Thursday, 13 September 2018

Rep of Georgia - Batumi Raptor Count - HB or CHB That is the Question!

The count is now entering the Crested Honey Buzzard season and I have been doing my best to miss potential birds when they pass over the stations. The Crested or Oriental Honey Buzzard is known to hybridize with Honey Buzzard which makes identification of this species tricky to say the least.

BRC record birds every year as they pass through with streams of HB. Photo opportunities are not always possible but expert observation is required usually through a telescope to identify this species.

The first bird which was a good candidate was called by Bart as I was counting a stream of birds. I then threw the camera at the bird and the result was a disaster although some features are visible in the overexposed shots.
The second candidate is still being discussed but spent enough time in front of station one to at least fire off a few shots that could be scrutinized later on in the day. The bird was pale with six fingers but there is a hint of carpal patches in this bird.
The day itself was surprisingly good in the cloudless skies with good numbers of Booted Eagle, Black Kite and Honey Buzzard taking advantage of the thermals. Station two had a good eagle day with a Greater Spotted and a few Steppe passing through the mountains.

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