After birding around Isikli Svend Erik and I went to Birecik, where we stayed for a few days. It is one of my favorite birding areas in all of Turkey with many quality species just minutes away from the city.
It is possible to get all the target species in just one day, but I would surely recommend everybody to use at least two days in the area – and to use some time checking the area between Birecik and Karkamis/the Syrian border.
Yellow-throated Sparrow is one of the target species around Birecik. They can be found in orchards all the way from the border to areas around Halfeti. But it is not that common.
Dead Sea Sparrow is much more common. They build huge nests in trees and are very vocal at the breeding sites.
Iraq Babbler is found in suitable reed beds along the Euphrates. Exactly how far north the occur I do not know, but they are present all the way between Birecik and the border.
Pallid Scops Owl is also quite common in the area. I took a walk in the evening along the shore within the city limits and at least four different birds were heard. Long-eared Owl was also present. Otherwise Pallid Scops Owls are roosting during the day around Gulhane Caybahcesi.
The Bald Ibises breed both in a vadi north of Birecik and in captivity close by. Not the most wild experience, but when being around, you should take a look at them.
Little Swift is present in small numbers in Birecik. We were lucky enough to see at least 6 birds drinking.
Pied Kingfisher is quite common too along the river and we saw at least 4 birds during our stay.
Menetris’ Warbler is very common, but rather unobtrusive. They breed where ever there is decent shrubbery.
We used some time looking for White-cheeked Bulbuls between Birecik and the Syrian border, but we didn’t find any.
But well, the birding was still awesome with lots of Pygmy Cormorants, Short-toed Snake-eagle, Hoopoes, Rollers, Bee-eaters, Woodchat Shrikes, Spanish Sparrow, Ferruginious Ducks, Rufous-tailed Scrub-Robins, Common Nightinggale and much much more.