Gulls, warblers and an owl in Göksu

Short-eared Owl before dawn

Short-eared Owl at dawn

I woke up very early. I had the morning off, so I could go birding. 1½ hour before dawn I headed for Göksu. I went all the way to the place where the river meets the ocean. It is a rather long hike, but it is nice. As I waked along the sand dines I heard four Black Francolins and a Quail calling, but I didn’t invest any time in seeing them. Quite unexpectedly I flushed a Short-eared Owl from a sand dune.

Fuscus-type Lesser Black-backed Gull with Avocets

Fuscus-type Lesser Black-backed Gull with Avocets

I arrived at the river mouth. There were about 30 fuscus types Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 3 Audouin’s Gull along with several Yellow-legged Gulls. A Peregrine and a Merlin were also present. A single Citrine Wagtail was seen briefly. Several flocks of shorebirds were around – the most exciting being 4 Greater Sandplovers.

Black-eared Wheatear

Black-eared Wheatear

On my way back the normal Armenian Gulls were around a fishing village and a very nice Black-eared Wheatear gave supreme views.

Curlew

Curlew – not that slender-billed…

After spending the day with the family my oldest daughter and I went out again.

My daughter an I

My daughter and I

While we drove through the area a male Pallid Harrier was sitting right next to the road. I approached slowly and it didn’t care about me at all. So I got some nice but a little distant short. As I wanted to get a little closer and get the pictures of life-time a jeep passed by and honked the horn – and off the Pallid Harrier went.

Male Pallid Harrier

Male Pallid Harrier

But besides that we had a good time birding with numbers of Yellow Wagtails (always popular with my oldest), Spanish Sparrows, Wryneck, Black Kite and other good stuff. Then we meet two swedish birdwatchers. I gave them some advise about the gulls and they told me, that they had seen two Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters the day before. Wow!

Black Frank - as good as it gets

Black Frank – as good as it gets

After driving a little bit further I noticed a black head on a hill-top. Yup, finally a Black Francolin was showing itself. So they can be seen even though they are never easy. I heard at least 7 birds singing.

Eastern Orphean Warbler

Eastern Orphean Warbler

As we came to the first tower I found a female Rüppel’s Warbler and in the village there were warblers everywhere. I think that arrival time for new waves of warblers must be afternoon as numbers seem to increase dramatically. I also found some Subalpine, Eastern Orphean and lots of Lesser and Common Whitethroat – hopefully the next one will be a Cyprus Warbler!

Subalpine Warbler

Subalpine Warbler

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