Forest birding

K

Krupers nuthatch – a “classic” of the Turkish pine forests

I’ve been spending some days in the pine forests north of Ankara. Birding has been quite good and some good species have been found.

Hare

Hare

The best bird is undoubtedly a vocal Tengmalm’s Owl. It was heard only on one night but quite close by. Other night species include 10+ singing Nightjars – several of them seen in the dusk.

Green Woodpecker (juv)

Green Woodpecker (juv)

I didn’t manage to find any Grey-headed Woodpeckers, but a few Green Woodpeckers were seen.

Redstart - ssp. samamicus

Redstart – ssp. samamisicus (male)

Redstart - ssp. samamicus (male)

Redstart – ssp. samamisicus (male)

Redstart - ssp. samamicus (female)

Redstart – ssp. samamisicus (female)

Another nice bird was a pair of samamisicus Redstarts nesting close to the camp site.

Black Redstart  ssp. ochorus

Black Redstart ssp. ochruros

A few ochorus Black Redstarts were also seen.

Bullfinch (male)

Bullfinch (male)

Robin (juv)

Robin (juv)

Silas Olofson

The calm of the south-west

Turtle Doves

Turtle Doves

Frankly Ankara has not been all that quite during the last weeks. So my wife, the girls and I have taken a holiday with some Norwegian friends in the southwest close to the city of Izmir. It has been family time with little birding. But yesterday we went of a family trip to Bafa Gölü and the Menderes Delta National Park.

Rufous Robin-chat

Rufous Robin-chat

At Bafa the birding was excellent with lots of good birds like Masked and Woodchat Shrikes, Barred and Subalpine Warbler, Rufous Robin Chats, Cirl Buntings and much more.

European Bee-eater

European Bee-eater

But the highlight for the kids were some European Bee-eaters which gave splendid views. And it soon became their favorite bird in the world.

Dalmatian Pelican

Dalmatian Pelican

The speciality of the Bafa Gölü is the Dalmatian Pelicans. We only checked the north-eastern part of the lake, but managed to find 3 birds – even though they were rather distant. But in the scope they were quite nice.

Chukar chick

Chukar chick

At the Menderes National Park I didn’t get to do so much birding, but family groups of Wild Boars have learned to come to the restaurants in order to find food, so I was graced with a good opportunity to photograph these normally quite shy animals. That the group contained several piglets just made it all the more fun.

Wild Boar

Wild Boar piglet

Silas Olofson

Juveniles around Mogan

Cettis Warbler

Cettis Warbler

June has arrived. Birding wise it means that adult birds start to look like crap (i.e. getting worn). The large numbers of migrant birds have departed and almost only the breeding birds are left.

Little Bittern

Little Bittern

But just around Mogan the breeding birds do provide some entertainment. A few days ago I went to a gas station at Gölbaşı south of Ankara. By luck I took a brief look over the lake and saw two Little Bitterns flying over the reed beds. I went down to the area and the Little Bitterns were still present. As it was a rather crowded area and the birds seemed used to people and allowed good views.

Juv. Cettis Warbler

Juv. Cettis Warbler

Close up Cettis Warbler

Close up Cettis Warbler

Today I also checked the south of Mogan. The first birds I saw or rather heard after entering the area were a family of Cetti’s Warblers. Nice to see at least 5 fresh juveniles and two adult birds at very close range.

Great Reed Warbler

Great Reed Warbler

The Great Reed Warblers are feeding their young and the can be found breeding in most reed beds.

Calandra Lark

Calandra Lark

Other good breeding birds around the south of Mogan include Isabelline Wheatear, Black-headed Bunting and Calandra Larks.

Black-headed Bunting

Black-headed Bunting

Green Sandpipers are getting more numerous with 10+ seen today, but besides that only a few Common Snipes and Lapwings were seen.

Little Grebe

Little Grebe

A short check on the lake itself revealed both Little and Great Crested Grebe with chicks.

Common Pochard

Common Pochard

Great Crested Grebe

Great Crested Grebe

 

Silas Olofson

Mogan in summer mode

Purple Heron

Purple Heron

After 20 days on non-stop birding I had other things to attend to when I got home. But I have been a few times to Mogan since the return.

Purple Heron

Purple Heron

This morning I woke up at 5:00 and headed to Mogan. The weather was nice and it was 12 degree celsius outside. As one would expect the spring migration is almost over. Shorebirds, ducks, warblers and raptors have moved on – except for the breeding birds of course.

Green Sandpiper

Green Sandpiper

Actually I found 5 Green Sandpipers which I expect to be birds that are already moving south. At least two of the birds flew directly south and furthermore it has been more than a month since I saw my last Green Sandpiper in Turkey. So spring migration might be over, but migration is still going on.

Black-crowned Nightheron

Black-crowned Nightheron

The days first surprise were 9 Black-crowned Nightherons. They are not uncommon, but 9 is a good number for Mogan – and the fact that they showed really well is not something that happens too often.

Purple Heron

Purple Heron

Purple Herons are still the most common herons around, but I also found Squacco Heron, Grey Heron and Little Egret.

Great Reed Warbler

Great Reed Warbler

Great Reed Warbler

Great Reed Warbler

Great Reed Warbler is probably the most common warbler around Mogan. You could hear them singing all the time joined by some Reed Warblers and Moustached Warblers.

Great Reed Warbler

Great Reed Warbler

Great Reed Warbler

Great Reed Warbler

But summer is the time for the breeding birds. The next generation of Feldeggs are already flying around and species like Moorhen, Coot, Mallard, Magpie and Great Crested Grebe were also observed with their young.

Juv. Yellow Wagtail ssp. feldegg

Juv. Yellow Wagtail ssp. feldegg

Silas Olofson