Sunday, 2 July 2017

Southern Turkey 2017

Turkey is a brilliant place for birding and in 5 days I saw an impressive 173 species of bird including 14 I had never seen before. What surprised me most about the country was how lush and green it was , especially in the hills... I will certainly go back in the next couple of years to do the eastern part of Turkey , don't be put off by the media , Turkey is very safe and the people are all very friendly , we had no problems at all when we where out there. Highlights of the holiday where seeing the recently re-discovered Brown Fish Owls ( one of the rarest birds in the world) and taking a trip up to the top of the Aladag mountains to see Raddes Accentor , Caspian Snowcock and Wallcreeper.

Black headed Bunting- very common in Turkey and easy to find

To see the Brown Fish Owl you must take a boat along a canyon and look up at their roosting site at dawn before they dissapear, which meant getting up at 3:30am! 

Photographing the Owl was difficult in the half light, but I'm happy with what I got

Eastern Black Redstart

Egyptian Vulture

Lesser Kestrel

Lesser Spotted Eagle, the surprise bird of the trip and a new Eagle for me! Just Steppe Eagle and Verreaux's Eagle left for me to see in the Western Palearctic

Olive Tree Warbler , very difficult to find as they had stopped singing, spent hours looking for them until this one shoed very well, a large warbler with a striking wing panel, shouldn't be too difficult to ID if it ever turns up in Cornwall

Red Fronted Serin, very common in the mountains, up to a hundred seen each day 

Upchers Warbler 

White-tailed Robin , bit of a dream bird! But up in the hills they seem to be quite common and if you went for a walk in the right habitat you would see one . I saw at least 6 males, 1 female and a juvenile during the week. 

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