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SW Turkey - White-throated Robin

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Old Friday 18th May 2007, 17:41   #1
Rob Smallwood
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SW Turkey - White-throated Robin

Has anyone visited SW Turkey this year and if so were thee any W-t Robins either around Mugla or any other site within reasonable distance of Dalaman Airport?

Any other up to date information gratefully received - going off on our two yearly visit to Dalyan at the end of next week and hoping to catch up on the Robins as it remains stubbornly off my list!

Thanks,
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Old Thursday 24th May 2007, 13:32   #2
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Just bumping this up because tomorrow it will be too late!!
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Old Thursday 24th May 2007, 15:33   #3
dogfish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Smallwood View Post
Just bumping this up because tomorrow it will be too late!!
Don't know what's a reasonable distance Rob, but while staying in Dalyan in early May 2004 they were v common in the area referred to by Dave Gosney in his W Turkey guide as the Kurketuli (?) Hills, c 100 miles from Dalyan. Don't have my notes to hand for further info I'm afraid. It was an excellent area and well worth the drive... but you may know this

Sean
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Old Thursday 24th May 2007, 20:26   #4
Rob Smallwood
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Cheers - don't mind a bit of a drive - even on those roads :)
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Old Saturday 26th May 2007, 21:50   #5
Alan G
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Just got back this morning (!!) from 2 weeks in SW Turkey - based in a small village in hillside 12 miles inland from Fethiye.

Had a good few White-Throated Robin at most suitable sites I visited in the vicinity of hills around Kinik/Essenkoy and Seki/Gogu Beli pass.

I did head further East towards Korkuteli one day but didn't see anything there that I couldn't see further east towards Dalaman/Fethiye area - and it took an extra hour to get across there.

Most of the sites I visited were alive with birdsong with good numbers of Shrike (Lesser Grey, Red-Backed, Masked and Woodchat), Wheatears (Finsch's, Black-Eared & Isabelline), Bunting (Cirl, Rock, Black Headed, Ortolan & Cretzchmars), Sombre Tit, a nice male Rock Thrush, numerous Ruppells Warbler, Kruper's Nuthatch and a few Red-Fronted Serin among others.

Not had a chance to sort the photos out yet but here's a couple I took - excuse the quality as I've simply cropped and renamed them in Picasa for the time-being.

Alan
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Last edited by Alan G : Saturday 26th May 2007 at 23:43.
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Old Saturday 26th May 2007, 23:38   #6
Alan G
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Just noticed you'll have already have left..........sod's law I guess?

(Any kindly BF'ers who can get a text to Rob to see if he can get access to the net over there?)

Anyway, for future reference here's some sites I visited and how I got on

Essenkoy Junction:
Take the road up from the coast towards Kemer then on towards Korkuteli. Keep going through Kinik and then through Essenkoy. After Essenko the road splits at a junction that goes North to Golishar, South to Antalya and straight on to Korkuteli. Literally metres past the junction (as if continuing on) on your right you'll see a small pool and a large layby and some sort of small tip for building rubble. I parked here and walked up the low slope to the right. I had a female White-Throated Robin here immediately. Keep on walking and it climbs a little more (easy walking though) and then levels off before dipping down into a gully. Along the edge of this gully I had at least 2 more (male) robins flitting around some bushes. Also LL Buzzard & Hobby for me and a couple Black Eared Wheatears as well as Northen here as well - and a Black Stork that flew up from the valley below. Plenty of birdsong was heard from the gully (flowing water was heard) below and with decent footwear (I was in shorts and sandals so wasnt keen) the valley below would be worth a look.


Seki Junction:
From here I headed back the way I came towards Kinik and parked next to the bridge over the river at the Seki road junction. Cirl Bunting (on low slope over the road from the layby) and a few Rock Sparrow here along with 100s of noisy frogs on the river. The wife spotted a raptor or two on the obvious quarried area here but I never saw it. White Storks came to drink at the river briefly. Crez's Bunting also, along with Isabelline & more BE Wheatear and Crag Martins nesting under the road bridge. A couple of eager-eyed Red-Backed Shrike were perched on the farmland here.


Seki:
From here I turned left along towards Seki from the above. The road is dead straight and runs through farmland with irrigation ditches (seemed good for Kamikazi larks - didnt really stop but had a couple of Isabelline Wheatear here) before forming a short dual carriageway that enters Seki.

A short distance along this dualed bit of road there's a small roundabout with a weird Strawberry (I think - cant remember) sculpture on it (signposted for Errendagi or something). We turned right at this roundabout and headed along a narrower road that gently goes up uphill for a short distance - another mile maybe.

Once the road levelled out (watch for beehives on pastue to your left) we pulled over.

Plenty of easy walking up a rocky, scrubby pasture on the right of the road here (beehives here as well) where I had several White-Throated Robin, and a few Ruppells Warblers.

A large dark raptor was seen by the wife as I was in search of Robins but I only realised it was there when I got my bins on her from up the slope frantically pointing to the opposite ridgline. All too brief views of an all too distant large dark raptor silhouted against the sun........not ideal really?


Gogu Beli pass - layby 1:
I then headed back to that Strawberry roundabout and turned right into Seki itself. Once in Seki I followed signs for Emali which took me along right split/fork in the road and up through a small village called Zorlar.

