I love this place. Aladaglar. The steep, rough and stunning mountains. And they are full of surprises. Last week proved to be one of those surprise visits.
Birding in the valleys below Demirkazik gave Red-fronted Serins en mas, 4 Wallcreepers, many cool semirufus Black Redstarts, Kruper’s Nuthatch and White-throated Robins.
And then the hard thing. A Finche’s Wheatear was foraging close to the car and was properly photographed. All of a sudden I see a bird about 70 meters away. I lift my bins and find the bird right away. It is a large falcon coloured like Café latte with cream on the top. Wow… an adult Saker Falcon feeding on a Asia Minor Souslik. What a view! Only my third ever Saker in Turkey!
It had been sitting there for more than 5 minutes while watching the Finche’s Wheatear. But when I tried to switch between camera and bins in a maybe not too calm way the Saker took off with its souslik sousage.
I manged to get some blurred take-off shots and later good with again a cloudy sky. What a find!
In the mountains Caspian Snowcocks gave good views in the scope. The other classics like Rufus Rock Thrush, Snowfinch, Radde’s Accentor, Wild Goat, Wallcreeper and Red-fronted Serin were also seen.
The next morning Emli valley was checked again. And believe it or not. A Saker Falcon appeared again. This time far away and only for a short while. But after all good enough to identify and see some details on the bird.
Other birds in the valley included Scops Owl, Bimaculated Lark, Kruper’s Nuthatch and Red-fronted Serin.