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