turk3

Trip Report: Turkey, May 18-31, 1993

Kieran Fahy, William McDowell, Denis Weir, Dave Bird, Denis O'Sullivan, United Kingdom; wmcdowell@dnet.co.uk

Flew from Belfast International to Izmir (Adnan Menderes); approx. 4.5 hrs flight and arrived at the same time as D. Bird who flew from Manchester to the same airport. Flight cost was £193 return, and car hire was approximately £100 each for the 2 week stay. Arrived at approximately 0400 hrs and were on the road and on to our first destination by 0600 hrs.

Drove N towards Izmir to relatively unknown site, Calmati Tuzlasi; this is not easy to find but if you keep to the coast as you pass N through Izmir there is a turn-off to the left which takes you on past a large air base and hence on to a set of manned gates into salt pans; immediately right at these gates are signposts to a "Bird Sanctuary"; follow these; the area is huge and marked out as different coloured nature trails, but some of the better areas are along dirt-tracks and miles away from the "Sanctuary" office. We drove to this area to see Dalmatian Pelican which apparently breeds (see Birding World Vol.5 No. 5).

Our itinerary would make this the only place we would have a reasonable chance of seeing this rare and declining bird.(In fact we saw 1 other bird at the Goksu delta).

Camalti Tazlasi to Akseki

 

Dalmatian Pelican                        4
Little Egret                             25
Grey Heron                               1
White Stork                              50
Greater Flamingo                         1000+
Shelduck                                 2
White-tailed Eagle                       1 (Koycegiz Golu)
Marsh Harrier                            1
Sparrow Hawk                             1
Long-legged Buzzard                      8 (en route)
Lesser Kestrel                           4 ("    "  )
Kestrel                                  1
Peregrine Falcon                         1
Ringed Plover                            1
Kentish Plover                           20
Little Stint                             500
Curlew Sandpiper                         1000
Whimbrel                                 5
Spotted Redshank                         2
Turnstone                                2
Mediterranean Gull                       200
Black-headed Gull                        10
Slender-billed Gull                      2
Yellow-legged Gull                       common
Caspian Tern                             1
Common Tern                              10
Little Tern                              15+
Black Tern                               2
Collared Dove                            present
Turtle Dove                              12
Laughing Dove                            1
Cuckoo                                   3
Nightjar                                 3
Swift                                    30
Alpine Swift                             12
Bee-eater                                50
Roller                                   2
Hoopoe                                   1
Syrian Woodpecker                        1
Calandra Lark                            20
Short-toed Lark                          10
Crested Lark                             25
Sand Martin                              2+
Swallow                                  20+
Red-rumped Swallow                       50
House Martin                             3
Yellow Wagtail                           6+
White Wagtail                            2
Wren                                     1
Nightingale                              6
White-throated Robin                     3
Wheatear                                 20
Black-eared Wheatear                     2
Blue Rock Thrush                         2
Blackbird                                10
Song Thrush                              1
Mistle Thrush                            1
Cetti's Warbler                          1
Marsh Warbler                            2
Great Reed Warbler                       1
Olivaceous Warbler                       4
Lesser Whitethroat                       1
Bonelli's Warbler                        4
Spotted Flycatcher                       2
Long-tailed Tit                          4
Sombre Tit                               3
Blue Tit                                 4
Great Tit                                10
Krueper's Nuthatch                       15 (Koycegiz)
Rock Nuthatch                            4
Red-backed Shrike                        10
Lesser Grey Shrike                       2
Woodchat Shrike                          3
Masked Shrike                            1
Jay                                      10
Magpie                                   common
Jackdaw                                  common
Carrion Crow                             10
House Sparrow                            common
Spanish Sparrow                          20
Greenfinch                               2
Goldfinch                                10
Cretzschmar's Bunting                     4
Black-headed Bunting                     10
Corn Bunting                             20+

This route for the above species was as follows: Camalti Tazlasi via Selcuk, Aydin, Mugla, Koycegiz Golu, Fethiye, Sogut, Korkuteli, Antayla, Manavgat, Akseki.

We arrived at Akseki at around 0200hrs after approximately 1000km driving but could not easily find accommodation; however since we would be birding within 3 hours it was probably not worth finding anywhere anyway. Apart from White-tailed Eagle there was nothing seen on this stretch that was not subsequently seen elsewhere (see previous re Dalmatian Pelican).

19th May 1993: Akseki to Tasuka

Did the area 7.9 km N of Akseki at dawn and then down to the graveyard in the town; did the roadside scrub and conifers 7 to 8 km south of Akseki on the way to Tasuka; spent rest of afternoon at Goksu delta area with a late run to the area 6 km S of Uzuncaburc to try to recover Olive-tree Warbler.

Stayed at the Lades hotel overnight (less than 1/2 km to the west of the Harbour; Total cost for everyone including excellent evening meal and breakfast was approx. £65.

