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A Report from

Turkey, the South-east, 26 April – 11 May 2013,

Henk Hendriks

River Euphrates at Birecik May 2013


This report covers the 16 day trip I made to South-east Turkey together with Wiel Poelmans in April/May 2013.

Back in 1984 I birded Turkey on a 7 week trip, driving by car from The Netherlands and covering around 10.000 km during that trip. I returned especially to Turkey to try to observe 3 target species: Caspian Snowcock (only heard in 1984), Kurdistan (Red-tailed) Wheatear (missed in 1984) and Iraq Babbler (found near Birecik since 2006)

Wiel visited Turkey in June 1991 and had missed the Wheatear and of course the babbler.

We could have achieved this easily within a week’s time but we decided to include a visit to the site of the recently rediscovered Brown Fish Owl. Though we both have observed Brown Fish Owl several times in Asia, we really wanted to see this western subspecies.

The extra time we had was also used to find several other good species not seen by me since 1984 and to photograph birds.

So we had a very enjoyable trip and besides our targets we observed species like See-Partridge, Black Francolin, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Steppe Eagle, Pallid Scops Owl, Black-winged Pratincole, Little Swift, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Lesser Short-toed Lark, Bimaculated Lark, Citrine Wagtail, Radde’s Accentor, White-throated Robin, an unexpected Pied Wheatear, Eastern Orphean Warbler, Ménétries’s Warbler, Graceful Prinia, Moustached Warbler, Caspian Reed Warbler, Upcher’s Warbler, Olive-tree Warbler, Sombre Tit, Krüper’s Nuthatch, Eastern Rock Nuthatch, Dead Sea Sparrow, Chestnut-shouldered Petronia, Pale Rock Sparrow, Red-fronted Serin, Asian Crimson-winged Finch, Desert Finch, Black-headed Bunting and Cinereous Bunting.

We were lucky that we were able to join a Dutch group of birders on their boat trip to observe the Fish Owl.

Besides that I contacted Basar Safak at Camardi to book accommodation at his pension and to book the trip to observe the snowcocks.


On arrival you have to pay 15€ to enter the country.

Getting There- Flight

We flew with Turkish Airlines from Brussels to Istanbul and on to Antalya on our way in and from Adana to Istanbul and on to Brussels on our way out of the country.

We had to pay 320 € for this ticket.

Getting around – Car

Wiel booked a car ( a Renault Clio) through Sunny cars at National Rent-a-Car.
We paid 480€ for 16 days including all insurances and unlimited mileage.
When we arrived at Antalya airport they upgraded us to a more spacious Ford Focus.
We drove some 3500 km.
Nowadays 4, 6 lane highways connect the larger cities and so it is easy to get around.
Gasoline prices are high. Between 4.52 and 4.58 TL. for a litre of unleaded fuel.


Hotel Yas Vedi in Manavgat:                                                25 € pp. Breakfast included
Cheaper options are available in the area, but this hotel is conveniently located on the way to the starting point for the Fish Owl excursion.
Pension Safak in Camardi, Demirkazik:                       30 € pp All meals included
Star hotel in Akseki:                                                   30 TL pp Breakfast included
Köst hotel in Eregli:                                                    30 TL pp Breakfast included
Motel Mirkelam in Birecik:                                                  25 TL pp.
Pension Karadut in Karadut(Nemrut Dagi):                   40 TL pp. Breakfast included
Pension Melkem in Tasucu:                                       35 TL pp. Breakfast included
Airport hotel Adana:                                                    50 TL pp. Breakfast included


The currency used in Turkey is the Turkish Lira (TL)
During our stay the exchange rate was: 1 TL = 0.42 €
It was easy to obtain cash from ATM machines.
We also brought some cash euros which were also widely accepted.


Still only few people speak reasonable English but the language is no problem to get around easily.

Health & Safety

Though Birecik is very close to the Syrian border, we did not notice any extra military activity or nervousness while staying in this area. We always felt very safe.
The food was excellent and very tasty. During our stay we were never sick.
Beer is more expensive and sometimes harder to get in the more conservative Islamic east.


The weather was excellent. Nice and mostly sunny with temperatures between 28 – 35 degrees. Only Birecik was very hot in the middle of the day.
The last days of our stay we had overcast weather conditions in the Adana area. We had a very heavy downpour one afternoon with large hail stones in the Nemrut Dagi area.


We brought a scope with us which we used for scoping the snowcocks and at lakes and marshes.
We used “Voices of Europe etc” for identifying bird songs/calls.


Peter Logtmeijer for providing us with the Gosney guides.

The Dutch team of Vincent Douwes, Luuk Punt, Casper Zuyderduyn, Noël Aarts, Wouter Teunissen and Frank van Duivenvoorde who we joined on the Fish Owl trip and who we met several times in the course of the trip, for organising the Fish Owl trip and for giving us up-to-date info on sites and birds.



Field Guide to the birds of Britain & Europe

Birds of the Middle East & North AfricaP.A.D. Hollom

Field Guide to the Birds of the Middle East - Porter

Reports & Articles

Turkey June 1991 – By Frank Dorèl
Turkey June/July 2004 – By Kasper Hendriks
Turkey 9 – 30 July 2011 – By Ruben Vlot.
Turkey/Birecik 14-16 January 2011 – By Graham Talbot
Turkey 24 June – 8 July 2012 – By Stefan Cherrug
2 site guides of Turkey – Dave Gosney.

Useful Adresses

Özcan KILIC Vigotour

Contact address for organising the Brown Fish Owl boat trip. He charges 500 € for a group (limited to 8 persons)

Basar Safak               

Contact address for organising the snowcock trip and booking accommodation at his pension in Camardi. The snowcock trip is 50 € a person.


Day1: Friday 26 April.

Wiel picked me up with his car at 6.00 am in the early morning. Through heavy traffic, especially around Antwerpen, we drove to Brussels Airport. Dropped the car at “Budget Car Parking” and at 11.15 we flew with Turkish Airlines to Istanbul, where we landed at 15.35 pm local time. The situation in the transfer area was rather chaotic and after paying 15 € for our visa we finally received the correct information where to proceed to, for our connecting flight to Antalya. At 17.20 pm we flew from Istanbul to Antalya where we arrived at 18.35 pm. It took some time before we could collect our luggage but National Rent-a-Car quickly settled the paperwork for our pre-booked hire car. Instead of a Renault Clio we were upgraded to a brand new Ford Focus.

Before 20.00 we were on our way to Manavgat and with the help of google maps of Wiel’s smartphone we arrived at hotel Yas Vedi around 21.00 pm.

We ate something, had a beer and went to bed.

Day 2: Saturday 27 April

We made a pre-breakfast stroll around our hotel and after breakfast we drove to Manavgat to buy bread, cheese and water. We then continued to Akseki, where we birded all day several areas around this village. We visited the cemetery of Akseki and both the old and the new site for White-backed Woodpecker (Gosney) and explored some roads out of Akseki.

