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A Report from

South West Turkey (12th-26th Sept '94),

John Bateman


This was a two week package holiday (of which the first week was of special interest and for which a small supplement was paid. This gave the services of a local person to arrange trips to areas of interest. This was very useful as I did not hire a car.)
The area is certainly well worth visiting, both from a birdwatching aspect but also as a holiday area. The locals are extremely friendly and the cost of living is extremely low.


We stayed at Hisaronu, an approximate half hour drive south from Dalman Airport. It is a small village set on the side of a mountain above the resort of Olu Deniz (Blue Lagoon). This was a 30 min. walk away or 10 minutes by a very cheep bus service. The village is very tourist orientated and is dominated by the mountain of Baba Dagi.


Very dry and arid. The immediate countryside is farmland with maize, cereals and Olive groves, giving way to stony hillsides covered by scrub and bushes and dotted with beehives, then rising to the pine forest which cover the mountains virtually to the summits.


Hot and sunny (85-90 degrees whilst I was there) with no rain since May. There were occasional thunderstorms in late September which cleared in about half an hour.
Species seen in the immediate vicinity of Hisaronu:

Short-toed Eagle. - Single sighting over the pine forest
Golden Eagle - 3 sightings soaring around the side of Baba Dagi
Honey Buzzard - Several seen, attracted by the numerous Bee Hives
Long-legged Buzzard - Quite common
Red-footed Falcon - Singleton from the Hotel balcony plus a multiple sighting of 200+ one evening, soaring on thermals over Baba Dagi before heading south.
Eleonora's Falcon - one seen
Hobby - 2 or 3 seen early morning around the hotel complex.
Wood Pigeon - common
Collared Dove - Very common indeed
Swallow - High no's: migrating south
Red-rumped swallow - 5/6 sightings, check the swallow flocks.
House Martins - Quite common
Bee-eater - Flock of 30/40 seen daily until the second week, when they disappeared. Usually seen along the track in front of the St. Nicholas Hotel (near the miniature golf course) on wires.
Roller - Single sightings of two birds, near the Orchard bottom end of the village
Hoopoe - Two singletons near to the golf course
Syrian Woodpecker - 4/5 seen, one near to the centre of the village
Crested Lark - very common on waste ground, though quite hard to find as it blends in so well.
Skylark - Common
White Wagtail - Common near to hotel pools.
Northern Wheatear - Fairly common on stony hill sides.
Isabelline Wheatear - Several sightings on the stony hillsides around the village.
Rufous Bush Robin - One seen
Olivaceous Warbler - 2/3 seen usually in small trees bordering gardens and in small deciduous copses.
Orphean Warbler - 3/4 seen in the small deciduous copses that dot the hillsides.
Lesser Whitethroat - Quite common in scrubby areas.
Whitethroat - Less common than the above.
Blackcap - Quite common.
Robin - One seen
Wren - One Seen
Olive Tree Warbler - 3/4 sightings (mainly in the Olive Groves on the hillsides) difficult to locate as it skulks a lot.
Willow Warbler - Very common.
Spotted Flycatcher - Quite common several sightings.
Kruper's Nuthatch - Seen daily, (resident bird in the cemetery at the bottom of the village - Comes to the water trough when you turn the tap on.)
Golden Oriole - Seen daily (same area as the Bee-eaters. )
Jay - Very common.
Red-backed Shrike - Very common, seen daily.
Masked Shrike - Seen daily, two individuals appeared regularly.
Cirl Bunting - Two sightings, on farmland.
Ortolan Bunting - Two birds seen, on waste ground.
Rock Bunting - Single male seen on stony area near to the hotel.

All of the above sightings were recorded whilst walking in the immediate area of the village, within a radius of about 2 - 3 miles, mainly early mornings or late evenings. (6.00 - 9.30am and 16.30 - 18.00pm) as it is two hot during the middle of the day. I personally found the heat very energy sapping whilst carrying a rucksack and camera bag etc. It is essential to carry a good supply of bottled water (cheap to buy.)
There are also several species of lizards and butterflies in the area, some of them very colourful.

Other Sites.

Kaya Koy Village.

This is a deserted "ghost village" popular with tourists, 5km from Hisaronu. It is a half hour walk, serviced by "Dolmus". 

Species seen:

Long-legged Buzzard - 2 -3 sightings.
Red-footed Falcon - Single male seen several times during the day.
Syrian Woodpecker - 2 seen.
Rock Nuthatch - Several seen in the ruins.
Blue Rock Thrush - Several seen in the ruins.
Sardinian Warbler - Singleton on the hillside just before the village.
Rüppell's Warbler - Singleton by the Mosque at the top of the village.
Olivaceous Warbler - By the entrance to the village.
Blackcap - Several.
Red-backed Shrike - Several sightings.
Chukar - Covey of 10 -12 birds flying round the hillside just before the village

( An Eagle Owl was also reported to me by another birder, seen early morning in the woods.)