 

Cormorant                                1
Little Bittern                           2
Little Egret                             10
Grey Heron                               15
Purple Heron                             3
White Stork                              15
Ruddy Shelduck                           2 (with young)
Mallard                                  2
Marbled Duck                             15
Ferruginous Duck                         4+
Short-toed Eagle                         1
Long-legged Buzzard                      1
Kestrel                                  2
Black Francolin                          1 calling
Purple Gallinule                         2 (with 2 young)
Coot                                     60
Black-winged Stilt                       30
Collared Pratincole                      3
Little Ringed Plover                     3
Kentish Plover                           2
Spur-winged Plover                       4
Ruff                                     1
Common Sandpiper                         2
Yellow-legged Gull                       50
Common Tern                              60
Little Tern                              20+
White-winged Black Tern                  7
Collared Dove                            common
Turtle Dove                              4
Cuckoo                                   6
Tawny Owl                                1
Swift                                    present
Alpine Swift                             100
Bee-eater                                6
Roller                                   6
Hoopoe                                   2
Syrian Woodpecker                        6
White-backed Woodpecker                  2
Green/Grey-headed Woodpecker             2
Bimaculated Lark                         2
Crested Lark                             common
Woodlark                                 2
Sand Martin                              50
Swallow                                  present
Red-rumped Swallow                       15
House Martin                             5
Pied Wagtail                             1
Rufous Bush Chat                         5
Wheatear                                 5
Black-eared Wheatear                     10
Blue Rock Thrush                         2
Blackbird                                1
Song Thrush                              1
Savi's Warbler                           4
Marsh Warbler                            1
Reed Warbler                             10
Great Reed Warbler                       3+
Olivaceous Warbler                       15+
Olive-tree Warbler                       3+
Rueppell's Warbler                       1
Orphean Warbler                          2
Lesser Whitethroat                       1
Blackcap                                 10
Spotted Flycatcher                       1
Sombre Tit                               4+
Blue Tit                                 2
Krueper's Nuthatch                       10
Rock Nuthatch                            1
Red-backed Shrike                        2
Lesser Grey Shrike                       2
Woodchat Shrike                          1
Masked Shrike                            4
Magpie                                   present
Jay                                      10
Jackdaw                                  present
Hooded Crow                              20
Raven                                    8
Starling                                 present
House Sparrow                            present
Chaffinch                                10
Serin                                    2
Greenfinch                               1
Goldfinch                                2
Cretzschmar's Bunting                    3+
Black-headed Bunting                     present
Corn Bunting                             3+
Yellow-vented Bulbul                     10

Highlights of the day included White-backed Woodpecker at the area 7.8 km N of Akseki; we found these birds by taking a path off to the right not to the left as is mentioned in the gen. We played a CD of WBW and a pair came in almost immediately; we should have had a go for Middle-spotted Woodpecker here since we were destined not to see these anywhere else on the trip.

I heard Olive-tree Warbler at the graveyard in Akseki (or was it somebody playing the CD?) but no birds were seen. However we did manage to have wonderful views at the area 6 km S of Uzuncaburc again using the CD.

20th May 1993: Goksu Delta to Demerkazik

Started of at Goksu, an impressive area and easy to work though views through the reeds can be limited; drove via Adana and Tarsus to Demerkazik. We stayed the night at the Mountain Ski Lodge (£4/person) but no food was available so make sure you bring your own. We arrived at Demerkazik in the late afternoon hence we only did the entrance to the northern gorge.

 

Great Crested Grebe                      20+
Cormorant                                3
Pygmy Cormorant                          2
Dalmatian Pelican                        1
Little Bittern                           6
Night Heron                              1
Squacco Heron                            15
Cattle Egret                             3
Little Egret                             5
Purple Heron                             5
White Stork                              30
Ruddy Shelduck                           10
Mallard                                  15
Garganey                                 5
Marbled Duck                             20
Ferruginous Duck                         8
Black Kite                               2
Lammergeier                              1
Griffon Vulture                          2
Marsh Harrier                            2
Buzzard                                  1
Golden Eagle                             2
Kestrel                                  6
Eleonora's Falcon                        1
Peregrine Falcon                         1
Black Francolin                          10
Purple Gallinule                         2
Coot                                     present
Stone Curlew                             1
Collared Pratincole                      250
Little Ringed Plover                     3
Kentish Plover                           12
Spur-winged Plover                       15
Sanderling                               2
Little Stint                             100
Yellow-legged Gull                       present
Common Tern                              50
Little Tern                              20
White-winged Black Tern                  1
Rock Dove                                2
Wood Pigeon                              2
Collared Dove                            present
Turtle Dove                              15
Cuckoo                                   6
Swift                                    50
Alpine Swift                             50+
Bee-eater                                2
Roller                                   2
Hoopoe                                   1
Short-toed Lark                          10
Crested Lark                             common
Shore Lark                               1
Sand Martin                              6
Crag Martin                              50
Swallow                                  common
Red-rumped Swallow                       10
House Martin                             6
Tawny Pipit                              1
Yellow Wagtail                           45
Pied Wagtail                             1
Yellow-vented Bulbul                     1
Rufous Bush Chat                         8
Black Redstart                           6
Wheatear                                 15
Black-eared Wheatear                     1
Finsch's Wheatear                        2
Rock Thrush                              1
Blue Rock Thrush                         2
Blackbird                                1
Graceful Warbler                         2
Sedge Warbler                            1
Reed Warbler                             common
Great Reed Warbler                       20
Olivaceous Warbler                       5
Lesser Whitethroat                       6
Blackcap                                 12
Willow Warbler                           1
Spotted Flycatcher                       2
Sombre Tit                               1
Great Tit                                1
Rock Nuthatch                            1
Red-backed Shrike                        20
Lesser Grey Shrike                       1
Masked Shrike                            4
Magpie                                   present
Alpine Chough                            8
Chough                                   6
Jackdaw                                  2
Carrion Crow                             present
Raven                                    1
Starling                                 12
House Sparrow                            common
Rock Sparrow                             4
Snowfinch                                10
Chaffinch                                5
Red-fronted Serin                        10
Serin                                    2
Greenfinch                               2
Goldfinch                                3
Linnet                                   2
Rock Bunting                             6
Cretzschmar's Bunting                    4
Black-headed Bunting                     20+

Highlights of today included our only Pygmy Cormorants (distant flyby at Goksu) of the trip; other birders in Turkey at the same time experienced the same difficulty with this species. Dalmatian Pelican was unexpected here as was the non-presence of White Pelican; a small flock of these birds at Kulu Golu were the only birds seen. The Lammergeier was seen on the main road N from Tarsus before the right turn towards Camardi and was agreed to be the "best" bird of the trip. Black Francolin were no problem at the Goksu, though a little patience is required trying to find the mound they are calling from. Red-fronted Serin and Snowfinch were easily seen at the entrance to the N. gorge at Demerkazik.

