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A Report from

South Central Turkey April 18th-24th 2007,

Hugh Dorrington

I had visited South Western Turkey (Dalyan) in 2006 and this had whetted my appetite for a more adventurous visit away from the tourist trails. By studying other trip reports, especially those of Michael Grunwell, I decided that a 3 centred trip based on Adana could see the widest variety of habitats within the 6 days available. I did not have any of Gosney’s guides, but found ‘Where to watch birds in Turkey, Greece and Cyprus’ by Welch, Rose, Moore, Oddie and Sigg very useful. The timing of the trip meant that it was ideal for the Spring migration but rather early for some of the Summer visitors.

The plan was to begin with two days at Karatas, on the coast 50km south of Adana. The flat, intensively farmed Cukurova delta had salt and fresh water marshes and a coastline that jutted out into the North Eastern corner of the Mediterranean, ideal for attracting northbound migrants. Two days in Birecik for  Bald Ibis and other eastern specialities and if it was too early for the Summer visitors then at least there should be some migration up the Euphrates valley. Finally a day in the mountains at Demirkazik for a crack at Caspian Snowcock and any other mountain birds.

A flight to Adana from Stansted via Istanbul with Turkish Airlines cost £240 I landed at Adana at 1am just as the car rental offices were closing, but the airport manager stepped up to the mark and got a rental company to re-open just for me. I hired a Renault Clio for 7 days at a cost of £180.     .

It had been raining in Adana and there was a moderate breeze. As I stepped out of the airport I could hear a Wood Sandpiper calling overhead but it was still 5 hours until daylight so I drove outside the airport and tried to get some sleep in the car. 2 night watchmen invited me in for a cup of tea after which I decided to start driving towards Karatas.

At that time of night Adana was easy. North 1km, right at the roundabout, then carry on along the main street until you see the big mosque on your left. Over the river and immediately turn right, signposted Karatas.  Once out of Adana the road is lined with factories, eventually open countryside and a few villages. I pulled over for another two hours of sleep just North of the village of Yuzbasi and as dawn broke I found that I was next to a canal with a track alongside it. I started walking along the track and soon found that the overnight rain had made the soil unbelievably sticky. I walked towards some Eucalyptus trees where I could hear a very noisy colony of Spanish Sparrows. In an orange plantation I had my first Spectacled Bulbuls, a few migrant warblers, Whinchat and Cuckoo. As I walked back, my boots thick with mud, I heard Black Francolin and saw a Marsh Harrier and a pair of Red-rumped Swallows by the canal.

Driving on, I was surprised to see a range of low hills in front of me rising out of the flatness of the Cukurova delta. The road led straight to Karatas, I parked by the sea front and walked to the harbour. There were 3 Little Terns and several immature Yellow-legged Gulls but little else in the harbour, however it was soon obvious that the crumbling cliffs and building sites were full of migrants, Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, Black-eared Wheatears and best of all a male Rock Thrush. I also got to grips with my first Graceful Prinia.

In town I had a cup of tea and some pastries and found that the only place to stay in Karatas was the Hotel Baris. I booked myself in for 2 nights at 30YTL per night. Rather expensive by Turkish standards, no breakfast but three beds, en-suite bathroom with a welcome hot shower and a fridge which would be useful for self-caterers. Rather shocked to find that the only cash machine in town would not accept any of my cards. I was faced with the daunting prospect of driving back into Adana but realised that the £100 that I had changed at Stansted airport would be plenty for the next two days.

Driving out of town I turned right, following the road along the coast for a few miles until it stopped at a large white building.  Two Buzzards were hunting in the fields along the roadside and I could hear several Corn Buntings. In front of me extensive dunes gave a desert like landscape. Behind this a freshwater marsh with open water attracted my immediate attention.

 Overhead were 50 Little Terns, 5 White-winged Terns, 2 Whiskered Terns and several hundred Sand Martins. On the mud were large numbers of Wood Sandpipers, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwits, Kentish Plovers and Little Stints with smaller numbers of Collared Pratincoles and Little ringed Plovers. In the marshes Little Egrets and Cattle Egrets shared space with 8 Great White Egrets, 2 Purple Herons and 2 Glossy Ibis. Later in the day I was to see the two Glossy Ibis hanging from the belt of a  shepherd carrying a gun.  The sparsely vegetated dunes held several migrants including Black-eared Wheatear, Whinchat, Spotted Flycatcher, Lesser Whitethroat, Willow Warbler and my only Great Spotted Cuckoo of the trip.

