMES: Corvidae
  • Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius
  • Eurasian Magpie Pica pica
  • Red-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax
  • Yellow-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax graculus
  • Eurasian Jackdaw Corvus monedula
  • Rook Corvus frugilegus
  • Hooded Crow Corvus cornix
  • Common Raven Corvus corax
  • PASSERIFORMES: Alaudidae
  • Calandra Lark Melanocorypha calandra
  • Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla
  • Crested Lark Galerida cristata
  • Sky Lark Alauda arvensis
  • Wood Lark Lullula arborea
  • Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris
  • PASSERIFORMES: Hirundinidae
  • Bank Swallow Riparia riparia
  • Eurasian Crag-Martin Ptyonoprogne rupestris
  • Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
  • Common House-Martin Delichon urbicum
  • PASSERIFORMES: Paridae
  • Coal Tit Periparus ater
  • Great Tit Parus major
  • Eurasian Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus
  • PASSERIFORMES: Remizidae
  • Eurasian Penduline-Tit Remiz pendulinus
  • PASSERIFORMES: Aegithalidae
  • Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus
  • PASSERIFORMES: Sittidae
  • Eurasian Nuthatch Sitta europaea
  • Rock Nuthatch Sitta neumayer
  • PASSERIFORMES: Tichodromidae
  • Wallcreeper Tichodroma muraria
  • PASSERIFORMES: Certhiidae
  • Eurasian Treecreeper Certhia familiaris
  • PASSERIFORMES: Troglodytidae
  • Eurasian Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
  • PASSERIFORMES: Cinclidae
  • White-throated Dipper Cinclus cinclus
  • PASSERIFORMES: Regulidae
  • Goldcrest Regulus regulus
  • PASSERIFORMES: Phylloscopidae
  • Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus
  • Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
  • Mountain Chiffchaff Phylloscopus sindianus
  • Green Warbler Phylloscopus nitidus
  • PASSERIFORMES: Acrocephalidae
  • Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
  • Eurasian Reed-Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus
  • Great Reed-Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus
  • PASSERIFORMES: Locustellidae
  • Common Grasshopper-Warbler Locustella naevia
  • PASSERIFORMES: Sylviidae
  • Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla
  • Garden Warbler Sylvia borin
  • Barred Warbler Sylvia nisoria
  • Eastern Orphean Warbler Sylvia crassirostris
  • Greater Whitethroat Sylvia communis
  • Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca
  • Menetries's Warbler Sylvia mystacea
  • PASSERIFORMES: Muscicapidae
  • Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata
  • Rufous-tailed Scrub-Robin Cercotrichas galactotes
  • European Robin Erithacus rubecula
  • Common Nightingale (Eastern) Luscinia megarhynchos
  • Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva
  • Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus
  • White-winged Redstart Phoenicurus erythrogastrus Rare/Accidental
  • Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros & semirufous
  • Rufous-tailed Rock-Thrush Monticola saxatilis
  • Blue Rock-Thrush Monticola solitarius
  • Whinchat Saxicola rubetra
  • Siberian Stonechat Saxicola maurus variegatus
  • Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
  • Pied Wheatear Oenanthe pleschanka
  • Eastern Black-eared Wheatear Oenanthe melanoleuca
  • Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina
  • PASSERIFORMES: Turdidae
  • Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus
  • Eurasian Blackbird Turdus merula
  • Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus
  • PASSERIFORMES: Sturnidae
  • Rosy Starling Pastor roseus
  • European Starling Sturnus vulgaris
  • PASSERIFORMES: Prunellidae
  • Dunnock Prunella modularis
  • PASSERIFORMES: Motacillidae
  • Western Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava
  • Yellow-headed Wagtail Motacilla lutea
  • Grey-headed Wagtail Motacilla thunbergi
  • Gray Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
  • White Wagtail Motacilla alba
  • Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris
  • Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis
  • Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis
  • Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus
  • Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta
  • PASSERIFORMES: Emberizidae
  • Rock Bunting Emberiza cia
  • Ortolan Bunting Emberiza hortulana
  • Black-headed Bunting Emberiza melanocephala
  • Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra
  • PASSERIFORMES: Fringillidae
  • Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
  • Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus
  • Great Rosefinch Carpodacus rubicilla
  • European Greenfinch Chloris chloris
  • European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis
  • Twite Carduelis flavirostris
  • Eurasian Linnet Carduelis cannabina
  • Fire-fronted Serin Serinus pusillus
  • European Serin Serinus serinus
  • Eurasian Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula
  • PASSERIFORMES: Passeridae
  • House Sparrow Passer domesticus
  • Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus
  • Rock Petronia Petronia petronia
  • White-winged Snowfinch Montifringilla nivalis

 

Other Fauna

REPTILE & AMPHIBIANS

Spur-thighed Tortoise Testudo graeca are reasonably common, some reaching a good size. Eastern Spadefoot Pelobates syriacus was found in burrows near a small lake. 


Author: BSG

Tour led by Nick Whitehouse This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., organised by N. Whitehouse and Lance Degnan.

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