21st May 1993: Demerkazik to Gaziantep

Did Demerkazik in the early morning; we left at 0330 hrs to ensure arrival at the snowline for dawn and drove up the southern track for perhaps a mile to where the track started to get a little rough; I would recommend you drive this track as far as possible as there is still a substantial winding climb ahead. As it happened we could have done with leaving 1/2 an hour earlier and paced the walk better. Caspian Snowcock requires patience to see even though you can here them calling apparently quite closely. We tried to track a few down by following the calls -- we failed! However we did have long range views of birds amongst the rocks and snow, and at the top end of the N. gorge, a pair flew over our heads!

The path down the N. gorge is best described as "not easy" and combined with the trek up makes it an exhausting mornings birding; however, excellent views of Wall Creeper, Golden Eagle, Alpine and Radde's Accentors make up for the effort required.

 

White Stork                              10
Buzzard                                  4
Lammergeier                              1
Golden Eagle                             3
Kestrel                                  3
Hobby                                    1
Caspian Snowcock                         7 (4 seen)
Chukar                                   1
Rock Dove                                1
Wood Pigeon                              2
Collared Dove                            present
Turtle Dove                              present
Cuckoo                                   1
Tawny Owl                                2
Nightjar                                 1
Swift                                    present
Alpine Swift                             20
Bee-eater                                1
Syrian Woodpecker                        3
Calandra/Bimaculated Lark                1
Crested Lark                             present
Shore Lark                               3
Crag Martin                              20+
Swallow                                  present
Red-rumped Swallow                       6
House Martin                             40
Meadow Pipit                             1
Water Pipit                              2
Pied Wagtail                             1
Wren                                     1
Radde's Accentor                         4+(1 nest-building)
Alpine Accentor                          5+
White-throated Robin                     15
Black Redstart                           10
Wheatear                                 15
Finsch's Wheatear                        10
Rock Thrush                              2
Blue Rock Thrush                         2
Blackbird                                1
Cetti's Warbler                          3
Upcher's Warbler                         3
Orphean Warbler                          3
Barred Warbler                           4
Lesser Whitethroat                       30
Whitethroat                              1
Blackcap                                 2
Spotted Flycatcher                       1
Blue Tit                                 1
Great Tit                                1
Great Rock Nuthatch                      5
Rock Nuthatch                            1
Wallcreeper                              1 male
Golden Oriole                            1
Red-backed Shrike                        15
Woodchat Shrike                          2
Jay                                      1
Magpie                                   5
Alpine Chough                            10+
Chough                                   6
Hooded Crow                              present
Raven                                    1
Starling                                 7
House Sparrow                            present
Rock Sparrow                             6
Snowfinch                                30
Chaffinch                                10
Red-fronted Serin                        10
Serin                                    50
Greenfinch                               3
Goldfinch                                2
Bullfinch                                1
Linnet                                   10
Rock Bunting                             10
Cinereous Bunting                        6
Cretzschmar's Bunting                    10
Black-headed Bunting                     present
Corn Bunting                             present

This route took us past the Yesilice area where all the expected birds were seen with the exception of Pale Rock Sparrow. (Red-tailed Wheatear was seen the next day but finding the correct area for them is not so easy; the gen is not very accurate; it would be advisable to get more specific gen before going.) Great Rock Nuthatch, Cinereous Bunting, Upcher's Warbler and White-throated Robin are all easy to get.

Barred Warblers were seen at Elek Golu, 6 km from Camardi near Demerkazik. We spent the night in Gaziantep (a reasonably large town) at the Hotel Erkes (275,000TL for 5, i.e. circa £4/night each); we eat in a restaurant about 4 doors away from the hotel where the food was excellent. Our intention was to return to Yesilce the next morning and then drive on to Biracek.

22nd May 1993: Yesilce to Biracek

 

