The Spring Rocks On

Red-backed Shrike

Red-backed Shrike

Today I went birding with Kuzey Cem. We left Ankara early and drove to Kozanli. Between Kulu and Kozanli we started to see many Red-backed Shrikes, a few Lesser Grey Shrikes and a single Woodchat Shrike.

Calandra Lark

Calandra Lark

In Kozanli we were welcomed by wast amounts of birds. Two thunder storms have passed over central Anatolia during the last few days, and that is what is needed to get many birds downed.

Gull-billed Tern

Gull-billed Tern

Along the sea-shore there were good numbers of shorebirds including Marsh Sandpipers, Little Stints, Curlew Sandpipers, 1000+ Ruff and the shorebird highlight was a Jack Snipe.

Great White Pelican

Great White Pelican

Other birds around Kozanli included species like Glossy Ibis, Little Crake, Spoonbills, lots of White-winged, Whiskered and Gull-billed Terns, Savi’s Warbler, Osprey and Citrine Wagtail.

Black-bellied Sandgrouse

Black-bellied Sandgrouse

A few more species that were positive surprises were a Great White Pelican, two Black-bellied Sandgrouses and a male Golden Oriole.

Sibirean Chiffchaff

Sibirean Chiffchaff

Barred Warbler

Barred Warbler

But for my by far the coolest thing was birding in a small wooded area. It was loaded with birds like I’ve never seen before. 100+ Black-headed Buntings, 20+ Blackcaps, 2 Barred Warblers, 3 Thrush Nightingales, 1 Common Nightingale, Golden Oriole, Sibirean Chiffchaff, 50+ Red-backed Shrike, Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs and a few Turtle Doves. There were birds everywhere. Wow…

Black-headed Bunting

Black-headed Bunting

Thrush Nightingale

Thrush Nightingale

After a few challenges with mud we headed towards Kulu.

Red-necked Phalaropes

Red-necked Phalaropes

At Kulu we soon located 4 Red-necked Phalaropes, but the Grey Phalarope could not be found.

Curlew Sandpiper

Curlew Sandpiper

Kulu also had good numbers of shorebirds including Temmnick’s Stint, Spur-winged Lapwing, Kentish Plover, 3 Curlew Sandpipers, 2 Dunlins and many other species.

Lesser Flamingo

Lesser Flamingo

But Kulu also had its surprises. We checked a flock of Greater Flamingos and bingo! It’s back. The small, pink Lesser Flamingo! It gave extremely good views – better than I have ever had before. As far as I know it was last seen more than a year ago.

Lesser Flamingo

Lesser Flamingo

Lesser Flamingo

Lesser Flamingo

Lesser Flamingo

Lesser Flamingo

We then started to look for passerines and found a few Red-throated Pipits, Lesser Short-toed Larks and Tawny Pipits.

Lesser Short-toed Lark

Lesser Short-toed Lark

Then we checked a small garden and again if was amazing. 5 Red-backed Shrikes, Thrush Nightingale, Barred Warbler, 2 Black-headed Bunting and a very welcome surprise – a stunning male White-throated Robin!

White-throated Robin - a good tree!

White-throated Robin – a good tree!

White-throated Robin

White-throated Robin

White-throated Robin

White-throated Robin

Black-headed Bunting

Black-headed Bunting

All in all we saw 108 species.

Silas Olofson

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