Results of avifauna monitoring on mountain forest plots near the Psehako ski complex
Results of monitoring in the second half of 2013
In 2013 a total of 11 avian species were recorded. These species include 1 Caprimulgiformes, 1 Apodiforemes, 2 Piciformes and 8 Passeriformes. The numerous species are represented by 2 species: grey woodpecker and blackcap. There are 3 common species identified: spotted woodpecker, chaffinch and bullfinch. A total of 5 species are rare birds: nightjar, swift, black woodpecker and black-headed nuthatch. Some of the birds (nightjar, swift, black woodpecker) did not occur on this monitoring area in the previous years
The avian species diversity on the monitoring are has not changed much. There is some change in the composition and new species emerged which are characteristic of forest edge and open-space habitiats, which is associated with human-induced destruction of wooded areas
The avian population density on the monitoring area is 138 individuals per square km, the predominant species being grey wagtail and blackcap. The total population density of birds as compared to the previous year has not changed noticeably
Generally the population structure is simplified, the predominant species are overriding in number, which may be due to increasing forest clearing and active use of machinery
Features of flyway
In 2013 an early onset of autumn migration was observed again, which was expressed by early arrival of quail, corncrake, wood-lark, wheatear, nightingale and other birds. One of the migration features this year is high abundance of corncrake which was not the case in the previous years. Birds were flying along the Mzymta valley and across some mountain ridges, in particular, across the Aibga crest. In August 2013 an active flyway of some predatory birds (common buzzard, honey buzzard, moor buzzard) and Passeriformes such as swallow and martin was observed.
The territory near the monitored site continues playing a significant role for transit of migratory birds.
Status of rare birds populations
On the monitoring areas, rare and endangered species included in the Red Book of the Russian Federation and Red Book of Kransodar kray practically do not occur on a continuing basis. Nevertheless, some endangered birds can be encountered here, primarily during nomadic migration.
couple was noted in the summer 2013 on the Psekhako ridge.
This bird is encountered less frequently more recently, which may be explained by lack of aggregations of wood-pigeons in the Mzymta valley, the primary food for eagles in winter in Prichernomorie. Lower occurrence of golden eagle may also be associated with the increasing disturbance due to the construction activity. In 2013 a golden eagle was seen twice in summer time near the ornithological monitoring site
Like golden eagle, this species is not as frequently seen as previously. Changes in the forest landscape (forest clearing and buildings in high mountain) seem to influence the way the birds use their traditional feeding areas and now bearded vultures stay away from these. Nevertheless, in 2013 bearded vulture was seen twice in summer time near the ornithological monitoring site.
In the latest years in the Mzymta floodplain this bird was not observed, which is most likely due to the construction activity on the mountain forest landscape. Yet, in the summer 2013 the bird was periodically encountered on different parts of the Psekhako ridge. This is probably because the trophic conditions for griffon vultures are worsening on their nestling sites.
Continues to nestle in the immediate vicinity of the monitoring site. The status of the species population in 2013 is still acceptable, the population is growing and frequency of occurrence is higher during migration period. In the summer 2013 peregrine was seen flying over the Psekhako.
Results of monitoring in the first half of 2013
During the ornithological survey of the “Psehako” ski complex in the first half of 2013 a total of 24 avian species were recorded. Of them, 2 species are Falconiformes, 1 is Cypseliformes, 1 is Cuculiforemes, 4 are Piciformes and 16 are Passeriformes.
Common during migrations. In the spring a single bird was noted on 04.04.2013 flying over the beech-hornbeam forest. Also, on 09.05.2013 another sparrow hawk was seen over a clearing in the woods.
Common nestling non-migratory species. Can be encountered during migrations. The inspected buzzard nestling site was located on a steep slope with tall oak trees in the immediate vicinity of settlements, gardens and clearings.
Rare nestling species. Presumably its breeding grounds are tall den trees. There are no swift nestling stations in settlements, because no multi-story buildings are available there.
Rare nestling species. First emergence was recorded on 18.04. Later the birds were seen regularly, their vocal activity however was limited. By 09.05 the birds’ activity began growing. On 23.05 a male cuckoo performing a mating ritual was recorded, however later they were not visible.
Common nestling non-migratory species. From the end of February on the permanent observation station near the wood clearing surrounded by mixed forest (beech-hornbeam, oak) the birds were noted routinely showing sometimes vocal activity. In the early April, the birds’ voices were recorded rarely. Their activity began growing only by the mid summer.
Rare nestling non-migratory species. The birds were idnetified several times by their voice.
Common nestling non-migratory species. In winter and early spring (February-April) this bird was recorded in beech, hornbeam and alder forest. In May it occurs most frequently where alder trees grow.
Middle spotted woodpecker
Rare nestling non-migratory species. One of the woodpecker nestling grounds was detected on the plot with tall oaks by the wood clearing.
Common nestling migratory species. Nestling in settlements.
