Posts tagged 2018
BRC Magazine 2018

The final preparations for the upcoming Autumn Count are in full swing. Do you want to read up on what could be ahead of us this season? Then read our annual BRC Magazine of 2018, with a summary of last year's exceptional season and the most complete overview of our activities in the Batumi bottleneck. It is once again chock full of photos and stories to remind you of the spectacular migration that will start again in a few weeks.

The contributions of our BRC Members are critical in making our monitoring and conservation work possible, as we are a 100% volunteer-based organization. Do you want to support our work with a Membership? Then you will get early access to the annual BRC Magazine. For more information about the membership, click the button below.


Magazine 2018

The first 100,000

We have now been counting for 12 days and yesterday we passed the first milestone of the season: we have counted the first 100,000 birds! The start of the season has been everything but standard this autumn. Species diversity is already quite high and some species are unusually numerous. Whether this will continue to be the case for the rest of the season will remain to be seen, but the start so far has been very promising. Read the descriptions of the photos below for some highlights.

Season Highlights (August 17th - August 28th)

High numbers of Black Kites

Juvenile Black Kite. Photo by Bart Hoekstra.

At the time of writing, we've already counted 7500 Black Kites, with hourly averages much higher than the usual 5-10 birds.

Early Pallid Harriers

Immature Pallid female (left) and immature Pallid male (right). Photos by Frits Hoogeveen (left) and Bart Hoekstra (right).

We're already getting good numbers of Pallid Harriers on most days. Contrary to other seasons, many of the birds are still moulting their feathers while on migration. Is this early migration, before finishing the moult cycle, a sign of bad conditions up north?

Early Imperial Eagle

Immature Imperial Eagle. Photo by Frits Hoogeveen.

We had our first Imperial Eagle of the season already on the 21st of August. The earliest previous record was from the 2nd of September, 2013.

White Storks

A large flock of White Storks. Photo by Bart Hoekstra.

A large flock of White Storks. Photo by Bart Hoekstra.

One — for the bottleneck — massive flock of White Storks, totalling 423 birds, just 160 birds shy of our season average.

Impressive numbers of MonPals

Juvenile Montagu's Harrier. Photo by Bart Hoekstra.

We counted more than 1000 ‘MonPals’ on the 24th of August, one of our best days ever.

A gull

An adult Pallas' Gull flew right over the heads of many counters on the 23rd of August. Many bimbo-bells rung that moment!

Improvements to Station 2

Photo by Triin Kaasiku.

The beginning of the season has been dry and hot so cloudy moments like this on Station 2 are much welcome. The new tarp frame, funded by the department of tourism, functions perfectly!

Announcement: Batumi Birdwatching Festival 2018

Batumi Birdwatching Festival 2018

3 – 8 september 2018 – venue: Oasis Hotel – Chakvi – Georgia

We would like to invite all of you to the annual Batumi Birding festival, taking place the first week of September this year.

The full seven-day program will encompass a diversity of activities, all related to the study and conservation of the migration spectacle. You are welcome to join the daily excursions. You will have the option to choose between watching the raptors at our watch sites, visit other birding hotspots in the region or one of the national parks of the region, attend trapping demonstrations or pay a cultural visit to the region. We aim to attract a broad international public of birdwatchers, conservationists and eco-tourists as well as a large part of both the local population and regional peers. With this event, we want to highlight all aspects of our project, particularly the tourism potential.


We have a spectacular line-up for the evening lectures this year, with specialists from USA, UK and Denmark giving a lecture:

  • WILLIAM CLARK (USA): author of several raptor books and raptor identification specialist, will talk about raptor migration, eagles around the world and his eagle quest.
  • DAVID LINDO aka the Urban Birder (UK): author and celebrity, will talk about urban birding, raptors in urban environments and his new book
  • LUKE TILLER: tour guide and raptor migration addict, will talk about raptor migration (monitoring) all over the USA
  • BRC team: will present the daily count results, and an overview of results of the work BRC has done so far.

A detailed program will be published soon.


Participation to the daily excursions and the evening lectures is free of charge, subscribing is advised. A donation towards BRC is of course appreciated, but not obligatory. For the last evening celebration diner, a small payment will be asked. This event is financed by the Department of Tourism Adjara, we are very grateful for their support.

If you would like to show your interest for this event, or if you have questions, feel free to contact