Besh Barmag, bird migration, science

Start of Sandgrouse and Bustard migration

Text & Photos © M. Heiß

I am currently in Tbilisi (Georgia) due to some trouble with the prolonging of my visa. I hope to get it as soon as possible to continue the bird counts.

The last counting day was quite surprising as obviously a shift in species composition took place and several further species increased in numbers. The day started with an unusual observation short after sunrise with a flock of 500 high migrating Pygmy Cormorants. The next eight hours of counting produced:

  • 130 Ruddy Shelducks
  • 850+ Stock Doves
  • the first few Wood Pigeons
  • 30 Hen Harriers
  • 1 Rough-legged Buzzard
  • 60 Black-bellied Sandgrouses
  • 6 Black Storks, rare sight
  • 800 Common Cranes in several flocks
  • 5500+ larks, mainly Sky, but also Calandra and a few Woodlarks and Lesser Short-toed Larks
  • thousands of Rooks and Common Starlings
  • the first Little Bustards with a flock of 300 birds migrating south and further 6 individuals resting in the steppe
  • 1 Blue-cheeked Bee-eater
  • and many others…
Pygmy Cormorants on migration. Two Rooks flew at lower elevations.
Flock of Little Bustards
Hen Harrier
Migrating flock of Black-bellied Sandgrouse
Flushed Black-bellied Sandgrouses

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