Batumi Raptor Count
Batumi Raptor Count


Oct 2, 2015

Eurobirdwatch with us

We warmly invite everyone to come up to one of our two watchpoints this weekend  and observe migrating birds together with us. While doing so, our count volunteers share their identification skills, but also interesting facts about bird migration and threats they face during their journeys.

Aug 18, 2015

meet us at the British Birdfair

This weekend one of the biggest gatherings of the birding community takes place, at Rutland waters in England.

Jul 7, 2015

Guaranteed departure conservation trips

The two fundraising trips, targeted to Belgian birdwatchers, organised together with STARLING reizen and Natuurpunt have guaranteed departure.

May 28, 2015

Fundraiser trips for conservation

At BRC we aim to achieve sustainable monitoring and protection of migrating raptors at the bottleneck in Batumi, Georgia.

May 27, 2015

Talk at OSME, Norfolk on illegal hunting in Batumi (4th July)

Talk by Oliver Reville: Addressing illegal hunting at Batumi through education and awareness raising

May 19, 2015

Talk in Murcia on Batumi migration (30th May)

Murcia Batumi talk by Blanca PerezSpanish talk on migration spectacle of ‪Batumi‬, in Murcia, Spain.

May 5, 2015

Newsletter Sep 2015

Apr 22, 2015

1. Newsletter May 2015

Apr 16, 2015

Spring Expeditions

Are you still searching for something unique this spring?
The expeditions of SABUKO provide unique nature experiences in the Caucasus. Watch out and join!

Mar 20, 2015

Join our lectures

Mar 16, 2015

Spring trips 2015

Mar 14, 2015

Batumi Birding Festival early bird rate!

Batumi Birding offers an early booking rate on the Batumi Birding Festival and several autumn packages.

Mar 7, 2015

BRC at the Extremadura Birdwatching Fair in Spain

After having had stands at birdfairs in Belgium, the Netherlands and Great Britain, this year was the first time BRC was actively promoted in Spain. During 27 Feb - 1 March 2015 we shared a stand with Ecotono birding Sevilla at the Extremadura Birdwatching Fair (FIO).

Mar 5, 2015

BRC weekend Ghent

During 20-23 February most members of the enlarged BRC team came to Ghent to spend a long weekend together.

Feb 12, 2015

Become Raptor Counter at BRC!

This  autumn the 8th edition of the Batumi Raptor Count will take place in the Republic of

Feb 12, 2015

Become Count Coordinator!

We are seeking enthusiastic and dedicated raptorwatchers to serve as a Count Coordinator and s

Feb 1, 2015

BRC T-shirts for sale!

Jan 30, 2015

Batumi Birding Festival 2015

Save the date for the next Batumi Birding Festival : 13-20 september 2015. The event is timed for the most diverse BATUMI experience, and will again include top talks and interesting workshops. This event is organised by the newly established Batumi Birding ltd.

Jan 15, 2015

Batumi Birding launched

We are proud to announce the creation of a new company: Batumi Birding Ltd!

Dec 18, 2014

Wildlife Expeditions in the Caucasus

After the successful expeditions of last year, SABUKO (Society for Nature Conservation), known from conservation projects such as the Batumi Raptor Count, offers a unique opportun

Dec 3, 2014

Research Coordinator

Dear BRC-enthusiasts,

Oct 3, 2014

Day record: 264.891 raptors

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!

Sep 24, 2014

Two days in the Chorokhi delta

On September 18th and 19th

Sep 22, 2014

Halfway through the count

view from station-1 by Daniel Hinckley

Sep 16, 2014

Raptor shooting survey

Not only birdwatchers are keen on autumn raptor migration, the region around Batumi is also notorious for its raptor shooters. Although it is illegal in Georgia to shoot raptors, many get shot when passing the bottleneck.

Sep 6, 2014

World Shorebirds Day at Batumi

About half of the world’s shorebird populations are in decline, and the

Sep 5, 2014

Sightings on Observation.org

Share your observations from around Batumi and see what else is around.

Aug 25, 2014

EOCA grant for Batumi Raptor Trail

Aug 15, 2014

Meet us at British and Dutch Birdfair

From tomorrow onwards, we will be present at the British Birdfair. This year, the birdfair organisers kindly offered us a free stall, to promote our conservation work. You can find us in Markee 6 stall 5.