I made my way over the dunes to a small wood alongside a canal that emptied into the sea. The wind had become quite strong by now and I found a sheltered spot on the edge of the wood with my back to the canal. Sitting on my stool with a thermos of tea I had an hour watching the birds popping out in front of me. Nightingale, both male and female of Redstarts, Collared Flycatchers, Blackcaps, Whitethroats and Lesser Whitethroats, 4 Spotted Flycatchers, 10 Willow Warblers, 5 Chiffchaff, 4 Olivaceous Warblers, 2 Cuckoos and a Hoopoe. (Google Earth is very good in this area and this little wood can be seen quite easily by the canal).

I returned by the freshwater marsh but the wind was very strong by now and the sand was blowing. I found a recommended fish restaurant Yasimin Yari on the road back towards Karatas and had an excellent dinner of Calimari, Sea Bass and assorted salads. It was still light when I left so I drove back to the Adana road and straight over to see if I could get to the marshes on the West side of town. I couldn’t but I found an old village with some ancient Oak trees. It looked very promising for birding in a few weeks time. Very tired by now, I went back to Hotel Baris and was in bed by 8pm.


Woke at 6am, ready to leave at 7am only to find I was locked into the hotel. Very frustrating as I banged on the front door. Eventually a neighbouring shopkeeper rang the manager who I discovered sleeps in Room 101.

Checked the seafront cliffs, gardens and a well wooded cemetary for new arrivals and added Wryneck, male Masked Shrike and a brown male Pied Flycatcher. Tea and pastries for breakfast in town again then off to explore further afield. 

I drove North towards Adana. A few kilometres out of Karatas a strange animal crossed the road in front of me; I later decided that it must have been an otter. Carrying on I then turned left at Solakli towards Tuzla. In Saragocer I turned left again passing through sandy fields filled with Collared Pratincoles until I saw Akyatan Golu on my left. I parked by a small hill out of sight from the many camps of migrant workers. Walking over to the lagoon I disturbed a pair of Spur-winged Plovers. The lagoon was fringed with tall reeds that made viewing of the water difficult, but I could see several hundred Flamingos, Avocets and distant Slender-billed Gulls.  Two Spoonbills flew in and on the mud I could make out several Dunlin amongst the other waders that I had seen the day before. In the reed beds I found two Little Bitterns, several Reed Warblers and I heard at least two Savi’s Warblers.

After walking for about a kilometre alongside the lagoon, I cut back across the fields to the road and walked back to the car. A beautiful male White-throated Robin was hopping about under the roadside bushes giving fantastic close up views. Further along a male Red-backed Shrike and a Collared Flycatcher also showed well.

 I drove into Tuzla and across the causeway over Tuzla Golu. Here the salt water meant no reeds and the waders were alongside the car as I drove across. I parked on the beach and walked back to the lagoon. There were larger numbers of waders than yesterday but the only new species were 2 Redshank. Out in the middle of the lake were several Garganey, Pintail and Shoveler, about 20 Spoonbills and large numbers of Flamingos including some very striking adult birds. A flock of Common Terns included several birds with all black bills. There was 1 Sandwich Tern and lots more Little Terns. A passing Osprey had no luck with the fishing. On the fringing saltmarsh were 2 Red-throated Pipits with Yellow Wagtails and Short-toed Larks. In the dunes were yet more Pratincoles, 4 Hoopoes, Woodchat and Red-backed Shrikes. As I drove back over the lagoon I saw my first Long-legged Buzzard of the trip.

On the way back to Karatas I stopped at the roadside just North of Yuzbasi where I had stopped the morning before. The track had now dried up and as I walked towards the Eucalyptus trees another male White-throated Robin flew across the canal and showed well on the far bank. I crossed the main road and drove alongside a canal for several kilometres adding Great Reed Warbler to the list but conscious that I had still not seen my main target bird for the Cukurova, White-breasted Kingfisher. It was now getting dark so I went for another fish supper at Yasimin Yari and then to bed.

