We didn’t wanna spend one more second in Cizre, so we left the city at 5:30 and headed north towards Van. On the way there we made several stops along the mountain roads – when we had come sufficiently far away from the border.
Our first stop produced actually some really good species including 9 Griffon Vultures, 3 Upcher’s Warblers, 4 Cinerous Buntings, 3 Sombre Tits and Black-headed Bunting.
Our second stop gave additional Cinerous Buntings, Red-rumped Swallows, Black-headed Bunting and a little surprisingly also two Red-fronted Serins.
Other stop overs included 45 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Crimson-winged Finches, 2 Golden Eagles, Hobby and Booted Eagle.
We then headed to a valley south of Van known for its Crimson-winged, Trumpeter, Desert and Mongolian Finches. We arrived in the late afternoon and started walking. Soon we found good birds like Finche’s Wheatear, Rufus Rock Thrush and some Shorelarks.
Shortly after a Grey-necked Bunting was located. A nice male that gave stunning views.
A little later we found two Crimson-winged Finches and suddenly Yann is signaling. He has found something. A little later Rasmus called me on the walkie: Mongolian Finch!
We all rush to the top where Yann has located the birds. We see them very well in the telescope and they end up giving very good views – and we even saw them displaying and mating.
To spice it all up a Lanner Falcon, a Lammergeier and a European Bee-eater flew over while we were watching the Mongolian Finches.
All in all a perfect day with some really good target species getting on the tour-list.