Lesser Flamingos and a hybrid

Lesser Flamingo with broken leg

Lesser Flamingo with broken leg

The last two days I’ve been birding around Kulu. The lake has had a Lesser Flamingo present during the last 4 or more springs and summers.

Two days ago I found a Lesser flamingo with a broken leg. Of course I thought that the bird present for so long time had broken its leg. Obviously it had difficulties foraging and it is probably going to die soon.

Lesser Flamongo with healthy leg

Lesser Flamingo with healthy leg

Yesterday I got quite a surprise. I found the Lesser Flamingo again, but this time the leg was not broken. So obviously there had to be two birds present. And soon I located the bird with the broken leg further off.

Lesser Flamingo

Lesser Flamingo

The bird with the healthy leg was foraging with a Greater Flamingo and another “thing”, which caught my attention.

Lesser Flamingo with a hybrid Lesser x Greater Flamingo

Lesser Flamingo with a hybrid Lesser x Greater Flamingo

Lesser Flamingo with a hybrid Lesser x Greater Flamingo and Greater Flamingo - maybe the family?

Lesser Flamingo with a hybrid Lesser x Greater Flamingo and Greater Flamingo – maybe the family?

The size was between Greater and Lesser and the colour was more pink that Greater Flamingo. Furthermore the bill looked like a mix of Greater and Lesser Flamingo. So it looks like we have a hybrid Lesser x Greater Flamingo around!

 

Silas

Aladaglar

Aladaglar - Demirkazik

Aladaglar – Demirkazik (click to enlarge)

I love this place. Aladaglar. The steep, rough and stunning mountains. And they are full of surprises. Last week proved to be one of those surprise visits.

Wallcreeper

Wallcreeper

Birding in the valleys below Demirkazik gave Red-fronted Serins en mas, 4 Wallcreepers, many cool semirufus Black Redstarts, Kruper’s Nuthatch and White-throated Robins.

White-throated Robin

White-throated Robin

And then the hard thing. A Finche’s Wheatear was foraging close to the car and was properly photographed. All of a sudden I see a bird about 70 meters away. I lift my bins and find the bird right away. It is a large falcon coloured like Café latte with cream on the top. Wow… an adult Saker Falcon feeding on a Asia Minor Souslik. What a view! Only my third ever Saker in Turkey!

Saker Falcon

Saker Falcon

It had been sitting there for more than 5 minutes while watching the Finche’s Wheatear. But when I tried to switch between camera and bins in a maybe not too calm way the Saker took off with its souslik sousage.

I manged to get some blurred take-off shots and later good with again a cloudy sky. What a find!

Wallcreeper

Wallcreeper

In the mountains Caspian Snowcocks gave good views in the scope. The other classics like Rufus Rock Thrush, Snowfinch, Radde’s Accentor, Wild Goat, Wallcreeper and Red-fronted Serin were also seen.

Snowfinch

Snowfinch

The next morning Emli valley was checked again. And believe it or not. A Saker Falcon appeared again. This time far away and only for a short while. But after all good enough to identify and see some details on the bird.

Krupers Nuthatch

Krupers Nuthatch

Other birds in the valley included Scops Owl, Bimaculated Lark, Kruper’s Nuthatch and Red-fronted Serin.

Bimaculated Lark

Bimaculated Lark

Blue Rock Thrush

Blue Rock Thrush

Silas

Goksu

Eleonora's Falcon

Eleonora’s Falcon

Spring birding simply is awesome. Everything can turn up everywhere. Last week a visit to Goksu payed off very well. On the way there a stunning Eleonora’s Falcon was perched on a mast along the road. By far the best views I’ve ever obtained of this awesome falcon.

In Goksu migration was good though not exceptional. Birds like Black Francolin, Graceful Prinia, 5 White Pelicans, 4 Stone Curlews, 11 Bar-tailed Godwits, Montegue’s Harrier and other common stuff.

Montague's Harrier

Montague’s Harrier

The best bird in the delta was a showy Great Sandpiper, that was fouraging on the mutflats.

Greater Sandplover

Greater Sandplover

Greater Sandplover

Greater Sandplover

The best bird in the delta was a showy Great Sandpiper, that was fouraging on the mutflats.

Olive-tree Warbler

Olive-tree Warbler

Later a visit to the southern slopes of the Taurus Mountains gave 3 Olive-tree Warblers, Rueppel’s Warblers, Masked Shrike and Syrian Woodpecker.

Silas

 

April birding

Kingfisher

Kingfisher

Again I must confess that I’ve been lazy updating the blog. But all the birds around do no leave too much time for the internet.

White Pelican

White Pelican

Since mid April birding has been awesome. Mogan has contained hundreds of Little Crakes, all the European herons except Little Bittern, lots of wagtails, red-throated pipits and much more.

Stone Curlew

Stone Curlew

For the past week I’ve been birding with Danish friends in central Anatolia. Highlights around Kulu, Beypazari and Sultan Sazligi included Pallas’ Gull 2, Lesser Flamingo, Golden Jackal, Semi-coloured Flycatcher, Caspian Tern, Eagle-owl, Imperial Eagle, Stone Curlew, White Pelican and much more.

