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Old Saturday 28th April 2012, 14:35   #26
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Great report, Nick. It's always nice when someone shares the details of the local experience as well as a list of what was seen.Shall make use of it when we do our Turkey trip. Thanks for taking the time to post. Elaine
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Old Saturday 28th April 2012, 18:01   #27
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Great report, Nick. It's always nice when someone shares the details of the local experience as well as a list of what was seen.Shall make use of it when we do our Turkey trip. Thanks for taking the time to post. Elaine
Do I know you Elaine? Great to see you on here!

You think this is long, you wanna read a trip report I did for Ontario a few years back, in this sub section!

Welcome to Birdforum my dear friend
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Old Sunday 29th April 2012, 07:12   #28
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There is a seperate thread under "Rare Bird Information" sub-section regards the Brown Fish Owl which highlights the issues with seeing them, but also do check out a new article about them at www.birdguides.com

Click on "Articles" (you have to sign in) which is an option in small getting towards the top right of the home page, this article explains that the owls may be easier when young have hatched such as July and August, but at the end it also gives a good site nearby for Kruper's Nuthatch, which may remove the need to take a day out at Akseki. Your choice!

PLEASE NOTE this article suggests Erdals boats depart about 1 mile further along the coast line than I caught my boat. That would be by the restaurant. I had not realised that boats departed from two sites. It would be easy to go ALL that way to see the owls and then go to the wrong departure point. Make sure you get this clarified!

The Dutch birder Rienk Geene 'Ecoloog who I bumped into will be offering trips to see the owls through his company "Habitat-Advies" contact info@habitat-advies.nl. Trips will run from Amsterdam and include flights, 2 nights accommodation at a nice hotel and boat trip, all for 500 euros, if anyone is interested. He is in the early stages of arranging this, but seemed very professional and is currently finalising arrangements with boat owners there. No harm in emailing him, I am sure he could factor in flights from other european countries.
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Old Monday 30th April 2012, 09:55   #29
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Hi Nick - quick question re the Owls...Did you ask whether any tourist boats were going to the 'Little Canyon' as well ( and did you meet Erdal?) - from what I read on birdguides water levels too low so none currently are?? Im torn what to do here ; Id really love to give these a go but with so few days a cruise around big canyon only on a tourist boat seems a fairly long shot and E500 is a bit steep to say the least!! Cheers

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Old Monday 30th April 2012, 11:41   #30
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Hi Nick - quick question re the Owls...Did you ask whether any tourist boats were going to the 'Little Canyon' as well ( and did you meet Erdal?) - from what I read on birdguides water levels too low so none currently are?? Im torn what to do here ; Id really love to give these a go but with so few days a cruise around big canyon only on a tourist boat seems a fairly long shot and E500 is a bit steep to say the least!! Cheers

Chris
Its a real dilemma, considering going back over as someone has hired a boat 21st May. But if cant access it what's the point me flying over?

No sign in Big Canyon recently apparently, certainly not when I was there. I was under the impression boats were going to Little Canyon until I read the Birdguides article. All very confusing. Water Levels will certainly lower if anything, as summer progresses.
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Old Monday 30th April 2012, 22:36   #31
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Yes I think I'll just have see how the land lies when Im out there - potentially frustrating though! If not think I might be going back...

BY the way, looking at your 'sign off' target birds, I was in Morocco in mid March and despite looking in lots of known sites, no sign of Blue Cheeked Bee Eater ....probably bit early?. I was pretty disappointed but then not far into journey back to Marrakesh happened across a migrating flock of almost 40 and eventually had great views - well worth the wait I can tell you!!!
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Old Tuesday 1st May 2012, 04:15   #32
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Yes I think I'll just have see how the land lies when Im out there - potentially frustrating though! If not think I might be going back...

BY the way, looking at your 'sign off' target birds, I was in Morocco in mid March and despite looking in lots of known sites, no sign of Blue Cheeked Bee Eater ....probably bit early?. I was pretty disappointed but then not far into journey back to Marrakesh happened across a migrating flock of almost 40 and eventually had great views - well worth the wait I can tell you!!!
Chris

I think Blue-Cheeked Bee-eater is just one of those birds I can "hope" to stumble into one day. They can be found in eastern Turkey but I am a bit wary of travelling there as a solo traveller. Western Turkey was an experience for me, compared to driving around Mallorca and Rhodes! I would hate to break down or get stuck in some of the remote places us birders get to.