20th April

The manager was knocking on my door at 6am as I had said I was leaving early. He seem quite pleased to be getting his own back. I got packed and left Karatas by 7am.

I wanted to have one final attempt at White-breasted Kingfisher so I turned off to the left alongside a canal described in, “Where to Watch Birds ------” as “ 3.6km after leaving Adana heading South”. After 200metres the road bends to the left and a track continues along the canal side. I parked, got out the car and immediately heard the trilling of WBK’s. At least 3 birds were flying around, they didn’t perch for long but eventually I got my ‘scope on a more distant bird on some wires and was able to study it closely.

Feeling totally elated by my good fortune with the WBKs, I drove into Adana and turned eastwards in heavy rush hour traffic. As I cut across to the E90, I spotted a bank and was very relieved to withdraw some cash.

The Motorway toll roads were nearly empty, very cheap and excellent standard. I could have driven straight to Birecik in about three hours but I had planned a stop at Gavur Golu, a site described in, ”Where to Watch Birds in Turkey--------” as being probably still good at migration times despite being drained in the 1970s, but little visited by birdwatchers. It sounded promising.

After driving through a series of tunnels I got off the motorway at Junction 10 and drove North towards Turkoglu and Kahramanas. By now the early morning sunshine had given way to unrelenting rain. Passing through Beyoglu, the wide flat valley of Gavur Golu is on the right hand side. I could see large numbers of White Storks standing forlornly in the wet fields. I pulled over by a roadside hillock and counted about 400 birds before driving on to the access road by two white buildings on the right 1 kilometer short of Turkoglu.

Virtually the whole valley is now cultivated. There are some marshy areas visible from the main road but I could not access them in the limited time available. Following the main track through the valley, I stopped at some permanent pools to my left with short marshy grassland in front. Winding down the window I could see that this grassy area was alive with migrants that had been forced down by the bad weather. Waders included 50 Little Stints, 50 Wood Sandpipers, 5 Common Sandpipers, 10 Ruff, 10 Little Ringed Plover and 2 Marsh Sandpipers. Amongst these were about 30 Yellow Wagtails (feldegg) and 10 Red –throated Pipits with a single Meadow Pipit amongst them. A Gull-billed Tern was flying over the pools.

I drove on slowly with the window down getting steadily wetter and was rewarded with two female Little Crakes together very close by in the roadside ditch. I also got close to Calandra and Short-toed Larks sheltering around a muckheap with Quail calling nearby. I turned around just before the village of Minehoyuk and retraced my route spotting yet another female Little Crake. The rain had eased off so I got out to stretch my legs. A larger drain held a pair of Garganey and then at last I found a male Little Crake scuttling into a culvert. I waited a few minutes and it came out to give excellent views.

Back on to the motorway I stopped at a service station near Gaziantep for a very good meal but was rather embarrassed by my muddy boots. The section of motorway past Birecik has not yet been made so it is necessary to turn off at Nizip onto the old road. It was still raining as I drove through heavy traffic into Birecik.

The Hotel Mirkelam was full. It was Friday afternoon and coach loads of visitors had come into town. I was directed to Hotel Acar, which I found in the centre of town after a bit of difficulty. It is a modern hotel, very clean and with comfortable beds, an absolute bargain at 30 YTL per night including breakfast in the restaurant downstairs. I was glad that the Mirkelam was full.

I walked out of the Hotel and across to the Euphrates River. The rain had stopped and the limestone cliffs of Birecik looked magnificent in the low evening sunshine. Pygmy Cormorants were flying up and down the river, Bald Ibis were flying around the cliffs, several were on nests. It looked perfect. Even better, as I walked up to the Ibis Centre scanning the hirundines on the cliff top, about 10 Little Swifts joined the flocks and moments later 4 Alpine Swifts. I watched them for as long as my neck could stand it.

I walked further along the road. The traffic was heavy and I had to avoid the heavy trucks and noisy motorbikes. The first of many Menetries Warblers were holding territories in the roadside scrub. There was evidently a lot of migration along the river. Thousands of Chiffchaffs were feeding in the willows and on the other side of the road two skulking warblers finally gave themselves up as a Barred Warbler and a female Blackcap. It was getting dark as I walked back into town and saw a flock of Night Herons come to a shingle bank in the river. Finally a single Pin-tailed Sandgrouse flew upstream. Had a very good Lamb Shish Kebab in the restaurant below the hotel.