Aug 15, 2014

Chorokhi Delta in mid August

Preparations for this year's autumn count are in full swing and the first counters have also arrived. Luckily there was still some time to visit the Chorokhi Delta and around 70 species were observed.

Aug 7, 2014

Updated protocol of monitoring raptors

With the experiences from 6 years counting raptors at Batumi we decided to discuss the protocol, our insights into the

Jul 24, 2014

Vacancy for Nature Educator

SABUKO - Society for Nature Conservation hires a
Nature educator
Full-time, based in Batumi


Jul 22, 2014

Package trips to Batumi

Every year more and more tour operators organise full package trips to Batumi.

May 28, 2014

Volunteers sought for nature camp!


May 24, 2014

Volunteer vacancy: monitoring of illegal hunting

May 11, 2014

World Migratory Bird Day

May 11, 2014

Batumi Birding Week

Looking for a good opportunity to visit Batumi? Join us for the Batumi Birding Week from 21 to 28 september. You'll enjoy 8 days of top birding, when migration over Batumi is at it's most diverse.

May 5, 2014

Volunteer vacancy: ringing trainer

Are you a ringer and keen to contribute to the conservation of migratory raptor

May 1, 2014

Turkey Bird Watchers Conference

Next week, the 16. Türkiye Kuş Konferansı | 16th Turkey Bird Watchers Conference is held in Istanbul, organised by Doğa Derneği.

Apr 5, 2014

Champions of the Flyway grants $30k

Apr 3, 2014

Good start of spring count

The first day of spring count in Batumi was dominated by the migration of Steppe Buzzards and Black Kites.

Mar 17, 2014

Vote for the Raptor Trail

The European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) and Vaude nominated our Batumi Raptor Trail development for substantial funding.

Mar 12, 2014

Trip report: Eagles and Little Bustards in East Georgia

Just like Batumi, the east of Georgia is a great birding destination in winter. This is the report of Bird Conservation Georgia's first trip to the region. We had a fantastic week, enjoying stunning landscapes, Georgian cuisine, and lots of good birds.

Mar 6, 2014

Support our Bird Race Crew in Eilat

Champions of the FlywayAs the first recipient of a grant from the C

Mar 5, 2014

Tripreport: Batumi in winter

Outside the migration season Birding in Georgia can also be very rewarding.

Mar 4, 2014

Vacancy: Ecotourism coordinator

Bird Conservation Georgia is looking for an enthusiastic person to join the team in Batumi. He or she will be in charge of our ecotourism program and the communication with visitors.

Mar 4, 2014


We are expanding our assortment of merchandising and are looking for the artists among you with creative ideas.

Mar 2, 2014

Birdrace funds BCG

We are pleased to inform you that BirdLife and

Feb 24, 2014

2 Pale Sakers Found

During the first expedition to east Georgia, 2 very white falcons were discovered. The lucky observers could not believe their eyes when they discovered a large white raptor perched in a tree.

Feb 16, 2014

BRC at the Belgische Vogeldag

This saturday the BRC will be present at the Belgische Vogeldag http://www.natuurpunt.be/nl/biodiversiteit/vogels_1286.aspx. We will have a stand where people can find out more about the project.

Feb 12, 2014

Pilot Spring Count 2014

The BRC is conducting its first spring count in Batumi from
01. April till 31. May and invites everybody who is keen to join the migration count.

Feb 11, 2014

New program board

The BRC has a new program board, now functioning within Bird Conservation Georgia.

Feb 7, 2014

2 more expeditions added

Javakheti Uplands
2-9 May and 18-25 May

Jan 6, 2014

Join our expeditions to Georgia’s wildest corners!

Bird Conservation Georgia (BCG), the 'umbrella organization' of BRC,

Dec 8, 2013

Order the BRC new year cards

Wish your friends and family merry migration and a happy new year with the new BRC postcards!

Nov 26, 2013

Tour company partners for 2014

For next autumn season, we already have 5 tour companies cooperating with us to organize a tour together.

Nov 26, 2013

Ending cooperation with Kaukasus Plus Reizen

After careful consideration, the BRC Board has decided to end the cooperation with the travel agency Kaukasus Plus Reizen from Netherlands with the tour operator Jos van Oostveen and Gennadi Tamliani.

