Season 2019 has started

This year the 12th of August already marked the start of the 12th Batumi Raptor Count. To better detect changes in migration timing, we have decided to start the count 5 days earlier and finish 5 days later. So from this year onwards BRC will monitor migration in the Batumi bottleneck from August 12th until October 21st, for a total of 70 days.

Starting earlier means the first days of the season will probably be slower than usual, but that gives us a nice opportunity to practice working on our new Station 1. Thanks to the Ministry of Finance and Economy of Adjara and the Adjara Tourism Department, the shelter on Station 1 is not just a shelter anymore. Instead, we now have an ‘observatory’ to count from. We are very grateful for this investment in birdwatching facilities and thrilled to welcome you at our new station.

New station 1 view from the higher level. Photo by Triin Kaasiku.

New station 1 view from the higher level. Photo by Triin Kaasiku.

This year we will have:

58 people are taking part in the project, including 9 Georgian volunteers. This year's volunteers come from 18 countries and we are welcoming the first Iranian and Portugese volunteers to the project.

Organised in close collaboration with Flora & Fauna International, once again a group of 7 Georgian falconers will be participating in the project.

With the help of local teachers we will restart the environmental education programme in the schools in the bottleneck.

We will officially start counting Long-legged Buzzards, as recent tracking studies have shown an interesting northward migration of this species during autumn.

We will pilot the systematic collection of photographs of raptors, to facilitate plumage and moult studies of species migrating through the bottleneck.

Lots of space for infographics on the new station 1. Photo by Triin Kaasiku.

Lots of space for infographics on the new station 1. Photo by Triin Kaasiku.

Dedicated scanners and the station cat. Photo by Triin Kaasiku.

Dedicated scanners and the station cat. Photo by Triin Kaasiku.

As usual, we will keep you updated through the daily count results on our website, and our posts on TwitterFacebook and Instagram (new!). Make sure to follow us!

Bart Hoekstra