21st April

After the previous days rain it was a foggy morning in Birecik. I walked up through the old town eventually getting to the hilly country behind the town. Even up here it was still foggy and there were only a few migrants about (Nightingale, Common Redstart). Walking back through the poor streets Laughing Doves were everywhere, whereas in the town centre it was just Collared Doves.

After breakfast I drove East out of town looking for sunshine and clear skies. Leaving Birecik the fog began to clear and immediately revealed about 10 Red-footed Falcons sitting on telegraph wires. I drove west a few kilometres then south on a quiet country road, passing through small villages surrounded by pistachio orchards. Birding was steady with 2 Woodchat and 4 Red-backed Shrikes (all males) a small flock of 3 Black Kites and, best of all, 2 Desert Finches in a roadside bush.

I drove back into Birecik and North along the river where I had walked the previous evening and got as far as the gates leading to the Birecik barrage. The fog had disappeared completely by now. I watched a small movement of raptors consisting of 2 Sparrowhawks (not Levants), 1 Long-legged Buzzard, 1 Common (Steppe) Buzzard and a pair of Montagu’s Harriers; these were also soaring high in the sky. Driving back I had a Roller and 7 Bee-eaters on the roadside wires and then, just by the turn to Halfeti, 2 Dead Sea Sparrows (both male) were nest building in the roadside willows.

The road to Halfeti produced 2 Syrian Woodpeckers and another small flock of Bee-eaters. I stopped halfway down the descent into Halfeti and did a circuitous walk. I saw several Rock Sparrows and Eastern Rock Nuthatches, including 2 active nests of the latter. 2 singing Blue Rock Thrushes were high up in the cliff tops and a Woodchat Shrike was also singing quite beautifully. The habitat seemed perfect for buntings but I suppose it was still too early in the year.

On the way back to Birecik I stopped for a walk over some bare, uncultivated, stony hills with very short vegetation. There were several Black-eared Wheatears, 4 Isabelline and 1 Northern, 4 Tawny Pipits, several Calandra Larks, a few Short–toed Larks and then a pair of Bimaculated Larks which flew in and allowed me to study them closely with the ‘scope. On the way back to the car a female Montagu’s Harrier flew close over my head.

I drove back to the hotel and then walked over the noisy traffic laden bridge to the Mirkelam where a hamburger at the restaurant did nothing for my hunger. I walked on to the Kyi restaurant on the West bank and had another good meal. No owls about as it got dark, but I did find 3 Nightjars hunting around the cemetery behind the restaurant.

22nd April

Another fine day as I took an early morning walk along the river to the Bald Ibis centre. Just behind the centre a wadi leads into the limestone hills. I followed the wadi for a few hundred metres then climbed out on to the hills before walking back into town as on the previous morning. Not a lot to see, a flyover male Golden Oriole, Chukar and Rock Sparrows in the hills. A few migrants were still around, notably Tree Pipits, 5 Woodchat and 2 Red-backed Shrikes (again all males).

After breakfast I set off for the Aladag Mountains and once again decided to break the journey at Gavur Golu. This time it was a warm sunny day and as I drove up the eastern edge of Gavur Golu I could see that most of the White Storks had moved on. I parked by one of the mounds as before but this time I crossed the railway line and ‘scoped the marsh from the top of the hillock. Large areas were under water but most of the area seemed to be cultivated with maize stubbles sticking up through the water. There were large numbers of waders, too distant to see well but mainly “Blackwits”, Ruff and Wood Sandpipers. A large raptor soaring over the marshes was either Spotted or Lesser Spotted Eagle but I couldn’t say which for sure.

