Birdwatching: Fall Migration in Sakhalvasho, Ajara

In fall, the main place for birdwatching in Georgia is the Black Sea coast, particularly the region of Ajara. The village of Sakhalvasho, located in the Ajarian hills, 28 kilometers north of Batumi, is among the most important places in the world for for observing the migration of birds of prey.

Migration of Birds of Prey 

Every fall, more than a million birds of prey fly over the Sakhalvasho area from the north to the south. Migration begins in the second half of August and reaches its peak in September.

At this time, birdwatchers can see thousands of European honey buzzards in the sky every day. This bird is dominant among the widespread migration. There have indeed been days when more than 100,000 European honey buzzards were recorded at the Sakhalvasho bird observation station. At the same time, naturalists can admire the migrating sparrow hawks, vultures, snake-eating eagles, and other birds.

In addition to birds of prey, the shores of the Black Sea are visited by pelicans, cranes, storks, and other large birds which also pass by Sakhalvasho.

Important Information

There is a well-maintained asphalt road leading to Sakhalvasho, from which it is only a two-hundred-meter walk to the birdwatching station.

At least one day should be spent taking the Sakhalvasho tour. Before and after, you can stay at a hotel in Batumi, albeit the migration season is so impressive that many people spend a whole month in Sakhalvasho, where they can stay in guesthouses.

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