Again I must confess that I’ve been lazy updating the blog. But all the birds around do no leave too much time for the internet.
Since mid April birding has been awesome. Mogan has contained hundreds of Little Crakes, all the European herons except Little Bittern, lots of wagtails, red-throated pipits and much more.
For the past week I’ve been birding with Danish friends in central Anatolia. Highlights around Kulu, Beypazari and Sultan Sazligi included Pallas’ Gull 2, Lesser Flamingo, Golden Jackal, Semi-coloured Flycatcher, Caspian Tern, Eagle-owl, Imperial Eagle, Stone Curlew, White Pelican and much more.
It has been very cold and last week it was even snowing in Ankara.
We also visited Aladaglar, but the road to the classic Caspian Snowcock place was closed by snow. But it turned out to be our advantage.
We found Caspian Snowcock at lower altitude and they gave good views (in a telescope).
Rufus Rock Thrush
In a village below Demirkazik we even found 2 Raddes’ Accentors, Rock Thrushes, Snowfich, many Shorelarks, Red-fronted Serins and 4 Wallcreepers.
Blue Rock Thrush
All in all we saw a total of 214 species in a weeks time.
A few days ago I took a trip south of Ankara. First stop was Lake Uyuz, where birds like White-headed Duck, Black-necked Grebe and Grey-lag Goose were present.
It was raining, but that is actually a god thing during migration as many birds make landfall. Walking along the reed bed produced Savi’s Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Moustached Warbler, Wood Warbler, Willow Warbler, Little Crakes and Bluethroat.
Then I continued to Kulu. Not all the classic birds have arrived yet, but 6 Citrine Wagtails, lots of Red-throated Pipits, 3 Marsh Sandpipers, Spur-winged Plover, 2 Wrynecks, 3 Common Nightingales, Wood Warblers, Collared Flycatchers and Lesser Short-toed Larks were all nice to see.
Wryneck mad at a Redstart
Then I checked Kozanli. Highlights were Caspian Tern, 6 Collared Pranticoles, Marsh Sandpipers, Gull-billed Tern, Great White Pelican, Wryneck, Little Crakes, Cuckoo, Cattle Egret and much more.
At Karacadag Lesser Kestrels have returned to their breeding grounds. About 30 individuals were seen.
Spring is here and every time I get out new species have arrived. During the last weeks birds like White Stork, Barn Swallow, Hoopoe, Wood Sandpiper, Glossy Ibis, Little Egret and Moustached Warbler have arrived.
A few hours in the field around Mogan with Kuzey Cem provided amazing views of a Great Bittern – by far the best encounters I’ve ever had with the species.
Other good birds included Citrine Wagtail, Purple Heron and at least two Bluethroats. But probably the biggest surprise was a male Sardinian Warbler – a rare gues to Mogan.
167 Black-tailed Godwits, hundreds of Wagtails and the first Red-throated Pipit are also cool. The time is coming when a whole day of birding in Mogan is not waste of time.
My first Little Crake of the year was first chased and later caught by a Marsh Harrier. A quite cool sight.
Little Crake – dead
A trip to Kizlicahaman gave good views of Cirl Bunting, Black Vulture, Kruper’s Nuthatch, Rock Bunting and Great Spotted Eagle.