Spring Birding in Georgia

Sunday 21st – Tuesday 30th April 2019

Just two places left on this exciting small-group tour!



 

For more information
please email us on info@birdwatchingtrips.co.uk

 


High on our most wanted list - Great Rosefinch photo by Steve Culley.



Join us on this exciting birding trip to the relatively undiscovered country of Georgia, with stunning views and picturesque landscapes of alpine, steppe and semi-desert wildlife hotspots. Amongst the many birding highlights of this special trip we will enjoy amazing raptor migration and look for specialist Caucasus species in this dramatic country. Faster paced than some of our other more relaxed-paced trips, we will also take in some of the country’s historical monuments which make great birding locations and we enjoy Georgia’s delicious traditional food and wine along the way. Truly an unforgettable trip with an exciting list of birds!

Here are just some of the amazing species we will be looking for during our Birdwatching Trips Tour in Georgia….

We begin our tour in stunning mountains looking for Green Warbler, Red-breasted Flycatcher and perhaps Semi-collared Flycatcher.

As we move higher we search for Twite, Shore Lark of the race penicillata race, White-winged Snowfinch, Griffon Vulture, Golden Eagle, Lammergeier, Steppe Buzzards.



Our main target birds in the afternoon will be the most wanted Güldenstädt’s Redstart and Great Rosefinch in their only location in the Western Palearctic.

Next morning two more of the most wanted species will be our main targets - Caucasian Black Grouse and Caucasian Snowcock. We also hope to see Wallcreeper, Red-billed and Alpine Chough, Ring Ouzel, Alpine Accentor, Water Pipit, Black Redstart, Red-fronted Serin in this spectacular area.

We have plenty of time here to ensure we have the best chances of seeing the special birds here. We will look out for Caucasian Chiffchaff, Red-throated Pipits, Bluethroat, Barred Warbler, Wryneck, Yellow Wagtails, Scops Owl, Collared and Semi-Collared Flycatchers.

Raptor passage could include Steppe Buzzard, Black Kite, Montagu’s, Pallid and Marsh Harriers, with a chance of Steppe, Lesser Spotted and Eastern Imperial Eagle.

Moving on we have the chance to look for Black Woodpecker, Armenian Gulls, White-winged Tern and Black-necked Grebe.

A change of habitat will bring huge numbers of new birds! Eastern Imperial, Steppe, Lesser Spotted and Booted Eagles, Long-legged Buzzard, Egyptian, Black and Eurasian Griffon Vultures, Short-toed Eagle, Saker Falcon, Chukars, Black Francolins, Hoopoe, European Bee-eater, Roller, Crag Martins.

Grassy steppes are home to Little Bustrad, Isabelline Wheatear, Crested, Short-toed and Calandra Larks, possibly Lesser Short-toed Lark. Nearby Western Rock Nuthatch, Blue Rock Thrush, Pied and Black-eared Wheatears, Black-headed and Ortolan Buntings, and Spanish and Rock Sparrows. Ménétries’s Warbler are common. Eastern Orphean Warbler and Rose-coloured Starlings may have arrived.

What a fantastic array of very special birds await in Georgia! We would love you to join us for this very exciting Birdwatching Trip.


Alpine Chough



This tour starts and ends in Tbilisi International Airport.

Itinerary

Day 1: Sunday 21st April 2019


Arrival at the Tbilisi International Airport and transfer to our hotel close to the city centre of Tbilisi. We will have time to explore the old quarter of charming Tbilisi and enjoy the sights of this historic city and its mixture of old and modern architecture. Our birding can start even in the city as we may find birds along the Mtkvari river that divides the capital including Armenian Gull, Whiskered Tern, Black-crowned Night Heron and others. Overnight in Tbilisi.

