Saturday, 7 September 2019

Batumi - Day 1

Saturday 7 September

Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata
On the 8am train from Tbilisi to Batumi and arrive a minute after 1pm.  Told the forecast was to be very wet and certainly signs of what was to come as we moved westwards over the mountains and down too Black Sea coast.  However, met by our host and safely settled into our apartment for the next ten days before time to take an exploratory walk down to the beach and the nearby "Boulevard."

Reading our literature on the train journey we gathered that when it is wet one should visit the Botanical Gardens, Boulevard and any green area with cover as passing small migrants are more than likely to drop in for cover.  Well, it absolutely p***** down as we left the apartment and, obviously, took neither bins nor camera.  Yet walking through the nearby park we found White Wagtail, Hoopoe and Hooded Crow and on reaching the Boulevard saw a number of both Spotted Flycatchers and Common Redstarts plus a couple of Blue Tits.

Hoopoe Upupa epos feeding in the wet park
Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata
Hooded Crow Corvus cornix 
Back to the apartment to dry ourselves but by then the rain had stopped and all seemed much calmer so back out again with camera and bins.  However, all the humans also came out to play so whilst we saw again all of the above, the numbers certainly seemed somewhat reduced.  Not to worry, record photos taken and now all set for our first visit to the famous raptor viewpoint at Sakhalvasho on the morrow.  The weather forecast is absolutely awful so it will be interesting to see what might turn up in the rain and then we can think about future repeat visits and also visits to both the Botanical Garden and nearby estuary about 5km to the south.

Female Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus (above) and male below

Birds seen:
Hoopoe, White Wagtail, Common Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher, Blue Tit, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow

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