Sivas and beyond

Red-crested Pochard males fighting over a female

Red-crested Pochard males fighting over a female

I’ve spent a few days east on Ankara around Sivas. It is not a typical place for people to go birding, so I was quite excited to see, what could be found in the region.

Buntings

Buntings

The place is at an altitude well beyond 1000 meters. On bare hill tops Bimaculated and Shore Larks were present along with a few Finsche’s Wheatears.

Male and female Ortolan Bunting

Male and female Ortolan Bunting

In areas with more vegetation it was a bunting paradise. Actually the most common bird over all was Ortolan Bunting. They were virtually present everywhere in suitable habitat.

Black-headed Bunting

Black-headed Bunting

Rock Bunting were also quite common and many Black-headed Buntings were also around.

Sombre Tit

Sombre Tit

A flock of Sombre Tits and a pair of Grey Wagtails were present along a river.

Grey Wagtail

Grey Wagtail

I checked several lakes in the Sivas area. Some of them have already dried out, but the ones containing water offered great birding.

Common Cranes

Common Cranes

At one lake I located a few Common Cranes of the Turkish breeding type (more on those later).

Red-necked Grebe

Red-necked Grebe

And a nice surprise where three Red-necked Grebes.

Bee-eater

Bee-eater

Bee-eater

Bee-eater

Other good birds around included 100+ Bee-eaters, 2 Rollers, male Citrine Wagtail, Lesser Spotted Eagle,  3 singing Quails, tons of Common Nightingales and a few Rock Martins.

Citrine Wagtail

Citrine Wagtail

Lesser Spotted Eagle

Lesser Spotted Eagle

Marsh Harrier

Marsh Harrier

The White Wagtails have a touch of “east” white almost purely white greater coverts.

White Wagtail

White Wagtail

All in all Sivas is in deed a very nice region for birding. I bet there are some surprises waiting to be found there too.

Red-crested Pochard

Red-crested Pochard

Silas

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