Red backed shrike
Common nestling migratory species. Nestling in bush on the forest edge. Its first emergence was recorded in early May 2013. At the end of June the birds were seen with their clutch.
Common nestling non-migratory species, typical of forest habitat. Their high vocal activity was noted starting from the end of February. By the beginning of May the jay population started to grow.
Rare nestling non-migratory species. Normally 1 or 2 birds on flyway were recorded over the permanent monitoring area, their nestling place being somewhere nearby.
Abundant nestling migratory species. Nestling in the forest with pronounced underwood, sometimes prefers gardens. The first emergence (lek mating voice) was recorded on 10.04.13.
Common nestling migratory species. Nestling on wood clearings with high grass and sparse bush. They flew in on 02.05. During the nestling period the population was stable. By the end of June the birds vocal activity declined.
Brown willow warbler
Rare nestling migratory species. The first emergence was recorded in the mid-March. Its vocal activity was recorded until the beginning of May.
Red breasted fly catcher
Rare nestling migratory species. The bird was noted on one part of the old hornbeam-beech forest. Two single birds were seen in a garden not far from the above mentioned forest.
Common nestling non-migratory species. Nestling in forest and on forest edges. In the spring, the vocal activity was heard from the mid March.
Abundant nestling non-migratory species living in forest. The first mating singing was recorded at the end of February.
Common nestling migratory species. In the spring 2013 the singing male voice was first recorded in mid March, its mating signing was repeatedly heard on the sparse hornbeam forest until the beginning of April. Later the birds were visual on the forest edges.
Rare nestling non-migratory species. A pair of coal tits were recorded the on breeding grounds at the end of February 2013. Starting from the mid March a complete nest was noted.
Rare nestling non-migratory species Typical habitats are sparse forest and edges. Pairs of blue tits were noted on nestling grounds at the end of February. One of them occupied a nest box, with a nest of great tit with incomplete clutchd. Blue tits built a new nest over the old nest of great tit. Of the clutch of nine eggs only two birds emerged. This low breeding success was probably due to a sharp cooling in April in the study area.
Abundant nestling non-migratory species. Prefers forest edges, but can also be encountered in forest. Around the 20th of June newly built nests and nests with clutches were identified Small birds emerged on 23-24.06.13.
Rare nestling non-migratory species. Typical of oak areas in the forest. On one of the areas the first lekking voice was recorded on 29.02, the vocal activity increasing by mid March. Later it was not heard often but repeatedly recorded around the 20th of April.
Abundant nestling migratory species. Encountered on flyway as well. The first mating voices were recorded in mid March (13.03.). The nestling population of the birds was kept invariably at high level.
Species diversity and population density of nestling birds in 2012
In 2012 a total of 9 bird species were recorded on the monitoring areas. The numerous species are represented by common blackbird and chaffinch. Of the common species spotted woodpecker and blackcap are found. There are 5 rare species, namely, common cuckoo, gray wagtail, coal tit, black-headed nuthatch and bullfinch. Special note should be made of limited species diversity of deciduous forest birds (only two species: blackbird and chaffinch). In the previous year, the species diversity of birds was greater in deciduous forest, as compared with coniferous forest. Thus the bird species diversity is declining as compared to the previous year, which is likely associated with a sharp reduction in forested areas in the vicinity of monitoring facilities.
In deciduous forest the bird density in 2012 was 112,5 birds per 1 sq km, the predominant populations are spotted woodpecker, blackbird and chaffinch. The bird density in coniferous forest is 146.5 birds per sq km, the predominant are black-headed nuthatch, blackbird and chaffinch. The birds population in deciduous forest is declining as compared with the previous year. In coniferous forest this indicator remains at the last year level.
Generally increasing wood cutting and intensive use of machinery seems to lead to reduction in the species diversity and birds population density, which is most pronounced in deciduous forest of the monitoring areas.
Status of populations of endangered species in 2012
On the monitoring areas, as earlier, there is no permanent presence of endangered and exotic bird species included in the Red Book of the Russian Federation and Red Book of Kransodar kray. Nevertheless some rare birds can appear here, primarily during nomadic migration.
During 2012 the occurrence of this species in the Mzymta basin and neighboring areas has increased. Therefore there is an increasing likelihood of occurrence of migratory birds in the vicinity of the monitoring location.
In 2012 this species continued to be absent in the Mzymta valley where 3-5 years ago it occurred regularly in winter. Its extinction may be associated with decrease in food objects, mainly large mammals.
Occurrence of this species has been decreasing lately. The absence of this bird is probably explained by the lack of wood doves in the Mzymta – the main food object of eagles in the Black sea region in winter. The loss of the golden eagle may be related to increasing disturbance by construction operations.
Lammergeyer was not identified in 2012 on the Mzymta basin and neighboring areas. Most likely, the changes in the forest landscape and high mountain areas (wood logging and building structures in high mountains) affected traditional feeding areas of birds, which they now avoid.
Similar to lammergeyer, griffon vulture was not seen in the Mzymta basin in 2012, which is most likely due to construction activity on mountain forested areas here.