Species observed today include an unexpected calling Chukar, Booted Eagle, Levant Sparrowhawk,which flew over de cemetery, a pair of Middle Spotted Woodpeckers, Masked Shrike, Sombre Tit, Krüper’s Nuthatch, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, a single Olive Tree Warbler, Rüppell’s Warbler, Common Redstart ssp.samamisicus, Black-eared Wheatear, a single Tree Pipit, several Cretschmar’s Buntings, Corn Bunting, Crossbill and European Serin.

Mistle Thrush was extremely common in the woods around Akseki.

But not a sniff of White-backed Woodpecker, though we briefly heard one call at the old site near Akseki.

Late afternoon we drove back to Yas Vedi in Manavgat, where we met the group of Luuk Punt, Casper, Frank, Noël and Wouter. After dinner I phoned Ozkan of Vigotours to make sure that he would pick us up at the hotel and not at the petrol station along the D-400.

Actually the hotel is situated along the road towards the starting point of the boat trip to look for the Fish Owl. Only Vincent Douwes, the eight member of the group, would be picked up at the petrol station. He would arrive from Cyprus that evening and spend the night in his car.

Day 3: Sunday 28 April

This was the day of the Brown Fish Owl. When I contacted Ozkan of Vigotours a month before, he mailed me that Wiel and I could join a Dutch group of 6 birders on this date to try for the Fish Owl. Group size is limited to 8 people only.

So at 4.00 am we were all ready at the entrance of our hotel and waiting for Ozkan. When he arrived at 4.30 it turned out that he missed Douwe at the petrol station! So Luuk phoned Douwe, who was still waiting at the petrol station and the decision was quickly made that Luuk and Ozkan would drive back to the petrol station to pick him up.

After the group was finally complete we drove to the starting point of the boat trip. It was a spacious boat and when we left for Big Canyon, we were offered coffee on board.

Ozkan informed us that we would first try at Big Canyon and if we should fail, try at Little Canyon.

But as soon as we arrived in the favourite area of the owl, we found one sitting on a rocky ledge of the cliff face. The next 30 minutes we had absolutely great views of this bird, and despite the poor light conditions we all made plenty of photo’s.

Despite the fact that Wiel and I had seen this species several times in south-east Asia, we felt pretty privileged to observe this rare semenowi subspecies of the Brown Fish Owl. Twice we observed a Blue Rock Thrush in the canyon, several European Crag Martins and heard Rock Nuthatch. Satisfied we returned to the jetty, where we arrived around 8.00 am.

Wiel and I intended to do some birding around the lake and then continue to Akseki, where we would stay overnight. The others would travel further towards Demirkazik.

After some casual birding Wiel and I returned to our hotel and after lunch we drove to Akseki. On our way we searched some areas to try to find some orchids. We found some beautiful orchids at a cemetery, 19 km north of the junction towards Akseki.

The whole afternoon was again spent birding around Akseki.

We saw most of the species seen yesterday but added Little Owl, Common Cuckoo, Bee-eater, European Roller, Syrian Woodpecker ( a pair at the cemetery of ?), Red-backed Shrike and a singing Nightingale to our list. European Scops Owl was heard in the middle of the day. We briefly heard a White-backed Woodpecker call at the “old site” of Gosney. We took a room at the Star hotel in Akseki, which was basic but clean and we had an excellent dinner at this hotel.

A Tawny Owl was heard during the night in Akseki.

Day 4: Monday 29 April

Just after dawn we were present at the “old site” of White-backed Woodpecker. After an hour we left and tried at the “new site”, where we were again unsuccessful.

At 10.00 we decided to leave the area and to travel to Eregli. Our plan was to bird the marshy area around Eregli but it turned out that most of the area has turned into agriculture and the small, marshy area left was completely dry.

Unexpectedly we bumped into a large flock of White Storks. In all directions we observed storks, on the ground as well as in the sky. Along the road we observed twice a soaring Long-legged Buzzard, a single Lesser Grey Shrike on a telegraph pole and plenty of Isabelline Shrikes.

During a walk over the dry steppe, we had good views of displaying Calandra Larks, Short-toed Larks, a single Tawny Pipit and plenty of Lesser Short-toed Larks of the subspecies niethammeri.

Some authors places this ssp. as ssp of Asian Short-toed Lark Calandrella cheleensis

Late afternoon we drove to Eregli where we took a room in hotel Köst in the centre of town.

Day 5: Tuesday 30 April

After breakfast we drove first to the small village of Adabak (15 km from Eregli), where Wiel had good views of a small colony of Lesser Kestrels back in 1991. And we sure had excellent views and photo opportunities of the kestrels at this site. Rock Sparrows also showed nicely at this site. At 10.00 am we continued from Eregli to Camardi where we arrived around noon. We were welcomed by Basar Safak, the son of Ali Safak, who I met in 1984. In 1984 I camped in his orchard and the photographs taken in 1984 and which I had brought with me, were much appreciated by Basar and his uncle Hassan. It turned out that Birding Breaks was also staying at his place. After lunch we drove to the nearby village of Emli and birded the fields and the canyon behind this village in the mountains of Demirkazik.

We had no problem in locating several displaying Bimaculated Larks in the fields above the village. Horned Lark and Short-toed Larks were also recorded in this area. When we continued into the canyon we observed a single Chukar, a small flock of Alpine Swifts, Red-billed Choughs and Yellow-billed Choughs, Black Redstart, several Rock Buntings, a few Red-fronted Serins, Lesser Whitethroat and a gorgeous male White-throated Robin.

During dinner we met the group of Birding Breaks lead by Rudi Debruijne.

Day 6: Wednesday 1 May

Today was an exciting day for me because I was hoping to obtain good views of Caspian Snowcock, a species I had only heard in july 1984. Basar told me that both the group of Luuk Punt and Birding Breaks had good views of this species but …..

At 4.30 am we drove with Hassan and Basar in his Lada Niva to the site, just above the obvious gorge, which is supposed to be the best site for Caspian Snowcock during the month of May.

We arrived at 5.30 at the site where to my surprise we bumped into 4 Belgian birders. Within 5 minutes Hassan found us a Snowcock and during the next hour we had excellent views of a pair in the scope, about halfway up the slope. We also observed single birds higher up on the crags itself. After this great success we started to bird in the immediate vicinity of our observation site and were lucky to find two pairs of Radde’s Accentor. Other species seen include several Alpine Accentors, White-winged Snowfinch, Horned Lark and Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush.

We decided to drive back down and at 8.45 we enjoyed a late breakfast. We then returned to the area above the mountain lodge, where we quickly found Finch’s Wheatear, Horned Lark and Red-fronted Serin.

After a short break at lunchtime at our hotel we returned again to the area above the mountain lodge. We spent some time at a water tank and were rewarded with great views of 2 Asian Crimson-winged Finches. A short stroll into the gorge did not give us the desired Wallcreeper but we saw several Lesser Whitethroats, Western Rock Nuthatches and a passing Golden Eagle.

During dinner we met Stefan, Per and his son from Sweden. A European Scops Owl was calling most of the night, just outside our pension.

Day 7: Thursday 2 May

Before breakfast we birded around our pension and had good views of Black-headed Bunting and had unexpected views of a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker.

