This morning we got up at 3:30 and left the hotel in Dogubeyazit at 4:00. Our first stop on the long drive towards Georgia was the village of Tasburun. Menetri’s Warbler of the pink-breasted subspecies mystacea is known from the area.
We stopped at a few different sites without finding anything except about 10 Great Reed Warblers and some Penduline Tits. But at our last stop we got lucky. Soon we located first a female and then a male Menetri’s Warbler, but to our surprise it wasn’t really pink-breasted, but looked quite a lot like the rubescens birds of Birecik.
The site was actually very nice and at least 6 Golden Orioles were around including two adult males – one of which gave amazing views.
Another good bird was the first European Nightjar of the trip, which was also a lifer for Simmi and Bjøssi.
We then headed further north and made a brief stop at a ringing station. They had caught both Red-breasted Flycatcher and River Warbler this morning, but we could not relocate either of them. But two Spotted Flycatchers were caught while we were there. But we were in a hurry so we left the area after less than 30 minutes.
We then headed towards the Kuyucuk Lake, where Demoselle Cranes have been seen earlier this year. Emin Yogurtcuoglu, who joined us in Isikli, soon located 18 Demoiselle Cranes on the opposite site of the lake. Up to 58 were present at the site in late april and some are still lingering. We got good views with telescopes, but the birds were a bit distant for photography.
At the lake we also saw Grey-lag Goose, Common Crane and about 2500 White-winged Terns. Really a place where you’d rather have a whole day than just a few minutes to go birdwatching.
In order to get White and Dalmatian Pelican on the trip list we drove by Aktas Lake on the way to Georgia. We found both species easily. We then headed to the border and just at the crossing we heard the first Mountain Chiffchaff, which brought our trip list to 282 species.