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Bird spotting In Turkey, 2013, H Aspen

I recently went away on holiday to Turkey. I relished the thought of going away to this wonderful country, and not just because I am a big fan of kebabs! The local wildlife really got me quite excited. Turkey has a huge population of birds, ranging from the common such as blackbirds and Spotted Flycatcher to Eleonora's Falcon and beautiful Blackcaps.

Turkey offers a variety of different terrains for you and therefore this means that you can see a larger variety of birds. There are forests in which you can spot Lesser Spotted Eagles, White-backed Woodpeckers and Greenish Warbler. Along the Mediterranean Coast, you can see the Olive-tree Warbler, Krueper’s Nuthatch, Masked Shrike, or the Cinereous and Cretzschmar’s Bunting if you keep your eyes peeled. Because of its location and proximity to Asia, you can also get the chance to see some birds that you usually wouldn't, such as the Smyrna Kingfisher or the Brown Fish Owl.

My wife and I stayed in a lovely hotel, the Green Nature Resort and Spa, which is in Marmaris. This meant that while I spent some of my time exploring, she could relax by the pool. She does come out spotting with me sometimes, but it's not really her thing, so I don't force her!

Marmaris seemed to be a lovely resort, with a beautiful bay but one which appeared to contain little bird life. I ventured a bit off the beaten track and headed into the North of Marmaris to go spotting. I visited the nearby lake Koycegic and spotted a Masked Shrike and a stunning White-Breasted Kingfisher, as well as many Blackbirds and Song Thrushes which seemed to be everywhere I turned my head!

My wife and I hired a car for a few days so that we could explore the countryside. We drove out to the wetlands around the Buyuk Menderes delta. Here we managed to spot some Little Egrets and a huge flock of Greater Flamingos in the lagoons. We were really lucky, it would appear, as others have not spotted such a range, but we saw Dalmatian Pelicans, Grey Herons, a Finch's Wheatears and a pair of Caspian Terns.

There are a number of birding tours on offer in the area, which could be good, as we often had trouble figuring out how to get down to the best spots. I would definitely go back, as there are a few more birds on my list that I didn't spot on this visit.

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