The sign that marks of the end of Zorlar also marks the start of a mountain pass (which I presumed to be the Gogu Beli pass?). A tatty old goatherders hut here seems to match the hut mentioned in Bob Swanns report on Birdtours but I kept on past it in search of higher ground - with more time I'd have stopped.

Laybys were limited but I kept on along the pass for maybe a mile or 2 - don't quote me on mileages as I was more concerned with remaining on the road at this stage until I came to the first decent layby (enough for 2 cars, marked by an obvious narled old tree). This allowed access to a slope to the left (downhill) which was full of Serin and other bits and pieces (Buntings, Shrikes, etc). Over the road from this layby is an easy to climb slope with a small(ish) worn path that I assume the goatherders use - I used this to access the higher stuff........again, some half decent footwear will suffice here.

I had another (this time confiding) male White-Throated Robin here as well as a pair of Raven and some Chough coming off the crags as well as several Rock Bunting and numerous BE Wheatear.

Finches were regularly drinking from the narrow ditch at the roadside here, including RF Serin. Not sure if this relies entirely on melt water though as the snow was almost gone when I visited (22nd May) compared to when we arrived on the 12th.

Blackbird type song (same sort of tone at least) heard higher up may have been Rock/Blue Rock Thrush........or just a Blackbird........guess I'll never know?


Gogu Beli Pass - layby 2:
Maybe another mile or two along from here there was a larger layby on the left of the road which I parked in mainly to use it as a u-turn as it was time to head back. There was no access up or down so I parked here a short while and birded from the road itself (which was almost traffic free).

Similar birds here to the previous site, without the RF Serins and Robins but with the inclusion of Cirl Buntings and Rock Sparrows and Sombre Tits.


Unknown Site on road to Camelli:
No Robins here (too low/too far West?) but a great site all the same if time permits.

Basically, take the Fethiye to Camelli road that runs past Uzumlu (scrubby hillside near a layby with billboards excellent from Shrike & Bunting sp) and head on towards Camelli.

A further 20KMs or so from here your way will be blocked by a No Entry sign and a One Way arrow pointing right. I turned off to the right here past a small services (sign outside saying Kebap - had the best Turkish breakfast ever....) near some running water.

Simply continue on a short distance until you see two obvious laybys that have been quarried into the sandstone. I parked here and walked up the track over the road onto a mixture of alpine meadow, pines and scrub and then higher onto some drier areas. You can then follow an obvious dry river bed at the top end of this area to walk back down onto the road and back to the car.

This place was buzzing with highlights being:

Red-Backed Shrike - several on roadside
Woodchat Shrike - several
Crossbill - several in pines
ST Eagle - a pair overhead
Raven - a pair cronking above
Ortolan Bunting - numerous
Rock Bunting - one
Rock Thrush - a cracking male
Cuckoo - numerous heard, several seen flying around
Ruppells Warbler - in low scrub
BE Wheatear - numerous
Tree Pipit - some in display flight and calling from seemingly every tree
Goshawk - one over a pine forest west of this area
Green Woodpecker - at least one
Syrian Woodpecker - several flitting about
Krupers Nuthatch - several in pines
Short-Toed Treecreeper - a few pairs at start of walk from car

Last edited by Alan G : Saturday 26th May 2007 at 23:48.
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Old Friday 8th June 2007, 18:25   #7
Rob Smallwood
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Aaln,

Just back!

Many, many thanks for the info - your fears were correct - I never thought to log on to T'Internet whilst away despiote there being several suitable opportunities!

I'll store these up for next year - I'm hoping to stay a bit closer to the area that you were ina nd make a better attempt - this year I did hire a car for the day but wasted it looking for W-b Kingfisher near Koyceygiz (failed again - I'm now one forom ten at this site!!).

The Dalyan area was the quietest for birds that I've experienced, still the usual good local birds such as Masked Shrike etc but very little of note.

I'll post a brief report and some photos when the dust has settled!

Thanks again,

Rob
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Old Friday 8th June 2007, 20:08   #8
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Had a day up at Koycegiz/Hamitkoy while we were away as well.

No sign of any of common kingfisher, never mind WB or Pied...........beginning to think they're an urban myth :)

Only disappointment for us, on an otherwise cracking trip, was the raptors.....or lack of.

Despite being surrounded by what looked to be ideal hillside and spending most of our time in equally suitable habitats I hardly saw a raptor of any kind other than Goshawk (1), Kestrel sp (2 x distant females), LL Buzzard (a handful), Steppe Buzzard (1 or 2), Hobby (maybe 3 or 4) and a couple of pairs of ST Eagle.

Oh - and did you get any BeeEater while you were there Rob........we didn't.
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Old Friday 8th June 2007, 22:13   #9
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Raptors were thin but reasonably represented with Spar, Marsh Harrier, Steppe Buzzard, S-t Eagle, Honey Buzzard, Peregrine, Eleanora's and both Kestrels seen on or around the ridge above Dalyan.

I saw no Bee-eaters, but at this time of year I've only seen them distantly looking north from the hill above the old tip and I didn't try this time so they could have been there.

No Lesser Grey or Red-backed Shrikes, but 2 pairs of Masked nesting within 400m of our hotel in the northern part of Dalyan was nice.

Penduline Tits were far more numerous than usual, nesting birds all over the place.

The Mosque Skops Owl showed well at times, but I didn't see any Sylvia Warblers in 2 weeks!

Caunos seems to be quieter than ever too - probably because much of the bare open scrub is becoming overgrown perhaps?
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