Here are the photos of the 2nd calender female bird, thought orininally to be a Shikra, seen on 16th September 2012 at Sakhalvasho. Sikra would be a truly mega record, an extremely rare vagrant to Europe. I was watching a Honey Buzzard directly to the south when this bird suddenly appered in view as it came from behind a large tree. My immediate assumption was that of Sparrowhawk, though when I got binoculars on the bird the result was confusion. The upperside was so greyish that I assumed the bird was a Levant sparrowhawk, until the bird came full circle and I saw the underparts! I grabbed the camera and reeled off a few shots of the bird at this point. I drew attention to the bird and as this was happening there came the sound of pandemonium as Brecht, Johannes and Jasper came running up the hill screaming 'Shikra'. Most people on the station got decent views of the bird overhead at this point, the dark gular strip clearly visible. Just after the bird passed there was an air of near disbelief at what we had just witnessed, though both Johannes and I had gotten good shots to fully document the record. The next day andrea Corso arrived at Batumi, examined the photos and made the following judgement, not in fact a Shikra, but still a remarkable looking bird and a very instructive individual. Here I will let his expert opinion, as well as those of other experts, outline this birds identification...
"The Batumi’s Accipiter is for sure of great interest and a great bird! Having better studied now the photos (but still not being at home, so I do not have the possibility to study the literature and photos concerning hybrids) I am more prone to think that this is an aberrant Levant Sparrowhawk or an hybrid brevipes x badius.
Due to the odd iris colour and the other odd character I leave open the hybrid possibility, chiefly also because for the field experience of the observers."
Additionally Barak Granit raised two points which may puts in question the identification of this bird as Shikra : "the 6th primary seem to me too short for Shikra which should sticks out more, giving a '5th finger' (or half fingered) effect. And the bird lacks Shikra's longer mid secondaries and also Shikra's shorter inner secondaries giving all together parallel trailing edge. If the iris was yellow (can't see it in the photos) than a hybrid should be considered."
Comments by Vasil Ananian:
"I have looked a bit through literature and various photos, and the only pro-Shikra character I see on your bird is the wing formula - the wingtip is formed by three fingers, rather than two. But on your bird the wingtip, IMO, still differs from real Shikra's, which additionally has clear notch on inner vane of 7th (missing on your bird). The hybrids are supposedly very rare, and whether your bird could be one is a question. Otherwise I would opt for LS."
Dick Forsmans commented the following: "The inner wing is not broad enough for a Shikra, which has a particularly broad looking arm, therefore resembling a Sparrowhawk. The underwing barring and the breast markings are too dark and too contrasting compared with an adult Shikra, which looks more like a faded Sparrowhawk. And finally, the wing-formula is not correct for Shikra, which has a wing like a Sparrowhawk, with a lost longest finger. This wing is too narrow and the wing-tip is too pointed for a Shikra, although the 5th finger (counting inwards) is a bit longer than on an average Levant.
As for the iris colour, to me the eye looks dark. Depending on the angle of the light sometimes even dark eyes may show a paler iris in photographs, but this is a photo-effect. The clear yellow iris of a Shikra would certainly have stood out more clearly."