Good luck on the owl, maybe Erdal will feed back to the group of lads who have booked the 21st May boat. As others have done, check this and the Rare Birds Brown Fish Owl thread for updates. The 4am departure by the company Tor has linked to via Vigotours certainly confirms my suggestion that they are far easier early morning, but 4am departure!!! Hard core birding!
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Old Friday 18th May 2012, 12:03   #33
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Turkey update

Thought Id post something up quickly upon return. Will produce full trip report in due course; if anyone interested let me know.

As per recent postings, some months ago I booked a family holiday to Side in Southern Turkey, with the hope of my usual compromise of a few days quality birding around family stuff.

I was obvioiulsy keen on trying to see Fish Owls but recent reports on bird forum suggested that the birds were difficult on the ‘Tourist boat trips’ and to give up one of my precious birding days on a tourist party boat listening to disco and maybe not seeing the birds sounded pretty unpleasant. The costs of individual charter were prohibitive so had reluctantly pretty much discounted going for the owls to concentrate on migrating birds ( with view to possibly returning as part of birding crew in not too distant?).

The general birding was really good – especially migration on the coast – one sunny morning spent a memorable couple of hours around Side Roman ruins (a tourist trap a bit later in the day) that rival any of my experiences in Morocco, Israel, Spain etc; Olivaceous were everywhere, Red Backed Shrikes, 3 Barred warblers, Masked Shrikes, loads of Turtle Doves overhead, a River Warbler singing, a glorious Roller flew in and 8 adult Rose Coloured Starlings were a bit unexpected. Finally tracked down two Olive Tree Warblers from song (a bird I’d had no luck with at two ‘traditional’ Gosney sites so very pleasing).This for me is what birding should be about and very enjoyable.

I was saying as much to the only other birder I ran into all week, a Swedish guy, when he mentioned that he had been to see the Fish Owls two days before on a trip where the company ( Vigo Tours) charged 200 Euros for individual charter. Now I was getting seriously interested! …..this, whilst not cheap, seemed closer to my idea of ‘realistic’ so that evening I called the guy – Ozcan) and it eventually turned out 3 Belgian birders were also going out so we could split costs. To cut a long story short next morning at 4’am my 8 year old daughter and I headed out, quite excited! We were also unexpectedly joined by Arnoud van den Berg aiming to record the birds (a charming guy who lent my daughter his binoculars!) and over next two hours as it got light had good views of a great bird (well 2 adults and a chick) that I never realistically thought about seeing in the Western Palearctic ; a memorable day!

Also connected with other targets inc Krupers and Rock Nuthatches in Akseki area but as I say will post full details at later date!

Thanks to others, particularly Nick, for their posts that were invaluable!

Chris
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Old Saturday 19th May 2012, 06:53   #34
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Thought Id post something up quickly upon return. Will produce full trip report in due course; if anyone interested let me know.

As per recent postings, some months ago I booked a family holiday to Side in Southern Turkey, with the hope of my usual compromise of a few days quality birding around family stuff.

I was obvioiulsy keen on trying to see Fish Owls but recent reports on bird forum suggested that the birds were difficult on the ‘Tourist boat trips’ and to give up one of my precious birding days on a tourist party boat listening to disco and maybe not seeing the birds sounded pretty unpleasant. The costs of individual charter were prohibitive so had reluctantly pretty much discounted going for the owls to concentrate on migrating birds ( with view to possibly returning as part of birding crew in not too distant?).

The general birding was really good – especially migration on the coast – one sunny morning spent a memorable couple of hours around Side Roman ruins (a tourist trap a bit later in the day) that rival any of my experiences in Morocco, Israel, Spain etc; Olivaceous were everywhere, Red Backed Shrikes, 3 Barred warblers, Masked Shrikes, loads of Turtle Doves overhead, a River Warbler singing, a glorious Roller flew in and 8 adult Rose Coloured Starlings were a bit unexpected. Finally tracked down two Olive Tree Warblers from song (a bird I’d had no luck with at two ‘traditional’ Gosney sites so very pleasing).This for me is what birding should be about and very enjoyable.

