We woke up early and left our hotel in Van after a good nights sleep. First we headed to Ercek lake which often holds good numbers of shorebirds. But the first birds we saw where about 10 White-headed Ducks foraging in a pond just next to the road.
At the lake the numbers of shorebirds were impressive with thousands of birds present. Little Stint was the most common shorebird but many species were present. But the highlights were Broad-billed Sandpiper and Terek Sandpiper.
After checking the lake we went to pick up Jóhann Òli (JóI) and Edward (McEdward) at Van airport. They will join us for the next days adventures. After picking them up we headed to a marsh area where about 250 White-winged Terns were present. They gave amazing views as they were foraging over the marshes on a stop over to their breeding sites further north.
Then we headed to another marsh area to look for Paddyfield Warbler. It didn’t take to long to find two birds in the reeds. They gave quite nice views but as it often is with acros they’re hard to photograph.
Our last target of the day was to visit the Numrut Crater. Just the scenery itself makes it worth a visit.
Soon after entering the crater we found a Stonechat belonging to the Siberian cluster. It is probably an Armenian Stonechat-type. Note the broad collar, limited red of the chest and the white rump.
A little later we found 3 Radde’s Accentors, 3 Iranias, Rufus Rock Thrush, Crimson-winged Finch and some Shorelarks. Quite a nice selection and McEdward was of course very happy.
We then headed further down into the crater. There were a few more Siberian Stonechats, but the best surprise was that we heard a Wolf howling. Even though we could not locate it it was a nice surprise.