Day 2: Monday 22nd April 2019


Today we’ll drive to the famous Greater Caucasus and the Kazbegi Mountain, our base for next two days. We’ll make some birding stops on the way to look for exciting birds such as Krüper's Nuthatch, Semi-collared Flycatcher, Red-breasted Flycatcher and with luck, Green Warbler. We will also make a stop at at the Gudauri View Point (Russian Georgian friendship monument) where we will look for Alpine Chough, Red-billed Chough, Ring Ouzel, Alpine Accentor and many other goodies.
After lunch we will explore the beautiful Elia Gorge, surrounded by alpine meadows and rocky slopes with large Rhododendron patches, which holds a small population of Caucasian Black Grouse, which at this time of a year should be displaying on the slopes. Here we may also see a few exciting raptors such as Steppe Eagle, Bearded Vulture, Griffon Vulture, while these slopes are also home to East Caucasian (Tur) Goats.
We will also explore the pine forest to look for Red-fronted Serin, Crossbill, Rock Thrush, Water Pipit, Common Rosefinch, Ring Ouzel, Barred Warbler, and more.
In the early evening we will head towards Terek Valley, where the buckthorn bushes, riverine forests and small patches of pine forests here often provide wonderful views of Rock Bunting, Ring Ouzel, Rock Thrush, Green Warbler, Caucasian (Mountain) Chiffchaff amongst others. Overnight at Sno, two nights.


Not only amazing birds, stunning scenery too! Photo by Steve Culley.



Day 3: Tuesday 23rd April 2019


After an early breakfast we will be picked up by 4X4 vehicles and we drive up to the Gergeti Trinity Church at an altitude of 2,200 m with fascinating views of surrounding valleys. From here we will walk (a horse ride may be an option!) to the glacier tip of the Kazbegi Mountain at 3,000 m, where most exiting birding still awaits us. This is the only challenging part of our Big Week in Georgia, however one of the most rewarding and memorable. This trip offers fabulous close-up views of Caucasian Snowcock, Caucasian Black Grouse, Great Rosefinch, Güldenstädt’s Redstarts and Caucasian Chiffchaff.

In the afternoon we’ll walk back down to the Gergeti Trinity Church and drive back to hotel for lunch. In the afternoon we visit the Truso Valley where we will look for Alpine specialties including Wallcreeper, Alpine and Red-billed Chough, Twite, Red-fronted Serin, Black Redstart, Whinchat, and the king of the valley, Golden eagle.
In the early evening we’ll drive towards the gorgeous Dariali Valley close to the Russian border and surrounded by magnificent mountains. Right from the Monastery terrace we can enjoy the spectacular spring migration of raptors including a variety of buzzards, harriers and eagles among the streams of birds passing overhead. Overnight at Sno.

Egyptian Vulture Mar 2013

Egyptian Vulture



Day 4: Wednesday 24th April 2019


After breakfast we bird around the valleys again exploring more areas of pine forest looking for, amongst other species, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Caucasian Chiffchaff, Woodlark, Green Warbler, and Dipper in the river here.
In the early afternoon we will head towards the ancient and beautiful town of Signagi, situated in the Eastern part of Georgia making a few interesting birding stops on the way, to look for White-winged Snowfinch and Horned Lark.
We will visit the Shio-Mgvime on the Kura (Mtkvari) river, an ancient monastery and important monument dating from the 6th century, located in a unique narrow limestone canyon, surrounded by walls with caves built by medieval monks. This monastery is an important site for a few breeding pairs of Egyptian Vulture, and we also look for other species including Black-eared Wheatear, Lesser Whitethroat, Ortolan Bunting, Tawny Pipit, Red-backed Shrike, and Lesser Grey Shrike.
We stay overnight in Signagi, where we stay four four nights. During our time here we have the opportunity to enjoy a Georgian wine tasting and take a short walking tour of the town centre.

Day 5: Thursday 24th April 2019


After breakfast we drive in 4x4 vehicles towards Dali Reservoir, passing the immense fields of the Taribana Plains, which providing a huge number of birds. Rock Sparrow, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Rosy Starling, Hawfinch, Isabelline Wheatear, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike and Woodchat Shrike are regularly seen here as well as many raptor species, including Short-toed Snake Eagle, Booted Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Steppe Eagle, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Steppe Buzzard and possibly Saker Falcon.
The Dali Reservoir itself is a real bird paradise, where we really can expect the unexpected at this exciting time of year. This area is extremely attractive for numerous waterfowl including Pygmy Cormorant, Dalmatian Pelican, and Ruddy Shelduck amongst others. We visit the surrounding sandy canyons and areas of scrub to look for species including Menetries's Warbler, Common Nightingale, Black-eared Wheatear, Pied Wheatear, Finsch's Wheatear and Black Francolins, while among raptors we will look for both Common and Lesser Kestrels, Hobby, and one of the highlights of the day, White-tailed Eagle, which is breeding nearby and regularly seen around here. Overnight at Signagi.