Little Grebe                             2
Black-necked Grebe                       1
Little Bittern                           3
Little Egret                             3
Bald Ibis                                30+
Marsh Harrier                            1
Long-legged Buzzard                      1
Kestrel                                  2
Chukar                                   1
Moorhen                                  2
Little Ringed Plover                     1
Rock Dove                                1
Collared Dove                            present
Turtle Dove                              present
Laughing Dove                            2
Cuckoo                                   2 (+1 hepatic)
Scops Owl Sp.                            1
Striated Scops Owl                       1
Tawny Owl                                1
Swift                                    present
Pied Kingfisher                          5
Blue-cheeked Bee Eater                   1
Bee-eater                                15
Roller                                   2
Hoopoe                                   6
Bimaculated Lark                         20
Crested Lark                             present
Woodlark                                 1
Sand Martin                              present
Swallow                                  50+
Red-rumped Swallow                       1
House Martin                             present
Tawny Pipit                              1
Rufous Bush Chat                         13
White-throated Robin                     20
Wheatear                                 2
Finsch's Wheatear                        20
Red-tailed Wheatear                      2 males +1 female
Black-eared Wheatear                     2
Blue Rock Thrush                         2
Cetti's Warbler                          2
Graceful Warbler                         1
Reed Warbler                             15
Great Reed Warbler                       10
Olivaceous Warbler                       10
Upcher's Warbler                         20
Menetries Warbler                        5
Sardinian Warbler                        3
Orphean Warbler                          2
Barred Warbler                           1
Lesser Whitethroat                       30
Garden Warbler                           2
Spotted Flycatcher                       1
Great Rock Nuthatch                      10+
Golden Oriole                            1 male
Red-backed Shrike                        5
Woodchat                                 3
Jackdaw                                  10
Hooded Crow                              40+
Starling                                 4
Rose-coloured Starling                   800
House Sparrow                            present
Spanish Sparrow                          2
Dead Sea Sparrow                         100
Pale Rock Sparrow                        11
Yellow-throated Sparrow                  10
Rock Sparrow                             5
Chaffinch                                2
Greenfinch                               4
Goldfinch                                4
Linnet                                   10
Desert Finch                             2
Cinereous Bunting                        25
Black-headed Bunting                     20

Menetries Warbler, Pale Rock Sparrow and Striated Scops Owl were no problem at the usual sites; we had a Scops Owl type in the trees at the cafe but it was in such poor condition we were not sure if it was Scops Owl or Striated Scops Owl. Yellow-throated Sparrow was seen on the other side of the river around the marshy pools. We were told that the Blue-cheeked Bee Eater colony was no longer present but one of our party had one flying over near the marshy pools.

We spent the night at the hotel in the centre of the town with the plastic sign depicting the Bald Ibises (Hotel Dogan?); a bit spartan but adequate at about £2 per night.

23rd May 1993: Biracek to Tafalan

Left Biracek at 0600hrs and drove towards Cizre with the occasional stop on the way.

 

Grey Heron                               3
Little Egret                             11
White Stork                              25
Honey Buzzard                            7
Black Kite                               2
Egyptian Vulture                         20
Griffon Vulture                          18
Short-toed Eagle                         2
Buzzard                                  5
Kestrel                                  10
Hobby                                    1
Chukar                                   2
See-See Partridge                        3
Collared Pratincole                      6
Little Ringed Plover                     1
Red-wattled Lapwing                      1
Greenshank                               1
Gull-billed Tern                         3
Little Tern                              1
Wood Pigeon                              1
Collared Dove                            20
Turtle Dove                              present
Laughing Dove                            2
Little Owl                               4
Swift                                    present
Lesser Pied Kingfisher                   1
Bee-eater                                100
Roller                                   50
Hoopoe                                   2
Calandra Lark                            present
Crested Lark                             present
Sand Martin                              100
Crag Martin                              10
Swallow                                  present
Red-rumped Swallow                       2
House Martin                             present
Rufous Bush Chat                         15
Wheatear                                 6
Black-eared Wheatear                     1
Finsch's Wheatear                        10
Blue Rock Thrush                         4
Cetti's Warbler                          4
Olivaceous Warbler                       2
Upcher's Warbler                         1
Golden Oriole                            1
Red-backed Shrike                        4
Magpie                                   1
Chough                                   40
Rook                                     1
Hooded Crow                              20
Raven                                    2
Starling                                 1
Rose-coloured Starling                   40
House Sparrow                            present
Spanish Sparrow                          30+
Rock Sparrow                             10
Black-headed Bunting                     1000+
Corn Bunting                             150

We had no trouble driving to Cizre and had distant views of a single Red-wattled Lapwing on an island in the river when viewing from the garage. We crossed the bridge and worked our way through the town and down the west bank of the Tigris, where we had slightly closer views including the bird in flight. See-See were found in the dry river valley, 6 - 7 km before reaching Idil but we had to walk beyond the drinking pools to the grassy hillsides before we eventually flushed a covey of three birds; this species could be easily missed with lack of manpower and lack of patience as they are hard to flush.

Our intention was to drive from Cizre to Van, but due to the condition of the roads, atrocious weather conditions and police road checks, it took us 12 hours to travel from Cizre to Tatvan. Stayed overnight at Tatvan in the Hotel Aspa (looked good from the outside but in reality no better than most of the rest); cost £6/head

24th May 1993: Tatvan to Van

The next morning was fine and sunny as we drove the relatively short distance from Tatvan to Van. Had a look at N. Van marshes but these had disappeared due to flooding; drove to Ercek Golu via a small marsh about 3 km to the west of Ercek Golu.

In afternoon did S. Van marshes and an area about 5 km to the west of Van on the lakeside -- it was here that we found White-headed Duck.

Booked into the Hotel Beskardes in the centre of Van -- probably the best hotel we have stayed in so far -- cost £4.50/head.

In the evening we drove at dusk to the railway cutting at Van Hills and tried to "CD"-out Eagle Owl; we heard one calling but it did not come into us; several Nightjars were heard calling in the general area.