I drove around to the permanent pools as before but this time they seemed nearly empty of bird life. A local man came by on a motorbike without a silencer, stopped just past my car and began a long conversation with another man about 50 metres away. Meanwhile I was looking at a rather portly snipe. I grabbed Collin’s Bird Guide and compared the illustration of Great Snipe with the view through my ‘scope. Bill length wasn’t conclusive and barring underneath seemed to be halfway between Common Snipe and Great Snipe, but as it moved about I could definitely see the white tips to the wing coverts. At this point the bird walked down the bank to the pool and out of sight. I had to have a flight view to be certain so I walked over the short, muddy grass towards the bird. It suddenly flushed about 5 metres away from me. I fumbled with my binoculars as it flew low over the pool and just got it in focus as it landed on the other side displaying beautiful white tail sides.

I drove a short way further and had good views of a Short-toed Eagle in the air and on the ground, then it was time to get back on to the motorway.

The motorway stopped at Pozanti after a long climb up from Adana. A smaller road then lead up to Camardi before finally reaching Cukerbeg at about 6pm. Ali Safak’s pension was all locked up but his brother over the road (Hassan?) was willing and able to offer dinner, bed and an early morning trip up the mountains on his tractor for 150 Euros or 300 YTL. This seemed very dear compared to other Turkish prices. Luckily, I didn’t have much cash on me anyway, so I decided to go back to Camardi where there was a bank. I parked by the bank in Camardi and was immediately approached by the man from the shop over the road asking if he could help. This was Isa Akpinar who offered me a room above the shop for the princely sum of 10 YTL  with breakfast at the café next door for a further 3YTL. Over the obligatory cup of tea he explained that he had recently had a group of French skiers staying with him and some Dutch entomologists. If it was good enough for them it was good enough for me.

I had earlier eaten very well at a motorway service station so I declined the offer of dinner from Isa and had a walk around Camardi. It was still very early Spring in the mountains; no fresh leaves, just splashes of bright purple blossom on the almond (?) trees. I was obviously too early for Summer visitors and with no tractor to get me up into the mountains the birding didn’t look too promising.

23rd April

I woke at 7am after a good night’s sleep and had my breakfast. Isa printed off a very basic hand drawn map of the Aladag range that the French skiers had made. He suggested that I try driving up the Emli Valley.

I drove back to Cukerbeg, turned right at the Safak pensions, over the river then right again passing through a small village with a Mountain Rescue Centre. I found someone there who spoke good English, he confirmed the directions for the Emli Valley and I promised to call in or leave a message on my return.

I continued on an unmade road towards the mountains. At one point the road divided evenly but the left branch soon led to just a farm. Taking the right branch the track led over a stony plateau. I was soon seeing Black-eared and Northern Wheatears and a brief glimpse of a male Finsch’s Wheatear. I stopped to study the penicillata race of Shore Lark. I drove past a shepherd’s encampment and 4 enormous dogs with spiked collars charged at the car. I wound the window up very quickly and accelerated away, very thankful that I was not on foot. The track passes through a gorge and into the Emli valley. There is no stream in the valley.

In the open valley were Rock Buntings, Rock Nuthatch, Chukar, Chough and Alpine Chough. Suddenly, I had an adult Golden Eagle soaring around the cliffs to my left. I had time to get out of the car and study it for a couple of minutes. Driving slowly on, the track was rough but quite passable in first gear. It entered a forest of small Firs many of which had Mistletoe on them. The track ended in a flat clearing with plenty of room to park and turn around. 

I started walking up the valley through the fir trees. Birds were not very exciting at first – Coal Tits, Goldcrests and um, Wood Pigeons, but then I heard the unmistakeable curlew like call of Caspian Snowcock further up the valley. I scrambled up the left side of the valley over rough scree until I was just above the tree line. The sun was behind me as I scanned the crags to my left and suddenly found an adult Lammergeier cruising left to right just below the cliff line. I was able to get onto it straight away with the ‘scope and enjoyed a superb view as it glided past on cruise control, head down.

Walking a bit further on the edge of the tree line I could now hear snowcocks directly to my left as well as further up the valley. I chose a flat rock to sit on, set up the ‘scope and started scanning the vegetated scree high up on the valley sides where the birds seemed to be calling from. I was interrupted by another flypast from the Lammergeier, following exactly the same route as 15 minutes earlier.

I was just deciding that it was going to be impossible to pick out a snowcock at this range when a flash of white caught my eye. I swung the ‘scope to the right and got an eyeful of the big white fluffy undertail coverts of a Caspian Snowcock as it picked its way up the rocky slope. It turned sideways on and I was able to see the head and throat markings as well. Then there were two! I watched them both for about three minutes as they picked their way up the slope, then they disappeared into a gully and, despite still hearing the “Curlew” call and the Cuckoo like bubbling trill, I never saw them again.

