Sunday, 28 June 2015

SW Turkey Bird Trip - Saturday 2nd to 11th May 2015

Thursday 7th May 2015

Today we travel up the mountains and in particular the road to Seki Ski Station.

First stop was Zorlar for hopefully sightings of White-throated Robin in breeding plumage. Not a lifer for me as I was lucky to see a single bird in Hartlepool in 2011. Also in the same habitat were Black-headed Bunting.

The first photograph below shows typical habitat for Calandra Lark.

The Ski station was run down, but the local wildlife didn't seem to matter and were enjoying the peace and quite. Eurasian Crag Martins were using the damaged building as a rest site for juveniles.

New birds added to the list were:
Grey Heron
Whiskered Tern (approx. 350 migrating over the lake late afternoon).
Calandra Lark
Crag Martin
Tawny Pipit
White-throated Robin (20+)
Ruffous-tailed Rock Thrush
Mistle Thrush
Sombre Tit
Red-fronted Serin (12+)
Rock Bunting (3+)
Booted Eagle

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

SW Turkey Bird Trip - Saturday 2nd to 11th May 2015

Wednesday 6th May 2015.

Back in our original hotel, so we went for a pre-breakfast walk.

House Martin trying to build a nest outside our room

My only photographic record of Smyrna Kingfisher

Today, we went to Mugla Canyon and Gokova Marshes. Two very different habitats to explore, in Mugla we were looking for Ruppell's Warbler, Eastern Orphean Warbler, Barred Warbler, Cirl Bunting and White-throated Robin.

We did have good sightings of Ruppell's Warbler (new bird for me), Eastern Orphean Warbler and Cretzschmar's Bunting.

At Gokova Marshes, we were rewarded with good views of Penduline Tit, Turtle Dove and White-winged Black Tern.

Black-headed Yellow Wagtail

Turtle Dove

New birds added to the list were..
White-winged Black Tern
Feral Pigeon
Black-headed Yellow Wagtail
Isabelline Wheater
Great Reed Warbler
Ruppell's Warbler
Eastern Orphean Warbler
Barred Warbler
Coal Tit
Penduline Tit
Lesser Grey Shrike

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

SW Turkey Bird Trip - Audio File - Spanish Sparrows

Listen to breeding colony of Spanish Sparrows at the Hierapolis Ruins, near Pamukkale.

Occasionally a Hooded Crow can be heard.

SW Turkey Bird Trip - Saturday 2nd to 11th May 2015

Tuesday 5th May 2015.

Today was our visit to Hierapolis Ruins, near Pamukkale. A UNESCO World Heritage Site an area of classical ruins, hot springs and gleaming white travertine terraces. It is the first time I have visited a site that has been mentioned in the Bible (albeit only once).

As well as the historical element of the site, Hierapolis is also a great site for wildlife including Finsch's Wheatear and a big population of Spanish Sparrows.

First bird to show was a Black-eared Wheatear

Then a Finsch's Wheatear. The photograph below shows the Finsch's perched on the rock with a Black-eared Wheatear flying past - fluke!

The Finsch's Wheather was a new bird for me and one I had wanted to see for awhile having enjoyed watching the Wheatear's in Dubai previously.

More views of Finsch's Wheatear as it enjoyed being centre of attention.

Nesting Western Rock Nuthatch.

Mud collecting Red-rumped Swallows

New birds added to the list....
Common Kestrel
Little Ringed Plover
Eurasian Skylark
Sand Martin
Northern Wheatear (1 - seen on the ruins)
Finsch's Wheatear

Saturday, 6 June 2015

SW Turkey Bird Trip - Saturday 2nd to 11th May 2015

Monday 4th May 2015.

Each morning we woke as the dawn broke and went for a walk. This morning we went along to recce another part of the marshes surrounding the Koycegiz Lake. We walked down the track alongside a reed line waterway, hoping to get another opportunity to see Smyrna Kingfisher.

We got great views of Squacco Heron, Red-breasted Shrike and a brief glimpse of Smyrna Kingfisher and Little Bittern.

After breakfast, we travelled to another part of Pamukkale in the Denizli Province in South-western Turkey.

To break the journey we stopped at Tavas Reservoir to find six pairs of Ruddy Shelduck plus a few ducklings. Overhead Common Swift and Swallow cut through the air catching insects. We walked to another area to have our picnic lunch and discover more wildlife.

Bath White

Eastern Festroon

Queen of Spain Fritillary

One of two Black Stork flying high overheard

After lunch we headed to Pamukkale and our first views of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Deriving from springs in a cliff almost 200 m high overlooking the plain, calcite-laden waters have created at Pamukkale (Cotton Palace) an unreal landscape, made up of mineral forests, petrified waterfalls and a series of terraced basins.

As we arrived at our Hotel, we were welcomed by a Black-headed Bunting sitting on the wires.

After settling in at the Hotel, we went for a walk along the escarpment in hope of seeing Western Rock Nuthatch, Cinereous Bunting, Cretzschmar's Bunting and Black-eared Wheatear. The sun was shining and its was hard work walking up to the escarpment in the heat, but it is was very much time well spent with a fabulous view to match.

Scanned the rock face we spotted a beautiful Black-eared Wheatear perched high on top ledge. Occasionally a soft sweat song could be heard falling through the air to the group below.

Then a Cinereous Bunting appeared with the long green caterpillar on a ledge further along the escarpment. This was a new bird for me and sadly it didn't around whilst my camera was ready in the heat haze.

Western Rock Nuthatch was also feeding along the escarpment and giving good views when perch. This was another new bird, having missed out on previous trips.

A Cretzschmar's Bunting was also seen briefly, but not photographed, so the day finished with three lifers!

New bird's added to the list were..
Little Bittern
Ruddy Shelduck
Long-legged Buzzard
Eleonora's Falcon
Black-winged Stilt
Common Swift
European Roller
European Bee-eater
Crested Lark
Red-rumped Swallow
Eastern Black-eared Wheatear
Common Raven
Common Starling
Cinereous Bunting (2)
Cretzschmar's Bunting (1)
Black-headed Bunting (2)
Black Stork (2)