TURKEY 2004

REPORT OF A BIRDING TRIP TO THE SOUTHERN AND EASTERN PARTS OF TURKEY
JUNE THE 26TH TO JULY THE 18TH


© 2004 Kasper P Hendriks

Long-legged Buzzard @ Turkey © Wesley Overman


PLACES VISITED
A SYSTEMATIC LIST

4: Tarsus Delta

SPECIES: SUB-ZERO
White-throated Kingfisher Halycon smyrnensis
Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin Cercotrichas galactotes syriacus
Graceful Prinia Prinia gracilis
Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus
Black-headed Bunting Emberizza melanocephala

SPECIES: HIGHLIGHTS
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus brookei
Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla
Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica
Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis

SPECIES: REMAINING
European Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur
Crested Lark Galerida cristata
Common Blackbird Turdus merula
European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis

To obtain information about the numbers and exact places we observed these species, please download the complete trip report in pdf-format from the QUICK LINKS! on the right.

NOTES ON THE AREA
We visited this place twice, on our outward voyage (28/6), as well as on our return voyage (10/7). The first visit did yield the fantastic White-throated Kingfisher Halycon smyrnensis, but we were not very pleased, for we had only very quick views. So, we decided to visit the place again later and first had to Aladag Mountains and Demirkazik before dark. We would pass the place anyway, so no extra driving was necessary.

On our return voyage, we took a whole morning to search the area. We found the maps and site descriptions in the Gosney guide painfully unhelpful, probably caused by new asphalt roads being constructed in the last decade. Therefore, I drew my own small sketch, as can be found below. The letters WTK indicate the places we found White-throated Kingfishers.

Click for full-size map!
North of Tarsus, a huge toll road has been constructed. The formally main road (D400) goes through Tarsus, and runs west to east. Make sure to drive this road, and coming from either side, you will find a Renault dealer on the south side of this road. Next to it, a large Petrol Ofisi petrol station can be found. Right in between these, an asphalt road runs south. Take this road south and turn left following this road, as soon as you can also follow an indistinct sandy track straight on into a vague little hamlet. By the way, following this sandy track through the hamlet and continuing straight on brings you to the picnic place described by Gosney. We ourselves found the picnic place not a good spot for the kingfisher at all, though we did find a very nice European Glass Lizard Ophisaurus apodus at the place. Best views of the kingfisher were obtained by following the asphalt road to the left, as said. A fast brook accompanies this road immediately. White-throated Kingfishers were hunting along this brook and resting on the few wires across it, but best views were obtained by turning westwards after a few hundred meters into another asphalt road and driving for a few hundred meters again, until you reach a fence on the south side of the road and some large single trees on the north side of the road, across, again, a fast brook. Moreover, a splendid Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus brookei was found in one of those trees. Note the following. The kingfishers were very shy and the way to get good views might be by just staying inside your car!

If you did not have had any good views of the kingfishers yet, follow this road further along the canal and head for the eucalyptus forest in front of you. By driving through this forest on small sandy tracks, we heard and saw about 6 kingfishers more, although views were bad. Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin Cercotrichas galactotes syriacus and Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus were common though, and both species showed fantastic.

NOTES ON ACCOMODATION
A proper, reasonably priced and air-conditioned hotel can be found as follows, see the accompanying map as well. Few hundred meters east of the junction you turned south for the kingfishers, a strange garden is visible north of the road. Within this garden, a large ship has been placed. Precisely east of this garden, take the road northwards, which leads you towards the centre of the city. After the second roundabout, if my memory is correct, you will find a hotel to the right and directly after that, another to the left. We did not see any accommodation within the delta.






To find out more about the other places visited during our trip, just click one of the numbers below or one of the links on the right!

Route travelled through Turkey in 2004 Alanya surroundings Mediterranean coast road Göksu Delta Tarsus Delta Aladag Mountains: Demirkazik Between Sivas and Erzurum Gelinkaya, Sivri Kaya, Ovit Dagi Gecidi and surroundings Between Savsat and Ardahan Hills east and valley south of Ardahan Aktas Gölü and surroundings Between Igdir and Dogubayazit Isak Pasa Palace and surroundings Between Dogubayazit and Van Lake area Van Lake area, including Erçek Gölü and Van Hills Bulanik Area Nemrut Dagi near Tatvan Nemrud Dagi and surroundings, between Siverek and Adiyaman Birecik and surroundings Durnalik and surroundings Cyprus: Bellepais Monastery and surroundings Konya-Karaman-Eregli triangle Kulu Gölü Akseki and surroundings Click on one of the places visited!


QUICK LINKS!

GENERAL

ITINERARY

PLACES VISITED
1:Alanya surroundings
2:Mediterranean coast road
3:Göksu Delta
4:Tarsus Delta
5:Aladag Mountains
6:Between Sivas and Erzurum
7:Sivri Kaya and surroundings
8:Between Savsat and Ardahan
9:Ardahan surroundings
10:Aktas Gölü
11:"Small Mast Lake"
12:Between Igdir and Dogubayazit
13:Isak Pasa Palace
14:Between Dogubayazit and Van Lake area
15:Van Lake area
16:Bulanik Area
17:Nemrut Dagi near Tatvan
18:Nemrud Dagi and surroundings
19:Birecik and surroundings
20:Durnalik and surroundings
21:Cyprus
22:Konya-Karaman-Eregli triangle
23:Kulu Gölü
24:Akseki and surroundings


BIRDS OBSERVED



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