I sat on my rock having a cup of tea with a big grin on my face. I had parked my car, walked for half an hour and at 11o’clock in the morning had seen two of the most iconic and difficult to see lifers you could imagine in the Western Palaearctic. Then the Lammergeier came round again! Exactly the same route but it was thirty minutes after the previous lap. I must have missed it while I was watching the snowcocks.

I walked back to the car and slowly drove out of the Emli Valley. I stopped at the gorge and had a quick walk but a strong wind was funnelling up the valley and it had clouded over. I stopped for another walk on the stony plateau hoping to get a better view of Finsch’s Wheatear. I couldn’t find it but did add Isabelline Wheatear and Tawny Pipit.

The wind was still quite strong and it started to rain lightly as I drove round to the village of Demirkazik to look for the Ski Centre. A new road appeared to bypass the village, I followed it, seeing a dark phase Booted Eagle on the way, but then I got confused as to where the Ski Centre actually was. By this time it was mid-afternoon, the weather wasn’t improving, so I drove back to Camardi. Isa ordered me lunch which I ate standing behind the counter of his shop.

I packed and left Camardi thinking I could do some birding on the way lower down the valley. I did get a few cheap trip ticks in the form of Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit (at nest) and Mistle Thrush, but once on the toll motorway at Pozanti I couldn’t easily get off. I had hoped to find a hotel near Adana airport but couldn’t, so I had a few restless hours trying to sleep in the car before getting to the airport and catching the 5am plane back to Istanbul. 

A very enjoyable six days birding. I am already considering a similar trip in mid-May 2008 to pick up on the later Summer visitors at Birecik and Demirkazik which I missed out on this year.