We discussed last night our options and decided that we would visit the Sultan Marshes today. It turned out that it took less than 2 hours to drive from Camardi to the HQ of the Sultan Marshes. We arrived at 10.00 am and the guards of the reserve offered us a boat trip to the deeper part of the lake, where we had chances to observe among others White-headed Duck. But as they charged 100 € for this trip we politely turned their offer down. We scanned the area from the watch tower and saw among others Garganey, Red-crested Pochard, Great Crested Grebe, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Great Egret, Little Egret, Squacco Heron, plenty of Marsh Harriers, a single Purple Swamphen, Little Ringed Plover, Whiskered Tern, White-winged Tern, Great Reed Warbler, Isabelline Wheatear, Yellow Wagtail and a flyby Red-throated Pipit. We then turned back to the main road and entered the reserve a few km to the east along an obvious dirt track (Gosney).

We had a few very enjoyable hours in this part of the reserve. Marshy areas held a nice variety of waders like Black-winged Stilt, Northern Lapwing, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Redshank, a group of about 50 Ruff and a few Common Snipes.

Other interesting species recorded in this section of the park include Short-toed Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, a flock of Collared Pratincoles, 3 Glossy Ibis, White storks, Gull-billed Terns, European Bee-eater and in the reed beds Waterrail was heard and both Moustached Warbler and Sedge Warbler were observed. We finally ended up at another watchtower which was pretty rundown. Here we bumped into another party of 3 Scandinavian birders. Best species seen around the watchtower was an adult Citrine Wagtail.

At 14.30 pm we left the area and started our long drive to Birecik. At 19.30 pm we arrived at Mirkelam Motel, Birecik where after some discussion we were offered the last room in this motel. Here we met Stefan, Per and his son again and together we had dinner.

Day 8: Friday 3 May

At dawn Wiel and I drove the short distance to the northern gravel pits along the western side of the Euphrates. Our target for this morning was Iraq Babbler, a lifer for both of us.

This species was discovered in 2006 at this site and has been yearly observed since then.

As visiting Iraq and Syrie cannot be recommended for the time being, this is the only realistic site to observe this species. Wiel was the first to find one, but before I could focus on the bird it flew of. Meanwhile we were joined by Stefan and Per and sometime later Per saw briefly a bird, which I only saw in flight. But fortunately it did not take long before another bird climbed up in the tall reed and gave excellent views. I think that the species is breeding in the beginning of May and therefore probably easier to observe later in the season, when the young have fledged and small flocks travel around the reed beds.

In the process we also had good views of a Little Crake at the muddy margins of the reed beds. Other notable species seen include Pygmy Cormorant, Little Bittern (common), Squacco Herons, Black-crowned Night-Herons, Glossy Ibis, Pied Kingfisher, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Ménétries’s Warbler, Moustached Warbler, Graceful Prinia and Waldrapp, feeding in the fields next to the gravel pits.

At 9.00 am we had a late breakfast and then drove to the wadi, just next to the Bald Ibis enclosure. When we entered the wadi we met a Dutch birder, Hennie Lammers and his wife Lies, who I know from my home area. In the small orchard in the beginning of the wadi we located a singing male Chestnut-shouldered Petronia, which gave great views. We birded the wadi for an hour but besides some Ménétries’s Warblers and some migration of Honey Buzzards it was rather quiet. A record shot of a raptor, which flew high over the wadi, turned out to be a Lesser Spotted Eagle.

After a break at our hotel and lunch we birded the southern gravel pits in the afternoon.

The area is much smaller but also less disturbed and we spent an enjoyable couple of hours in this area.

Late afternoon we went to the tea garden for the Pallid Scops Owl. After drinking some tea, suddenly a group of Dutch birders entered the garden. Luuk, Wouter, Casper, Noël, Vincent and Frank joined us at our table and of course we had a lot to talk about. They came from Nemrut Dagi, which was very good. A lot of migration and no problem in finding the Kurdistan Wheatear. After more tea we were finally shown the pair of Pallid Scops Owls at their regular daytime roost. The last hour of the day was spent together with them at the northern gravel pits where we had good views of several Iraq Babblers.

After this very successful day we decided to have dinner together at the Kyi restaurant, which is beautifully situated on the banks of the Euphrates with good views of the town of Birecik on the other side of the river.

Day 9: Saturday 4 May

While the Dutch group opted to visit the wadi in the early morning to try for See-see Partridge, Wiel and I decided to visit the gravel pits first. Hennie Lammers had given us site details of a breeding site of Iraq Babblers and we would like to take photographs of this species. Unfortunately when we arrived at this particular site, 3 cars with Scandinavian birders also arrived at the exact same site, which gave too much disturbance to try to photograph the babblers. So we quickly drove to the wadi where we arrived at 6.45. The Dutch group just returned after having nice views of a pair of See-see Partridges in the wadi. Wiel and I decided to take our chances and after 30 minutes we actually found another pair, further down the wadi, which gave brief views before they flew of.

At the beginning of the wadi we found a singing Upcher’s Warbler. We then returned to the northern gravel pits where we birded until noon.

At 14.00 we drove to Halfeti, to try to find among others Pale Rock Sparrow. It was rather hot but we did find a pair of Eastern Rock Nuthatches. Then we received a phone call that the Dutch had found a breeding pair of Pale Rocksparrows. They gave us details how to get there and when we arrived we had good views of this pair.

Arriving back in Birecik we had a drink in the teagarden where we observed the pair of Pallid Scops Owl again in the same tree.

Wiel opted to stay at our hotel room, so I decided to spend the late afternoon at the gravel pit area again. And this time I got lucky as several Iraq Babblers showed very nicely, close along the track and gave me the opportunity to take some good photo’s.

Dinner again at the Kyi restaurant and Luuk gave us some site info about 2 waterholes just north of the small village of Yeniakpinar.

Day 10: Sunday 5 May

Wiel decided to start a little later this morning, so I returned before 06.00 to the wadi to try for better views of the See-see Partridge. It did not take long before a male See-see Partridge flew in and landed on the edge of the cliff in full view, where it started to call.

After a few minutes I walked even closer but that was too much.

After this success I drove to the southern gravel pits where I observed at least 2 calling males Black Francolin and at a small waterhole drinking Desert Finches.

After breakfast we drove from Birecik to Nemrut Dagi. On our way we made a short detour to a site where Ruben Vlot and his group observed Blue-cheeked Bee-eater in 2011. From the Dutch we got info that the birds were still there. Just before Hilvan we turned south-west on the 390 and after 13/14 km we arrived at the small village of Estagfirullah.

We saw at least 5 Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters among the more numerous Bee-eaters.

After we crossed the river Euphrates at Kayali by ferry we arrived at Karadut Pension in the village of Karadut. The Dutch told us that pension Cesme (5 km further up the road, just outside the National Park) was closed and recommended pension Karadut instead. It later turned out that pension Cesme was still open.

Late afternoon we drove up the mountain and explored a side road, recommended by Ruben Vlot. The waterhole which was very good in July 2011 was less interesting in May, because there was plenty of water in the vicinity available for birds. Highlight was the observation of a pair of Kurdistan Wheatears, just next to the road.