I was saying as much to the only other birder I ran into all week, a Swedish guy, when he mentioned that he had been to see the Fish Owls two days before on a trip where the company ( Vigo Tours) charged 200 Euros for individual charter. Now I was getting seriously interested! …..this, whilst not cheap, seemed closer to my idea of ‘realistic’ so that evening I called the guy – Ozcan) and it eventually turned out 3 Belgian birders were also going out so we could split costs. To cut a long story short next morning at 4’am my 8 year old daughter and I headed out, quite excited! We were also unexpectedly joined by Arnoud van den Berg aiming to record the birds (a charming guy who lent my daughter his binoculars!) and over next two hours as it got light had good views of a great bird (well 2 adults and a chick) that I never realistically thought about seeing in the Western Palearctic ; a memorable day!

Also connected with other targets inc Krupers and Rock Nuthatches in Akseki area but as I say will post full details at later date!

Thanks to others, particularly Nick, for their posts that were invaluable!

Chris
Nice one Chris

I would love to see a more detailed report if you can.

I am heading back today, just for two days, and am booked on Vigo Tours on 4am trip on Monday 21st. So will feedback too.

If you read this before I depart at 11am today (unlikely I know) how did you find Akseki? Was it worth going back except for Nuthatches?

After the owl cruise I am unsure whether to go back to Akseki or try Side again. Would love to see Olive Tree Warbler but I think Akseki cemetary and perhaps other traditional site near Taragasol ?(or something like that) have not produced results recently? I will try to check this site again tomorrow night if I have time.

Glad you found Side so productive. With luck it can be fantastic.

Thanks again Chris.
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Old Monday 21st May 2012, 20:14   #35
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Nice one Chris

I would love to see a more detailed report if you can.

I am heading back today, just for two days, and am booked on Vigo Tours on 4am trip on Monday 21st. So will feedback too.

If you read this before I depart at 11am today (unlikely I know) how did you find Akseki? Was it worth going back except for Nuthatches?

After the owl cruise I am unsure whether to go back to Akseki or try Side again. Would love to see Olive Tree Warbler but I think Akseki cemetary and perhaps other traditional site near Taragasol ?(or something like that) have not produced results recently? I will try to check this site again tomorrow night if I have time.

Glad you found Side so productive. With luck it can be fantastic.

Thanks again Chris.
Hi Nick

so sorry - only just saw this as been manic since back with a family event. Im not sure the Olive Trees are still at Akseki Cemetery or the Tasagil Gosney site ( well based on my experience and recent efforts of others) - tried both to no avail but then as I say got lucky at Side, but presumably these were on passage but not sure how long they may stick.

Akseki hard work at times but the Gosney WB Woodie site on road 16 k N of Akseki was enjoyable at least in in terms of 2-3 Krupers, Middle Spotted Wood, Masked Shrikes. Sombre Tit etc, and at various stops on road back had lots of Ruppells Warblers and 2 Rock Nuthatch as well as several B E Wheatear and ST eagle - thats about it!!

Of course may well be that by time you read this you are back, in which case 'doh!' and apologies

Chris
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Old Tuesday 22nd May 2012, 10:31   #36
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Hi Nick

so sorry - only just saw this as been manic since back with a family event. Im not sure the Olive Trees are still at Akseki Cemetery or the Tasagil Gosney site ( well based on my experience and recent efforts of others) - tried both to no avail but then as I say got lucky at Side, but presumably these were on passage but not sure how long they may stick.

Akseki hard work at times but the Gosney WB Woodie site on road 16 k N of Akseki was enjoyable at least in in terms of 2-3 Krupers, Middle Spotted Wood, Masked Shrikes. Sombre Tit etc, and at various stops on road back had lots of Ruppells Warblers and 2 Rock Nuthatch as well as several B E Wheatear and ST eagle - thats about it!!

Of course may well be that by time you read this you are back, in which case 'doh!' and apologies

Chris
Hi Chris

No worries I know how you feel having arrived at 4am back home this morning.

