Saturday, 18 August 2018

Republic of Georgia - Churockhi Delta

I arrived in Rep of Georgia late Wednesday evening and was met at the airport by Triin one of the count co-ordinators. The remainder of the evening was spent eating a hearty meal and being introduced to Bart and Arthur the other co-ordinators and getting to know fellow season counters.

The next day was spent at the Churockhi Delta searching for some new birds for my pitiful Western Palearctic list. The area of scrubland and fields supported an array of species a few including a life bird Booted Eagle greeted us as we entered the area via an ungraded road.

Isabeline Wheatear was the next species to surrender itself to the list. Red backed Shrike was most numerous of the shrikes with a Lesser Grey Shrike making an appearance.

There were a few small puddles along the path which supported a few shorebirds. A Wood Sandpiper was the most notable with Little Ringed Plover, Common and Green Sandpiper.

Citrine Wagtail was irregularly seen feeding in the short grass either side of the path. Rose-coloured Starling and a Short-toad Lark was also noted. A flock of Garganey was seen in flight.

The main wetland area held Little Crake (another lifer), Squacco Heron, Little Grebe and Snipe. The margins supported a group of Yellow Wagtail.

Lunch was taken before the afternoon walk along the beach to the river. Gabi (France) found the species of the day a pair of Ferruginous Duck which present but difficult to find in Georgia.

The beach was a good resting place for various ages of Yellow-legged Gulls.

The pool before the river mouth held Curlew Sandpiper, Ruff, Little Stint and Broad Billed Sandpiper. Further along the river a Terek Sandpiper was found by Gabi. White winged Black Tern patrolled the margins a couple of juvenile birds flew past the group at eye level.

The day finished with a bus ride back to the Guesthouse.