Birecik is one of the best know birding areas in Turkey – and not without a reason. It is located on the shores of the Euphrates close to the Syrian border.
The area is quite different from the rest of Turkey and thus it contains quite a few birds not seen anywhere else in Turkey.
The Iraq Babblers are easily located on the west bank of the river. But I decided to do something different and went as close to the Syrian border as possible along the Euphrates. I was delighted to find several Iraq Babblers in that area too even though my target – Basra Reed Warbler – was not seen (there are actually claims from the area).
The area south of Birecik is actually very good. I came across a colony of Rollers and obtained the best views I’ve ever had of that species.
Flocks of hundreds of Rose-coloured Starlings were also present and several Black Francolins were seen and heard.
Other classics include Menetri’s Warbler. It is one of my favorites and I managed to get amazing views down to a few meters of both male and female.
When visiting Birecik a must-do is to visit Gulhane Caybahcesi, where a few Pallid Scops Owls tend to hang out. I went there and long with Soner Bekir we saw two birds. And I also met an english teacher, who offered me to give lessons at the local school. So I did that for a few hours and had a great time.
In the afternoon sun I went looking for the Yellow-throated Sparrows and found 5 birds.
Other good birds during the day included Pygmy Cormorant, Dead Sea Sparrow, Rufous-tailed Robin, Little Swift, Cattle Egrets, Bald Ibis, Barred Warbler and more.