Family birding in Göksu

Cyprus Wheatear - endemic to Cyprus, but not that rare in late march/early april in along the south coast of Turkey.

Cyprus Wheatear – endemic to Cyprus, but not that rare in late march/early april in along the south coast of Turkey.

For easter vacation my family and I went to the Mediterranean. There is the beach and the sun for the kids and the wife – and Göksu Delta for me!

The kids woke up very early this morning, so we decided to do some family-birding. The clock had barely reached 7:00 before we drove towards Göksu. And even before we reached the area I spotted a White-throated Kingfisher on a wire. We drove closer and it ended up giving quite good views to my kids utter joy.

Male Masked Shrike

Male Masked Shrike

Only 1 minute later I spotted a splendid male Masked Shrike, which gave even better views along with an Eastern Orphean Warbler. Quite a start to the birding!

Palla's Gull

Pallas’ Gull

We then entered the delta and it was amazing as always. Little and Great White Egret and a few Squacco Herons were foraging close to the road and a few White Storks came close to the car.

Palla's Gull - probably a retarded 2. winter plumage.

Pallas’ Gull – probably a retarded 2. winter plumage.

In a flock of mainly Gull-billed Terns and Sandwich Terns I found a Caspian Tern and a Palla’s Gull was present in a flock of gulls. A few Marsh Sandpipers were present among the commoner species and 3 species of Swift and a few Red-rumped Swallows were also present.

Adult Tawny Pipit

Adult Tawny Pipit

Tawny Pipits have arrived with the Meadow and Red-thorated Pipits, but I only found a few Yellow Wagtails and no Citrine Wagtails.

After driving through the area we went home to eat and rest.

Note broad tail-band.

Note broad tail-band.

While you youngest was taking a nap my oldest daughter and I went out again. We went to the beach at Göksu, but on the way there my first ever Cyprus Wheatear interrupted the tour for a while. It can be rather hard to distingush from Pied Wheatear and I only got sure when it started singing with a very strange and diagnostic zizz-zizz-zizz song.

Note that the white does not extend too far up the back.

Note that the white does not extend too far up the back.

After collecting shells and playing on the beach for a while we went to do a little birding. Some Slender-billed Gulls gave supreme views and so did a few Short-toed Larks.

Greater Short-toed Lark

Greater Short-toed Lark

Even though I didn’t do any intensive birding I am quite impressed with the result. And to end the day perfectly a male Subalpine Warbler was around the hotel in the evening.

Slender-billed Gull doing the Shag-style diving

Slender-billed Gull doing the Shag-style diving

Silas Olofson

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