It was one of those days where I could sleep a little longer. The alarm was set to 3:50 and ahead was the classic “tractor-trip” with Hassan Şafak. Bjössi, Yann the snowman, Due, Simmi and I got up, had a little snack and then we boarded the tractors wagon. To our utter rejoice madrassas were in the bottom so we watched the stars as we headed for the mountains laying on our backs.
After arrival we fairly soon located 5 Caspian Snowcocks. They were quite far off, but in the scope they were just brilliant. We watched them call, run, feed and fly.
At the same time the area where we were standing was full of live. White-winged Snowfinches, Crimson-winged Finches, Alpine Accentors, Rufus Rock Thrush, both species of Cough and a single Radde’s Accentor hang around the area.
I really wanted to get better views of the snowcocks, so I climbed the mountains, but all I found were more of the same species and two Shorelarks and a Wild Goat.
After using 6 hours at the Aladağlar we headed to a valley close by – Emre Vadisi. Edward Rickson, who is joying us in a few days, had asked us not to find Great Spotted Cuckoo, but we couldn’t fulfill his wish as two birds were sitting in a tree as we came down from the mountains with the tractor.
It started to rain but while all the others stayed in the car I found 5 White-throated Robins, 3 Eastern Orphean Warblers, 10+ Willow Warblers, Linnets and Red-backed Shrike.
We had learned from a group of birdwatchers, that they had seen a Lesser Sandplover at Adana delta. As it was fairly close to our route to Gaziantep we went to check the place. But we only found common shorebirds, a few Collared Pranticoles, several Little Terns and a single White-winged Tern.
Then we headed to our hotel in Gaziantep. All in all a very good day!