Day 6: Friday 26th April 2019


After breakfast we will visit the majestic Pantishara Gorge, comprising mainly pristine sandy canyons and dry river beds and offering a sensational landscape for our birding. This hotspot is a part of the Vashlovani National Park, one of the richest biodiversity hotspots of Georgia and the Caucasus region. Here we have chance to look for Chukar, Blue Rock Thrush, Western Rock Nuthatch and various warblers, including Savi’s Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Garden Warbler, and Lesser Whitethroat.
On our way here, we will explore the massive agricultural plains of Shiraki. The number of raptors we may encounter along the road makes it truly special, with the chance of seeing Steppe and Long-legged Buzzards, Merlin, Steppe Eagle, Hen Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier and Pallid Harrier. The meadows on both sides of the road host large numbers of European Roller, Calandra Lark, Black-headed Bunting, Pine Bunting, Ortolan Bunting, Pine Bunting, Spanish Sparrow, Rock Sparrow, Little Owl, Short-eared owl and more. Overnight at Signagi.

Day 7: Saturday 27th April 2019


After breakfast we depart for the Mijniskure Gorge. This is an easternmost part of the Vashlovani National Park and provides another opportunity to enjoy wildlife in dramatic landscapes. We may enjoy the spectacle of soaring raptors especially vultures, including Black, Griffon and Egyptian Vultures, and we may be lucky enough to encounter Saker and Lanner Falcon too. Isolated canyons along the way towards Mijniskure Viewpoint provide an attractive habitat for many interesting species, like Western Rock Nuthatch, Rosy Starling, European Bee-eater, Twite, Chukar and many others.
Later we will walk up to the Eagles’ Canyon, an amazing place and one of the most popular and attractive raptor viewpoints in Georgia. This offers tremendous views of Alazani River Valley and hosts several interesting breeding pairs, including Peregrine Falcon, Griffon Vulture, Egyptian Vulture and Black Stork, but we may encounter other migratory raptors including Black Kite, Honey, Steppe, Long-legged and Rough-legged Buzzards, Pallid, Hen and Montagu’s Harriers, Eastern Imperial, Golden, Lesser and Greater Spotted, Steppe, Booted and Short-toed Snake Eagles and many others. Truly a raptor-fest! Overnight at Signagi

Rock Bunting Spain March 1

Rock Bunting



Day 8: Sunday 28th April 2019


After breakfast we drive towards David Gareji. This area consists of Mediterranean-type arid badlands with multi-coloured clay hills covered with shrub and steppe-like vegetation. David Gareji itself is a Monastery Complex created by Christian Monks in 5th Century. This is probably one of the most interesting sites in Georgia, where historical and wildlife attractions co-habit side-by-side. We should enjoy more great views of raptors including Egyptian Vulture, Griffon Vulture and Eastern Imperial Eagle. Around David Gareji we will also have the chance to look for Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin, Rock Sparrow, Calandra Lark, Lesser Short-toed Lark, Finsch’s Wheatear, Isabelline Wheatear, Pied Wheatear, Black-eared Wheatear, Eurasian Penduline Tit, Eastern and Western Rock Nuthatches, Rock Bunting, Menetries’s Warbler, Eastern Orphean Warbler, Common Nightingale, Whinchat, and Blue Rock Thrush, Chukar and Rosy Starling.
In the afternoon we will drive towards Tbilisi stopping at Jandari Lake, an important site for both migratory and nesting waterfowl and can provide interesting sightings especially at this time of a year including crakes, herons, grebes, ducks, terns, gulls including Armenian, Slender-billed and Great Black-Headed, large numbers of Pygmy Cormorants. Demoiselle Crane and Dalmatian Pelican can also be seen here, while we check the surrounding meadows and steppes to see what may be passing through. Overnight Tbilisi.

Day 9: Monday 29th April 2019


After breakfast we drive to Kumisi Lake, for more looks at wildfowl and to mop up any species we may have missed. In the afternoon we’ll drive towards Krtsanisi Forest, a real stronghold of woodpeckers, including Great Spotted, Lesser Spotted, Middle Spotted, Syrian, Green and Black Woodpeckers. We may also encounter Golden Oriole, Green Warbler and possibly Scops Owl. We will spend our final evening taking a city tour of the beautiful Old Town of Tbilisi and where we will enjoy a traditional Georgian dinner to round off our tour. Overnight Tbilisi.

