Yesterday I went birding with visiting Irish birder Jim Bowman and his wife. He provided me with a list of “most wanted” and then we started working. We started at 5:30 and went straight to Kulu.
The early hours were awesome with tons of birds. Ortulan Bunting, Calandra, Crested, Greater and Lesser Short-toed Lark, Tawny and Red-throated Pipit and Isabelline and Northern Wheatear all gave good views.
We then continued to look for shore birds and soon 3 Red-necked Phalaropes were seen along with Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Marsh Sandpipers, Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Kentish, Ringed and Lesser Ringed Plover.
A Grey Phalarope had been reported from the area a few days ago. There were only 3 records before 2008, so it is a true rarity in Turkey. As we were checking a lake we saw a very enthusiastic photographer in the distance. After a while we crossed paths and he told us, that the Grey Phalarope was still in present in a nearby pond. We went there and enjoyed amazing views of the bird as it was circling to catch food.
We then took a look at the 3000+ Greater Flamingos. It is truly a stunning sight, but we could not local any Lesser Flamingos today.
We then continued to Kozanli. On the way there we saw about 30 Lesser Kestrels.
At Kozanli there were a ton of birds. Whiskered and White-winged Tern, herons, ducks, Grey-lag Goose, Collared Pranticole, Spoonbills, Glossy Ibises, Gull-billed Terns and Little Crakes – one of which gave amazing views.
Also several Marsh Harriers put on a show for us as did a few Penduline Tits and Bearded Tits.
After enjoying all the birds we went to Mogan. There we saw 3 male Citrine Wagtails joined by Red-throated Pipits and Yellow Wagtails.
At the Bizim Cati we found a few Collared Flycatchers, Ferruginous Ducks, Savi’s Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Moustached Warbler along with the more common stuff.
When we returned to Ankara in the night we had seen 93 species – so we were all very happy and satisfied.