Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Birding in Chachuna and around Lagodekhi NP

East Georgia Spring 2018 Early spring had arrived in east Georgia by the last weekend of February 2018. There were plenty of lambs enjoying sunshine in Chachuna and the winter wheat was lush green at Alazani valley. Around 200 Little Bustards were sunbathing from the safety of the olive plantation in Chachuna. Several other flocks were east of Tsnori and in both cases some of the males were displaying. We found ten species of raptor including White-tailed eagle already incubating on the nest, five Imperial eagles loafing around and also one Lesser Spotted eagle. There was a displaying pair of Saker Falcon, Hen and Marsh harriers as well. A Great Grey Shrike was seen attacking a Steppe Buzzard, pretty brave and another was at its winter home by Lagodekhi Fishponds. We found Griffon and Black vultures easily. Always good birds at the Dali reservoir. Mallard and Pochard were quite numerous with a few Smew and Pintail. Little and Great egrets, Grey heron, a few grebes, Caspian gull but no remaining geese or swans. Lots of Chukar have survived the hunters this year and were already paired up. Good passerines too. Abundant Calandra larks, still in the big flocks, Crested larks singing, plenty of winter visitors including Fieldfare and Brambling. Syrian and Green Woodpeckers calling. One highlight was the flock of about 30 Hawfinch reminiscent of our massive invasion in England this winter. Thanks to Levan, Ecotours Georgia, for good guiding and driving

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