Interesting Articles

The 9th consecutive Batumi Raptor Count has come to an end, and we are proud to present you some of the results. Again we managed to count a total of more than one million migrating birds of prey, for the fifth year in a row! We managed to count historical totals for Black Kites, Booted Eagles and Red-footed Falcons, but poor numbers of Harriers. Read on for more! After a good first half of the season (read the half season Raptor Migration report 2016 here) - with over half a million Honey Buzzards (including the peak day of 94.000 individuals), some nice days for Montagu's...
BRC continued its monitoring work with another successful season studying the raptor migration in the Batumi bottleneck. In autumn 2015 we managed to count a total of 1.029.478 raptors without double counts! Reaching the million threshold again for the fourth year in a row is an important milestone for the migration count. The creation and fine-tuning of the bird migration app of trektellen was a big success and we have had great advantages by using this app on tablets for data recording. Striking this season was the early passage of Honey Buzzards and a low Steppe Buzzard count due to warm...
After 5 years monitoring of raptors at the Batumi bottleneck, we have surpassed all expectations this autumn. We tallied ONE Million migrating birds of prey passing our two count stations along the eastern Black Sea route. Here is the report on this great bar hitting event! The beginning of the autumn season started promising with a good amount of Honey Buzzard. The first peak day was the 30th of August, when we  counted over 100,000 raptors of which 99,038 Honey Buzzards. This overwhelming day was already above our previous day record and we celebrated well with local dishes,...
So far, the season brought us many surprises. Although we were expecting another peak of Honey Buzzards in the first week of September, we had to be happy with a first season peak day of roughly 68.000. Of course, we knew it would be hard to compete with last year's high, but another higher peak day stayed out and in the end we did not break that record. On consecutive days we had roughly 42.000 (3 September) and 52.000 (4 September)  more, mainly over station one. Now that the majority of the Honey Buzzard migration has passed, we seem to have had a fairly average total of Honeys...
Raptor migration at the Eastern Black Sea Flyway in Batumi has a long history and has been undertaking since decades in different ways. Here we present the results of a long way to the million, a fascinating story about the increasing monitoring efforts at the edge of Europe and Asia. The Batumi Bottleneck for raptor migration The autumn migration consists mainly of Honey-buzzard (Pernis apivorus, ca. 400,000 each autumn) and Steppe Buzzard (Buteo buteo vulpinus, 250,000+), both with daily totals peaking at 60,000 - 80,000 ind. Other numerous species include Black Kite (50,000+)...
Few days ago on August 30th we were happy to report to you our all time record of 99,000 Honey Buzzards passing our observatories. With that BRC record set, the whole team was sure to have experienced the biggest peak of the season; and given the favorable flight conditions and steady migration over the last week, the last thing we were expecting was to set the mark even higher. But so we did … and how! With a day total of 179,342 Honey Buzzards yesterday (September 3rd) we shattered the previous autumn migration world record which was set in 1982 at Israel’s Northern Valleys. It...
On 2nd October 2014 our counting team witnessed the largest passage of raptors ever seen outside of the Panamerican Flyway and counted 264.891 raptors in a single day! The early morning started with outstanding Marsh Harrier migration. Later on, some flocks of Black Kites migrated one by one in a lazy flight. But suddenly after noon Steppe Buzzards started to kettle east and west of both our stations. Their large and wide streams covered all the sky, ending up in monster kettles, where complex kettles just merged with other nearby kettles. It was impossible to draw a line between...
2013-05-02 Last autumn, we were delighted to receive the continuing support of Swarovski Optik. They have been providing us high quality optics to conduct our count, as always loaning their newest products. This time the package included a couple of EL50 10x and 12x Swarovision binoculars. A BRC review of this EL12x50 bin can be read here. Also several scopes were included, among them there was a real hidden treasure, one of their brand new ATX-spotting scopes. In advance, we were warned that Swarovski would launch a new revolutionary product in late summer and they might provide us one...
Review of the Swarovision EL 12x50, by Arthur Green on 2012-02-07: There are not many decent 12X binoculars on the market. Most are bulky in the hand, have a dark image, and have a field of view akin to viewing birds through a pair of toilet paper tubes. But Swarovski's entry is a bit different. Here, we have the ergonomics and sturdy construction that Swarovski's EL line is already renowned for; a bright, sharp image almost right to the edge of the field; and a field of view that competes favourably (at ~100m @ 1 km) with a decent 10X glass. Close focus distance is also superb for...
On our first pilot count in 2007, which lead to BRC's birth, the first Crested Honey-buzzard (also referred to as Oriental Honey-buzzard, Pernis ptilorhynchus orientalis) was recorded on migration over Batumi. And during the 5 years of standardized counting in autumn, with more eyes and better understanding of the identification of this odd-looking heavy Honey-buzzard, this number increased. With caution and only if documented or very well seen, we were able to pick-out two individuals in 2009, four in 2010, eight in 2011 and at least twelve individuals...