Baby birding

Great White Egret

Great White Egret

Ok, I confess. I went birding with our 4½ month old son. AND IT WAS AMAZING.

Stonechat

Stonechat

Well, I couldn’t leave the car due to the tiny lad joining me, but that just meant that I got to see the birds really well.

Ruddy Shelduck

Ruddy Shelduck

Ruddy Shelduck

Ruddy Shelducks

When taking the long walks that I enjoy around Mogan birds fly away at a distance, but while observing from the car birds get really quite close.

Bearded Tit

Bearded Tit

Bearded Tit

Bearded Tit

Bearded Tit

Bearded Tit

But really except awesome close views of Bearded Tit and good numbers of White Wagtails around, there isn’t much to report.

Birding with our youngest - Set 4½ months hold - and he seemed to enjoy it...

Birding with our youngest – Set 4½ months hold – and he seemed to enjoy it…

But Itai and the others around Eilat are getting their first Rueppel’s Warblers, so spring is at hand.

Common Buzzard

Common Buzzard

Silas

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Spring?

Front of the car this morning

Front of the car this morning

Yesterday I had less than two hours in the morning to do some birding. So I went to Mogan. But I had to remove the ice from the car windows before leaving. Yes, it is still very cold during the night here in Ankara.

Long-legged Buzzard before making a kill

Long-legged Buzzard before making a kill

I started birding south of the lake and it was a joy. Larks were filling the skies with their song as the sun was rising. Awesome!

Crested Lark

Crested Lark

A distant Long-legged Buzzard made a kill and flashed its splendid colours. Several flocks of 50+ Ruddy Shelducks flew back and forth over the area and numbers of Marsh Harriers had increased to 10+ and two Hen Harriers were also present.

Bearded Tit

Bearded Tit

In spite of the cold mornings and the ice on the smaller ponds it felt like spring. Most significant was the arrival of 100+ Water Pipits (none in breeding plumage) and my first White Wagtail of the year.

Water Pipit

Water Pipit

Other birds included Green Sandpiper, Bearded Tits, Reed Buntings and Crested Larks.

Reed Bunting

Reed Bunting

All in all a nice reminder of the spring party that is about to start! I had to leave the birding quite early has we needed to go to the doctor with our youngest. And as my wife leaves for the Faroes for a week I’ll probably not be able to do a lot of birding babysitting my kids… But I guess sacrificing birding (even Hudsonian Whimbrels in Isrsael) on the altar of parenthood isn’t a new thing… 🙂

Silas

Pine Bunting search

Long-tailed Tit

Long-tailed Tit

Since I saw a putative Pine Bunting north of Kazan I really wanted to return and use some time there. Yesterday I finally got the time to do so. It was freezing cold but the weather was awesome.

Coal Tit

Coal Tit

Upon arrival I soon located a few Yellowhammers, Sombre Tits, Coal Tits, Redwings and a Firecrest. But the birds were hard to work with and very mobile.

Yellowhammer and Chaffinch

Yellowhammer and Chaffinch

But after a while I found a method to get closer to them and I managed to find some 30 Yellowhammers scattered around the area. But no Pine Buntings this time.

Wood Lark

Wood Lark

Wood Lark

Wood Lark

A few very obliging Wood Larks gave the best possible views for an extended period, but otherwise only a Lesser Spotted, a Syrian and a Green Woodpecker were seen during the day.

Firecrest

Firecrest – too close to get a proper photo

 

Firecrest

Firecrest

Today I just took a walk around our flat. Soon I located 4 Firecrests (that came too close to photograph) right next to our flat. How cool is that.

Long-tailed Tit

Long-tailed Tit

Cutie

Cutie

Long-tailed Tit

Long-tailed Tit

Long-tailed Tit

Long-tailed Tit

 

 

 

Other good birds included superb Long-tailed Tits ssp. alpina, Blue, Coal and Great Tit and Syrian Woodpecker.

 

Silas Olofson