Oct 17, 2013

End of BRC autumn count 2013

BRC's monitoring of migrating raptors autumn 2013 is over! Yesterday, the 16th of October, was the final day of our monitoring program. In total, from both count stations together 1.229.199 raptors were counted this fall.

Oct 14, 2013

Exciting Environmental Education Exchange

2013 was already the 3rd Autumn in which BRC organized an "Environmental Education Exchange" for students from Georgia, Armenia and Turkey.

Oct 9, 2013

1.000.000+ bottleneck for raptors

Our fantastic count team has done it again, our season total 2012, 2013, and 2014 are way over the 1.000.000 mark.

Oct 3, 2013

Festival extension trip to Kazbegi

After the Festival, we embarked on a three-day trip (from 8 until 11 September 2013) to Kazbegi targeting the Caucasus endemics, with the happy few that signed up for the extension tour.

Sep 18, 2013

Unforgettable Birds and Biodiversity Camp

On Sept 11th we said goodbye to over 20 great young students from the Caucasus who participated in our 201

Sep 8, 2013

Successful Batumi Bird Festival

Yesterday we celebrated the end of a fantastic second edition of the Batumi Bird Festival. This event, at which we explored the different aspects of birding around Batumi during a 5 day program from 3-8 September 2013, was a great success.

Sep 7, 2013

Catch up on the season

This year’s autumn migration season has been underway for 21 days now, and so far everything points to another great experience for all participants.

Sep 6, 2013

Birding in the Chorokhi Delta

The first of september 2013 was a day that will be long remembered for us, four lucky BRC counters that decided to spend their day off in the Chorokhi delta.

Aug 29, 2013

Disney Conservation Grant for BRC

Batumi Raptor Count (BRC) has been awarded a $23,400 grant  from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund

Aug 19, 2013

The end of a successful ´Back to Nature Camp´!

Preparing for the mushroom excursion.From 10-15 august 2013 BRC hosted the first Back to Nature camp for 15 Georgian children betw

Aug 17, 2013

Ready to count!

The first hours of counting migratory raptors at

Aug 6, 2013

BRC at British and Dutch Birdfair

This month BRC will be present at the British and the Dutch Birdfair. We will do a lecture about what we have done with BRC so far and what we want to do in the future. There will also be a  stand where people can find out more about the project.

Aug 3, 2013

Strengthen the BRC team

BRC is seeking motivated volunteers to strengthen the entire team, either as board member,&n

Jul 29, 2013

UPDATE: Guided tours to BRC

Great Rosefinch (c) Ecotours Georgia

Jul 12, 2013

Join the Batumi Bird Festival 2013

UPDATE: hotel accommodation and pricing added.

Jul 8, 2013

Update BRC2013 Youth Projects!

Hello dear students and youngsters from the Caucasus,

Jul 3, 2013

EU Youth In Action supports youth project at BRC!

Dear BRC enthusiasts,

Jun 15, 2013

Anthropological MSc project

At Batumi Raptor Count, we believe that the impact of our enterprise must not only be understood as the biological impact of our conservation programme on the region’s fauna.

May 27, 2013

One morning of spring migration in Choroki delta

After more than 2 weeks of raptor counting last week

May 26, 2013

Counter application reopened!

Volunteer and count

May 21, 2013

Designers and mappers needed for Batumi Birding Map

We are looking for enthusiastic people to work on our new project: a Birding Map for Batumi and its hinterland. This foldable map will be used to promote our birdwatching hotspot internationally, and will show at a glance all the information needed to find the good species.

May 10, 2013

Crested Honey Buzzard and hybrids

On our first pilot count in 2007, which lead to BRC's birth, the first Crested Honey-buzzard (also referred to as Oriental Honey-buzzardPernis ptilorhynchus orientalis) was recorded on migration over Batumi.

May 2, 2013

Swarovski ATX scope review

May 1, 2013

Count Coordinators Wanted!

BRC Friends,

Apr 27, 2013

Rufford Foundation grant approved

Dear BRC enthusiasts,

Apr 27, 2013

Volunteers and visitors welcome in spring

At the moment some projects are going on in Batumi: a waterbird survey in the Chorokhi delta, a limited spring raptor count and biodiversity surveys further inland. Dries, Brecht DM and Brecht V are on the spot, and you are welcome to join them till late June.