Checklist of Birds seen in Southern Turkey April 18th - April 23rd 2007

Total 162 species


Little Grebe

5 on marshes by Karatas 18/4

Pygmy Cormorant

On Euphrates at Birecik

Little Bittern

2 at Akyatan Golu

Night Heron

Flocks feeding on the Euphrates in the evening 20/4

Cattle Egret

Several in freshwater marsh by Karatas 18/4

Squacco Heron

7 at Tuzla Golu 19/4. 1 at Gavur Golu 22/4

Little Egret


Great Egret

Several in freshwater marsh by Karatas 18/4

Grey Heron

Common in the Cukurova and Gavur Golu

Purple Heron

A few in the Cukurova. 1 at Gavur Golu 22/4

White Stork

A few nests in the Cukurova. 400+ at Gavur Golu 20/4. Only 35 there 22/4

Glossy Ibis

2 at freshwater marsh by Karatas (later shot) 18/4. 1 at Akyatan Golu 19/4

Bald Ibis

Breeding on cliffs at Birecek and feeding in fields


Parties on Akyatan Golu and Tuxla Golu 19/4

Greater Flamingo

Several hundred on Akyatan Golu and Tuzla Golu 19/4


c.10 on Tuzla Golu 19/4


c.20 on Tuzla Golu 19/4


c.20 on Tuzla Golu 19/4 and a pair at Gavur Golu 20/4 and 22/4


Adult seen 3 times in the Emli Valley 23/4


1 over Tuzla Golu 19/4

Golden Eagle

Adult seen twice in the Emli Valley 23/4

(Lesser?) Spotted Eagle

1 over marshes at Gavur Golu 22/4

Booted Eagle

1 dark phase near Demarkazik village 23/4

Black Kite

Flock of 5 East of Birecik 21/4

Marsh Harrier

Several over marshes in the Cukurova

Montagu's Harrier

A pair soaring North of Birecik 21/4. Single females same area 21/4 and 22/4

Long-legged Buzzard

1 over Tuzla Golu 19/4. 5 seen around Birecik 21/4

Steppe Buzzard

3 near Karatas 18/4 1 at Gavur Golu 20/4


1 near Karatas 18/4. 3 around Birecik 21/4. 1 at Demirkazik 23/4


Occasional birds seen most days

Lesser Kestrel

1 male North of Birecik 21/4

Red-footed Falcon

c.10 on wires just outside Birecik 21/4. 5 at Gavur Golu 22/4

Caspian Snowcock

2 seen and 2 others heard in Emli Valley 23/4

Black Francolin

Heard every day in Cukurova and from gravel works at Birecik


1 North of Birecik 22/4. Several in Emli Valley 23/4


Heard at Gavur Golu 20/4

Little Crake

3 females and 1 male at Gavur Golu 20/4


In Cukurova and Birecik


In Cukurova and Birecik


c100 at Akyatan and Tuzla Golu 19/4

Black-winged Stilt

Common in the Cukurova also at Gavur Golu 22/4

Collared Pratincole

100s in fields around Akyatan Golu and in dunes around Tuzla Golu

Little Ringed Plover

Several in marshes of Cukurova and at Gavur Golu

Kentish Plover

Large numbers on lagoons in Cukurova

Spur-winged Lapwing

Just one pair in field by Akyatan Golu


100s on Akyatan Golu and Tuzla Golu 19/4

Little Stint

Large numbers on lagoons in Cukurova

Wood Sandpiper

Large numbers on lagoons in Cukurova, Also at Gavur Golu


Green Sandpiper

2 at Gavur Golu 20/4 and again on 22/4

Common Sandpiper

Several at Gavur Golu and on Euphrates at Birecik


2 at Tuzla Golu 19/4


1 at marsh near Karatas 18/4 and heard near Akyatan Golu 19/4

Marsh Sandpiper

2 at Gavur Golu 22/4

Black-tailed Godwit

Large numbers on lagoons in Cukurova


Great Snipe

1 at Gavur Golu 22/4

Common Snipe

2 on freshwater marsh near Karatas 18/4


Common on marshes Cukurova and at Gavur Golu

Black-headed Gull

On Euphrates at Birecik

Slender-billed Gull

Large flock seen distantly on Akyatan Golu 19/4

Yellow legged Gull

In harbour at Karatas and on Euphrates, all immature.

Lesser Black-backed Gull

A few at Karatas

Little Tern

Common in lagoons of Cukurova and in harbour at Karatas

Sandwich Tern

1 at Tuzla Golu 19/4

Gull-billed Tern

1 at Gavur Golu 20/4

Common Tern

c. 30 at Tuzla Golu 19/4

White-winged Tern

5 at freshwater marsh near Karatas 18/4. 1 at Gavur Golu 22/4

Whiskered Tern

2 at freshwater marsh near Karatas 18/4

Pin-tailed Sandgrouse

1 flying over Euphrates at Birecik 20/4

Wood Pigeon

Several at Birecik 21/4 and in Emli Valley 23/4

Collared Dove

Common everywhere

Turtle Dove

Just 1 in Cukurova 19/4

Laughing Dove

Common in the old part of Birecik


Up to 3 seen most days

Great-spotted Cuckoo

1 over sand dunes near Karatas 18/4


1 on wires near Karatas 19/4. 3 hawking over cemetary on West bank at Birecik 21/4

Common Swift


Alpine Swift

About 4 over cliffs at Birecik in the evening 20/4

Little Swift

About 10 over cliffs at Birecik in the evening 20/4


Up to 3 seen most days


Seen in Cukurova and Gavur Golu

White-throated Kingfisher

3 noisy birds South of Adana (see trip report) 20/4


1 near Tuzla 19/4. Several parties around Birecik


2 at Birecik 21/4. 1 on 22/4

Syrian Woodpecker

2 by road to Halfeti 21/4. Also on road from Demarkazik 23/4


1 in Karatas 19/4

Crested Lark

Common everywhere

Short-toed Lark

Found in open country

Calandra Lark

Small numbers at Gavur Golu and around Birecik

Bimaculated Lark

A pair North of Birecik 21/4

Shore Lark

Several birds on stony plateau near Emli valley

Sand Martin

1000s over lagoons of Cukurova. Also along Euphrates.

