Georgia straddles the borders of Europe and Asia and yet has its own unique character, culture, and ancient history. A land of contrasts, it varies from the cold high mountains of the Greater Caucasus to dry, hot, rocky steppes, where the flora and fauna are more like those of Anatolia and the Middle East.
Many birders are drawn to Georgia by the special birds of the High Caucasus, including Caucasian Snowcock, Caucasian Black Grouse, Güldenstadt’s Redstart, and Great Rosefinch. While searching for these birds, there’s also the chance of other high-altitude European mountain birds from Lammergeier to Wallcreeper. The mountain passes are also natural gateways for migrants and witness a spectacular passage of raptors as they fly north over the Caucasus Mountains and into Russia. Similarly, passerines funnel through the valleys, so there are always interesting migrants to see and the very real chance of finding something rare and unexpected. There are bound to be good numbers of Ortolan Buntings in the fields, while the bushes can hold Caucasian Chiffchaffs mingling with Common Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers. Red-throated Pipits also pass through, as do migrant Bluethroats and Barred Warblers. Small stands of trees could hold anything from Scops Owl to Collared and Semi-Collared Flycatchers.
From the mountains head south to find arid grassland steppe and striking rocky landscapes with wide-open spaces where Isabelline Wheatear and Crested, Short-toed, and Calandra Larks, and possibly Lesser Short-toed Lark are found. Nearby rocky escarpments are home to Western Rock Nuthatch, Blue Rock Thrush, Pied and Black-eared Wheatears, Black-headed, Ortolan, and Rock Buntings, and Spanish and Rock Sparrows. Ménétries Warbler and Eastern Orphean Warbler also breed here.
Guldenstadt's Redstart © John Oates
Showing the 10 Most Recent Trip Reports Posted
Georgia’s ‘Raptor Spectacular’ - 18th – 26th September 2017, author Christopher Hall (link created September 30, 2017)
Birding the High Caucasus at Kazbegi, Georgia - 18-20 May 2012, author Jens Thalund (added June 14, 2012)
(Kazbegi, Caucasian Snowcock, Caucasian Black Grouse, Caucasian Great Rosefinch and Demoiselle Crane)
Kasbegi, Georgia - 3rd November - 7th November 2011, author Graham Talbot (link created December 4, 2012)
(Ever since my Western Palaearctic twitching days I had dreamed of going to the Greater Caucasus in search of three specialities, Caucasian Snowcock, Great Rosefinch and Guldenstadt’s Redstart.)
Return to Kasbegi, Georgia - 27th - 29th April 2012, author Graham Talbot (link created December 4, 2012)
(Following my unsuccessful twitch to see Caucasian Snowcock in November 2011 I decided to take the opportunity of returning to Kasbegi to finish the job.)
No Sightings Have Been Posted for this Region Yet.