Apr 21, 2013

Call for researchers in Gibraltar

Dear friends,

Mar 25, 2013

Raptor counter application open

Mar 25, 2013

Threatened species photos needed

Visual materials are an important asset for BRC to help convince grant-makers and sponsors to support our conservation work. We are currently looking into opportunities to improve the conservation of threatened species migrating through Georgia.

Mar 11, 2013

Batumi Bird Festival report

Mar 5, 2013

Talk at Hacettepe University, Ankara

On March 8, Brecht Verhelst will be giving a talk on the work of BRC at Hacettepe University, Ankara. All welcome at 16:00 in the Biology Department!


Feb 14, 2013

BRC at Belgische Vogeldag

Next saturday, on february the 16th, BRC will be present with a talk and a stall on the 'Belgische Vogeldag'. Johannes will present an overview of 5 years of BRC and at our stall you can find out more about our project.

Jan 31, 2013

"One million"-Tshirts now available

NOW available: brand new "One Million"-edition of the BRC 2012 t-shirts. BRC duckfaces present brand new tshirts

Jan 26, 2013

BRC at Dutch Birding Day

See you this saturday at Dutch Birding Day? BRC will be present with a talk and a stall. Wouter will present an overview of 5 years of BRC and at our stall you can find out more about our project.

Nov 30, 2012

Reporting on 2012 Education Activities

In 2012 BRC implemented various education activities aro

Nov 21, 2012

Invitation General Meeting

Hello everybody

we kindly invite all members to attend the BRC General Meeting 2012 which will take place in Ghent Belgium between between the 7th and 9th of December!

Nov 19, 2012

Thanks for latest gifts

With a gift from Natuurpunt Vogelwerkgroep and many individual donations, including a major gift from Laurens Vogelaers, we have secured our budget until the end of 2012.

Nov 5, 2012

Thanks to all volunteers & staff

 Dear BRC-enthusiasts,

Over the past two weeks you elected a new Board, which will soon start preparations for a splendid 2013 edition of BRC.

Oct 21, 2012

Board 2013 elections

To all BRC members,

it is high time to vote for next years BRC Board!
The candidates for 2013 are:
- for President: Johannes Jansen
- for Secretary: Brecht Verhelst
- for Treasurer: Jasper Wehrmann
- for Board Member: Wouter Vansteelant

Oct 20, 2012

ONE Million raptors!

After 5 years monitoring of raptors at the Batumi bottleneck, we have surpassed all expectations as this autumn. We tallied ONE Million migrating birds of prey passing our two count stations along the eastern Black Sea route.

Oct 10, 2012

Ringing in the botanical garden of Batumi

Here is a short report on the ringing action of the English group that visited the BRC in 2012.

Oct 9, 2012

BRC on Vroege Vogels

During the festival, the Dutch journalist Roel Pauw visited our project.

Oct 9, 2012

Support from Natuurmonumenten

To cope with our rapid growth and increase in activities, we are constantly looking for additional funding opportunities. 

Oct 4, 2012

The first 'Shikra' of BRC: hybrid or aberrant Levant?

After we posted about the first Shikra record of BRC on September 16th, we received several comments about the identification of this challenging accipiter.

Oct 1, 2012

RuffordSG conference Armenia

From 27th until the 30th of september, the Rufford small grants recipients conference was held in Tsaghkhadzor, Armenia. This conference brought together all beneficiaries of a Rufford grant from the Caucasus and wider region of the last years.

Sep 28, 2012

A day in the Chorokhi delta

On the 23rd of September two Finnish volunteers of BRC had a day off exploring the bird diversity of Chorokhi delta.

Sep 16, 2012

Shikra: new species for BRC?

Just after his arrival in Batumi, Brecht Verhelst discovered the first putative Shikra (Accipiter badius) ever for the BRC. At 10:36 on station 1 in Sakhalvasho one 2nd cy female accipiter flew overhead and gave a splendid view for several BRC counters.

Sep 12, 2012

Dark morph Marsh Harriers

Since the start of the count we have seen a lot of Marsh Harriers. At least 16 of them were adult males of the rare dark morph. In former years only a handful of dark birds passed the stations. Little is known about this morph, e.g.

