After another very successful season in 2015, the volunteers of BRC only had a couple of weeks to recuperate, and while 2016 is still young, the preparations for the count of autumn 2016 are already in full swing. Hereby I would like to thank Jasper Wehrmann for all his hard work and never ending enthusiasm during his past years as president. I feel humble to be allowed to take over his role in leading BRC in 2016, and I only hope that BRC will flourish as much as under his leadership.
To start with the "boring" stuff, we implemented a new structure of working groups in BRC. Each working group is responsible for a specific area. There is a working group for monitoring, conservation, PR, fundraising and research&education. While these working groups are in charge of the practical implementation, the board will keep a general overview and is responsible for the long term strategy of BRC. Together with SABUKO and Batumi Birding, this structure will enable us to efficiently work on the monitoring and protection of birds in the Batumi region.
As you know, all functions within BRC are held by volunteers, and we're always looking for new enthusiastic people who are willing to join us in our quest for safe migratory flyways of raptors (and other birds). If you are interested, let us know or directly contact the working group of your interest!
Another important milestone is the foundation of a legal entity to ensure the financial integrity behind BRC.
More details on our recently revised website www.batumiraptorcount.org.
With the foundation, it is finally possible to become a member of Batumi Raptor Count!
Supporting members are very important in order to secure funding for future counts and our conservation work, so let's encourage as many people as possible to become a member of the BRC family. The one who brings in the most memberships, will be personally rewarded by me with a bottle of chacha and a tasty khachapuri!
Back to our core business: raptors.
After 8 years of migration counts in the Batumi bottleneck, one of the most interesting questions which remains, is how the birds disperse after passing through the bottleneck. Therefore I'm delighted to announce that coming season, in close collaboration with Gernant Magnin, we will try to provide some insights on this. A simultaneous count, based on the same protocol, will be held on the other side of the Georgian/Turkish border. Call for counters is expected soon, together with the call for Batumi counters, so keep an eye on our website.
All that remains for me to say at the moment is: Gaumarjos, I hope to see you all (again) in Batumi to join us in observing one of the most spectacular events in the world: the yearly raptor migration through the Batumi bottleneck.
Folkert de Boer
Chairman of BRC