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Withymoor - Amblecote, Stourbridge.....

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Old Monday 2nd September 2019, 06:10   #1351
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Some recent pics...

Waders at Upton Warren a month ago...
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Old Monday 2nd September 2019, 06:13   #1352
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Sharpness...

Veiws and an adult Peregrine with a full crop.
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Old Monday 2nd September 2019, 06:16   #1353
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Blood in the sand...

One of 2 juvenile Peregrines had caught an overflying Pigeon whilst we were there.
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Old Monday 9th September 2019, 10:34   #1354
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Distant shots of 1 of 2 Great White Egrets at Muddleton the day before the Wryneck was found + this Purple variant of Common Yarrow.

Laurie
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Old Monday 9th September 2019, 10:39   #1355
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One of several pre-breakfast vizmigging at Sugarloaf Farm Iverley.

Panorama with 180 degree views to Clee with a Kestrel and Sparrowhawk sparring for territory...

Laurie -
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Old Monday 9th September 2019, 10:41   #1356
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The vizmigging at all sites has been very unproductive to say the least but a female Wheatear and 5 of 6 Ravens at Iverley made a change...

Laurie -
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Old Monday 9th September 2019, 10:45   #1357
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Withymoor continues its unproductive run altho 4 Sand Martins were reported to me by another birder which takes the year total to 47...

Attached are Tufties from Fens Pools, Grey Heron working on its tan at the Deplh, Sprawk and the last of 4 Swifts down at the Golden Puddle about 10 days ago.

Laurie
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Old Monday 9th September 2019, 11:14   #1358
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As already stated migration for me around here has been almost non-existant but on Thursday i shall be departing for former SSR Georgia for our second consecutive visit to this wonderful and friendly country and to look at general bird migration around Tblisi and with our second week at the spectacle that is Batumi

We spend 3 days around the capital Tblisi which will be our first visit and 3 days at Signagi which is the main Wine-growing area of Georgia. Georgia has the oldest known history of Viniculture dating back to 6000BC. We intend visiting a number of friendly vineyards, sampling excellent local cuisine, a few museums and all the time there will be bird movement. Tblisi has parks and a large river running through it and the Signagi area has mountains etc so it will be interesting to bird away from the hotspot.

Our second week will be based at Batumi right on the Black Sea - we have a superb hostel with s/c if required plus en-suite all for £130 for 7 nights for the both of us There are excellent bars and eateries and we are situated in the old quarter which is ideal for getting out and about with the parks just around the corner.

I have a week planned with every other day (so at least 3 possibly 4 visits) up at the Batumi Raptor Count Watchpoint 1 at Sakhalvasho. I will alternate this with the excellent 20 minute cable-car ride to the Argo Cafe situated high above the city and in direct line about 10 kilometres downwind of Sakhalvasho where most of the raptors they get also pass over the cafe. At the cafe you can get a beer and there are toilets and shelter from any rain.

The counters and other birders up at Sakhalvasho are great, friendly and in the case of some of the former very very knowledgable. It is good to meet other like-minded folk at such a spectacular location. Contrast that with the Argo cafe and what i like about birding from there is that i have to ID stuff for myself - 3 days up there last year and we were the only birders. I set up a scope for the manager, his staff, and whoever else was interested and did a bit of commentary. We were rewarded with some free beer and food but it really was a pleasure to show people particularly Georgians what the have

Batumi also has the Chorokoi Delta which is a wetland about 4 kilometres away the other side of the Airport. It is now protected and no shooting is allowed. Shooting wild stuff in Georgia is illegal but like all these things it is down to enforcement and more importantly education. The Georgians and particularly semi-autonomous Adjara province is moving fast on the value of their culture and migratory birds

The rainy cool weather from the beginning of this month has dented numbers as stuff is just not moving with large raptors thin (relatively speaking) but smaller Hawks, Falcons and particularly Harriers like Pallid/Monty still moving. Day counts of 6-700 Rollers and 600 Ortolans is most impressive. Even the resident Cat consumed a Short-toed Lark - in this case a Short-lived one as well

Whilst about 1.5 million raptors should eventually pass thru the 'Batumi bottleneck' over 1m will be made up of just 3 species. Honey Buzzards of which the peak appears to have passed. Black Kites which are going to move thru in number as we speak and Booted Eagles which move about mid-Sept. The counters are 'worried' as they haven't hit 500k Honeys yet

Here are the Honey Buzzard numbers at Sakhalvasho for the last 10 days of August to give you some idea why Batumi is ranked 3 in the Western Palearctic after only being 'discovered' about 15 years ago.