The Brown Fish Owl boat trip at 4am with Vigo Tours went very well, seeing both adults and a nearly fully fledged juv at the cave entrance that acts as a nest. Superb .

Just for info to all, if you go on one of Erdals 10am trips you may get lucky and see an adult asleep in the roost tree, but I expect that would be it at best. Erdall does not want to go earlier than 10am and his boats for private hire cost 500 euros.

Will write an update on this thread at the weekend.
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Old Wednesday 23rd May 2012, 14:49   #37
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As mentioned in Wolfbirders excellent report, the ancient ruins at Side are definitely worth the effort if you have time to spare.

Not only are they culturally interesting but in a leisurely 2-3 hours that we spent on our last day, having had crippling views of 2 Brown Fish Owls earlier, we watched Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Olive Tree Warbler, Rufous Bush Chat, Red throated pipit, Levants Sparrowhawk, Melodious Warbler, many Masked Shrikes, Yellow vented Bulbul and Barred Warbler at the ruins. And the tourists tend to mostly stick to the main areas near the road so you have it to yourself.
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Old Wednesday 23rd May 2012, 15:59   #38
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As mentioned in Wolfbirders excellent report, the ancient ruins at Side are definitely worth the effort if you have time to spare.

Not are they culturally interesting but in a leisurely 2-3 hours that we spent on our last day, having had crippling views of 2 Brown Fish Owls earlier, we watched Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Olive Tree Warbler, Rufous Bush Chat, Red throated pipit, Levants Sparrowhawk, Melodious Warbler, many Masked Shrikes, Yellow vented Bulbul and Barred Warbler at the ruins. And the tourists tend to mostly stick to the main areas near the road so you have it to yourself.
Wow thats quite a haul from Side ruins . Wish I had returned on my last day (but more of that later!). When were you there?
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Old Thursday 24th May 2012, 09:32   #39
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Nick

Our final day was 11th May - after an early rise for the excellent and throughly recommended Vigo Tours BFO trip, we spent the afternoon at Side ruins, for once enjoying leisurely birding as we were not flying back til that evening.
Definitely a site worth exploring for anyone in the area and with time, and very useful for any birders on a family holiday in Side for an early morning jaunt.
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Old Thursday 24th May 2012, 16:55   #40
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Nick

Our final day was 11th May - after an early rise for the excellent and throughly recommended Vigo Tours BFO trip, we spent the afternoon at Side ruins, for once enjoying leisurely birding as we were not flying back til that evening.
Definitely a site worth exploring for anyone in the area and with time, and very useful for any birders on a family holiday in Side for an early morning jaunt.
Lucky you and well done! A great haul that is indeed!
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Old Saturday 26th May 2012, 10:19   #41
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A return trip was made to Antalya on 19th May, returning 21st May. I spend nearly any leisure money on such trips, barely ever going out or spending on other things, though I am still lucky to be able to afford the luxury of doing this, I acknowledge.

Flights from Manchester with Thomas Cook were £175, 2 nights all-inclusive at Lara World near Antalya airport cost £50 (though I ended up not using the 2nd night), instead staying at Yesil Vadi on the night of the 20th (which is booked via Vigotour.com, and cost 25 euro B & B). Car hire via Hertz cost 50 euros. The Brown Fish Owl trip cost about 25 euros each, as I had piggy-backed Simon's trip (see above posts). If you were by yourself it could cost 190 euros approx.

I arrived late on 19th and checked in to catch the most of the champions league final with Chelsea winning on penalties. I have sleep problems, and this night I just could not get to sleep at all, perhaps it was simply the lack of cotton sheets! So I left at 3am, driving back to the airport and getting onto the D400 motorway for Antlaya (not Alanya direction).

I was heading back to the circular route I undertook a month ago - KORKUTELLI HILLS, SEKI (including TEMEL & ZORLAR), GOGUBELI PASS, ELMALI, AVLAN RESERVOIR, & KORKUTELLI HILLS. But I explained previously in my main report, that birding was not great in the former area due to a lack of access off the dual carriageway system, that post-dated Gosney's guide.

This time I undertook the same route but in an anti-clockwise direction, and it did provide entirely different opportunties and access tracks. Although again, I would still maintain that the Korkutelli Hills were not as good as other areas, with the exception of a great spot for Finsch's Wheatear.

