Asian Black-shouldered Kite at Mogan

Black-shouldered Kite at Mogan

Black-shouldered Kite at Mogan – click to enlarge

Today I got up very early, because my wife and the kids were off with an early flight to Denmark and later the Faroe Islands. They arrived in time at the airport and now it was time for my annual car inspection. In Ankara you can choose which station to go to, so of course I chose the one next to Mogan. As I arrived just at the opening and had made an appointment already the inspection was completed in just a little over 30 minutes – and the car passed the test without any problems.

Squacco Heron

Squacco Heron

Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret

So now I were able to go to Mogan for birding. First I checked the southern part, which was very dry. And no wonder why – the last few times I’ve been there large trucks have been pumping the last drops of water from the wetland in order to sprinkle in on some planted trees – what nature do you wish preserve folks?

South bound Marsh Sandpipers

South bound Marsh Sandpipers

With no birds at the south I went to the marshes I rarely visit just south of the lake. There are some illegally build houses that are falling apart and some Lesser Kestrels have moved in. There was still mud flats and water at the marshes – and lots of birds. Shorebird migration is really kicking in. More than 400 shorebirds were present including lots of Ruff, Lapwings, Little Ringed Plovers, hundreds of Wood Sandpipers and several Green Sandpipers, about 20 Marsh Sandpipers, 7 Greenshanks, 1 Redshank, 1 Spotted Redshank, about 20 Black-winged Stilts, some Common Snipes and two Little Stints – autumn migration is starting!

Spotted Crake

Spotted Crake

There were also Squacco and Purple Hern, Great White, Little and a single Cattle Egret and 19 Glossy Ibises. But the highlight was a Spotted Crake that made a brief appearance.

Ferruginous Duck - female type

Ferruginous Duck – female type

I spent several hours there just enjoying the scenery before heading to Bizim Cati – a place on the eastern side of the lake. There I first found a female Ferruginous Duck and then a second later a male White-headed Duck. The White-headed Ducks breed at Mogan, but I very rarely seem them there, so it was a nice surprise.

White-headed Duck

White-headed Duck

Black-shouldered Kite

Black-shouldered Kite

Later I learned that a Black-shouldered Kite, that was seen at Mogan a few days ago had been relocated and 15 minutes later I saw the bird – there were already people watching it, so it was easy to find. For the next hour and a half 5 cars arrived to see this magnificent bird. And it really allowed amazing views (like they often tend to do i Tanzania too), so I guess everyone was very pleased. At least the guys that I talked to were more than happy!

Black-shouldered Kite

Black-shouldered Kite

Up till 2008 there were 10 records of Black-shouldered Kite in Turkey. Since then a few more have been recorded and breeding is thought to have taken place. But the bird in Mogan is to my knowledge the first one in the Ankara region.

Black-shouldered Kite

Black-shouldered Kite

The bird looks like an adult and as the juveniles retain their tail feathers for a year it is safe to say that the bird at very least a 2cy+ and most likely a 3cy+. Furthermore the birds appears to be an Asian Black-shouldered Kite (ssp. vociferus).

Black-shouldered Kite - note how far into the wing that the black extends.

Black-shouldered Kite – note how far into the wing that the black extends.

Black-shouldered Kite

Black-shouldered Kite

The main feature that supports this id is (to quote Martin Garner) “the black appears to ‘bleed’ from inner primaries to adjacent secondaries and overall the grey secondaries contrast obviously with white underwing coverts” (see birdingfrontiers). But Olsen and Tofte (Rovfugle i Felten) mention this is a feature of nominate juvenile birds too. But as the bird seems to be in complete adult plumage the feature in deed points to ssp. vociferus.

Black-shouldered Kite - it has been seen catching mice. Surely it finds something to eat!

Black-shouldered Kite – it has been seen catching mice. Surely it finds something to eat!

Silas Olofson

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