 

Little Grebe                             10
Black-necked Grebe                       50
Great Crested Grebe                      10
Little Bittern                           3
Squacco Heron                            2
Little Egret                             5
Grey Heron                               2
Purple Heron                             7
White Stork                              6
Ruddy Shelduck                           30
Shelduck                                 6
Gadwall                                  4
Mallard                                  25+
Garganey                                 4
Pochard                                  50
Tufted Duck                              1
White-headed Duck                        10
Black Kite                               2
Marsh Harrier                            9
Buzzard                                  8
Long-legged Buzzard                      2
Lesser Kestrel                           10
Kestrel                                  4
Hobby                                    3
Quail                                    5+
Moorhen                                  20
Coot                                     150
Black-winged Stilt                       15
Little Ringed Plover                     2
Lapwing                                  50
Redshank                                 45
Black-headed Gull                        50
Armenian Gull                            1000
White-winged Black Tern                  20
Collared Dove                            6
Turtle Dove                              12
Cuckoo                                   6
Eagle Owl                                1 calling
Little Owl                               1
Nightjar                                 3+
Swift                                    present
Alpine Swift                             500
Bee-eater                                20
Roller                                   45
Hoopoe                                   6
Bimaculated Lark                         3
Calandra Lark                            present
Crested Lark                             present
Sand Martin                              500
Crag Martin                              6
Swallow                                  200
House Martin                             20
Tawny Pipit                              1
Meadow Pipit                             1
Yellow Wagtail                           80
Grey Wagtail                             1
Pied Wagtail                             1
Rufous Bush Chat                         3
Black Redstart                           2
Stonechat                                3
Isabelline Wheatear                      2
Wheatear                                 10
Finsch's Wheatear                        1
Rock Thrush                              1 male
Cetti's Warbler                          4
Moustached Warbler                       1
Sedge Warbler                            20
Paddyfield Warbler                       1
Reed Warbler                             20
Great Reed Warbler                       50
Olivaceous Warbler                       6
Whitethroat                              2
Garden Warbler                           12
Chiffchaff                               1
Great Tit                                2
Golden Oriole                            4
Lesser Grey Shrike                       1
Jay                                      10
Magpie                                   15
Chough                                   2
Jackdaw                                  20
Starling                                 present
Hooded Crow                              25
Rose-coloured Starling                   30
House Sparrow                            present
Rock Sparrow                             10
Goldfinch                                2
Linnet                                   6
Crimson-winged Finch                     7
Ortolan Bunting                          3
Grey-necked Bunting                      2
Reed Bunting                             2
Black-headed Bunting                     100
Corn Bunting                             15

No major surprises here; all the species were where they were supposed to be!

25th May 1993: Van to Agri

Left Van in the early morning and drove to Bendimahi which was flooded also; from here we drove to Yoncile near Bulanik with various stops along the way to scan the fields. At Yoncile we drove into the village and towards the Murat river; at the far end of the village a concrete irrigation canal runs from the village almost as far as the river (5 km). We walked along the edge of this as far as the river. Marsh Warblers are present in the scrub at the riverside; we scanned the islands in the river but didn't see any Demoiselle Cranes, only 9 Common Crane. It appears we may have been in the wrong area as birds were reported near Bulanik at the same time as we were there. We clapped at regular intervals during the walk alongside the irrigation canal in an effort to flush Great Snipe but without any success. On the return however we had 3+ birds in the same area we had previously covered; it may be that these birds are not really active until early evening/dusk.

Stayed the night in Agri in a hotel (Hotel Salaman) at £2/head but the hotel and the town were both very run down.

 

Little Grebe                             6
Great Crested Grebe                      40
Black-necked Grebe                       15
Little Bittern                           3
Squacco Heron                            3
Cattle Egret                             9
Little Egret                             15
Grey Heron                               5
Purple Heron                             1
White Stork                              30
Spoonbill                                2
Ruddy Shelduck                           10
Shelduck                                 6
Gadwall                                  6
Mallard                                  30
Garganey                                 10
Shoveler                                 3
Pochard                                  60
Tufted Duck                              22
Marsh Harrier                            6
Montagu's Harrier                        30
Buzzard                                  1
Kestrel                                  1
Hobby                                    2
Quail                                    50+
Water Rail                               3
Moorhen                                  15
Coot                                     100
Common Crane                             9
Great Bustard                            1
Oystercatcher                            25
Black-winged Stilt                       12
Stone Curlew                             4
Ringed Plover                            1
Lapwing                                  100's
Great Snipe                              3+
Redshank                                 200
Wood Sandpiper                           2
Black-headed Gull                        50
Armenian Gull                            present
Gull-billed Tern                         200
Caspian Tern                             1
Common Tern                              15
White-winged Black Tern                  200
Collared Dove                            5
Little Owl                               1
Swift                                    present
Bee-eater                                200+
Roller                                   60+
Hoopoe                                   2
Calandra Lark                            50+
Short-toed Lark                          2
Lesser Short-toed Lark                   50
Crested Lark                             10
Skylark                                  55
Sand Martin                              present
Swallow                                  50
House Martin                             10
Tawny Pipit                              6
Yellow Wagtail                           100's
Pied Wagtail                             2
Stonechat                                6
Isabelline Wheatear                      3
Wheatear                                 12
Cetti's Warbler                          6
Sedge Warbler                            50
Marsh Warbler                            4
Reed Warbler                             25
Great Reed Warbler                       15+
Olivaceous Warbler                       8
Lesser Whitethroat                       1
Whitethroat                              9
Garden Warbler                           8
Chiffchaff                               1
Willow Warbler                           1
Magpie                                   20
Jackdaw                                  10
Rook                                     present
Hooded Crow                              30
Starling                                 100+
Rose-coloured Starling                   40
House Sparrow                            present
Greenfinch                               2
Linnet                                   2
Black-headed Bunting                     50+
Corn Bunting                             10+

Here lies our one major dip only consoled by the fact that we believed that the birds were no longer here; we were subsequently proved wrong on this matter; this area warrants more time being spent on it but with our tight schedule this was not possible.