Callis Marsh.

This can be reached fairly easily by either taxi or "Dolmus". I visited twice.

Species seen by the marsh:

Spotted Eagle - Single sighting of a bird sitting on the marsh before being chased off by Hooded Crows.
Broad-billed Sandpiper - one.
Purple Heron - two seen.
Little Stint - group of 5 seen.
Curlew Sandpiper - one seen.
Spur-winged Plover - one seen.
Green Sandpiper - two seen.
Wood Sandpiper - one seen
Common Sandpiper - 3-4 birds seen.
Kingfisher - common, several seen.
Slender-billed Gull - Single bird sat on fence post off the seaward end of the marsh.
Gull-billed Tern - Single bird fishing by the river.
White-winged Black Tern - Single bird fishing pools on the marsh.

Species seen by the reed flanked river:

Reed Warbler - 2-3 birds seen.
Cetti's Warbler - two birds seen
Fan-tailed Warbler - Several seen on the edge of the marsh pools in the vegetation.
Whinchat - 4-5 on fence posts around the marsh.
Crested Lark - Several seen on waste ground around the marsh.

Baba Dagi Mountain:

We used a mini bus to take us up the mountain that the para-gliders use. We then walked down and picked up the mini bus later.
Species seen:

Short-toed Eagle - Two sightings.
Montagu's Harrier - Single sighting of a male flying down the valley.
Goshawk - Single bird soaring over the forest.
Long-legged Buzzard - Three individual birds seen.
Honey Buzzard - Several birds seen, there are plenty of Bee Hives in the area especially on the lower slopes.
Peregrine - Single bird sat on an electricity pylon.
Isabelline Wheatear - 2-3 birds seen on the open stony areas.
Black-eared Wheatear - Two birds seen in the open stony areas.
Red-backed Shrike - Several birds seen.
Masked Shrike - Two individuals seen.
Coal Tit - Seen in forest
Great Tit - Seen in forest.
Blue Tit - Seen in forest.
Chaffinch - These are greyer than ours.
Krupers Nuthatch - Near a reservoir about half way up.
Sombre Tit - Two individuals seen in an area of deciduous trees near to the summit.

On The Summit:

Crag Martin - Several flying round the top.
Alpine Swift - Several flying round the top.
Northern Wheatear - 3-4 birds seen.
Black-eared Wheatear - Two individuals seen.

The following Raptors were seen coming in off the sea and flying down the valley:

Steppe Buzzard - three
Marsh Harrier - ten or eleven
Osprey - One
Falcon Sp. - possibly Lanner, one.

All the above were flying southward. Talking to the para-gliders, they stated that the previous day, raptors had been seen coming in off the sea all day, soaring over the summit and then flying down the valley. It appears that if you time it right and weather conditions are correct, it is a good raptor watch point.

Lake Koycegiz / river:

This is an approximately two hour drive from Hisaronu, and we used local excursions to get there. We paid two visits and used the boats that take people round the lake.

Species seen:

Little Grebe - Three individuals.
Red-necked Grebe - Two individuals seen.
Little Egrets - Four flying over the reeds.
Little Bittern - One female over the reeds.
Night Heron - One Female roosting in tree.
Kingfisher - Several birds seen.
Pied Kingfisher - Single sighting of a perched bird.
White-breasted Kingfisher - Single sighting of a flying bird.
Penduline Tit - Group of six in trees bordering a small inlet.
Reed Warbler - Several seen.
Great Reed Warbler - One seen.
Whiskered Tern - Group of five birds fishing the lake.
Black Tern - Several seen.
Water Rail - Heard calling.
Yellow Wagtail - two flava, two feldegg.
Moorhen/Coot - Several seen.

Itzulu Marsh / Dalyan Estuary:

Great White Egret - Two individuals seen.
Lesser Kestrel - 3-4 sightings.
Marsh Harrier - Several seen
Montagu's Harrier - Singleton
Roller - Three sightings of individual birds on wires.
Whinchat - Several sightings.
Pied Wheatear - Single male seen.

Dalyan Estuary

I was rather disappointed in this. I had expected to see several species of shore bird but none were apparent. The area is heavily disturbed by the tourist trade. The lake and river are also coming under increasing pressure. I wonder how much more pressure it can take before the environment suffers irreversible damage.

Taurus Mountains.

I took a trip in a mini bus (a triangle of 70-80 miles), in the following areas: Fethiye, Golishar and Cameli. We stopped at several suitable habitats.


Short-toed Eagle - single sighting of one hovering.
Long-legged Buzzard - Two seen
Lanner Falcon - Several
Alpine Swifts - Several
Crag Martin - Several

Pine Woods:

Serin - Several
Sombre Tit - Two Individuals.
+ Chaffinch, Blue Tit and Great Tit.