Day 10: Tuesday 30th April 2019


We transfer to the Tbilisi International Airport for our flights home. Our tour ends here.


Male Black-headed Bunting one of so many colourful photogenic birds on this tour. Photo Steve Culley



General Information

Accommodation – comfortable hotels throughout; single, twin and double rooms available

Meals – mainly tasty traditional Georgian food; vegan and vegetarian options can be arranged; drinking water will be provided throughout; tea/coffee and snacks will be provided during the tour

Transport – comfortable air-conditioned minibus for most of the tour; 4x4 vehicles will be used where necessary

Walking conditions – generally easy, one steep uphill hike involved

Tour conditions – please note that this tour is a faster-paced birding trip than most of our usual Birdwatching Trips

Guiding – at least one Birdwatching Trips guide and an expert English-speaking local guide throughout

Group sizemaximum six guests plus a minimum of two guides, please note that many other tour companies take much larger groups on this trip

Weather – in the mountainous area, temperatures can fall as low as 0°C overnight so evenings and early mornings will be cool, though temperatures will rise during the day; in lowland areas, temperatures are likely to be around 25°C

Black Woodpecker Hungary Gerard Gorman

Black Woodpecker



What is included in the price:


  • Accommodation
  • Meals: (breakfast, lunch, evening meal) from evening meal on Day 1 through to breakfast on Day 10, also water, coffee and tea
  • Transportation: airport transfers at the beginning/end of the trip and throughout the tour in a comfortable minibus or 4x4 vehicles where necessary
  • Guiding: at least two professional guides throughout the trip
  • All entry permits to national parks and sites mentioned in the itinerary
  • Checklists and tour information
  • Use of our field guides and telescopes

What is not included in the price:


  • Additional snacks and alcoholic drinks
  • International flights to Georgia
  • Additional excursions not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Tips
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance or health insurance

Tour price


The price of this tour is £2,195* per person sharing a twin/double room. Sorry but we do have to pass on the single room supplement of £225*. A deposit of 20% is payable upon booking, with the balance due by 70 days before travel.
*We reserve the right to amend the price of this trip in the unlikely event of a significant currency move.

With such a small group of just six guests we anticipate that this exciting trip will fill up quickly, so please email us on info@birdwatchingtrips.co.uk for more information and to reserve your place on the trip.

We look forward to hearing from you and sharing exciting birds in Georgia with you!



Contact us


* * *

*


Submit

Our Tweets


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. See our Cookie Policy for further details on how to block cookies.
I am happy with this
 

Cookies

What is a Cookie

A cookie, also known as an HTTP cookie, web cookie, or browser cookie, is a piece of data stored by a website within a browser, and then subsequently sent back to the same website by the browser. Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember things that a browser had done there in the past, which can include having clicked particular buttons, logging in, or having read pages on that site months or years ago.

NOTE : It does not know who you are or look at any of your personal files on your computer.

Why we use them

When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, your computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.

These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:

  • recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don’t need to do it for every web page requested
  • measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there’s enough capacity to ensure they are fast
  • analysing anonymised data to help us understand how people interact with our website so we can make them better

You can manage these small files and learn more about them from the article, Internet Browser cookies- what they are and how to manage them

Learn how to remove cookies set on your device

There are two types of cookie you may encounter when using our site :

First party cookies

These are our own cookies, controlled by us and used to provide information about usage of our site.

We use cookies in several places – we’ve listed each of them below with more details about why we use them and how long they will last.

Third party cookies

These are cookies found in other companies’ internet tools which we are using to enhance our site, for example Facebook or Twitter have their own cookies, which are controlled by them.

We do not control the dissemination of these cookies. You should check the third party websites for more information about these.

Log files

Log files allow us to record visitors’ use of the site. The CMS puts together log file information from all our visitors, which we use to make improvements to the layout of the site and to the information in it, based on the way that visitors move around it. Log files do not contain any personal information about you. If you receive the HTML-formatted version of a newsletter, your opening of the newsletter email is notified to us and saved. Your clicks on links in the newsletter are also saved. These and the open statistics are used in aggregate form to give us an indication of the popularity of the content and to help us make decisions about future content and formatting.


<