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Lately, bird watching - one of the exotic forms of ecotourism has become increasingly popular in Georgia. Nature lovers (and not only) while going birdwatching are equipped with binoculars or telescopes and go into the wild to spend their free time productively.
It was not long ago that observation of birds became known in Georgia. The country, due to the diversity of its climate, terrain, flora, and fauna has great potential to develop and popularize bird watching tourism, both inside and outside the country.
This article offers the top best places in Georgia where you can do birdwatching and get a delightful experience.
Mtirala National Park is located between the Black Sea and the mountain range of Adjara. Due to the close location to the sea, the place is one of the most humid areas in the country. It is rich in flora and fauna, many of which are included in the "Red List" of Georgia. In Mtirala National Park you will meet both migratory and endemic birds. Among the birds of prey, you will find the booted eagle, buteos, hawk, Eurasian sparrowhawk, Eurasian hobby, common kestrel, as well as nocturnal birds of prey: horned owls, scops owl. Other birds include Eurasian hoopoe, woodpeckers, ravens, thrushes, and Eurasian golden oriole.
Adjara, in particular, the suburbs of Batumi is known as "The Eastern Black Sea migration route" of migratory birds, because in summer and autumn millions of migratory birds move towards Africa from here. Batumi's location allows you to spot even rare species of birds in a noticeable place. While walking in the city parks, on the boulevard, or near the port, you will notice many representatives of the sparrow-like bird, including the common Phoenicurus. You should not miss the chance to observe the birds in Batumi after the rain when they shelter under even the most unordinary places to protect themselves from the rain, which will surprise you.
You can do birdwatching not only in the city but also in the Batumi Botanical Garden, which offers stunning views of the city of Batumi and the Black Sea and provides an ideal and large environment for bird watching.
The Chorokhi Delta is located south of Batumi and is an excellent place in the region for birdwatching. It combines several biotypes: shrubs, dry and wet grasslands, swamps, rocky surfaces, and the seashore. During the bird migration season, this area is one of the most attractive places for migratory birds. Waterbirds are also represented in the Chorokhi Delta. You should also note that this area has the status of IBA (important bird area). These areas are of international importance and are used for the conservation of birds and biodiversity.
Adjara remains the most popular tourist destination for bird watching, although other parts of Georgia are also very rich in biodiversity.
Javakheti Protected Areas have already become famous for their bird species. At least 225 perennial species are represented here, and about 50 species are endemic to this area. Special tours are often arranged here for fans of exotic nature. For example, on Lake Madatapa, a special tower is arranged, from where you can observe the birds soaring on the surface of the water. In Javakheti you will meet such bird species as Egyptian vulture, pelican, gray crane, and stork.
Kolkheti National Park is located on the Black Sea coast, near Lake Paliastomi. It is one of the most important natural areas, that's why it is included in the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The landscape of swamps and low forests is preserved here. In terms of bird watching, Kolkheti National Park is no less popular than the places listed above. Camps and recreational events are often arranged here to raise awareness about bird watching.
194 species of birds live in Kolkheti National Park. Moreover, this area is one of the main routes for bird migration. In the fall the birds travel here from north to south, and in the spring from warmer countries to their nesting sites. Some birds also use this place for wintering. In Kolkheti National Park you will meet geese, swans, cormorants, forest chickens, dalmatian pelican, and spotted eagles.
Kazbegi municipality is one of the richest places in flora and fauna. Most of the animals and birds found here are rare and endangered species. The deep valleys, mountain ranges, and subalpine meadows are an ideal environment for large birds of prey. We meet in Kazbegi: mountain eagle, gyps, bearded vulture. Many endemic species are also common here, including the Caucasian grouse and the Caucasian snowcock.
The famous Georgian writer Archil Kikodze recalls an interesting story about Kazbegi in his article, where he says that the first "birdwatchers" in Georgia appeared in Kazbegi in the Dariali gorge in the 80s of the last century. It describes a nest of bearded vultures on top of a market on the Georgian-Russian border. He writes that "these people armed with binoculars were not selling anything and were not looking for anything to buy. They got out of the cars and watched hypnotized on the steeped rock of Dariali and the birds. "