26th May 1993: Agri to Sivri Kaya

So far we have spent approximately £150 per head on food/accommodation and fuel and have traveled approximately 4000 km. Traveler's Cheques/Euro Cheques are of little use out here, and it was only in Van and Erzurum that they could be cashed and then only with much pratting about.

Started off heading for Dougubayazit but for various reasons decided to "bin" this idea; an unfortunate decision since Mongolian Trumpeter Finch were present at the site at this time; returned and drove through Agri to Erzurum and subsequently to the site 106 km S of Ispir; from here we drove to Ispir where we had lunch and then to Sivri Kaya and the tea house where we met Mustapha Sari, the much-mentioned guide. The upstairs room was prepared for us, and we agreed to leave at 0330 hrs to see Caucasian Black Grouse.

We were charged a total of £3/head for the guide and £2/head for the accommodation -- but with no time in hand we were happy to pay this small sum to be taken straight to the Blackcock site. A grueling 1-2 hr. walk takes one to the site for dawn (dawn is probably not essential).

 

Grey Heron                               2
White Stork                              5
Ruddy Shelduck                           2
Black Kite                               2
Egyptian Vulture                         1
Griffon Vulture                          3
Buzzard                                  15
Long-legged Buzzard                      4
Golden Eagle                             1
Booted Eagle                             1
Kestrel                                  3+
Hobby                                    4
Caspian Snowcock                         2 calling
Oystercatcher                            4
Little Ringed Plover                     3
Lapwing                                  2
Common Sandpiper                         2
Redshank                                 4
Black-headed Gull                        1
Armenian Gull                            5
Gull-billed Tern                         3
Common Tern                              3
Rock Dove                                100+
Turtle Dove                              40+
Collared Dove                            2
Cuckoo                                   10
Swift                                    100's
Alpine Swift                             3
Bee-eater                                10
Roller                                   5
Hoopoe                                   2
Great Spotted Woodpecker                 1
Syrian Woodpecker                        2
Bimaculated Lark                         2
Calandra Lark                            1
Shorelark                                3
Swallow                                  present
House Martin                             1
Water Pipit                              2
Yellow Wagtail                           10
Grey Wagtail                             1
Pied Wagtail                             10
Dipper                                   1
Nightingale                              1
Bluethroat                               1
Stonechat                                2
Wheatear                                 20
Rock Thrush                              1
Blackbird                                1
Cetti's Warbler                          15
Marsh Warbler                            5
Lesser Whitethroat                       8
Whitethroat                              10
Garden Warbler                           10
Blackcap                                 1
Mountain Chiffchaff                      10+
Blue Tit                                 10
Great Tit                                6
Nuthatch                                 4 (1 at nest)
Golden Oriole                            4
Jay                                      1
Magpie                                   12
Jackdaw                                  60
Chough                                   2
Rook                                     present
Hooded Crow                              present
Starling                                 present
House Sparrow                            present
Snowfinch                                3
Goldfinch                                3
Linnet                                   10
Scarlet Rosefinch                        80
Ortolan Bunting                          4
Black-headed Bunting                     50
Corn Bunting                             10

No Semi-collared Flycatcher noted at Ispir but we couldn't quite follow the directions as outlined in the gen; others a few days before us had River Warbler and Sprosser.

27th May 1993: Sivri Kaya to Samsung

As agreed, we were met by Mustapha at 0330hrs and commenced in darkness to ascend the mountainside; in retrospect I'm glad it was in darkness; had it been daylight I probably wouldn't have undertaken it! In reality it wasn't as bad as Demerkazik; by 0435hrs we had seen our first Blackcock, and eventually a total of 21 males were seen; females are very uncommonly seen. We arrived back to hot milk at 0645hrs.

Left Sivri Kaya and headed for the Black Sea coast via Sumela Monastery; drove from here to Samsun.

 

Cormorant                                50
Night Heron                              50
Little Egret                             5
Grey Heron                               3
Sparrow Hawk                             1
Buzzard                                  4
Caucasian Black Grouse                   21
Moorhen                                  1
Oystercatcher                            1
Redshank                                 2
Black-headed Gull                        1
Yellow-legged Gull                       present
Lesser Black-backed Gull                 5
Swift                                    present
Hoopoe                                   1
Great Spotted Woodpecker                 4
Crag Martin                              3
Swallow                                  30
House Martin                             70
Tree Pipit                               1
Water Pipit                              3
Grey Wagtail                             20
Pied Wagtail                             6
Dipper                                   1
Wren                                     6
Dunnock                                  2+
Robin                                    6
Nightingale                              10+
Whinchat                                 1
Wheatear                                 10
Mistle Thrush                            4
Blackbird                                2
Cetti's Warbler                          6
Olivaceous Warbler                       1
Upcher's Warbler?                        1
Lesser Whitethroat                       1
Whitethroat                              5
Garden Warbler                           6
Blackcap                                 1
Green Warbler                            10
Mountain Chiffchaff                      1
Goldcrest                                6
Spotted Flycatcher                       2
Sombre Tit                               2
Coal Tit                                 4
Blue Tit                                 5
Great Tit                                10
Red-backed Shrike                        5
Jay                                      2
Magpie                                   present
Rook                                     30
Hooded Crow                              25
Raven                                    2
House Sparrow                            present
Starling                                 10
Chaffinch                                15
Greenfinch                               10
Goldfinch                                5
Scarlet Rosefinch                        15
Bullfinch                                1
Black-headed Bunting                     1

Stayed overnight at a fairly plush hotel in Samsun (£12.60 each) and planned to visit the Bafra area the next morning.