I have discovered a great website with co-ordinates to pinpoint recommended birding spots, that will be of no interest to the causal reader, but may be imperative for future visitors.

This site is :-

www.itouchmap.com/latlong.html

It is based on google maps I believe , & you can use map, satellite, hybrid or terrain options. Scroll down and you can input co-ordinates I provide in this report following the instructions, and it takes you exactly to the spot.

Anyway, from the D400 I started the day by travelling towards Antalya, but following D400 signs where the motorway swings to the right, as you do NOT want to go into Antalya central (Merkesi Sehir), and then again you turn right where "Ankara, Burdur, Istrata etc" is signposted. It is straightforward, and this road takes you up and out of Antlaya. After 15-20kms Korkutelli is signposted, and then you are on your way to Korkutelli. Follow signs for Elmali once at Korkutelli, but several kms later where you turn left again for Elmali, you turn right for Fethiye (you do not go all the way there of course). This road is the D350. A few kms before the village of Kizilcadag, you take a rough, stoney, dirt track to your right where you see a large sign for CIGLIK YAYLASI. This is at Lat 37.032767 Long 29.989972. If you approach from the Fethiye direction you will not see the sign as it is on the other side of the dual carriageway, so you would have to double back somewhere. But you can see the radar masts on the hill. Initially, on the track, you just run past a few houses and then the lane winds upwards, past superb, barren, boulder-strewn hillside that is quite excellent for Finsch's Wheatear. The track runs for approx 1-2 miles until it reaches a village that is presumably Ciglik Yaylasi. I did not encounter any other traffic during an hour here, between 6.30am-7.30am. I also took a short track off this road to the right for a few hundred metres, where I enjoyed good views of Finsch's Wheatear, but on this side track feet and tyres quickly attracted clay, so beware. I dread to think what it would be like in wet conditions.
Back on the main track, it is not really worth going more than a few hundred metres past a fountain that attracts some birds. Overall here, I notched up at least 7 Finsch's Wheatear (3 males, 3 females, 1 1stW male), 10 Northern Wheatear, 1 Cretzschmar's Bunting, 5 Short-Toed Larks, 8 Rock Sparrows, 1 male Rock Thrush, 1 Shorelark of the local race, Kestrel, and 2 Ruddy Shelducks overhead. It undoubtedly held more though I feel I did well. It was time to move on.

A Lesser Kestrel was noted en route to Seki, as I continued on the excellent D350 road, along with many hirundines, House Sparrows, Hooded Crows, Crested Larks, Collared Doves, Magpies etc.

Off the D350 I turned left for SEKI as signposted (by a beautiful old stone river bridge) - the long approach road to the famous apple sculpture at Seki produced Lesser Grey Shrike, Calandra Lark feeding on a beetle, & the first of many Red-Backed Shrikes. The flooded fields here are worthy of fuller examination. At the sculpture (long 36.801579, long 29.644439) I turned right and after a hundred metres I stopped to watch an insipid, grey-brown warbler than occasionally swung its tail, that I thought could be an Upcher's Warbler (though far more likely Eastern Olly). I am not sure Upcher's occur this far west in Turkey?? The next mile produced superb birding at the famous White-Throated Robin site - 5 such birds being seen (4 males & a female), along with 3 male Black-Headed Buntings, Alpine Swift, several Rock Sparrows and Cretzschmar's Buntings, 2 Ortolan Buntings, & Eastern Orphean Warbler. It was hard to drag myself away. If walking around, just beware of beehives and of antagonising them, though shepherds with goats wandered happily. This White-Throated Robin area runs from the apple sculpture to this reference point (lat 36.792799, long 29.63122). The area inbetween is superb.

