Overland trip to the Caucasus
Jeremy’s visit to Georgia
Chairman Jeremy Brock gave a lecture called Overland to the Caucasus at the first meeting of the season.
He described the birds of Georgia, a relatively unknown country to the east of the Black Sea, based on a trip he and his wife had made there, travelling overland by car through Europe and Turkey.
The magnificent High Caucasus mountains, rising to over 5000m, were home to many unusual species of bird, including the Caspian Snowcock, Caucasian Black Grouse and Red-fronted Serin.
He then described the central part of the country containing lower-altitude habitats ranging from wetlands to near-desert.
He visited the remote Vashlovani Protected Area in the far east of the country, a huge region of natural heathland and meadows with many beautiful wild flowers. Birds seen here included the Rufous Bushrobin and the striking Black-headed Bunting.
He concluded by talking about the Lesser Caucasus, in the south of the country.
This was an area of high grassy plateau and lakes, with a diverse range of breeding birds including Crane, Dalmatian Pelican and Velvet Scoter.
The speaker also described some of the non-ornithological sights of the country, including the capital Tbilisi, and the perils of driving which included fording rivers and huge flocks of sheep.
The next meeting will be today (Thursday, October 11) at Kells Primary, New Galloway. The speaker will be Graham Wren, whose talk will be called Forty Years on the Farne Islands.
Striking The Black-headed Bunting pictured in Georgia.
Towering The High Caucasus mountains