This bird continues nesting in the immediate vicinity of the ski complex. The status of this bird population in 2012 is evaluated as satisfactory, with its population and occurrence increasing during migrations. Thus the likelihood of recording of this bird on the ski complex is getting higher.
This bird is recorded regularly in the Mzymta basin on flyway. Its occurrence on the monitored areas can be expected with high probability.
Results of monitoring in 2011
In 2011 a total of 23 bird species were registered on the monitoring areas, like in 2010 (Table 1). The greatest number of species were identified, like in the previous year, in deciduous (beech) forest. Of them, none of the species was numerous and 5 common species were found: spotted woodpecker, house martin, jay, blackbird and chaffinch. Endangered species were more in number (a total of 12 species): booted eagle, black kite, tawny owl, gray wagtail, wren, raven, blackcap, robin, coal tit, great tit, nuthatch, treecreeper. A total of 11 species, much more than in the previous year, were identified in urban area. Of the numerous species it was only house martin. Of the common species 2 species were registered: common swallow and great tit. The endangered species were abundant (8 species): black swift, gray and white wagtail, jay, raven, blackcap, blackbird and chaffinch. In coniferous forest only 9 species are identified. Of the common ones were spotted woodpecker, jay and throstle. The endangered species are 6 species: tawny owl, blackbird, coal tit, nuthatch, chaffinch and bullfinch.
Thus the greatest species diversity is seen among the birds associated with deciduous forest. Besides increasing diversity of birds is visual in population centers. This is indicative of formation of the synanthropic avifauna group community and further change in the aboriginal avifauna. It is worth noting a significant portion of transient birds in the spring. Generally the monitoring region continues to play an important role for migrating birds.
The birds population density within the monitoring area declined in 2011 as compared to 2010 almost by a factor of two: from 272.5 (in 2010) to 146.5 – 150 birds per sq km (Table 2). In the summer, the predominant were, like in the previous year, blackbird and chaffinch. This groups was also added by coal tit. In the autumn the dominant species were coal tit and chaffinch.
Generally the increasing wood cutting and intensive use of machinery seems to result min reduction in the birds population density on the monitoring areas
In 2011, as in 2010, the numerous transient birds were buzzard, sparrow-hawk, common bee-eater, barn swallow and chaffinch. The flyway of rock pipit and house martin was also noticeable in 2011. Interestingly, concentration of rock pipits were seen in unusual habitats: waysides and small forest openings. The main direction of migration remained the channel of the Mzymta. Birds were also flying across mountain slopes, yet keeping to the river valley. Most of transient birds did not stop in the area of the ski complex. Overall, like in the previous year, no major changes are seen in the pattern of birds migration in the area of the ski complex.
Species composition of birds for the monitoring plots on the territory of the Psehako ski complex, 2011
Results of monitoring in 2010
In 2010 a total of 23 bird species were registered on the monitoring sites of the ski complex Psehako, of them 18 species were found in deciduous (beech) forest. Among numerous species were: robin, blackbird, coal tit, chaffinch. The common species were: cuckoo, spotted woodpecker, jay and great tit. Like in the previous years there are no birds typical of mountain (in he first place coniferous ) forest, specifically green warbler.
In 2010 no wood dove and mountain ouzel were detected. No permanent presence of endangered species included in the Red Book of the Russian Federation and Red Book of Kransnodar kray were found (with minor exception). Nevertheless, some endangered birds may appear here during their migration.
Generally in 2009-2010 the birds ratio is characteristic of slightly transformed territories. This is probably indicative of equalizing species structure of the nestling birds community after the mass-scale wood logging as the facilities construction was over
The bird population density on the Psehako monitoring route in 2010 was nearly as in 2009 and equal to 272,5 birds per 1 sq km. the dominant species were somewhat changing. In 2010 this group was added with robin, blackbird and chaffinch.
In September 2009 100 standard nest boxes were hung as compensatory measures for sparrow birds and 10 nest boxes for owls. In June 2010 88 houses and 8 nest boxes for owls were inspected. Birds were dwelling in 11 nest boxes, of them coal tits in 9 boxes and robins in 2 boxes. Thus the nesting places were populated by 12.5%. the nesting spots for owls remained unpopulated.
The birds flyway over the ski complex was transit. The migration birds in 2010, like in 2009, were represented by buzzard, sparrow-hawk, common bee-eater, barn swallow and chaffinch. By the end of autumn flyway of rooks was seen, which are typical migratory birds of the Balck sea region. The Mzymta river remains the main direction of the flight. Birds were also flying across mountain slopes, yet keeping to the river valley. Most of transient birds did not stop in the area of the ski complex. However, some of the birds can use both feeding places and forest spots for their stops Such birds include woodcock which is regularly seen in beech forest on autumn flyway. Generally no major changes are seen in the pattern of birds migration in the area of the ski complex.
Species composition for the monitoring plots on the territory of the Psehako ski complex, 2010