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.
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.
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.
Rock Bunting were also quite common and many Black-headed Buntings were also around.
A flock of Sombre Tits and a pair of Grey Wagtails were present along a river.
I checked several lakes in the Sivas area. Some of them have already dried out, but the ones containing water offered great birding.
At one lake I located a few Common Cranes of the Turkish breeding type (more on those later).
And a nice surprise where three Red-necked Grebes.
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.
The White Wagtails have a touch of “east” white almost purely white greater coverts.
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.