Cinereous Buntings were rather common and we also observed Black-eared Wheatear and Rufous-tailed Thrushes.

We then continued to the top itself and visited the famous site with the huge stone heads. Because it was Sunday, many people visited the site but still it made rather an impression on us. Horned Larks and White-winged Snowfinches were seen on our way up the mountain. At the top 2 Rufous-tailed Thrushes, Northern Wheatears  and 2 migrating Pallid Hariers. As a thunderstorm was nearing we quickly walked down and we reached the car just in time.

Day 11: Monday 6 May

After an early breakfast we drove up to pension Cesme and birded the area around the pension for 2 hours.

There was a lot of bird activity and we saw the following species: European Bee-eater, Red-backed Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Red-rumped Swallow, Great Tit, Cetti’s Warbler, Willow Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Upcher’s Warbler, Eastern Orphean Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, White-throated Robin, Rufous-tailed Thrush, Black-eared Wheatear, Kurdistan Wheatear, Black-headed Bunting, Goldfinch, Eurasian Linnet and a soaring Golden Eagle.

From there we birded the side road again until noon. We returned to our pension to have a break and lunch. From 14.00 – 15.00 we birded the orchards near our pension which gave us several Rufous-tailed Scrub-Robins and a small flock of Long-tailed Tits ssp. tephronotus. Late afternoon was again spent along the side road. Here we met 3 Danish birders. In the afternoon we saw plenty of Cinereous Buntings, Rock Nuthatch, Rock Sparrow and a few Finch’s Wheatears.

Day 12: Tuesday 7 May

From 6.00 – 07.30 am we birded in the orchard around our pension. Again several confiding Rufous-tailed Scrub-Robins and at least twice a singing Olive Tree Warbler. After breakfast we drove up towards Cesme. Just before Cesme we observed a calling Eastern Rock Nuthatch. At Cesme we met the Danish again and after checking the immediate area around the pension we continued to the summit area. We walked up to the summit (we saw 2 Yellow-billed Choughs on the way up) and it turned out that we were the only visitors at the top and undisturbed we strolled around the site. Really impressive morning with beautiful light conditions.

I discovered a male Kurdistan Wheatear and I spent the next hour trying to obtain photos of this bird. We returned to our pension and during our drive down we saw 2 soaring Steppe Eagles, a species we did not expect to see here and after lunch we left for Birecik in pouring rain and from time to time heavy hail stones. We tried to take a shortcut but that was not a very wise decision. On very small and deteriorated roads we finally made it to de D 400 and at 18.00 we checked in again at hotel Mirkelam.

Day 13: Wednesday 8 May

From 06.00 – 08.00 we birded the southern gravel pits.

After a quick breakfast we continued to the small village of Yeniakpinar, to bird just north of the village and to check 2 waterholes for visiting passerines.

Here we met Ahmet, a local guide who take birders with his tractor into the surrounding hills to look for Cream-coloured Coursers and Sandgrouse. But when we told him we did not want to use his services and intend to bird along the road on our own, he turned nasty. He did not speak English but he contacted a local guy, Mustafa in Birecik who speaks English on the phone, and this guy told me that we had to pay 30 TL pro person to bird along this road. This we refused and despite protests of both Mustafa and Ahmet we birded a couple of hours near Yeniakpinar, staying on a public road, which we never left. Along the road we met the Danish again.

Late afternoon we birded the northern gravel pits, where we encountered a group of American birders. In the early evening we drove to the teagarden where we intend to observe the Scops Owl again and hopefully see them hunting. But we could not find the birds and the owner told us that last night the birds were disturbed by a group of birders who used a lot of flash, photographing them. Fact is that 2 German birders searched all afternoon and also later that evening and were unable to locate the birds.

Day 14: Thursday 9 May

In the early morning we drove again to the area of Yeniakpinar and bumped again into Ahmet. And again he asked for money and again I tried to explain to him that it is ridiculous to pay money for birding along a public road. Then he sent some boys from his village to throw stones into the waterhole to chase the birds away so we could not observe/photograph them! This guy surely loves nature and birds. (and money!)

So we continued further along the road and returned later to the waterhole where we spent another hour, this time undisturbed. In the surrounding area, Pale Rock Sparrow  turned out to be rather common and their typical song was heard frequently.

Best species recorded at the waterhole and immediate surroundings were a subadult Lesser Spotted Eagle, a single Egyptian Vulture, European Turtle Dove, Ortolan Bunting, Pale Rock Sparrow, Short-toed Lark, Spanish Sparrow and Black-headed Wagtail.

At 10.00 we returned to Birecik and packed our stuff for the long drive to Tasucu, Goksu delta. Arrived at Tasucu at 15.30 pm and booked a room in a nice little pension (Pension Melkem), just on the waterfront.

After dropping our gear, we drove to the Goksu itself and birded there until 18.30 pm. Highlight was the observation of a single Jackal and the copulation of 2 Scheltopusiks, which is a large (1.20 m) legless lizard with 2 rudimentary legs.

We also observed herons, Ruddy Duck, Red-crested Pochard, Tufted Duck, several wader species like Spur-winged Plover, Kentish Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Black-winged Stilt, Wood Sandpiper and Little Stint.

When having dinner we bumped into the Danish again.

Day 15: Friday 10 May

After breakfast we drove along the edge of the Goksu delta and birded the area until 10.00 am. Notable was a single Common Raven. We then left Tasucu and drove to Adana where after some negotiating we got a nice room in the Adana Airport Hotel. We had a copious  lunch at Ozturk Kebap, which was a recently opened place. They took pictures of us for their website!

We then continued to Tuzla in the Tarsus delta, where we birded around Tuzla from 15.00 – 18.00 pm. Here we saw a large group of Flamingos, herons, Spur-winged Plover, Little Stints, a single Temminck’s Stint, a single Slender-billed Gull, Little Tern and Common Tern. A single Black-winged Pratincole was unexpected and at one time I discovered a “Pied Wheatear” along a sandy track. We made a lot of photo’s to establish its identity as either Pied Wheatear or Cyprus Wheatear. After studying these, we came to the conclusion that it was a Pied Wheatear.

On our way back to Adana we observed a White-throated Kingfisher on a road side wire. In the evening we walked to a nearby restaurant and while doing so we briefly saw a Barn Owl in flight.

Day 16: Saturday 11 May

At 8.00 we drove to the nearby airport, where we delivered the car.
At 11.10 we flew from Adana to Istanbul where we landed at 12.50 am.
At 14.50 we left Istanbul and after 2 films we landed at 17.15 pm at Brussels.
It took almost an hour before our luggage came off. I heard that the next day the luggage handlers of Brussels Airport went on strike!
Then it was quite a hassle to arrange transport to the parking area of our car. But finally we left Brussels and at 21.00 pm we arrived at Geldrop.

Henk Hendriks
Geldrop June 2013

Demirkazik area, canyon above the village of Emli – May 2013



Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
02-05: 20 at Sultan Marshes
20+ daily during the 4 days we spent in the Birecik area

Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus
02-05: 4 at Sultan Marshes


Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
05-05: 1 during the crossing of the river Euphrates towards Nemrut Dagi.

European Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis ssp.desmarestii
10-05: 7 in the harbour of Tasucu.

Pygmy Cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmaeus
Up to 60 daily in the Birecik area.


Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus
A total of 30 exx recorded on 5 dates in the Birecik area.

Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
02-05: 6 exx at Sultan Marshes.
03-05: 10 exx Birecik
04/08-05: A single bird at Birecik
09/10-05: 10 exx on 2 dates at Goksu delta.

Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
02-05: 50+ at Sultan marshes.
A total of 13 exx on 4 dates at Birecik.
A total of 8 ex on 2 dates at Goksu delta

Great Egret Casmerodius albus
02-05: 4 exx at Sultan Marshes
04-05: A single bird at Birecik
09/10-05: A single bird at Goksu delta
10-05: 4 exx at Tuzla area.

Little Egret Egretta garzetta
02-05: 20+ at Sultan Marshes
A total of 30 exx on 5 dates Birecik
09/10-05: 10 at Goksu delta
10-05: 20 at Tuzla area.

Western Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
02-05: 8 near Sultan Marshes
A total of 9 exx on 2 dates in the Birecik area.
10-05: 6 exx Goksu delta

Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides
27-04: 1 ex near Manavgat
02-05: 2 exx Sultan Marshes
A total of 16 on 4 dates in the Birecik area.
09-05: 2 exx at Goksu delta
10-05: 1 ex at Tuzla area.

Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
Daily morning and evening flights in the Birecik area.
08-05 100 exx counted on a roost near the bridge, Birecik


White Stork Ciconia ciconia
29-04: Near Eregli large flocks were present. At one point the fields/steppes were full of storks as far as we could see.
02-05: 2 exx along the road near Konya.
05-05: 5 exx near Sanliurfa.
09-05: 1 ex near Mersin.


Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus
02-05: 3 exx at Sultan Marshes.
03-05: 3 exx at northern gravel pits, Birecik

Northern Bald Ibis (Waldrapp) Geronticus eremita
Observed at Wadi near enclosure and in the fields along the Euphrates


Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus phoenicopterus
10-05: 500+ at Tuzla area.


Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea
09/10-05: 1 pair with pulli Goksu delta

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
Small numbers recorded at Sultan marshes, Birecik area, Goksu and Tuzla area.

Garganey Anas querquedula
02-05: 20+ at Sultan Marshes.
1 pair seen daily at Birecik.

Red-crested Pochard Aythya rufina
02-05: 10+ at Sultan Marshes.
A total of 20 exx on 4 dates in the Birecik area. Max. of 10 on 04-05.

Common Pochard Aythya farina
02-05: 8 exx at Sultan Marshes.
09-05: 20 Goksu delta.

Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca
04-05: 1 pair Birecik, gravel pits.
05-05: 2 males Birecik, gravel pits.
08-05: 3 males + 1 female Birecik, gravel pits.
09-05: 1 male Goksu delta.


Levant Sparrowhawk Accipiter brevipes
27-04: 1 male at Akseki.

Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
02-05: 1 ex near Camardi.
05-05: 1 ex near Karadut.

European Honey-Buzzard Pernis apivorus
03-05: a migrating flock of 22 exx at Birecik.

Black Kite Milvus migrans
30-04: 2 exx near Birecik.
03-05: 2 ex near Birecik.
05-05: 1 ex near Birecik
09-05: 3 exx near Yeniakpinar

Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus
09-05: 1 adult near Yeniakpinar.

Short-toed Eagle Circaetus Gallicus
02-05: 1 ex at Sultan Marshes.
08-05: 1 ex near Halfeti.
09-05: 1 ex near Yeniakpinar.

Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus
27-04: 1 ex between Manavgat and Akseki.

Western Marsh-Harrier Circus aeruginosus
02-05: 20+ at Sultan Marshes.
Daily up to 4 at the gravel pits, Birecik.
Daily up to 4 at Goksu delta.
10-05: 4 exx at Tuzla area.

Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus
09-05: 1 ex near Yeniakpinar.

Pallid Harrier Circus pygargus
07-05: 2 migrating birds at Nemrut Dagi.

Common Buzzard Buteo buteo ssp.vulpinus
28-04: 2 exx near Akseki.
05-05: 3 exx on transit to Nemrut Dagi.
09-05: 2 exx near Birecik.

Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus
29-04: 3 exx in the Eregli area.
30-04: 2 exx in the Eregli area.
02-05: 3 exx in the general area of the Sultan Marshes.
04-05: 1 ex Halfeti.

Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos
01-05: 1 adult ex above the gorge, Demirkazik.
06-05: 1 adult Nemrut Dagi.

Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis
07-05: 2 exx Nemrut Dagi.

Lesser Spotted Eagle Aquila pomarina
03-05: 1 ex Wadi, Birecik.
09-05: 1 subadult near Yeniakpinar.


Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
Recorded on 10 dates.

Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni
30-04: 60+ at colony of the village of Adabak, near Eregli.


Caspian Snowcock Tetraogallus caspius
01-05: 5 exx seen in the early morning, Demirkazik. One pair gave great views in the scope and could be observed foraging and calling for as long as we wanted.

Chukar Alectoris chukar
27-04: 1 near Akseki
30-04: Heard and 1 seen, Demirkazik.
01-05: 6 seen in the Demirkazik area.
03-05: 1 Birecik.

See-see Partridge Ammoperdix griseogularis
04-05: 1 pair briefly seen in the main wadi, Birecik.
05-05: a calling male gave great views in the main wadi, Birecik.

Black Francolin Francolinus francolinus
03-05: Several calling and 1 male seen, southern gravel pits, Birecik.
05-05: 2 seen in the same area.
09/10-05: heard and 1 seen Goksu delta.


Water Rail Rallus aquaticus
02-05: Heard Sultan Marshes.

Little Crake Porzana parva
A total of 4 exx seen on 3 dates, northern gravel pits, Birecik

Grey-headed Swamphen Porphyrio poliocephalus
02-05: a single bird Sultan Marshes.
04+08-05: a single bird gravel pits, Birecik.

Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
02-05: 3 exx Sultan Marshes.
Up to 20 exx daily at Birecik.

Common Coot Fulica atra
02-05: 50+ at Sultan Marshes.
Daily up to 50, Birecik area.
09-05: 50+ at Goksu delta.


Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus
02-05: 40+ at Sultan Marshes.
09-05: 10+ Goksu delta
10-05: 20+ Tuzla area.


Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola
02-05: 10 exx at Sultan Marshes.

Black-winged Pratincole Glareola nordmanni
10-05: a single bird was observed in the Tuzla area.


Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrines
09-05: 10+ in the Goksu delta.
10-05: 30+ in the Tuzla area.

Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
09-05: 3 exx in the Goksu delta.

Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
3 to 4 exx observed daily in the Birecik area.

Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
02-05: 3 exx Sultan Marshes.

Spur-winged Plover Vanellus spinosus
Daily 2 to 5 exx observed in the Birecik area.
09-05: 10+ Goksu delta.
10-05: 10+ Tuzla area.