Less than a mile further along the above lane you come to the village of TEMEL. In the tiny square (Lat 36.782961, long 29.620342), where there is a shop and where local men gather during the day to drink coffee around tables, take the unsignposted left turn up the TEMEL PASS, to a ski-lift point 3 miles up the track (Lat 36.738987, long 29.5997). The stoney road terminates here but you can walk further if so desired. The track from the village initially goes past a small graveyard, turn sharp left immediately before a second graveyard and then it is straight on. The track then goes through arable land, then as it ascends through boulder and scrub filled hillside, and eventually to snowmelt areas with streams. Birding over an hour and a half here was pretty good, with Thrush Nightingale & several Nightingales being heard but not seen. Visual highlights were Masked Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, several Red-Backed Shrikes, Golden Eagle briefly, Kestrel, 2 Eastern Bonelli's Warblers, 4 Ravens, 2 Eastern Black-Eared Wheatears, and near the Ski lift 2 Shorelarks, Water Pipit, 2 Crag Martins, Rock & House Sparrows galore.

Back at the apple sculpture in Seki turn right and weave through the outskirts of the town on the same road following Elmali signs, until you come to the village of Zorlar. ZORLAR was my next port of call to check out, having read reports previously. Keep on the road through Zorlar until you see a track running to the right with red and white railings. I think the co-ordinates are Lat 36.807178, long 29.692014. There is a collapsed roof nearby, see photos at the end. This rough track is driveable quite easily in dry conditions, but it may get heavy under foot as you drive in wet conditions. Initially it does not look particularly promising, running past houses but a Rock Bunting and 2 Redstarts were still seen here. Soon the track opens into superb agricultural land and grassy plains. Within a mile of the access point I had small flocks of Red-Fronted Serins (at least 40 birds) by the ditches at the side of the track, as well as several Red-Backed Shrikes, Hoopoe, 5 Cretzschmar's Buntings, & Long-legged Buzzard. After a mile the track became muddier and with a raincloud encroaching I chickened out and turned back, but with the serins in the bag I was happy indeed.

I returned to the road at Zorlar and continued towards Elmali via the GOGUBELI PASS. I spent long spells here on my last visit, but today I didnt really linger, though I still picked up a stunning White-Throated Robin, Middle-Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Rock Nuthatches, 2 Serins, Coal Tit, Spotted Flycatcher, and 2 Grey Wagtails.

You reach the other end of the pass at ESKIHASAR, and between there and ELMALI you come across obvious floods to the right - I named them ELMALI FLOODS. I found an obvious track that leads down to the water's edge & swings left, with the track from the road starting at Lat 36.732749, long 29.865448. I drove along the edge of the water to the point at Lat 36.724052, long 29.864091, about a half mile drive in all though you can drive further. On google maps this area just looks like arable fields, so it probably dries out as summer progresses. I spent an unscheduled but superb hour here, picking up 2 Black-Headed Buntings, Calandra Lark (or was it Bimaculated going "trip trip trip" as it circled above me?), 15 Bee-eaters, Great Reed Warbler, 2 Corn Buntings, Common Crane, Squacco Heron, Pallid Swifts, 4 Ruddy Shelducks, Grey Heron, & Long-Legged Buzzard. Great spot!

At ELMALI, I headed south for 15 kms on the D635 towards Finike direction, to AVLAN RESERVOIR, and at the northern edge I climbed obvious rocks by a turn off, to gain a reasonably panoramic view of the reservoir. Right in the middle, and distant, were several Pygmy Cormorants amongst Greater Cormorants, and several Ruddy Shelducks. The rocks are situated at Lat 36.603539, long 29.957305. If you have time on your hands you can probably get nearer to the birds.

As time was passing, I pressed back past Elmali towards KORKUTELLI. I was looking out for any access points, and about 15 kms approx from Korkutelli, I took a rough track that led beneath the main road and back towards Elmali direction. My car was virtually headbutted by a shepherd's dog, & it was not especially productive though I did enjoy good views of Eastern Orphean Warbler, 2 Woodchat Shrikes, 3 Ravens and a Long-Legged Buzzard. The track does lead back to the main road, but the last part was decidedly dodgy! These two access points are at Lat 36.946977, long 30.161827, and then Lat 36.981584, long 30.152214.

I drove back through Korkutelli, on through Antalya, and eastward to Manavgat, where I turned inland for OYMAPINAR. Just a few kms short of the Green Canyon, I easily found YESIL VADI hotel booked by Vigotour.com. This was basic but clean accommodation with dodgy approach steps to my 3rd floor room. But the scenery was set beside the river, and two pints went down nicely. The restaurant looked nice too, but it was late and I was exhausted. At 25 euros it was a bargain! Totally removed from the atypical tourist package hotel.

