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)

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