Little Stint Calidris minuta
03/04-05: 10 exx southern gravel pits, Birecik.
05-05: 4 exx. Birecik.
09-05: 20 exx Goksu delta.
10-05: 10 exx Tuzla area.

Temminck’s Stint Calidris temminckii
10-05: a single bird Tuzla area. (Wiel only)

Ruff Philimachus pugnax
02-05: 50+ at Sultan Marshes

Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
27-04: 1 ex near Manavgat.
02-05: a single ex near Camardi.
03-05: 4 exx Birecik area.
04-05: 1 ex Birecik area.

Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
03-05: 3 exx gravel pits, Birecik.

Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
02-05: 5 exx at Sultan Marshes
A total of 24 exx on 4 dates gravel pits, Birecik.
09-05: 10+ at Goksu delta.
10-05: 6 exx Tuzla area.

Common Redshank Tringa tetanus
02-05: 2 exx at Sultan Marshes.
A total of 7 exx on 4 dates gravel pits, Birecik

Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago
02-05: 2 exx at Sultan Marshes.


Slender-billed Gull Larus genei
10-05: 1 ex at Tuzla area.

Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus
02-05: 10 exx at Sultan Marshes.

Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis
28-04: 10 exx lake near Manavgat.
Small numbers along Euphrates, Birecik.
09-05: 7 exx at Goksu delta.
10-05: 30+ at Tuzla area.

Armenian Gull Larus armenicus
03-05: a few identified between previous species at Birecik.

Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus
28-04: 2 exx near Manavgat
03-05: 1 adult bird Birecik.


Little Tern Sterna albifrons
02-05: 1 ex at Sultan Marshes.
10-05: 40+ at Tuzla area.

Common Tern Sterna hirundo
02-05: 4 exx at Sultan Marshes.
09-05: 4 exx at Goksu delta.
10-05: 6 exx at Tuzla area.

Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica
02-05: 10 exx at Sultan Marshes.

White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus
02-05: 20+ at Sultan Marshes.
Daily between 40-60 exx in the Birecik area.
09-05: 10 exx at the Goksu delta.

Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrid
02-05: 60+ at Sultan Marshes.


Rock Pigeon Columba livia
Daily observed Birecik area.

Common Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus
27/28-04: single birds Akseki area.
Single birds recorded in the Birecik area.
07-05: 5 exx near Karadut.

European Turtle-Dove Streptopelia turtur
28-04: 2 exx near Akseki.
07-05: heard near Karadut.
08-05: a single bird Yeniakpinar.
09-05: 2 exx. Yeniakpinar.
10-05: 5 exx Goksu delta.

Eurasian Collared-Dove Streptopelia decaocto
Daily observed.

Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis
Small numbers (1 to 5) seen on 7 dates.
10-05 15 exx near Adana.


Great Spotted Cuckoo Clamator glandarius
02-05: 1 bird flew across the road near Camardi.

Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus
28-04: heard near Akseki.
Daily heard Demirkazik area and 1 seen on 30-04.
04-05: 1 ex. Birecik
08-05: 2 exx near Yeniakpinar.
09-05: 1 ex near Yeniakpinar.


Barn Owl Tyto alba
10-05: 1 ex seen poorly in flight near our hotel in Adana.

Pallid Scops Owl Otus brucei
A pair seen twice on 03 and 04-05 in the teagarden, Birecik.

European Scops Owl Otus scops
Heard on 2 dates near Akseki.
Nightly heard near Safak pension, Camardi.
Daily/nightly heard at pension Karadut, Karadut.

Brown Fish-Owl Ketupa zeylonensis
28-04: excellent views of an adult bird on a cliff, during the organised boat trip by Vigotours.

Little Owl Athene noctua ssp.
28-04: 1 ex near Akseki.
30-04: 1 ex near Eregli.
02-05: 1 ex near Sultan Marshes.
05-05: 1 ex on transit to Nemrut Dagi.
08-05: 1 ex near Yeniakpinar.

Tawny Owl Strix aluco
28-04: heard at Akseki.


Alpine Swift Apus melba
30-04: a flock of 10 at Demirkazik.

Common Swift Apus apus

Little Swift Apus affinis
08-05: a flock of 10 exx at cliff, Birecik.


White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis
10-05: 1 ex on wire while driving back to Adana from Tuzla.

Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis
Single birds on 3 dates in the Birecik area.


Blue-cheeked Bee-eater Merops persicus
05-05: 5 exx at Bee-eater colony at the small village of

European Bee-eater Merops apiaster
Commonly encountered throughout. Observed on 10 dates.


European Roller Coracias garrulous
28-04: 2 exx near our hotel at Manavgat.
29-04: 3 exx between Manavgat and Akseki.
Up to 10 exx daily in the Birecik area.
07-05: 4 exx Nemrut Dagi area.
08/09-05: 3 exx Yeniakpinar.


Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops


Green Woodpecker Picus viridis
Single birds seen on 2 dates, Akseki area. Also regularly heard.

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos minor
02-05: 1 ex. just behind our guesthouse, Camardi.

Middle Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos medius
27-04: 2 exx Akseki area.
28-04: heard in the same area.
29-04: 1 ex Akseki area.

White-backed Woodpecker Dendrocopos leucotos
27/28-04: heard in the Akseki area.

Syrian Woodpecker Dendrocopos syriacus
28-04: a pair at the cemetery of, Akseki area.
03/04-05: heard at the beginning of the wadi, Birecik.


Calandra Lark Melanocorypha calandra
29-04: 20+ Eregli.
30-04: 4 exx Eregli.
02-05: 3 exx at the edge of Sultan Marshes.
08/09-05: single birds just north of Yeniakpinar.

Bimaculated Lark Melanocorypha bimaculata
30-05: 10+ at Demirkazik. Just above the village of Emli.

Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla
A total of 10 exx on 2 dates in the Eregli area.
A total of 4 exx on 2 dates near Yeniakpinar.
09/10-05: 2 exx Goksu delta

Lesser Short-toed Lark Calandrella rufescens ssp.niethamerii
29-04: 30+ at Eregli.
Note: some authors consider the ssp. occurring on the central plateau of Turkey as subspecies of Asian Short-toed Lark Calandrella cheleensis

Crested Lark Galerida cristata
Daily recorded.

Wood Lark Lullula arborea
29-04: 1 ex. observed near Akseki.
01-05: Heard at Demirkazik.
07-05: Heard at Nemrut Dagi.

Horned (Shore) Lark Eremophila alpestris
Up to 30 daily in the Demirkazik area.
05-05: 5 exx top of Nemrut Dagi.
06-06: 6 exx top of Nemrut Dagi.


Bank Swallow Riparia riparia
100+ daily gravel pits, Birecik.
10-05: 50+ Goksu delta.

Eurasian Crag Martin Ptyonoprogne rupestris
28-04: 4 exx during Fish Owl trip.
A total of 9 exx on 3 dates in the Demirkazik area.

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
Daily recorded.

Red-rumped Swallow ecropis daurica
A total of 8 exx on 2 dates in the Akseki area.
A total of 9 exx on 3 dates Nemrut Dagi area.

