Avian composition and population density of nestling species
In 2013 during the nestling period a total of 22 avian species were recorded (table 1). These include 2 Falconiformes, 1 Columbiformes, 1 Cuculiforemes, 1 Strigiformes, 2 Piciformes and 15 Passeriformes. The number of avian species showing synanthropization is on the increase. Among them are swallow, martin, white and grey wagtails and house sparrow.
The numerous species are represented by 4 species: gray wagtail, red-backed shrike, blackcap, chaffinch. The common species include 6 species: spotted woodpecker, sparrow, martin, white wagtail, blackbird and coal tit. A total of 11 rare species were recorded: common buzzard, sparrow-hawk, common cuckoo, grey owl, black woodpecker, green warbler, robin, mistle-thrush, nuthatch, house sparrow, bullfinch. Birds associated with open spaces such as red-backed shrike occur more frequently, which is most likely associated with changes in the landscape: intense forest clearing due to road construction.
The total avian population density in the mountain forest is 377 individuals per square km (table 2). The predominant species include gray and white wagtails, blackcap and chaffinch. Generally, the overall avian population density keeps decreasing and the population structure changes. Jay is no longer detected among the predominant species though it was part of this group last year.
Ornithological monitoring was also conducted on individual sites of the complex. Like in the first half of the year, the largest number of birds (7 species) were recorded in the Media village with 1780 rooms, where representatives of different avian groups were identified: both dendrophilous and synanthropic groups (table 3). By the complex of ski jumps К-125, К-95 the avian species composition and population was more limited, which is probably associated with a significant human-induced transformation of the landscape.
As a result of emergence of open spaces the species characteristic of forest edge and shrubbery become more numerous.
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 was high abundance of corncrake which was not the case before. Birds were flying a lot across some mountain ridges, in particular across the Aibga. 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 (Table 4).
The territory near the monitored site continues playing a significant role for transit of migrating 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.
A couple was noted in the summer 2013 on the Aibga 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 be associated with the increasing disturbance due to the construction activity. In 2013 a golden eagle was seen twice near the ornithological monitoring site on the Aibga crest.
Bearded vulture Like golden eagle, this species is not as frequently seen as previously. Changes in the forest landscape (forest clearing and buildings in high mountain) 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 Aibga crest.
In the latest years in the Mzymta floodplain this bird was not observed, which is most likely due to construction activity on the mountain forest landscape. Yet, in the summer 2013 the bird was periodically encountered on different parts of the Aibga. This is probably because the trophic conditions for griffon vultures are worsening on their nestling sites.
Peregrine Continues to nestle in the immediate vicinity of the monitoring site. The status of the species population in 2013 is acceptable, the population is growing and frequency of occurrence is higher during migration. In the summer 2013 peregrine was seen flying over the Aibga.
Caucasian grouse The monitoring area is actually the southern border of the distribution area for this species. The population of Caucasian grouse is generally not high. In 2013 a grouse nestle was identified on the Aibga crest and birds were encountered several times in their typical habitat - on the upper border of forest vegetation, in rhododendron shrubs and on subalpine meadows.
Notation: +++ - numerous species; ++ - common species; + - rare species
Notation: +++ - numerous species; ++ - common species; + - rare species
Notation: +++ - numerous species; ++ - common species; + - rare species
Results of monitoring in the first half of 2013
During the ornithological survey of the “Gornaya Karusel” complex in the first half of 2013 a total of 14 avian species were recorded (Table 1). Of them, 2 species are Piciformes and 12 are Passeriformes.
Spotted woodpecker. Not numerous species, occurs in beech forest and on forest edges. No more than 1 bird was recorded per trip. Woodpeckers were often seen together with flocks of tits.
Swallow. Rarely occurs in the vicinity of construction sites. A slight increase in the population was noted for this species.
Grey wagtail. Not numerous species, but encountered regularly. Sticks to forest roads and settlements.
White wagtail. Single birds were noted on forest roads and by clearings.
Jay. Common bird for forest habitats: both solid forest and on edges. At the end of June a delayed hatch was recorded.
Raven. Common species for the monitoring area. Nomad individuals emerge and nestle by the cliffs.
Wren. Rare species, but recorded regularly. Sticks to beech forest and edges with bush. Sometimes these birds are noted together with passerine birds.
Blackcap. Not numerous species, but encountered regularly on the monitoring area. Singing males are recorded in beech forest throughout July.
Robin redbreast. Common species, encountered regularly. Dwells in beech forest, preferring plots with underwood and bush. In the mid June, during the high vocal activity period robin redbreast is among predominant birds of beech forests.
Blackbird. Common species, lives in beech forest and on forest edges. AT the end of June singing males were recorded in beech forest.
Coal tit. Abundant species of beech forest. At the end of June these tits form flocks up to 10-15 individuals (both young and adult) and migrate in forest.
Great tit. Rare species, encountered occasionally.
House sparrow. Rare species, encountered occasionally, prefers outskirts of population centers.
Chaffinch. Abundant species of beech forest, edges and clearings. In nestling time chaffinch becomes one of predominant species in beech forest.
Table 1 – The species composition and relative population on the avian monitoring areas
Legend: +++ - abundant species; ++ - common; + - rare
The largest number of birds (a total of 12 species) were recorded on the Media village where representatives of different groups are identified: both dendrophilous and synanthropic groups. On the site “Complex of ski jumps К-125, К-95” the avian species composition and population was lower, which is probably associated with a significant human-induced transformation of the landscape.
Results of monitoring in 2012
The activities under the integrated environmental monitoring programme are coordinated by FBGU “Sochi National Park”.
