Seaside Parks

Seaside Parks

Apart from sunbathing and cocktail bars, the seacoast in and around Batumi also offers some good birding. The best areas are the Batumi boulevard park, some grassy parts of Batumi Harbor, and the botanical garden. Especially on rainy days, these are good spots, because many migrants come down, and you are never far from a café when it starts pouring down.

Batumi itself has a very nice seaside boulevard and, next to it, a large grassy area that may disappear under construction in the future. The park, especially its north end, often teems with passerines, which are easy to find and observe. Red-breasted flycatchers can be superabundant, and thrush nightingales give very good views. Wrynecks, redstarts, green warblers, Caucasian chiffchaffs, and spotted flycatchers are often numerous, and occasionally something rare turns up. Check the branches of the pines for sleeping nightjars and scops owls. Going further north, you will find a grassy area near the Ferris wheel. This is a really good spot for all sorts of migrants, and always worth checking even if you only have an hour or so. Typical birds here include Quail, Turtle Dove, Ortolan and Black-headed Bunting, Barred Warbler, Bluethroat, Great Reed Warbler, Savi's Warbler, Red-throated Pipit, Lesser Grey, and Red-backed Shrikes. But again, this is Batumi, and you should always be prepared for a surprise!

Because Batumi is located on a major migratory route the chances to see some rare or even vagrant species increase dramatically. High numbers of small passerines are found at the seaside, the boulevard, in the city parks, and in some areas around the port. The illumination attracts a good number of birds migrating at night. Wherever you find a patch of trees or bushes along the coastline, you might encounter some splendid birds!

The most common passerine birds are Common Redstart (hundreds can be seen during a fall) and Reed Warbler. Good numbers of species such as Siberian Stonechat (especially ssp. Variegata), Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Bluethroat, Sedge Warbler, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Red-backed Shrike, Ortolan Bunting... are observed regularly during the BRC project. Many so-called goodies are observed nearly every time and range throughout the entire spectrum of passerines including very approachable Wrynecks, Hoopoe, Isabelline Wheatear, Pied Wheatear, Barred Warblers, Olivaceous Warblers, Savi's Warbler, River Warblers, Paddyfield Warbler, Booted Warbler, Corn Bunting, Scarlet Rosefinch, Greater Reed Warbler, Lesser Grey Shrike ... Other records have been Stone Curlew, Short-Eared Owl, Eurasian Scops' Owl, Nightjar, lots of Quail and even one Dusky Warbler, one Yellow-browed Warbler, one Pallas Warbler and so on.

Especially after rainy nights, high amounts of passerines pause their migration and find shelter in the most absurd places. When rain continues throughout the day, also many migrating waders, ducks, and seabirds can be seen easily from the shore. Observations have included the Arctic and Pomarine Skua, Yelkouan Shearwater, migrating Black-winged Pratincoles, up to 130 Red-necked Phalaropes ... In these weather conditions, rough seas often bring marine mammals close to shore as well providing good views of Common Dolphin (ssp. ponticus) and Harbour Porpoise.