birdsafarisweden
 

BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Red-fronted Serin
Foto: Morteza Namati



BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Great Rosefinch
Photo: Silas Olofsson



BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Güldenstädt's Redstart
Photo: Thomas Langenberg



BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Rock Thrush
Photo: Stefan Hage



BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Caucasian Snowcock


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Rock Bunting
Photo: Stefan Hage



BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Stepansimnda
Photo: Dobry Domushiev



BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Semi-collared Flycatcher
Photo: Stefan Hage



BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Kazbegi glacier
Photo: Dobry Domushiev





Georgia, Caucasus



27 April - 6 May 2018


The small country of Georgia is located between the Caspian and the Black Sea, with Russia in the north and the mighty Caucasus mountain range acting as the backbone of the area.
It is a wild and beautiful country with a very interesting bird life.

Although the snowy peaks in the Caucasus are beautiful symbols of the country, there is also a variety of other interesting environments. There is everything from forests and wetlands to steppes and semi-deserts. Thus, a rich mix of birds, some of which can only be seen here throughout the western Palearctic.

Colorful, charismatic birds such as the Güldenstädt's Redstart and Great Rosefinch, as well as the enigmatic, alpine Caucasian Snowcock and Caucasian Black Grouse. These four species are most of the year, not at all easy to see and require long hikes up at high altitudes. Our journey, however, is scheduled to pinpoint the relatively small window of time in spring when the birds are easier to find and can be seen at lower altitudes. Simply because snow blocks their breeding places higher up.
In our mission to see these birds, we will have our base in the small village Stepantsimnda located at 1,800 meters altitude not far from Mount Kazbegi, which with its 5,033 meters is one of the highest peaks of the Caucasus. We will also visit the wetlands and semi-desert in the south and east which offer completely different bird species. We expect to see about 140 species of birds on this trip.



Day 1 – 3

After arrival in Tbilisi we check into to our hotel and can more or less immediately start looking for birds. Not far from town are interesting areas, the migration is in full swing this time of year and most local breeding birds have also arrived.
We look for the Demoiselle Cranes, Armenian Gull, different crakes, terns, waders, roller, Bee-eaters, Pygmy Cormorants, etc.
We also travel close to the border with Azerbaijan and look for eastern, exciting passerines such as Citrine Wagtail, Eastern Orphean Warbler, Paddyfield Warbler, Western Rock Nuthatch, Isabelline-, Black-eared- and Finsch’s Wheatear..
The Raptors are represented by Red-footed Falcon, Black Vulture, Griffon Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Long-legged Buzzard, etc.



Day 4

Today we travel north for five hours to our next base at the foot of the Caucasus mountains. Naturally we stop several times along the way and can expect to see species such as Rock Thrush, White-winged Snowfinch, Red-billed Chough and the local race of Buzzards (menetrieze). Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Semi-collared Flycatcher, Collared Flycatcher and Red-breasted Flycatchers are also on the program. We arrive at the village in time to have a good chance to go out and look at the surroundings before dinner.



Day 5 – 8

We will primarily spend these days looking for the Caucasian specialties Caucasian Snowcock and Black Grouse, as well as the Güldenstädt's Redstart and the Large Rosefinch. Snow conditions will determine how far we need to walk in order to find the birds. Either way, we have plenty of time and should get to see all four species properly.
Flyttfåglar kan dyka upp även här och rödstrupig piplärka, vitstrupig näktergal, mindre flugsnappare, kornknarr och vaktel noterades på rekresan. Bland rovfåglar ses kungsörn, stäppörn, pilgrimsfalk, stäpphök, ängshök, örnvråk, ormörn, m.fl.

We will also see other species, some of them no less attractive, or how about Red-fronted Serin, Alpine Accentor, Wallcreepers and the majestic Bearded Vultures who patrol the mountain sides. The local breed of Black Redstart - semirufus - are also nice to see. Other goodies you would expect are mountain birds such as Alpine Chough, Chough, Ring Ouzel, Water Pipit, Mountain Chiffchaff and Twite. Migratory birds also pop up at times and we have spotted Red-throated Pipit, White-throated Robin, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Corncrake and Quail on previous trips. Among raptors seen are Golden Eagle, Steppe Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Pallid Harrier, Montagu's Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Short-toed Eagle, etc.

Day 8 we make the return journey back to Tbilisi, where we spend our last night.



Day 9

Sometimes the flight schedule gives us a chance for finishing the trip with some wonderful early morning birding.

The program may have to be done in reverse, starting in Kazbegi, if the snowconditions and weather reports demand that. We will also visit Chachuna Nature Reserve in Lori Uplands where we encounter a completely different, drier environment. Here we have the chance of seeing the large Saker Falcon, Imperial Eagle, Chukar and several species of Wheatears etc.


Guides / tour leader


Daniel Green, Swedish tour guide and -leader. Dobry Domushiev - our local guide has good knowledge of Georgia and the destinations we visit on the trip. The journey is a collaboration between BirdSafarisweden and Karlmark Travel. (Karlmark Travels holds the travel warranty insurance that covers this trip)

When: April 27 - May 6, 2018

Price: 19.500 SEK (flight not included)

Single supplement: 1.750 SEK

What's included:
Full board in double room, English-speaking tour leader, local guide all the time, all transports, all possible entrances to nature reserves and parks.

Not included:
Flight ticket to Tbilisi. Transfer to the airport, insurance, (Note: The European Health Insurance Card does not apply here. Participants are required to have a travel-insurance covering accidents and illnesses.) Alcohol, souvenirs and other personal expenses, gratuities to tourleader, local guide / driver (we usually collect money for tips at the end of the trip if we are satisfied).

Maximum number of participants: 12, minimum 8 participants.

Other: This is a "mixed group" trip where Swedish- and English-speaking travelers are welcome.
Once you have registered you will receive an invoice of 3,500 SEK. The payment of that bill guarantees you a place on the trip.



booking form / interest

BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Kazbegi
Foto: Dobry Domushiev


BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Caucasian Snowcock
Photo: Rami Mizrachi


BIRDSAFARISWEDEN Caucasian Black Grouse

BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Steppe Buzzard
Photo: Stefan Hage


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Wallcreeper
Photo: Stefan Hage


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Mount Kazbegi
Photo: Silas Olofsson


BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Bearded Vultures
Photo: Stefan Hage


BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Mountain Chiffchaff
Photo: Stefan Hage


BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Red-billed Chough
Photo: Stefan Hage