The alarm was set at 5:30 today as we needed some time to get to the mountain forests north of Silifke. We had breakfast and headed out. Our first stop was at Demircilik. The place is known for its cemeteries that again are known for their Olive-tree Warblers.
By chance we stopped a bit too early at a place that looked a bit like a cemetery. But it didn’t matter at all. Almost right away we heard the first Olive-tree Warbler singing. Then two, three, four… nine Olive-tree Warblers in a quite small area. What a nice surprise.
Olive-tree Warblers are big. But they are not that approachable. But at a distance they have supreme views – a birdwatchers joy, but a photographers frustration. But we all managed to get good views and acceptable photos og this mega-hippolais.
At the same spot a male Ruppel’s Warbler, several masked Shrikes and some Turtle Doves were singing and 3 Little Swifts were flying over.
We then headed on and stopped in a valley as a male Blue Rock Thrush was perched close to the road. As we enjoyed the Blue Rock Thrush an Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler started singing on the other side of the road. It was very active and did only allow brief views.
At a piknik area there are a lot of nest boxes for Krüper’s Nuthatch and other birds. We went there and found lots of Krüper’s (see the first picture) and a single Lesser Spotted Woodpecker.
We continued to a green valley close to Uzuncaburc. There we found 5 Cretzmar’s Buntings, more than 8 Ruppel’s Warblers, Black-headed Bunting and several other good birds. Especially the Ruppel’s Warblers gave good views – and IMHO it get one of the most beautiful sylvias in the world.
We then headed for the ruins of Diocaersarea with its ancient Zeus-temple. We became ordinary tourists for a while before heading back to the Göksu Delta.
At the Göksu Delta we went to check the cultivated areas of the delta. There we found 4 Rufos-tailed Bush-robins. Closer to Hurma we saw several Spoonbills, Glossy Ibises, Black-winged Stilts and the first Pintails of the trip.
It was getting dark but as we drove back to the hotel several Black Frankolins and two Stone Curlews gave amazing views.