28th May 1993: Samsun to Sogoksu

Left the hotel at 0630hrs and drove the 50 km to Bafra; not easy to find; a road/path runs along the east side of the river just before the bridge beyond Bafra; this allows you to drive N along the east side of the river; however it eventually comes to a dead-end; we found a track running off to the east of this track which eventually took us on to metalled road and presumably the right road to the Kizilirmak delta from the centre of Bafra; look out for the lighthouse on the west bank as a guide to the direction to go. We found the area fairly dead but there was an interesting movement of BOPs.

Returned to the hotel and commenced the long journey to Sogoksu, where we had a few hours birding before dark.

 

Cormorant                                1
Grey Heron                               5
Black Stork                              2
White Stork                              20
Mallard                                  2
Ruddy Shelduck                           2 ad +2 imm
Honey Buzzard                            80
Buzzard                                  20
Unid. Buzzards                           50
Black Kite                               12
Marsh Harrier                            8
Long-legged Buzzard                      1
Imperial Eagle                           1
Booted Eagle                             1
Lesser Kestrel                           3
Kestrel                                  2
Red-footed Falcon                        20+
Hobby                                    20+
Falcon sp.                               present
Quail                                    1
Crane                                    1
Oystercatcher                            6
Stone Curlew                             3
Little Ringed Plover                     20
Turnstone                                1
Yellow-legged Gull                       100+
Black-headed Gull                        1
Common Tern                              250
Little Tern                              10
Collared Dove                            1
Turtle Dove                              30
Swift                                    150+
Alpine Swift                             20
Roller                                   20
Hoopoe                                   2
Green Woodpecker                         1
Great Spotted Woodpecker                 1
Crested Lark                             40
Swallow                                  20
House Martin                             10
Yellow Wagtail                           10
Grey Wagtail                             1
Pied Wagtail                             20
Nightingale                              20
Wheatear                                 2
Blackbird                                3
Song Thrush                              4
Mistle Thrush                            2
Cetti's Warbler                          6
Sedge Warbler                            1
Great Reed Warbler                       2
Barred Warbler                           5
Whitethroat                              6
Garden Warbler                           1
Chiffchaff                               2
Sombre Tit                               3
Coal Tit                                 2+
Blue Tit                                 3
Great Tit                                6+
Nuthatch                                 3
Tree Creeper                             1
Golden Oriole                            1
Lesser Grey Shrike                       1
Red-backed Shrike                        20
Jay                                      2
Magpie                                   3
Jackdaw                                  1
Hooded Crow                              20
Starling                                 5
House Sparrow                            present
Chaffinch                                10
Greenfinch                               6
Black-headed Bunting                     10+
Corn Bunting                             40+

Stayed the night at the Hotel Cam inside the entrance to the park; a very comfortable hotel but as with all the others still lacking sophistication; cost about £13, but this included a very nice breakfast; had an excellent meal at a restaurant just outside the entrance to the park

29th May 1993: Sogoksu to Beysehir

Did Sogoksu in the early morning, then driving to Bezrihane Golu and Kulu Golu and spending the evening at the Hotel Park at Beysehir (inexpensive but clean).

 

Black-necked Grebe                       18
Red-necked Grebe                         3
Little Grebe                             15
White Pelican                            20
Squacco Heron                            1
Purple Heron                             1
Black Stork                              8
White Stork                              30
Greater Flamingo                         1120
Grey Lag Goose                           3
Ruddy Shelduck                           75
Shelduck                                 20
Gadwall                                  2
Teal                                     5
Mallard                                  10
Garganey                                 8
Shoveler                                 4
Marbled Duck                             1
Red-crested Pochard                      9
Pochard                                  50
Ferruginous Duck                          3
White-headed Duck                        24
Black Kite                               1
Booted Eagle                             2
Egyptian Vulture                         1
Marsh Harrier                            6
Goshawk                                  1
Buzzard                                  1
Long-legged Buzzard                      2
Lesser Kestrel                           12
Quail                                    3
Coot                                     100
Moorhen                                  1
Oystercatcher                            12
Black-winged Stilt                       50
Avocet                                   150
Collared Pratincole                      10
Kentish Plover                           8
Lapwing                                  50
Curlew Sandpiper                         1
Redshank                                 1+
Mediterranean Gull                       400
Black-headed Gull                        150
Slender-billed Gull                      150
Yellow-legged Gull                       40
Gull-billed Tern                         450
Common Tern                              300
Little Tern                              1
Whiskered Tern                           4+
Black Tern                               1
Rock Dove                                present
Collared Dove                            1
Turtle Dove                              3
Wood Pigeon                              3
Cuckoo                                   2+
Little Owl                               1
Swift                                    100
Bee-eater                                2
Roller                                   4
Hoopoe                                   2
Green Woodpecker                         2
Great Spotted Woodpecker                 10
Calandra Lark                            present
Bimaculated Lark                         2
Lesser Short-toed Lark                   250+
Crested Lark                             10
Woodlark                                 4
Skylark                                  1
Sand Martin                              6
Crag Martin                              2
Swallow                                  6
House Martin                             3
Tawny Pipit                              10
Tree Pipit                               6
Yellow Wagtail                           20
Grey Wagtail                             2
Pied Wagtail                             6
Wren                                     2
Robin                                    2
Nightingale                              2
Redstart                                 20
Stonechat                                1
Isabelline Wheatear                      5
Wheatear                                 1
Blackbird                                12
Song Thrush                              8
Mistle Thrush                            20
Cetti's Warbler                          1
Great Reed Warbler                       12
Whitethroat                              6
Chiffchaff                               10
Goldcrest                                2
Sombre Tit                               2
Coal Tit                                 6
Blue Tit                                 10
Great Tit                                10
Nuthatch                                 7
Tree Creeper sp.                         1
Golden Oriole                            3
Red-backed Shrike                        3
Jay                                      15
Magpie                                   60
Jackdaw                                  5
Rook                                     2+
Hooded Crow                              20
Starling                                 100
House Sparrow                            20
Chaffinch                                15
Serin                                    90
Greenfinch                               3
Goldfinch                                10
Linnet                                   20
Crossbill                                3
Hawfinch                                 4
Rock Bunting                             6
Ortolan Bunting                          2
Black-headed Bunting                     4
Corn Bunting                             20