Sep 6, 2012

Record breaking season of BRC

Sep 1, 2012

Record breaking migration at Batumi

Aug 30, 2012

BRC at the ECCB

Aug 27, 2012

First nine days of raptor migration


Aug 26, 2012

Birding in Chorokhi Delta

The Chorokhi delta close to Batumi was visited two times in August by the Swedish team.

Aug 20, 2012

Birding tours with BRC guides

Apart from the famous raptor migration in autumn, the region around Batumi holds plenty of excellent birding locations nearby. Discover the bird life and the unique beauty of Ajara with Batumi Raptor Count!

Aug 17, 2012

Count kicked off today

Today the first volunteers assisted by our coordinators started the count of autumn 2012.
Few hours ago they reported the 1st  juvenile pallid harrier on a very rainy day !

Aug 15, 2012

BRC at the British BirdFair

The British Bird Fair is happening this weekend and BRC is pleased to be given the opportunity to deliver a talk there.

Aug 11, 2012

Swarovski increases optic support!

It is our pleasure to have received 3 Swarvovision binoculars and 3 scopes with alu and carbon tripods for the autumn count 2012.

Jul 16, 2012

Applications BRC Autumn Courses Closed

As of today the application procedures for the BRC autumn courses in Conservation Research and Environmental Education have both closed! We are pleased to have gathered two groups of nearly 15 students for each of these courses.

Jun 25, 2012

Excursion to Mtirala National Park

Yesterday we visited Mtirala National Park with the bird guide group. The weather was really good and (thanks to some clouds) not too hot, so we could enjoy the beautiful scenery of the  Chakvi river and the vivid green of the alder trees and rhododendron bushes.

Jun 10, 2012

Second Course

We had the second bird guide training session today. Two newcomers joined us: Megi from Sakhalvasho and Zhana from Kobuleti, so I have six people now - exactly what we wanted!

Jun 8, 2012

Batumi Birding package tours

photo Christean GelpkeDo you prefer a well packed program with all th

Jun 3, 2012

Bird Guide Training Course started

Finally I managed to bring together a group for the Bird Guide course! We had our first class today; we were talking about general topics like tourism, ecotourism, bird migration and hunting traditions.

May 28, 2012

Tourism Week

Today Mamuka (Head of the Tourism Department and Service Division, Batumi) and me gave a presentation on ecotourism and birdwatching in Chaisubani. There were quite a lot students and local people present, for whom we tried to explain what is bird tourism and how they can make a profit on it.

May 26, 2012

Welcome to the BRC office

The past two weeks I spent with searching for a desk and a shelf in Batumi for the BRC office. The desk was easy, but we could not find a shelf in the whole town, so we had to order one.

May 14, 2012

Presentation to University Students

Today I had a group of twenty students from Batumi Shota Rustaveli University. I gave them a lecture on raptor migration and the work of BRC. I hope they liked it; at least I enjoyed it very much. Thanks to all of them for being here and not fallen asleep, and to Alex for the translation.

May 11, 2012

Bee-eaters are on their way!

After one or two smaller flocks during the previous days, yesterday I observed hundreds of Bee-eaters migrating over Sakhalvasho and Chorokhi. Today I was waken up by a flock of cca. 30 birds flying right over the garden and 2-3 meters from my window.

May 10, 2012

First weeks in Sakartvelo

This is my third week here in Georgia. Recently I have been dealing with the most urgent issues: a presentation I am giving on the 15th of May to a group of students from Batumi Shota Rustaveli University; and visiting the families who want to have guests during the autumn.

May 4, 2012

Early Bird Festival Discount

Book your Festival Ticket now and enjoy the 20% Early Bird discount.
Be quick, because this offer only lasts for bookings made before the end of May!

May 2, 2012

White-tailed lapwing in Chorokhi

On the 1st of May 2012, White-tailed lapwing (Vanellus leucurus) was observed near the Chorokhi delta (just south of Batumi) by Roland Schlegel, a German birder enjoying our homestays.

Feb 17, 2012

Drivers of shooting

During the autumn migration season of 2011 the area around the ‘Batumi bottleneck’ was investigated on hunters activity, their success-ratio and their impact.

