Day 9: Birecik

Iraq Babbler site in Birecik

Iraq Babbler site in Birecik

We woke up at 4:00 and left our hotel in Gaziantep half an hour later. Thus we arrived in Birecik at first light. First we went to the gravel-pits to look for Irak Babblers. It took about 5 minutes to hear the first bird and soon after we located a family group that we saw quite well for a few minutes.

Iraq Babbler

Iraq Babbler

At the gravel pits we also saw a few Dead Sea Sparrows, European Bee-eaters and two Menetrie’s Warblers.

European Bee-eater

European Bee-eater

Menetri's Warbler

Menetri’s Warbler

As always the tea-garden was checked for Pallid Scops Owl. And it didn’t take much more than a few minutes to locate two birds. But they were high up in the trees, so no great photo opportunities today.

Pallid Scops Owl

Pallid Scops Owl

Yann acting as tripod at the Pallid Scops Owl-site

Yann acting as tripod at the Pallid Scops Owl-site

We then headed to another place along the Euphrates, where we got good views of more Dead Sea Sparrows and we also saw Turtle Dove and a few Redstarts.

Dead Sea Sparrow

Dead Sea Sparrow

We started hiking from there along the river bank. It was loaded with birds. White-winged Black Terns, Red-crested Pochards, Marsh Sandpiper, a breeding colony of Pygmy Cormorants, Pied Kingfishers and many other species were present.

White-winged Black Tern

White-winged Black Tern

We then headed north to some Orchard plantations, where the Yellow-throated Sparrows can be seen. It was almost too easy. After one minute a nice bird was located singing in the top of a tree. We watched it for a few minutes before heading to Halfeti.

Yellow-throated Sparrow

Yellow-throated Sparrow

Spanish Sparrow and Black-headed Bunting

Spanish Sparrow and Black-headed Bunting

 

At Halfeti we looked for Kurdish Wheatears, but we didn’t find any. But other good birds included Pale Rock Sparrow, Cinerous Bunting, Eastern Rock Nuthatch, Little Owl, Little Swift and Black-headed Buntings. So not bad at all. After Halfeti we went back to Birecik for the night.

Pale Rock Sparrow

Pale Rock Sparrow

Ferrugiounus Duck

Ferrugiounus Duck

Pygmy Cormorant

Pygmy Cormorant

Silas Olofson

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