Golden Jackal

Golden Jackal

Lesser Flamingo

Lesser Flamingo

It has been very cold and last week it was even snowing in Ankara.

Caspian Snowcock

Caspian Snowcock

We also visited Aladaglar, but the road to the classic Caspian Snowcock place was closed by snow. But it turned out to be our advantage.

Caspian Snowcock

Caspian Snowcock

We found Caspian Snowcock at lower altitude and they gave good views (in a telescope).

Wild Goats

Wild Goats

Rufus Rock Thrush

Rufus Rock Thrush

In a village below Demirkazik we even found 2 Raddes’ Accentors, Rock Thrushes, Snowfich, many Shorelarks, Red-fronted Serins and 4 Wallcreepers.

Radde's Accentor

Radde’s Accentor

Blue Rock Thrush

Blue Rock Thrush

All in all we saw a total of 214 species in a weeks time.

Silas

Spring explosion

White-headed Duck a1

White-headed Duck

A few days ago I took a trip south of Ankara. First stop was Lake Uyuz, where birds like White-headed Duck, Black-necked Grebe and Grey-lag Goose were present.

It was raining, but that is actually a god thing during migration as many birds make landfall. Walking along the reed bed produced Savi’s Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Moustached Warbler, Wood Warbler, Willow Warbler, Little Crakes and Bluethroat.

Wood Warbler

Wood Warbler

Common Nightingale

Common Nightingale

Then I continued to Kulu. Not all the classic birds have arrived yet, but 6 Citrine Wagtails, lots of Red-throated Pipits, 3 Marsh Sandpipers, Spur-winged Plover, 2 Wrynecks, 3 Common Nightingales, Wood Warblers, Collared Flycatchers and Lesser Short-toed Larks were all nice to see.

Wryneck a1

Wryneck

Wryneck mad at a Redstart

Wryneck mad at a Redstart

Then I checked Kozanli. Highlights were Caspian Tern, 6 Collared Pranticoles, Marsh Sandpipers, Gull-billed Tern, Great White Pelican, Wryneck, Little Crakes, Cuckoo, Cattle Egret and much more.

Caspian Tern

Caspian Tern

Kingfisher

Kingfisher

At Karacadag Lesser Kestrels have returned to their breeding grounds. About 30 individuals were seen.

Lesser Kestrel

Lesser Kestrel

Silas

More Spring

Great Bittern

Great Bittern

Spring is here and every time I get out new species have arrived. During the last weeks birds like White Stork, Barn Swallow, Hoopoe, Wood Sandpiper, Glossy Ibis, Little Egret and Moustached Warbler have arrived.

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Citrine Wagtail

Citrine Wagtail

A few hours in the field around Mogan with Kuzey Cem provided amazing views of a Great Bittern – by far the best encounters I’ve ever had with the species.

Great Bittern

Great Bittern

Moustached Warbler

Moustached Warbler

Other good birds included Citrine Wagtail, Purple Heron and at least two Bluethroats. But probably the biggest surprise was a male Sardinian Warbler – a rare gues to Mogan.

Bluethroat

Bluethroat

Sardinian Warbler

Sardinian Warbler

167 Black-tailed Godwits, hundreds of Wagtails and the first Red-throated Pipit are also cool. The time is coming when a whole day of birding in Mogan is not waste of time.

Black-tailed Godwit

Black-tailed Godwit

My first Little Crake of the year was first chased and later caught by a Marsh Harrier. A quite cool sight.

Little Crake - dead

Little Crake – dead

A trip to Kizlicahaman gave good views of Cirl Bunting, Black Vulture, Kruper’s Nuthatch, Rock Bunting and Great Spotted Eagle.

Cirl Bunting

Cirl Bunting

Silas

Winter is over (I hope)

Ferruginous Duck

Ferruginous Duck

February has been cold. Lake Mogan has been frozen and only a few spots of open water have been left. But as always they have attracted many ducks. It was a nice surprise to find 5 Ferrugionus Ducks there in mid February.

Tufted Duck

Tufted Duck

Common Pochard with a white head

Common Pochard with a white head

In late February I went to Nallihan. There were more than 100.000 ducks around. Most where Common Pochards, but there were also 5000+ Teal, 1000+ Mallards and Ruddy Shelducks.

Smew

Smew

Other ducks present with more than 100 individuals were Gadwall, Pintail, Tufted Duck (230), Wigeon and Red-crested Pochard.

One Smew and two White-headed ducks were also nice.

Pallas' Gull

Pallas’ Gull

More unexpected birds were Pallas’ Gull, 3 Spoonbills and a small flock of Golden Plovers.

Spoonbill

Spoonbill

Yesterday I took a small trip to Mogan. It is warmer now even though is has been snowing a bit during the last few days. But spring is here.

White Wagtail

White Wagtail

At Mogan many White Wagtails are around now and I also found 3 Yellow Wagtails and a stunning male Citrine Wagail. What a nice feeling!

Citrine Wagtail

Citrine Wagtail

Water Pipit

Water Pipit

Water Pipits were present in small numbers and a few gave really good views.

Garganeys and Black.-tailed Godwit

Garganeys and Black.-tailed Godwit

Other “first of the year” were a flock of Garganeys, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Curlews and Cetti’s Warbler.

From now on there will be something good to see every time I go birding J