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Experience The Caucasian Birds Tour

Experience The Caucasian Birds Tour Packages
Country: Georgia
City: Tbilisi
Duration: 11 Day(s) - 10 Night(s)
Tour Category: Bird Watching Tours
Departure Date: Thu 01 Jan '99

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Package Itinerary

Day 1: Tbilisi – Kazbegi.

Drive, some 150km north of Tbilisi to the magnificent mountains of the Greater Caucasus. Our destination is the town of Kazbegi, nestled in the Tergi valley, but along the way, we shall stop at some lakes to look for a variety of wetland birds including White-winged Black and Gull-billed Terns.

As we reach the foothills we'll stop again to explore some of the oak and beech woods that cloak the lower slopes, where we should find Green Warbler, Red-breasted Flycatcher, and perhaps Semi-collared Flycatcher.

Reaching the small town of Kazbegi in the late afternoon, we'll check into our hotel.

Day 2: Kazbegi

Walk and bird watching around Kazbegi, we shall encounter our first mountain birds, with tame flocks of Twite, Shore Lark of, and White-winged Snowfinch feeding alongside the road. We should also start to see our first raptors such as Griffon Vulture, Peregrine, and the mighty Lammergeier. Also, we have high chances to see Levant Sparrowhawk, as we start our climb on the slopes, we are sure to hear the male Caucasian Snowcock's call echoing around the mountains. With this eerie call to guide us, we should find these birds relatively easily on the slopes.

Overnight stay in the same hotel.

Day 3: Kazbegi

Starting another beautiful morning in Kazbegi, careful scanning of the high alpine meadows should reveal the dark shapes of Caucasian Black Grouse. In rocky parts, we will find Guldenstadt's Redstart and Great Rosefinch. Moreover, around Kazbegi. We should find these wonderful birds in the reverie scrub lining the valley bottoms; Mountain Chiffchaff, Green Warbler, and a variety of migrants, including European Bee-eater, Red-backed, and Lesser Grey Shrikes, Red-throated Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, and Ortolan Bunting.

Overnight stay in the same hotel.

Day 4 Kazbegi-Chachuna

After the Great Caucasus mountains group will change the location and will visit a semi-arid places such as Chachuna.

The Chachuna managed nature reserve is a part of a region called the Iori Upland (200 - 800m) that lies in the far east of Georgia. There are steppes and savannah-like landscapes, arid woodlands and semi-deserts, and an abundance of relic and endemic plant species, birds of prey, and large predators.

We should stop on the way to birdwatching. Chachuna is noted as one of the largest communities of breeding birds in the Caucasus. Raptor breeders include long-legged buzzard, lesser and common kestrels, black kite, Egyptian, Cinereous and Eurasian griffon vultures, Levant and Eurasian sparrowhawks, northern goshawk, European honey- buzzard, common buzzard, imperial, lesser spotted, and short-toed snake eagles, Eurasian hobby, and a lanner falcon. Overnight stay in nature reserve cottages.

Day 5: Chachuna

Riparian forests and grassland provide the habitats for black francolin and a few pairs of black storks. A typical bird of the site is chukar. Large aggregations of European bee-eater, European roller, and Eurasian hoopoes regularly raise their young in cliffs, steep banks, and tree holes. The stunning list of passerines to be found at the site includes Calandra lark,, crag martin, rufous- tailed scrub robin.

Overnight stay in nature reserve cottages.

Day 6: Chachuna

We will visit different canyons where usually we find some interesting birds; White-throated Robin, Finch's Wheatear, Red-Tailed wheatear, blue rock thrush, various species of warblers, rock nuthatch, lesser grey and woodchat shrikes, rose-colored starling, rock sparrow, black-headed and ortolan buntings, and others. Even though the site is almost void of wetlands, the Dali Reservoir sustains considerable numbers of ruddy shelducks.

Overnight stay in nature reserve cottages.

Day 7: Chachuna -Davit Gareji- Tbilisi

Drive some 180 km toward Tbilisi through Davit Gareji. This is one of the most spectacular sites in Georgia, where historical and wildlife attractions are located side-by-side and can be watched at the same time. Mediterranean-type arid badland landscape with multi-colored clay hills covered with shrub and steppe-like vegetation, the site of one of the oldest Christian monasteries in the world.

In Davit Gareji can be seen; breeding colonies of Eurasian griffon and Egyptian vultures, the breeding of imperial eagles, chukar (March through April), roller, hoopoe, blue rock thrush; large aggregations of bee-eaters, rose-colored starling (May-June), and rock dove.

Other attractions for birdwatchers are long-legged buzzard, common kestrel, cinereous vulture, Eurasian sparrowhawk, short-toed snake eagle, and saker falcon. Passerines: Calandra lark, crag martin, Rufous-tailed scrub robin, isabelline wheatear, finch's wheatear, pied wheatear, willow warbler, Orphean warbler, lesser whitethroat, rock nuthatch, lesser grey shrike, woodchat shrike, Spanish sparrow, rock sparrow, black-headed bunting, ortolan bunting.

Checking into the hotel in the late evening.

Day 8: Tbilisi -Javakheti Plain

After the Caucasus mountains and semi-arid places, it is time to visit another important Birdwatching site Javakhetu Platou. . This is a mountain grassland area in southern Georgia, along the border with Armenia and Turkey. The lakes and their surroundings support breeding populations of many bird species. This site gives bird- watchers a great opportunity to enjoy observing velvet scoter, ruddy shelduck, ferruginous duck, and many other duck species. Also during the spring migration, there is a big chance to see White-headed Duck, White-tailed Plover, and Sociable Plower.

Overnight stay at hotel Valodias Cottages.

Day 9: Vardzia Cave Town

Vardzia is a famous cave complex in southern Georgia, in the upper part of the river Mtkvari (Kura) valley, close to the border with Turkey. The area has a number of typical east- Mediterranean species. Most remarkable are vultures and several species of reptiles. It is possible to observe; Griffon, Egyptian and bearded vultures, golden eagle, sort-toed snake eagle, and long-legged buzzard are a common sight.

Other birds of prey are Levant sparrowhawk and peregrine falcon. In the surroundings of the area, chukars are relatively common. Other birds are crag martin, black-eared wheatear, blue rock thrush, Orphean warbler, lesser whitethroat, rock nuthatch, lesser grey shrike, rose-colored starling, rock sparrow, black-headed and ortolan buntings, and other songbirds typical for semiarid landscapes. European bee-eater and hoopoe are other common birds of the area. Overnight stay at hotel Valodias Cottages.

Day 10: Javakheti Plain- Tbilisi

We will visit Lake Khanchali where we can find; corncrake, marsh, and Montague's harriers, common crane, Dalmatian, and white pelicans, red-necked and black-necked grebes, white stork, squacco heron, great white egret, Eurasian spoonbill, glossy ibis, marsh, and terek sandpipers, more species of waders, gulls, and terns like great black-headed gulls, gull-billed terns, and white-winged black terns.

Hikers climbing up the volcanic mountains of Javakheti will be rewarded with a good chance to see Crimson-winged finch and Radde's accentor(15 % chance). Villages of the area are perhaps the most important nesting sites of white stork in the Caucasus. Reaching Tbilisi in the evening, checking into the hotel.

Day 11: Departure

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