In 2012 a total of 14 bird species were recorded on the monitoring areas. The numerous birds are represented by 3 species: gray wagtail, black-headed nuthatch and chaffinch. The common birds are also 3 species: blackbird, house martin and coal tit, and 9 species were recorded as rarely occurring: buzzard, common kestrel, common cuckoo, green warbler, robin, mistle thrush, nuthatch, house sparrow and bullfinch. The landscape was seen to change significantly on some parts of the monitoring area. Specifically, the forest is intensely cleared because of the cableway construction.
The total population density of birds in the mountain forest part of the ski complex was 550 individuals per 1 sq km. The predominant birds are gray wagtail, blackbird and coal tit.
Generally the bird density and population structure start changing. House martin and chaffinch are no longer recorded among the predominant birds, while they were in this group in the previous year. Also coal tit which used to be a predominant species does not belong to this group any more. Some of the endangered species of birds were not encountered such as white tailed eagle, lammergeyer and griffon vulture. Golden eagle occurs less frequently. All this is caused by increasing disturbance due to construction works and decreasing food sources. Nevertheless, some of the endangered birds may be expected here during migration.
During 2012 the occurrence of this species in the Mzymta basin and neighboring areas has increased. Hence, there is an increasing likelihood of occurrence of migratory birds in the vicinity of the monitoring location.
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. Thereby 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 21 avian species were recorded on the monitoring area belonging to three groups: Falconiformes, Piciforemes and Passeriforemes. The most numerous were house martin, gray wagtail, common blackbird and chaffinch. The most common birds were buzzard, spotted woodpecker, common swallow, rock pipit, jay, raven, robin, gray tit, nuthatch and house sparrow. Rarely occurring were middle spotted woodpecker, white wagtail, red-backed shrike, blackcap, goldcrest, red-breasted flycatcher, throstle, treecreeper and bullfinch. The bird diversity does no differ much from the last year. However, the relative population of some species is changing. In particular, the populations of blackcap, throstle and gray tit are declining. It is only common jay that is increasing.
The birds population density on the forest part of the monitoring area was 628 individuals per 1 sq km. This figure is almost the same as in the last year 659.5 individuals per 1 sq km. The dominant species are gray wagtail, jay, common blackbird and chaffinch. The same species were predominant in 2010. High abundance (5% and more of the ornithic population) was noted for raven, coal tit and great tit.
Overall, the avian population density gets stabilized following systematic decline in their total density
In 2011, like 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 noted in 2011. Interestingly, concentration of rock pipits were seen in unusual habitats: on waysides and small forest openings. The main direction of migration remained the channel of the Mzymta. Birds were also flying across the mountains, but sticking to the river streamway in any case. 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.
On the monitoring areas there is no permanent presence of endangered species included in the Red Book of the Russian Federation and Red Book of Kransodar kray. Nevertheless, some endangered birds can occur here, primarily during nomadic migration.
The occurrence of this species on the areas neighboring the ski complex is decreasing. It caanot be ruled out that a couple of black storks nestling in the Mzymta valley has left the nesting place because of increasing disturbance due to construction activities.
Like in the above species this bird is almost not recorded in the Mzymta valley where it occurred regularly in winter 3-5 years ago. Its extinction may be associated with decrease in food sources, 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 valley which is the main food source for eagles in the Black sea region in winter.
Was recorded in the Mzymta valley in 2011 on spring flyway.
The occurrence of this species remains stable. However, it is attracted to high mountain areas and has not been recorded in the forest lately 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.
Continues to occur in forest and mountain meadow landscapes of the Mzymta. Nomadic individuals are noted the number of which is increasing.
This bird nestles in the immediate vicinity of the ski complex. The status of the species population remains stable.
Species composition for the monitoring plots on the territory of the JSC “Krasnaya Polyana”ski complex, 2011
Results of monitoring in 2010
In 2010 a total of 20 avian species were recorded on the monitoring area belonging to three groups: Falconiformes, Piciforemes and Passeriforemes. The most numerous were gray wagtail, blackcap, throstle, coal tit and chaffinch. The most common birds were buzzard, spotted woodpecker, robin, blue tit, great tit and nuthatch. The number of recorded species is lower as compared with 2009. Possibly this is related to construction activities and carving out forest and bush
The total birds population density on the forest part of the monitoring are was 659.5 individuals per 1 sq km, which is higher than in the last year- 258.7 individuals per 1 sq km. The dominant species are gray wagtail, blackcap, common blackbird and chaffinch.
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 observed - 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. The main direction of migration remained the channel of the Mzymta. Birds were also flying across the mountain range, but sticking to the river streamway in any case. Most of transient birds did not stop in the area of the ski complex. Some of them, however, can use forest habitats for stops and feeding. Specifically, woodcock occurs in beech forest on autumn flyway. Overall, there are no major changes in the pattern of birds migration in the area of the ski complex.
No permanent presence of endangered species included in the Red Book of the Russian Federation and Red Book of Kransnodar kray were found (with some exception) near the ski complex. Nevertheless, some endangered birds may occur here. One of few nestling places of black stork is on the Mzymta valley, downstream of the ski complex. Occurrence of back stork in this area is possible in summer when birds move for food. In 2010 this species was not detected. It should be noted that this species has not been occurring in the vicinity of the monitoring location which is certainly associated with growing disturbance due to construction activities.
It can be concluded that the population density of birds is growing within the monitoring area, at the same time the species diversity becomes more limited. This is explained by a simpler structure of avian habitats due to anthropogenic destruction.
Species composition for the monitoring plots on the territory of the JSC “Krasnaya Polyana” ski complex, 2010