11,418
7,208
38,786
66,194
74,004
23,348
60,849
28,996
12,587
44,928

And a link to HB migration 5 years ago...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwKkP73lQTo

I will post daily updates on what i see (and identify) from Georgia.

Good Birding -

Laurie
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Old Saturday 14th September 2019, 03:08   #1359
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Screenshot of Fridays notes from Tblisi

Laurie -
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Old Sunday 15th September 2019, 07:31   #1360
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Screenshot of yesterday - hardly anything in the hillside bushes iím guessing peak movement was probably mid-August in this region.

Good birding

Laurie -
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Old Monday 16th September 2019, 03:56   #1361
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Screenshot from yesterday - very quiet really but moving on today
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Old Wednesday 18th September 2019, 13:19   #1362
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Screenshot from today plus the view.
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Old Friday 20th September 2019, 18:27   #1363
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Sceenshot of yesterdays details which were mainly travelling is attached...
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Old Saturday 21st September 2019, 05:25   #1364
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Double screenshots today from yesterdays superb 1st visit this trip to Station #1 Sakhalvasho
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Old Saturday 21st September 2019, 05:37   #1365
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Yesterdays Black-winged Kite - the dark secondaries are clearly visible...

They are frm BRCís FaeceBook page and not mine - i have some and will post accordingly

Laurie -
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Old Sunday 22nd September 2019, 04:48   #1366
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For some inexplicable reason i included both Black and White Stork in the Raptor totals so it is 19 species.....

It rained yesterday from midnight until midnight and i mean rain - possibly 4 inches imo. The precipation is so intense no pulling of punches. No counting was done at either Station for the Sakhalvasho-based watchers and with no proper bars to go to really itís a long day. This is why we choose to lodge at Batumi and ventured out just after midday for brunch at a harbour cafe for a superb Cheese-filled bread, Georgian Lager and a gratis Georgian Brandy from locals who thanked us for visiting and were glad we were not Russians!

Yellow-legged, Black-headed and a couple of Little Gulls were noted - thank heavens for Little Gulls Cormorants and Hooded Crows ducked and dived.

Today is the first of 2 visits to the Argo Cafe via cable-car. 4 quid return iirc for the 20 minute ride. Last year i had 2 x 15k+ days with very close views of some species as they cleared Sakhalvasho. Yesterdays weather will mean a pile-up of birds keen move. Showers are forecast until midday and the service doesnít start until 11am so about midday to 5ish will do. No taxi means we can pick when we return.

Good Birding -

Laurie -

Attached: 2 screenshots that sums up yesterday...
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Old Sunday 22nd September 2019, 05:33   #1367
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It is still chucking it down so here's a coupla photos...

The newly installed 263 steps to Heaven and Bimbo the Observatory Dog...
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Old Monday 23rd September 2019, 04:34   #1368
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3 screenshots today.

2 from my yesterdays trip to the Argo Cafe and the reasons i shall spend the next 3 days at Sakhalvasho and the Counters summary at both watchpoints.

Good birding -

Laurie
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Old Monday 23rd September 2019, 04:42   #1369
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Views from the Argo Cafe...
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Old Wednesday 25th September 2019, 04:29   #1370
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Due to the website being down for maintenance when i was about to submit i have screenshot Mondays notes as 3 images c/w BRCís counts. Yesterdays (Tuesday) notes will be posted shortly as i am not being picked up until 11.

Laurie -
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Old Wednesday 25th September 2019, 05:16   #1371
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Double helping today.....

2 screenshots of yesterdays shenanigans c/w the counters stats (for those that are interested in such things).

Good birding

Laurie -
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Old Wednesday 25th September 2019, 05:51   #1372
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A few back-of-camera from yesterday - even the local Ravens photo-bomb...
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Old Friday 27th September 2019, 09:02   #1373
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Final day (Wednesday 25th) encapsulated in a screenshot plus the official count - for those wishing to follow them until the death in mid-Oct here is the link...

https://www.batumiraptorcount.org/mi...totals-gallery

Laurie
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Old Saturday 28th September 2019, 10:21   #1374
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Overview of the 4 days at Sakhalvasho to be followed with an annotated list

Laurie -
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Old Monday 30th September 2019, 04:49   #1375
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Despite being back and adjusting to routine, weather and thinking about checking photos and walking the dog etc yesterday was a classic day at Batumi and more like it should be so here are a couple of screenshots and counts from a truly mouth-watering session
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