Cappadokia

Cappadokia

Cappadokia

Christmas has come and passed – and I went to Cappadokia with my wife, children and visiting family. Well, Cappadokia is not a place that is known for its birding, but rather its fairy chimneys and old churches.

Syrian Woodpecker

Syrian Woodpecker

But good birds can be found in the area and I did manage to get out with my camera for a short while. It is cold, the ground is frozen and the first birds I found where a few fieldfares and robins. It could as well be the Faroes… untill species like Syrian Woodpeckers, Lesser Woodpecker, Rock Nuthatch, Sombre Tits, Dunnock and Rock Buntings turned up – and I also saw a fox.

Dunnock

Dunnock

Fox

Fox

 

But the most interesting bird were a flock of turkish Long-tailed Tits (alpinus). Superficially it looks like europaeus but it has a black bib, greyish back and shorter tail than other subspecies. It totally lacks any red-brown colours, and has an almost black and white (or rather light dirty grey) appearance. Furthermore the call sounds a bit different from european birds – I wonder if it should be considered at full species.

Long-tailed Tit ssp. aplina - june 2011

Long-tailed Tit ssp. alpina – june 2011

Longtailedtitturkey

Long-tailed Tit ssp. alpina – june 2011

Long-tailed Tits are not rare in Turkey I guess, but I rarely see them. And I’ve mostly seen them – not in forests as in Denmark – but in areas with more scattered trees and lots of open areas. But it might be due to that fact that there really isn’t much mixed forest lest in Central Anatolia.

SiO

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Winter birding

Ice

Frost over the world

It is winter. Temperatures have been down to minus 10, but during the day it is a bit warmer.

Yesterday I went to Mogan. It has been a while since I was out, so it was good to get out. The temperatures were below zero, but still there were good numbers of birds around.

Larks south of Mogan

Larks south of Mogan

Most remarkably the larks are congregation. Thousands are in the fields south of Mogan. And they do provide some excitement as a Black or White-winged could turn up. But it didn’t happen yesterday. By far the most were Skylarks mixed with some Calandra, very few Greater Short-toed and some Crested Larks.

Cold Green Sandpiper

Cold Green Sandpiper

Great White Egret on the frozen ground

Great White Egret on the frozen ground

It is a little weird to see Great White Egrets and Green Sandpipers under these conditions, but I’ll guess they’ll move on soon. A single Little Owl was also a welcome surprise.

Little Owl

Little Owl

SiO