Feb 7, 2012

Swarovision EL 12x50 Binocular Review

The first review is one of the Swarovision EL 12x50, reviewed by Arthur Green:

Oct 12, 2011

Towards the end of the 2011 season ...

Hello everyone,

Sep 19, 2011

Halfway through the season ...

Hello dear BRC-enthusiasts,

Aug 28, 2011

Swarovski Optik sponsors

We are proud to announce that Swaroski Optik has responded positively to our request to support our project and they have lend us some of their products.

Aug 24, 2011

One week of BRC: 18 volunteers + 6 students vs. 10.000 raptors!

“Too soon.” In the days leading up to the count, villagers here in Sakhalvasho conveyed to us that the count would begin in earnest on 20 August. There is something to be said about the collective knowledge of a tightly knit community that has lived on the same land for generations.

Aug 17, 2011

BRC 2011 ... Starting the autumn season!

Jul 27, 2011

Batumi counts on trektellen

From now on, you'll be able to follow the Batumi counts in real time via www.trektellen.nl!

Jun 24, 2011

ARDEA accepts article on Batumi raptor migration

The Dutch ornithological journal Ardea has accepted our manuscript South West Georgia: an important bottleneck for raptor migration during autumn.

Jun 22, 2011

Georgian Credit supports translation of BRC website into Georgian

This translation, realised by Giorgi Tsutskiridze and Nika Chargeishvili, is a firs

Apr 11, 2011

Volunteers wanted!

Hello everyone,

Apr 1, 2011

OSME fund for conservation granted

The Ornithological Society of the Middle East has granted 500 GBP to the project 'Assessment of hunting pressure on migrating raptors through the Lesser Caucasus'.

Mar 16, 2011

Successful preparation visit

During the first week of March, Johannes and Brecht visited Georgia to make preparations for the upcoming count season. We managed to secure high-quality accommodation close to count site 1, which will be a huge improvement compared to last year's housing.

Mar 15, 2011

Ecotourism at BRC

Dear raptor enthusiasts,

Mar 3, 2011

Presenting the BRC 2011 Coordinators!

Hello everyone,
as spring is advancing we continue to get more of your applications to volunteer in BRC 2011. Thanks are in order!

Mar 1, 2011

BSc Thesis Michael Tholin on weather related Kazbegi migration patterns ...

Hello everyone,
a while ago we announced the analysis of migration intensity and locality in function of weather at the Batumi bottleneck as a Msc. Thesis project by Jasper Wehrmann.

Feb 20, 2011

Medraptors: BRC research partner for 2011

Hello everyone,

Dec 7, 2010

Prins Bernhard Fund for Nature approved

A grant of 20,000 EUR has been awarded to a cooperation between BRC and Georgian Centre for the Conservation of Wildlife (GCCW). With this funding we aim to expand the project further towards education, conservation and sustainable ecotourism.

Nov 23, 2010

Processing data & looking forward to 2011 ...

Hello everybody,

Oct 11, 2010

Lots of rain, lots of migration, lots of rain, lots of migration...

Hello everybody,

Oct 6, 2010

Rufford Small Grants Foundation supports BRC2011!

Dear all,

Sep 29, 2010

A summary of 2 weeks at Batumi: migration in general & some perspectives on hunting in the bottleneck ...

Dear BRC enthusiasts,

Sep 18, 2010

BRC 2010: the full state of affairs ...

Hello everybody,

The 2010 Batumi Raptor Count is now halfway so we bring you a longer update than usual.

Monitoring in 2010 ...

Sep 13, 2010

Slow migration, but Oriental Honey-Buzzards on three succesive days ...

Hello dear BRC enthusiasts,

Sep 9, 2010

Oriental Honey Buzzard ! ... That calls for a little newsflash!

Hello everybody,

Sep 8, 2010

Spectacular migration at the Batumi bottleneck!

Good day to you all,

Sep 2, 2010

Short update

Johannes reports:

After two days of rain the weather is improving and temperatures are rising to 35° and higher on the counting stations.

Aug 28, 2010

Two weeks of counting ... 100.000 Honey Buzzards!

Dear BRC enthusiasts,

Aug 20, 2010

BRC 2010 ... takeoff !

Hello everybody,

with the start of the count, we can offer you all some more news concerning BRC 2010.

Practical issues

© Batumi Raptor Count  2008 - 2015