Adjara has two special posts for bird watching, which are located in the villages of Shuamta (Chaisubani) and Sakhalvasho.
The village of Shuamta (Chaisubani) is located 5 km from Mtirala House, from the central road Khala-Batumi you need to turn to the Shuamta village and go up. It should be noted that the route is marked with the following signs “Raptor watchpoint”. After the village road, the route turns to a narrow path and ends at Mount Sakdra.
The village of Sakhalvasho is located 12 km from us, not far from the Batumi Botanical Garden.
There is an observation platform and a shelter in case of bad weather, from where you can observe birds. From here, beautiful panoramas is opened on one side to the sea, on the other to the gorge, from where birds fly – the so-called migration corridor.
It is also worth noting that Batumi hosts a birdwatching festival every year, which attracts birdwatchers and scientists from all over the world. It is held in Adjara every autumn, when the temperature is pleasant and the massive migration of birds has already begun.
This area is known as the East Black Sea Migration Corridor, through which over 1 million birds of prey pass annually. The region’s unique topography and autumnal climate make it ideal for viewing this spectacular movement, which is considered the third largest in the world. Peak numbers exceed 100,000 predators in one day, with an average of 20,000 birds of prey passing by in September. It is not only about the huge numbers of European honey buzzards, black kites and steppe buzzards, as 35 different species of birds of prey have been recorded, as well as the black stork and white stork, gray crane and European roller.
The European honey buzzard is the most abundant predator during the migration period, with over half a million birds recorded each fall.
The birdwatching season in Adjara officially begins on 16 August and ends on 16 October. The festival takes place at the beginning of September and leaves an unforgettable experience. The region has places for active birdwatching, from which all bird watchers can observe the spectacle, as well as participate in the research work of Georgian and international bird watchers and learn about the diversity of migratory species. The festival has been held since 2012 and is always attended by many like-minded people.
The idea for the festival came from Batumi Raptor Count (BRC), an environmental nongovernmental organization that works to monitor and conserve birds of prey that migrate through the Batumi bottleneck every year. The festival is organized by the Agency for the Development of Tourism Product of the Department of Tourism and Resorts of Adjara. BRC publishes an annual report showing the species and numbers of migratory birds recorded during the season. As of fall 2020, 1,145,774 migratory birds of prey were registered in just two months (see www.batumiraptorcount.org ).
It’s worth seeing!