I was up at 3am on the 21st, ready for the Brown Fish Owl tour. Cetti's Warbler & Scops Owl called as I opened my bedroom door, in a semi-exhausted state, having had about 2 hours sleep over two nights. At 4am promptly, someone from Vigo Tours arrived & you have the option of following them in your own hire car or going with them. The boat departed at 4.45am, motoring the short distance just into Little Canyon, where one of the adult owls was waiting, silhouetted against the early morning sky. We spent at least two hours here, and as time passed, we enjoyed fantastic views of both adults perched and in flight, with the added bonus of the juvenile at the cave entrance, that acts as a nest. Blue Rock Thrush was seen, and Scops Owl called here too. Heaven! If you do connect with the owls on a later-in-the-day boat trip, you will simply see a sleeping roosting adult, and that is if you are lucky. The Big Canyon pair are also present but rarely seen.

Check out www.vigotour.com, and go the left menu and check "Brown Fish Owl".

At 8am we were back at the hotel, but exhaustion kicked in, as did Turkish belly!! In 80 degree temps, I was just too jaded to either join the group in a celebratory breakfast or check out Side ancient ruins again (a great shame), so I merely drove back to Antalya airport, rested in the car by woods there - noting 3 Jays and 2 Eastern Olly's, before surrendering my car at 4pm, and then discovering a 4-hour delay to my flight. Exhaustion, sickness, perhaps it serves me right ! Perhaps it was all too ambitious, but it paid off.

Key targets achieved, 73 species in total.

Photos to follow
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Fav Birds - Hen, Pallid & Monty Harrier, Gyrfalcon, Great Grey Owl, Saker, Hobby, Golden Eagle, Merlin, Monty, SE Owl, Pom Skua, Hawfinch, Wryneck, Redstart, Shrikes, Roller, Bee-eater's, Nightjar, Smew, GN & BT Diver, Spotted Redshank, Warblers (especially yank ones)!

Last edited by wolfbirder : Sunday 27th May 2012 at 07:15.
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Old Saturday 26th May 2012, 11:46   #42
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Photos from Ciglik Yaylasi, between Korkutelli & Kizilcadag. See co-ordinates on report

1) The sign for "Ciglik Yaylasi" (sorry about the sun reflection). Note radar masts on hill. Take this track for 1-2 miles.
2) Further up the track, a side track was taken here but beware of clay under foot.
3) View from the clay track. Look at those tyres!
4) Fountain back on the main track. No need to go far past this landmark.
5) Finsch's Wheatear.
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Fav Birds - Hen, Pallid & Monty Harrier, Gyrfalcon, Great Grey Owl, Saker, Hobby, Golden Eagle, Merlin, Monty, SE Owl, Pom Skua, Hawfinch, Wryneck, Redstart, Shrikes, Roller, Bee-eater's, Nightjar, Smew, GN & BT Diver, Spotted Redshank, Warblers (especially yank ones)!

Last edited by wolfbirder : Saturday 26th May 2012 at 12:09.
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Old Saturday 26th May 2012, 11:55   #43
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Photos from Seki & Temel (see co-ordinates on report).........

1) Main WT Robin area at Seki (half a mile from apple sculpture)
2) Track at top of Temel pass, by Ski lodge
3) Black-eared Wheatear
4) View looking back down to Seki plain
5) Local-race Shorelark 'penicillata'.
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Fav Birds - Hen, Pallid & Monty Harrier, Gyrfalcon, Great Grey Owl, Saker, Hobby, Golden Eagle, Merlin, Monty, SE Owl, Pom Skua, Hawfinch, Wryneck, Redstart, Shrikes, Roller, Bee-eater's, Nightjar, Smew, GN & BT Diver, Spotted Redshank, Warblers (especially yank ones)!

Last edited by wolfbirder : Sunday 27th May 2012 at 06:28.
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Old Saturday 26th May 2012, 12:03   #44
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Photos from Zorlar..........