House Martin Delichon urbicum
01-05: 1 ex Camardi.
Up to 40 exx daily around the bridge over the Euphrat, Birecik.
10-05: 2 exx Tasucu


Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris
29-04: 1 ex Akseki area.
30-04: 1 ex Eregli steppes.
09-05: 2 exx near Yeniakpinar.

Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis
27-04: a single observation near Akseki was the only one of the trip.

Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus
02-05: 1 ex. calling Sultan Marshes.

Black-headed Wagtail Motacilla felldegg
02-05: common at Sultan Marshes.
Up to 10 exx daily gravel pits, Birecik.
09/10-05: up to 20 exx at Goksu delta.

Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola
02-05: 1 adult at Sultan Marshes.

Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
02-05: 1 ex along river, Camardi.

White Wagtail Motacilla alba
27-04: 2 exx. Omapynar, Manavgat.
29-04: 1 ex Akseki.
01-05: 1 ex. Camardi.
04-05: 2 exx Birecik.
08-05: 1 ex. Yeniakpinar


White-spectacled Bulbul Pycnonotus xanthopygos
Up to 6 exx daily in the bushes and gardens of Birecik.
10-05: 10 exx around Tasucu and Goksu delta.


White-throated Dipper Cinclus cinclus
02-05: 1 ex along river, Camardi


Winter Wren Troglodytes troglodytes


Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris
01-05: 4 exx at snowcock observation site, Demirkazik.

Radde’s Accentor Prunella ocularis
01-05: 4 exx ( 2 pairs) at snowcock observation site, Demirkazik.


Rufous-tailed Scrub-Robin Cercotrichas galactotes
03-05: 1 ex Birecik, bushes, southern side of Birecik.
03/08-05: 3 + 4 exx in the same area.
A total of 8 exx on 2 dates around Karadut, Nemrut Dagi area.

Common Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos
28-04 heard at village of ?
30-04 heard at Camardi.

White-throated Robin Irania gutturalis
30-04/01-05: Single birds seen Demirkazik area.
A total of 29 on 3 dates in the Nemrut Dagi area, mainly around Karadut and Cesme pension.

Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus
A total of 6 exx on 3 dates in the Akseki area.
01-05: 3 exx around Camardi.
06-05: 2 exx around pension Cesme, Nemrut Dagi area.

Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros
A total of 9 exx on 2 dates in the Demirkazik area.

Whinchat Saxicola rubetra
27-04: 1 ex near Akseki.
30-04: 2 exx Eregli area.

Common Stonechat Saxiocola rubicola
Single birds on 2 dates around mountain hotel, Demirkazik.

Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
A total of 12 on 2 dates in the Demirkazik area.
A total of 18 on 3 dates in the Nemrut Dagi area.

Finsch’s Wheatear Oenanthe finschii
01-05: 2 exx Demirkazik.
04-05: 3 exx Halfeti.
A total of 14 exx on 2 dates in the Nemrut Dagi area.

Pied Wheatear Oenanthe pleschanka
10-05: 1 ex at Tuzla.

Black-eared Wheatear Oenanthe hispanica
A total of 5 exx on 3 dates in the Akseki area.
A total of 13 on 2 dates in the Nemrut Dagi area.

Kurdistan (Red-tailed Wheatear) Oenanthe xanthoprymna
A total of 15 exx on 3 dates in the Nemrut DFagi area.

Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina
Common around Eregli.
02-05: 30+ at the edge of the Sultan Marshes.
08/09-05: 4 exx near Yeniakpinar.
10-05: 1 ex near Tuzla.

Rufous-tailed Rock-Thrush Monticola saxatilis
01-05: 1 pair at observation site of the snowcocks, Demirkazik.
A total of 8 exx on 3 dates at Nemrut Dagi.

Blue Rock-Thrush Monticola solitaries
28-04: 2 exx during the Fish Owl boat trip.
01-05: 1 ex at Demirkazik.
04-05: 1 ex at Halfeti.

Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus
01-05: 1 ex at Demirkazik.

Common Blackbird Turdus merula
Observed Akseki area and around Camardi.
06-05: 1 ex at Karadut.
10-05: 2 exx Tasucu.

Song Thrush Turdus philomelos
29-04: heard Akseki.

Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus
Very common in the Akseki area.


Cetti’s Warbler Cettia cetti
27/28-04: seen and heard around our hotel, Manavgat.
02-05: heard at the river, Camardi.
Daily heard around Birecik.
Daily heard Nemrut Dagi area.

Graceful Prinia Prinia gracilis
Commonly recorded gravel pits, Birecik.
Total of 10 exx on 2 days, Goksu delta.

Savi’s Warbler Locustella luscinioides
03-05: 1 ex. gravel pits, Birecik. (Wiel only)

Moustached Warbler Acrocephalus melanopogon
02-05: 2 exx at Sultan Marshes.
03-05: 5 heard and 2 seen, northern gravel pits, Birecik.
04-05: heard and at least 2 seen, northern gravel pits, Birecik.

Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
02-05: 1 ex seen and heard at Sultan Marshes.

Caspian Reed Warbler Acrocephalus fuscus
Common in marshy areas, Birecik.
Also recorded Goksu delta.

Great Reed-Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus
02-05: common Sultan Marshes.
Common in marshy areas, Birecik.
Common Goksu delta.

Eastern Olivaceous Warbler Iduna pallida
Daily recorded around Birecik.
Daily recorded Nemrut Dagi area.
10-05: 1 ex near Tasucu.

Upcher’s Warbler Hippolais languida
04-05: 1 ex singing at the beginning of the wadi, Birecik
06-05: 2 exx around pension Cesme, Nemrut Dagi area.

Olive-tree Warbler Hippolais olivetorum
27-04: 1 ex near Akseki.
07-05: 2 singing exx around Karadut, Nemrut Dagi area.

Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis
03-05: surprisingly only briefly heard on this date.

Eastern Orphean Warbler Sylvia crassirostris
06-05: 4 exx around pension Cesme, Nemrut Dagi area.

Common Whitethroat Sylvia communis
01/02-05: 1 ex around our pension, Camardi.
05-05: heard near Karadut, Nemrut Dagi area.
09-05: 1 ex near Tasucu, Goksu delta.

Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca
Up to 10 exx daily in the Demirkazik area.
Very distinctive song, compared to the simple rattle mostly made by our birds in the Netherlands.

Ménétries’s Warbler Sylvia mystacea ssp.rubescens
A total of 26 exx on 4 dates in the Birecik area. Easily seen as the birds were extremely vocal during our visit. Some great views.

Rüppell’s Warbler Sylvia rueppelli
27-04: Good views of at least 2 different males in the Akseki area. More exx were heard.
28-04: Heard in the Akseki area.

Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla
27-04: 1 ex by our hotel, Manavgat.
28/29-04: 2 exx in the Akseki area.
30-04: 1 ex Camardi.

Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus
06-05: 2 exx heard and seen near pension Cesme, Nemrut Dagi area.

Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
01-05: 1 ex Camardi
02-05: 3 exx Camardi.
02-05: 1 ex in some trees in the village near Sultan Marshes.
09-05: 1 ex Goksu delta.

Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler Phylloscopus orientalis
27-04: heard and 2 seen Akseki area.
28-04: heard Akseki area.
29-04: 1 ex seen Akseki.

Goldcrest Regulus regulus
29-04: 3 exx Akseki area.


Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata
A total of 3 exx on 2 dates near pension Cesme, Nemrut Dagi.


Iraq Babbler Turdoides altirostris
03-05: 3 exx northern gravel pits, Birecik.
04-05: 8 exx northern gravel pits, Birecik.


Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus ssp.tephronotus
06-05: a flock of 6/7 exx near Karadut, Nemrut Dagi area.


Sombre Tit Poecile lugubris
A total of 11 exx on 3 dates in the Akseki area.

Coal Tit Periparus ater
28-04: heard Akseki.
29-04: 1 ex Akseki area.
30-04: 2 exx Demirkazik area, valley behind Emli village.

Great Tit Parus major
Recorded on 9 dates. Only a few (max.3) daily.

Blue Tit Parus caeruleus
02-05: 1 ex.Camardi.


Krüper’s Nuthatch Sitta krueperi
Easily seen around Akseki.
A total of 14 on 3 dates in the Akseki area.

Western Rock Nuthatch Sitta neumayer
28-04: heard during the Fish Owl boat trip.
01-05: 2 exx. Dedmirkazik area. (Gorge)
06-05: 2 exx. Nemrut Dagi area.

Eastern Rock Nuthatch Sitta tephronota
04-05: 4 exx. Halfeti.
07-05: 1 ex near Karadut, Nemrut Dagi area.


Short-toed Treecreeper Certhia brachydactyla
Only heard around Akseki. 29-04: 1 single bird seen.


Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus
05-05: heard near the car ferry on our way to Nemrut Dagi.
08-05: heard Biricik.


Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio
Recorded on 12 dates. A total of 64 exx with a maximum of 10 on 3 dates.

Lesser Grey Shrike Lanius minor
29-04: 1 ex. near Eregli.
02-05: 1 ex. on transit to Sultan Marshes.
04-05: 1 ex near Halfeti.
06-05: 2 exx Nemrut Dagi area.

Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus
27/29-04: 2 exx Akseki area.

Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator
A total of 33 on 3 dates in the Nemrut Dagi area.
09-05: 2 exx Goksu delta.


Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius
Up to 10 exx daily in the Akseki area.
06-05: 1 ex near Karadut, Nemrut Dagi area.
10-05: 1 ex. along the highway near Mersin.

Eurasian Magpie Pica pica
Common around Camardi and Birecik.

Red-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax
30-04/01-05: 10 exx Demirkazik area.

Yellow-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax graculus
30-04/01-05: 40 exx Demirkazik area.
07-05: 2 exx Nemrut Dagi

Western Jackdaw Corvus monedula
29/30-04: 10 exx around Eregli.
02-05: 6 exx Sultan Marshes.
04-05: 4 exx Birecik.

Rook Corvus frugilegus
30-04: 2 exx near Eregli.

Hooded Crow Corvus cornix
Daily observed.

Common Raven Corvus corax
27-04: 10 exx Akseki area.
28-04: 2 exx Akseki area.
05-05: 1 ex Nemrut Dagi
10-05: 1 ex near Tuzla.


European Starling Sturnus vulgaris
Small numbers recorded on 8 dates.


House Sparrow Passer domesticus

Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis
29-04: 10 exx at the village of Adabak, near Eregli.
08/09-05: 10 to 20 exx at waterhole, Yeniakpinar.

Dead Sea Sparrow Passer moabiticus
Up to 20 daily gravel pits, Birecik.

Tree Sparrow Passer montanus
02-05: 2 exx Camardi.
05-05: 10 exx Karadut, Nemrut Dagi area.

Chestnut-shouldered Petronia Petronia xanthocollis
03-05: 1 singing male in small plantation, beginning of Wadi, Birecik.

Rock Sparrow Petronia petronia
30-04: 10 exx at Lesser Kestrel colony, Adabak village.
04-05: 4 exx Halfeti.
05-05: 2 exx. Wadi, Birecik.
A total of 12 exx on 3 dates in the Nemrut Dagi area.
08/09-05: 4 exx at waterhole, Yeniakpinar.

Pale Rock Sparrow Carpospiza brachydactyla
04-05: 1 pair near Halfeti.
08/09-05: 10+ just north of Yeniakpinar. Regularly drinking at 2 waterholes and also singing along the dirt road, north of the village.

White-winged Snowfinch Montifringilla nivalis
01-05: 30+ Demirkazik area.
05-05: 5 exx Nemrut Dagi.
07-05: 10 exx Nemrut Dagi.


Common Chaffinch Tringilla coelebs
Common in the Akseki area.
02-05: observed around Camardi.

Asian Crimson-winged Finch Rhodopechys sanguineus
01-05: 2 exx at water tank, Demirkazik.

Desert Finch Rhodospiza obsolete
03-05: 4 exx southern gravel pits, Birecik.
08-05: 10 exx southern gravel pits, Birecik.
09-05: 4 exx waterhole, north of Yeniakpinar.

Greenfinch Chloris chloris
Daily up to 10 exx in the Akseki area.

Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra
27-04: 10 exx Akseki area.
29-04: 6 exx Akseki area.

European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis
Observed on 9 dates. Akseki, Camardi, Birecik and Nemrut Dagi.

Twite Carduelis flavirostris
01-05: 1 ex gorge, Demirkazik (Wiel only)

Linnet Carduelis cannabina
Up to 10 exx daily in the Demirkazik area.
05/06-05 2 + 3 exx Nemrut Dagi area.

Fire-fronted Serin Serinus pusillus
30-04: 4 exx in valley behind Emli valley, Demirkazik.
01-05: 40+ Demirkazik area.

European Serin Serinus serinus
Common in the Akseki area.


Rock Bunting Emberiza cia
30-04: 10 exx in the valley behind Emli village, Demirkazik.
01-05: 4 exx Demirkazik area.

Cinereous Bunting Emberiza cineracea
Common in the Nemrut Dagi area.
Estimated 70 exx on 3 dates.

Ortolan Bunting Emberiza hortulana
02-05: heard behind the mountain hotel, Demirkazik.
08-05: 1 ex. Yeniakpinar.
09-05: 4 exx Yeniakpinar.

Cretzschmar’s Bunting Emberiza caesia
27-04: 3 exx Akseki area.
28-04: 2 exx Akseki area.

Black-headed Bunting Emberiza melanocephala
02-05: 2 exx Camardi.
Up to 10 exx daily in the Birecik area.
Up to 20 exx daily in the Nemrut Dagi area.
08/09-05: 2 exx waterhole, Yeniakpinar.

Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra
27-04: 1 ex near Manavgat.
29-04: 4 exx near Eregli.
30-04: heard near Eregli.
02-05: 3 exx on transit.
A few daily in the Birecik area.
A few daily in the Nemrut Dagi area.
09-05: 1 near Yeniakpinar.


Iraq Babbler Turdoides altirostris – Gravel pits, Birecik May 2013


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