30th May 1993: Beysehir to Dalaman

Drove from early morning to Akseki to try and catch up with Middle-spotted Woodpecker. We think we had a response after playing the CD but never saw any birds. Drove on to Dalaman via Antalya.

 

Little Egret                             2
Grey Heron                               6
White Stork                              4
Buzzard                                  2
Kestrel                                  2
Bar-tailed Godwit                        1
Yellow-legged Gull                       6
Collared Dove                            10
Turtle Dove                              2
Cuckoo                                   2
Swift                                    250
Alpine Swift                             10
Roller                                   2
Hoopoe                                   5
Great Spotted Woodpecker                 1
Unid. Pied Woodpecker                    2
Crested Lark                             12
Swallow                                  30
Red-rumped Swallow                       10
House Martin                             3
Yellow Wagtail                           6
Pied Wagtail                             6
Redstart                                 2
Wheatear                                 2
Black-eared Wheatear                     5
Finsch's Wheatear                        4
Blue Rock Thrush                         2
Blackbird                                2
Mistle Thrush                            6
Cetti's Warbler                          3
Rueppell's Warbler                       10
Orphean Warbler                          2
Whitethroat                              3
Bonelli's Warbler                        1
Goldcrest                                2
Sombre Tit                               10
Coal Tit                                 2
Blue Tit                                 1
Great Tit                                2
Long-tailed Tit                          3
Krueper's Nuthatch                       3
Rock Nuthatch                            1
Masked Shrike                            2
Jay                                      1
Magpie                                   10
Hooded Crow                              present
Raven                                    2
Starling                                 30
Rose-coloured Starling                   3
House Sparrow                            present
Chaffinch                                30
Chiffchaff                               2
Serin                                    50
Greenfinch                               10
Goldfinch                                2
Linnet                                   6
Black-headed Bunting                     15
Corn Bunting                             20
Cretzschmar's Bunting                    2

Stayed overnight at Pension Dalaman on the road to Dalaman airport; 400,000TL for 5 including breakfast.

31st May 1993: Dalaman to Izmir

Left pension at Dalaman at 0630 hrs and drove to Koycegiz Golu in an attempt to see White-tailed Eagle again; no success! Drove through Izmir and back to Camalti Tus. where we stayed until 1830 hrs when we drove back to Adnan Menderes for our return flights later that evening.

 

Dalmatian Pelican                        3-6 birds
Little Egret                             55
Great White Egret                        1
Grey Heron                               5
Purple Heron                             3
White Stork                              12
Glossy Ibis                              1
Spoonbill                                3
Greater Flamingo                         1000
Ferruginous Duck                         2
Shelduck                                 2
Ruddy Shelduck                           30 +juvs
Marsh Harrier                            2
Buzzard                                  1
Kestrel                                  4
Peregrine Falcon                         1
Coot                                     6
Black-winged Stilt                       150
Avocet                                   25
Collared Pratincole                      70
Little Ringed Plover                     1
Kentish Plover                           20
Spur-winged Plover                       20
Little Stint                             3
Mediterranean Gull                       30
Black-headed Gull                        80
Slender-billed Gull                      3
Yellow-legged Gull                       200
Caspian Tern                             2
Common Tern                              25
Little Tern                              50
Whiskered Tern                           6
Black Tern                               10
Collared Tern                            present
Turtle Dove                              present
Swift                                    30
Bee-eater                                30
Unid. Pied Woodpecker                    1
Calandra Lark                            100's
Short-toed Lark                          15
Crested Lark                             50
Sand Martin                              5
Red-rumped Swallow                       4
House Martin                             2
Yellow Wagtail                           70
Tawny Pipit                              1
Pied Wagtail                             3
Nightingale                              3
Wheatear                                 6
Blackbird                                7
Cetti's Warbler                          20
Reed Warbler                             2
Great Reed Warbler                       15
Olivaceous Warbler                       3
Bearded Tit                              8
Jay                                      2
Magpie                                   10
Hooded Crow                              20
Starling                                 4
House Sparrow                            present
Spanish Sparrow                          1
Goldfinch                                6
Cretzschmar's Bunting                    5
Black-headed Bunting                     10
Corn Bunting                             6

You may have gathered that this was a whistlestop "ticking" trip with more time spent travelling than actually birding. The last anticipated "tick" for most of us was at Sumella (Green Warbler), and thereafter we were really working our way back without expecting any further additions. I would recommend 3 weeks to do a trip like this to allow time to search for species not immediately found e.g. Demoiselle Crane.

A total of 254 species was seen.