Crag Martin

Several in the Emli valley 23/4


Common everywhere

Red-rumped swallow

Occasional pairs in Cukurova and around Birecik

House Martin

Not seen in Cukurova but common elsewhere

Tawny Pipit

Several on plains North of Birecik and on plateau near Emli

Meadow Pipit

1 with R-t Pipits at Gavur Golu 20/4

Tree Pipit

Up to 2 birds seen most days

Red-throated Pipit

2 by Tuzla lagoon 19/4. About 10 at Gavur Golu 20/4

White Wagtail

Occasional birds seen most days

Yellow Wagtail

Flava and feldegg types common in Cukurova and Gavur Golu

Spectacled Bulbul

Common in Cukurova. Occasional around Birecik


Heard most days and seen well on occasion

White-throated Robin

2 males seen in Cukurova 19/4 and another male on road to Halfeti 21/4


Migrant birds near Karakas 18/4 and near Birecik 21/4

Black Redstart

Common in Emli valley 23/4

Northern Wheatear

On plains North of Birecik 21/4 and on stony plateau by Emli valley 23/4

Isabelline Wheatear

3 North of Birecik 21/4 and another 3 on Emli plateau 23/4

Black-eared Wheatear

Common migrant in Karatas. Also around Birecik and Emli

Finsch's Wheatear

1 male on stony plateau by Emli valley 23/4


Common migrant in Cukurova

Blue Rock Thrush

2 singing males above Halfeti 21/4. 3 males in Emli valley 23/4

Rock Thrush

1 migrant male in Karatas 18/4

Mistle Thrush

2 by road from Camardi 23/4



Barred Warbler

1 male at Birecik 20/4


Common migrant in Cukurova, a few around Birecik

Lesser Whitethroat

Common around Cukurova and Birecik

Menetrie's Warbler

Common singing warbler around Birecik


Less common around Cukurova and Birecik

Graceful Prinia

Common in Cukurova, especially around Karatas

Savi's Warbler

2 reeling in reedbeds around Akyatan Golu 19/4

Cetti's Warbler

Several along Euphrates at Birecik

Reed Warbler

Singing in reedbeds at Akyatan Golu and Gavur Golu

Great Reed Warbler

As above

Olivaceous Warbler

Singing and migrant birds in Cukurova. 1 near Birecik 22/4

Willow Warbler

Widespread migrant


Fairly common in Cukurova. Abundant along Euphrates at Birecik


Several in Emli valley in firs 23/4

Spotted Flycatcher

Several migrants in Cukurova

Pied Flycatcher

Singles at Karatas 19/4, Birecik 21/4 and Emli valley 23/4

Collared Flycatcher

3 around Karatas 18/4 and another 3 on 19/4

Great Tit


Blue Tit

1 by road from Camardi 23/4

Coal Tit

Common in firs in Emli valley 23/4

Long-tailed Tit

Pair at nest by road from Camardi 23/4

Rock Nuthatch

Several in Emli Valley, especially by gorge 23/4

Eastern Rock Nuthatch

Several and 2 nests above Halfeti 21/4

Red-backed Shrike

At least 2 seen most days

Woodchat Shrike

Common migrant around Birecik, also singing birds

Masked Shrike

3 around Karatas and Akyatan Golu 19/4


Several around Camardi and Emli valley 23/4


1 near Camardi 23/4


Around cliffs at Birecik


Several in Emli valley 23/4

Alpine Chough

Large flock near gorge in Emli valley 23/4


At least 2 seen in fields around Birecik

Hooded Crow

Common everywhere


Small flock seen from road near Gaziantep 20/4

Golden Oriole

Male flying over Bald Ibis gorge at Birecik 22/4

House Sparrow

Common everywhere

Spanish Sparrow

Locally common. Big flock flying down Emli valley 23/4

Tree Sparrow

c.6 at Camardi 23/4

Dead Sea Sparrow

2 males by river bank North of Birecik 21/4

Rock Sparrow

Several around Birecik and in Emli valley


1 seen by road from Camardi 23/4


Small flock in Emli valley 23/4


Very common in Cukurova. Less common elsewhere


Very common in Cukurova. Less common elsewhere


1 heard near Akyatan Golu 19/4. 3 seen by road from Camardi 23/4

Desert Finch

Pairs seen South-East of Birecik and by Halfeti 21/4

Corn Bunting

Very common in Cukurova, around Gavur Golu and Birecik

Rock Bunting

Common in Emli valley 23/4

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