1) Collapsed house near entrance to Zorlar track - even Jos Stratford wouldnt like it here!
2) Red & white railings - take this track - this is the start of the Zorlar track.
3) Cretzschmar's Bunting
4) Black-headed Bunting
5) Red-Fronted Serin
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Fav Birds - Hen, Pallid & Monty Harrier, Gyrfalcon, Great Grey Owl, Saker, Hobby, Golden Eagle, Merlin, Monty, SE Owl, Pom Skua, Hawfinch, Wryneck, Redstart, Shrikes, Roller, Bee-eater's, Nightjar, Smew, GN & BT Diver, Spotted Redshank, Warblers (especially yank ones)!

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Old Saturday 26th May 2012, 12:17   #45
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Photos from Gogu beli pass & Elmali floods.............

1) White-Throated Robin at Gogubeli pass
2) Goat invasion at Gogubeli pass
3) The superb valley towards Elmali end of Gogubeli pass
4) Elmali floods
5) Track at Korkutelli Hills, 18 kms approx south of Korkutelli on road to Elmali. But only accessable heading TOWARDS Korkutelli from Elmali. Beware of Goat herders sheep dogs.
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Fav Birds - Hen, Pallid & Monty Harrier, Gyrfalcon, Great Grey Owl, Saker, Hobby, Golden Eagle, Merlin, Monty, SE Owl, Pom Skua, Hawfinch, Wryneck, Redstart, Shrikes, Roller, Bee-eater's, Nightjar, Smew, GN & BT Diver, Spotted Redshank, Warblers (especially yank ones)!

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Old Saturday 26th May 2012, 12:24   #46
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Photos of Yesil Vadi Hotel & Oymapinar Reservoir (Green Canyon) for Brown Fish Owls.

1) Yesil Vadi hotel grounds at Oymapinar, with the rooms being situated over three floors in the building in the background.
2) Terrible photo of adult Brown Fish Owl (far better views were obtained, honestly!)
3) Juvenile at nest hole
4) A group of happy wanderers! The Bolton crew, and me from Wolves (off picture).
5) Sailing back in happiness & bliss!

Sorry yet again for taking photography back 30 years!
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Fav Birds - Hen, Pallid & Monty Harrier, Gyrfalcon, Great Grey Owl, Saker, Hobby, Golden Eagle, Merlin, Monty, SE Owl, Pom Skua, Hawfinch, Wryneck, Redstart, Shrikes, Roller, Bee-eater's, Nightjar, Smew, GN & BT Diver, Spotted Redshank, Warblers (especially yank ones)!

Last edited by wolfbirder : Sunday 27th May 2012 at 07:18.
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Old Sunday 27th May 2012, 12:19   #47
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Final set from Oymapinar Reservoir (The Green Canyon)...........

Photos 1 & 2 showing scenery, and 3 & 4 the boats moored next to each other.
(The boats serving Little Canyon & used by Vigo Tours do not go from the sign "Green Octobus boat tours" as highlighted in my main report, but infact from about a mile further along below the Green Restaurant. Take note!)

Photo 5 - a slightly funny one to finish, do they have MOT's in Turkey?
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Fav Birds - Hen, Pallid & Monty Harrier, Gyrfalcon, Great Grey Owl, Saker, Hobby, Golden Eagle, Merlin, Monty, SE Owl, Pom Skua, Hawfinch, Wryneck, Redstart, Shrikes, Roller, Bee-eater's, Nightjar, Smew, GN & BT Diver, Spotted Redshank, Warblers (especially yank ones)!

Last edited by wolfbirder : Sunday 27th May 2012 at 18:00.
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Old Sunday 27th May 2012, 21:29   #48
chris chapleo
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Hi Nick

another great account - pretty hardcore sounding couple of days - sounds as though your Fish Owl experience pretty much echoed mine. Great area and Im hoping to head back next year

Chris
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Old Sunday 27th May 2012, 21:37   #49
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Wow, that brings back memories of when i stayed at Lara Beach, Cheers for the nice reminder.
Great report!
MB
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Old Monday 28th May 2012, 05:51   #50
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Thanks Chris & MB.

The whole mountain range west of Antalya is fantastic but of course mostly done on day trips. I still think Side would make an excellent base, but getting through Antalya (other than at rush hour) was easy.

Must return my self !
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