Birds of the Year 1999 - Cormorants  

Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)[DIDI CHVAMA]
Rare irregular breeder. During last two decades only two small colonies were known at the sea coast in Ajaria. No data on breeding since 1991.
Common on passage and in winter. Occurs along Black Sea coast, on large lakes, rivers and water reservoires thoughout all Georgia. Sometimes in some places wintering birds form great concentrations - up to 1000 birds and more.
European Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) [GRDZELNISKARTA CHVAMA]
Vagrant to Georgia. During last three decades solitary birds were recorded in flocks of Great Cormorants only twice
- on 28 December 1978 at the Paliostomi Lake, near Poti and on 11 October 1994 at the sea coast near Batumi. According to some personal reports of the Georgian zoologists, may be more widespraed than our records suggest. At past, probably, was more common winter visitor. A few of information.
Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus) [MTSIRE CHVAMA]
Rare winter visitor at wetlands of south-eastern part of Georgia and vagrant to other areas. Numbers considerable fluctuated by years due to the winter conditions (from 50 to 1500). During warm winters several hundred of Pygmy Cormorants can winter.
Since 1970's only one time three specimens were recorded in Western Georgia, when three birds were observed at Black sea coast near Poti town on 27 October, 1990. All other sightings were in eastern areas.

On the basis of the field observations carried out in January and February 1999 a total of at least 1115 individuals of wintering Pygmy Cormorants have been recorded within the territory of South-Eastern Georgia. During the field work up to 600 sq. km were investigated and 1115-1120 individuals were noted in Georgia: 7 single cormorants and five flocks (of 520-525, 390-395, 82, 79, 18 and 14 birds), 910-920 of them at Jandary Lake (see picture on this page). 82 specimens were counted on 16 January during survey at Kumisi Lake. Four out of our seven sightings of single Pygmy Cormorants were in the environs of Tbilisi along the banks of Kura River (9 (2), 10 and 18 (2) January); two other were on 17 January in Rustavi. Additionaly one single bird was observed on 17 January 1999 at small pond in Krtzanisi dendrological park (eastern environs of Tbilisi). The westernmost observations were noted at Kura River bank in locality Avchala (western environs of Tbilisi). Most birds were effectively counted from the few high points at the banks of lakes and in sites where they form communal night roosts. The number of wintering this birds in winter 1998/1999 was higer than in previous years.

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