Batumi Birding Festival 2016
UPDATE: Unfortunately, due to limited interest, Batumi Birding has decided to cancel this event.
The Batumi Birding Festival 2016 takes place from 25 September to 1st October 2016!
During this 7-day happening, you will get a unique chance to go birding during the massive migration of raptors and other birds on the East Black Sea shore. This year, we have chosen to organize the Batumi Birding Festival during the peak migration of Steppe Buzzards (over 100,000 on some days) and Eagles (flocks of 100+ including many Lesser Spotted eagles). But there is more than raptors: massive falls of waders and passerines are frequent in the coastal wetlands, and any eastern species can turn up.
The evening program hosts some of the most renown guests in the birding world: Dick Forsman, David Lindo, Rob Sheldon and Andrea Corso!
The Batumi Birding Festival 2016 in brief:
Dates: 25.09 - 1.10.2016
Venue: Hilton Batumi, Republic of Georgia, Caucasus
Speakers: David Lindo - the URBAN BIRDER, Dick Forsman - Raptor Identification, Rob Sheldon - OSME/Sociable plover, Andrea Corso - raptor migration & identification
Organizers: Batumi Birding Ltd. & STARLING reizen with the support of BRC and Vogelbescherming NL
Every day, you have a choice between standing on one of the two raptor watchpoints, or taking part in one of the excursions to the excellent birding sites in the region.
Raptor migration: what to expect?
The end of september is usually very high in numbers and diversity of raptors at Batumi. The Honey Buzzard peak lies well behind us, but still some late adults and juveniles come through. The majority of the flight is dominated by Steppe Buzzards (several ten-thousands a day), Black Kites (steady streams of hundreds) and Eagles (several hundreds a day). The diversity of eagle species makes this place unique. Among the hundreds of Lesser Spotted Eagles, quite some Greater Spotted Eagles can be found. It is also a good period to observe Steppe Eagle, and the king of the flight is for many the Imperial Eagle.
End of september is also excellent to see Pallid Harrier, dozens of them can be seen on a good day, and especially the adult males charm the spectators. Black Storks migration is at it's best, and flocks of them migrate through. Eruptions of Red-footed Falcons entertain the crowd, and Lesser Kestrels shoot by. In addition, quite some rarities are found this time of the year, including Saker Falcon and Crested (Oriental) Honey Buzzard!
We are happy to host the 'guru of raptor identification' this year: Dick Forsman! His 'Raptors of Europe and the Middle East: A handbook of Field Identification' was one of the essentials on the raptor count station. Now, with his new book "Flight Identification of Raptors of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East" Dick will talk about the fundamentals of raptor ID, and give us an insight into the latest advances in the field.
We will also have David Lindo - the URBAN BIRDER, Rob Sheldon - OSME/Sociable plover and Andrea Corso - raptor migration & identification giving lectures, along with BRC-team.