Thursday, 5 September 2019

Tbilisi, Georgia

Wednesday 4 September

Arrived in this fascinating, historic, crowded and crazy city of Tbilisi, capital of Georgia, about 5.30 this morning and after a few hours sleep was up and out to undertake some local exploring.  A visit to the park on top of the hill seen from our apartment window produced a Jay, Raven and Wood Pigeon and also the local House Sparrows.  But very much later before we came across our first Feral Pigeons and, as yet, no sign of a Collared Dove and/or Starling, Common or Spotless.  On the other hand, we did find Laughing Gull.

The late afternoon saw us take a short river cruise from below the "Bridge of Freedom" and there, sitting on the wall was a Hooded Crow which would appear to be the default member of this family.  Similarly, the almost a dozen gulls on or near the river would appear to be Yellow-legged Gulls.  As the small boat turns round to make a return journey upstream, the skipper stopped to point out a resting Cormorant in the riverside tree almost adjacent to his boat.

Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
What he did not notice was the juvenile Night Heron sitting not half a metre away and slightly obscured by a couple of then branches.

Juvenile Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
Continuing on we found another Juvenile Night Heron with 50 metres and more exposed was observation.
Female/juvenile Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrines
Leaving the river to walk back to our apartment I did came across a beautiful female Peregrine Falcon but I have to confess it was not a great wild sighting, rather a falconer's bird being used to attract customers to have their photograph taken with same.  Not at all happy with this aspect or, indeed, with the money dressed up in clothes or Macaw also being used for the same reason.  On the other hand, I did get a really good look at the face of this magnificent raptor.

So there you have it, our first experience of birding in Georgia with the delights of Batumi to follow come the week-end.  Today, all being well, a Uber-like taxi to about 20km upstream to explore the river.  But will were lucky bird wise?
Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis
Birds seen:
Cormorant, Night Heron, Yellow-legged Gull, Wood Pigeon, Feral Pigeon, Laughing Dove, Jay, Hooded Crow, Raven, House Sparrow


Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information

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