Last week I spent 3½ days birding with visiting birder and photographer Billy Clark. We made a brief visit to Mogan and Kulu after his arrival. The weather wasn’t too good, but we did managed to see some good birds including Lesser Short-toed Lark, Ruddy Shelduck, male Hen Harrier, Penduline Tits, Cetti’s Warbler, Water Pipit and a few other good birds.
The next day we went north to the forest areas around Kazan. The birding there was quite good and the weather was awesome.
We have a nice flock of Yerllowhammers and a likely female Pine Bunting was seen briefly in the flock. But we didn’t get any photos and the bird was not pursued.
Other good birds around included Kruper’s Nuthatch giving supreme views, Firecrest, Green and Syrian Woodpecker, Black Vulture, Short-toed Treecreeper and Persian Squirrel.
The afternoon and the next two days we spent in the raptor capital of Turkey – Bolu. The winter has been very warm and there was very little snow. This means that the raptors are more scattered around and harder to work with.
We used a hide, run by a local called Menderes. It was obvious that the birds didn’t seem too hungry. And we had already seen a few carcasses around the area. But with patient waiting we managed to see and photograph adult White-tailed Eagle, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard and loads of Ravens.
We went to the hide with a local taxi driver, Ahmet Acarol. After spending the days in the hide we used the afternoons driving around the area birding. The taxi driver was using his normal taxi like a 4×4 jeep or something. At least we were able to use roads that I’d rather reluctant to use myself.
From the car we managed to see quite good birds along the roads in the area including 7 Black Vultures, several adult and young Eastern Imperial Eagles, Long-legged and Common Buzzards and quite a few other species.