Lowland (river and farmland):

Grey Heron - Single bird on a river bank
Spotted Flycatcher - Several seen.
Collared Flycatcher - One Female
Pied Flycatcher - Two males.
Red-breasted Flycatcher - One Male in area of orchards/gardens.
Blackcaps - Several.
Linnets - Several.
Spanish Sparrow - Flock of 15/20 birds.
Hobby - Juvenile in the top of a tree.

Open Hillside (Stony, scrubby area.)

 Black-eared Wheatear - Two singletons
 Wryneck - Two singletons.
 Tawny Pipit - Two seen.
 Cretzschmar's Bunting - One seen.
 Cirl Bunting - Two seen.
 Rock Nuthatch - Three or four individuals seen.
 Rock Sparrow - Flock of 7/8 seen.
 Goldfinch - Several.
All of the above were seen in an open area where goats are fed and therefore grain and water were available, making the area attractive to birds.

Pamukkale/Hierapolis: (Sight-seeing trip)

Species seen:

Collared Pratincole - Two birds seen from the coach.
Black Kite - seen from Coach.
Calandra Lark - Seen from coach.
(The above were all seen whilst crossing the Plain of Anatolan.)
Rock Nuthatch - Several in the Ruins.
Isabelline Wheatears - Several in the ruins.
Finch's Wheatear - Two males seen in the ruins.
Crested Lark - Several on waste ground near to the coach park.
Spanish Sparrow - Colony near the central area near to the trees.
Eagle Sp. - Possibly Bonelli's soaring over the hillside near to the ruins.


Intensive birding would without doubt show a greater number of species and more multiple sightings of the resident species..
To any birdwatcher like myself who has to combine family with his hobby, the area is particularly ideal for this purpose.
I will certainly make a return visit.
I trust that this information is of interest to you for adding to your Web Pages.

John Bateman

Full Checklist of Species seen:

· Little Grebe
· Red-necked Grebe
· Night Heron
· Little Bittern
· Little Egret
· Great White Egret
· Grey Heron
· Purple Heron
· Honey Buzzard
· Black Kite
· Short-toed Eagle
· Bonelli's Eagle
· Marsh Harrier
· Montagu's Harrier
· Spotted Eagle
· Goshawk
· Long-legged Buzzard
· Golden Eagle
· Osprey
· Lesser Kestrel
· Kestrel
· Red Footed Falcon
· Eleonora's Falcon
· Lanner Falcon
· Peregrine Falcon
· Water Rail
· Moorhen
· Coot
· Collared Pratincole
· Little-ringed Plover
· Ringed Plover
· Spur-winged Plover
· Little Stint
· Curlew Sandpiper
· Dunlin
· Redshank
· Green Sandpiper
· Wood Sandpiper
· Common Sandpiper
· Broad-billed Sandpiper
· Slender-billed Gull
· Yellow-legged Gull
· Audouin's Gull
· Gull-billed Tern
· Whiskered Tern
· Black Tern
· White-winged Black Tern
· Wood Pigeon
· Collared Dove
· Turtle Dove
· Alpine Swift
· Swift
· Crag Martin
· House Martin
· Swallow
· Red-rumped Swallow
· Sand Martin
· White-breasted Kingfisher
· Pied Kingfisher
· Kingfisher
· Bee Eater
· Roller
· Hoopoe
· Wryneck
· Syrian Woodpecker
· Calandra Lark
· Crested Lark
· Skylark
· Tawny Pipit
· Yellow Wagtail
· White Wagtail
· Dipper
· Robin
· Wren
· Rufous Bush Robin
· Whinchat
· Isabelline Wheatear
· Black-eared Wheatear
· Pied Wheatear
· Finch's Wheatear
· Northern Wheatear
· Rock Thrush
· Blue Rock Thrush
· Blackbird
· Mistle Thrush
· Cetti's Warbler
· Marsh Warbler
· Reed Warbler
· Great Reed Warbler
· Olivaceous Warbler
· Olive Tree Warbler
· Fan-tailed Warbler
· Sardinian Warbler
· Ruppell's Warbler
· Orphean Warbler
· Lesser Whitethroat
· Whitethroat
· Willow Warbler
· Blackcap
· Spotted Flycatcher
· Collared Flycatcher
· Pied Flycatcher
· Red-breasted Flycatcher
· Sombre Tit
· Coal Tit
· Blue Tit
· Great Tit
· Penduline Tit
· Kruper's Nuthatch
· Rock Nuthatch
· Short-toed Treecreeper
· Jay
· Hooded Crow
· Raven
· Golden Oriole
· Red-backed Shrike
· Masked Shrike
· Spanish Sparrow
· Rock Sparrow
· Serin
· Greenfinch
· Goldfinch
· Linnet
· Cirl Bunting
· Ortolan Bunting
· Cretzschmar's Bunting
One hundred and twenty nine species in total of which forty-nine of these species were new to me!

John Bateman.   Lancaster.

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