• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Köyceğiz & Mugla area - SW Turkey (3 Viewers)

05/08/23
Still very hot here 38 -41 C consistently.
There was a Hoopoe in the grove next door during the week. 1 Red backed Shrike also. Masked Shrike are daily and now close to the house. Lesser Spotted, Greater Spotted and Middle Spotted Woodpeckers are all seen regularly close up from the balcony if they’re not disturbed.

Yesterday I took an early morning ride up to Yeşilköy, where I saw two Sombre Tits by the small shop, and a Rufous Bush Robin in a small mixed area of farmland. Nice flock of Spanish Sparrows on a water tank , Short toed Snake Eagle and a Blue Rock Thrush high on the hillside. A Raven family also here.
Then a slow ride through Toparlar , Zaferler, Hamitkoy and back along the lake. A couple of Rollers kept me company from power lines, lots of Serins and Corn Buntings, a Common Kestrel pair, Little Owl on the woodland edge and a Water Rail picking along an irrigation ditch. A patient wait by the wood brought a Common Nightingale. Lots of Turtle Doves on the farmland here.

It seems there may have been reed cutting going on as I saw 4-5 Pygmy Cormorants regularly flying around the area, a Grey Heron and possibly up to 7 Purple Herons. 4 Squacco Herons and a pair of Night Herons flew up from an inaccessible area of marsh/farmland - I’d love to get access to these places but rarely come across anyone except the odd labourer to ask. A foray down a dirt track here was rewarded with a Black headed Bunting, Sardinian & Eastern Orphean Warbler , 2 Kingfishers and a Wood Sandpiper.
A briefly seen raptor looked heavy enough for an eagle Sp but the view was poor. A crisp male Marsh Harrier hunted low overhead as I sat in the shade watching Dice Snakes hunt. Also here I had a few glimpses of a Wild Boar family, the youngsters having put on a bit of weight. A formidable bunch.

The sun being well up by now I didn’t spend long at the dump, only a Common Sandpiper and Purple Heron on the river. Plus the regular Bee-eater flock over the dump. Also here was a Stonechat. On the lake was a single Whiskered Tern.
A brilliant day
Brilliant birds
 
Busy with visitors and travelling for the last couple of weeks. Highlights birding wise have been :
Dalyan- Krupers Nuthatch, Rock Nuthatch, flock of 30 Whiskered Terns near Donkey Island with 2 Gull billed Terns loosely following, 1 Sandwich Tern at sea, Blue Rock Thrush, Subalpine Warbler, Chukar, Hobby, Garganey,
Köyceğiz- Sombre Tit & rufous female Cuckoo, 2 Hoopoe, Garden Warbler, Golden Oriole pair chivvying a Hooded Crow - garden, Woodchat Shrike - field opposite.
Datça - 3 Scopoli’s Shearwater - from boat trip , also 2 Audouin Gulls, Subalpine, Eastern Orphean, Sardinian and a Ruppells Warbler pair (near Palamutbuku), Short toed eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Scops Owl.
Beech Marten corpse by the roadside
 
19/08/23
Common Nightjar was a surprise as I put the rubbish out around 11 pm. Sat off the roadside on a farm path and only noticed as my torch picked up the gleam of the eyes.

21/08/23
The Wild Boars are getting earlier, 11pm last night, some very deep menacing grunts to be heard when a neighbours dog started up. This morning a full ploughing of large sections of the ground, as an ex allotmenteer I’m a bit envious, would have been a back breaking job to do that so well with a spade.
Started the day with the marvellous sight of a Hoopoe being chased by 3 Blackbirds , lots of looping at full stretch right up to the flat and around the garden.
Also a Syrian Woodpecker sat atop a near dead birch tree. Never easy getting clear views of Woodpeckers here apart from Lesser Spotted which are usually very easy once located.
Spotted Flycatcher flitting around in the Mulberry tree all morning.
 
Last edited:
22/08/23

Working on the balcony but regular distractions have included :
1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, 1 Rufous Bush Robin (a first for the garden I think), Hoopoe, heard only Golden Oriole , around 25 Blackbirds flushed from path, 40 or so Chaffinches, 20 Greenfinches, 1 Serin, 1 Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Greater Spotted Woodpecker, heard only Green Woodpecker, 2 Ravens , several Red Rumped Swallows, Jay , Spanish & House Sparrow, 2 Masked Shrike and a juvenile Red backed Shrike. Also a Tortoise trundling in the adjacent grove. Not bad though not helping my work.

Out of interest, my landlord is slowly refurbing an old village house at the end of the citrus grove. Would be perfect for cheap basic short term lets, for birders landing at Dalaman then moving on or needing a cheap base. It’s not ready yet but Itd be helpful to know if this is of general interest so I can put the idea to him.
IMG_1952.jpeg
 
22/08/23

Working on the balcony but regular distractions have included :
1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, 1 Rufous Bush Robin (a first for the garden I think), Hoopoe, heard only Golden Oriole , around 25 Blackbirds flushed from path, 40 or so Chaffinches, 20 Greenfinches, 1 Serin, 1 Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Greater Spotted Woodpecker, heard only Green Woodpecker, 2 Ravens , several Red Rumped Swallows, Jay , Spanish & House Sparrow, 2 Masked Shrike and a juvenile Red backed Shrike. Also a Tortoise trundling in the adjacent grove. Not bad though not helping my work.

Out of interest, my landlord is slowly refurbing an old village house at the end of the citrus grove. Would be perfect for cheap basic short term lets, for birders landing at Dalaman then moving on or needing a cheap base. It’s not ready yet but Itd be helpful to know if this is of general interest so I can put the idea to him.
View attachment 1527654
I would definitely be interested
It would allow me to spend three days or so in the area before continuing my journey to Uzumlu
 
Last edited:
I would definitely be interested
It would allow me to spend three days or so in the area before continuing my journey to Uzumlu
Thanks for the response. It’s a lovely little spot, but as an old village house more suited to short term lets without any unnecessary frills. For birders or wildlife enthusiasts it’s perfect, the gardens full of birds, bugs, reptiles, Wild Boar, and it’s on the edge of the Taurus mountains, lake, sea etc. Plus we can help with pick up , recommendations, etc for the non Turkish speakers.
 
25/08/23

Lay dozing just before dawn half hearing the usual sounds something oddly familiar percolated into my slumbering conscious. A quick scramble (trying not to wake my wife) and I was up and out scanning the fields in front. After a couple of nervy minutes 3 Stone Curlews flew up and back down into the stubbly field opposite. I spent the next 30 minutes on the roadside watching them before they went deeper into the fields.
My definition of garden tick is very loose, anything seen from the balconies counts , and that’s a fine garden tick.
Another good bird, well seen was a female Collared Flycatcher outside our living room window. Flitting between a bug laden fig tree and a power line I was able to get grandstand views.
Bee-eaters are passing through in good numbers , 30 or so yesterday. A Roller patrolled the neighbouring grove. Hoopoes are daily now, though usually fleeing. Lots of warbler activity including an Eastern Subalpine on an abandoned plot just up the road.
Yesterday I managed to pin down a Short toed Treecreeper at a few feet whilst I was being fed on by mosquitoes. The Sweetgum forest is notably damp, a playground for bloodsuckers. Also here a Common Nightingale, Sparrowhawk and Goshawk - the latter the first in a while.
 
Last edited:
Stone Curlew Some garden bird that is 👍🏼

Need the Bee eaters to join me up here 🙏
Ha- yeah, I don’t think it would pass the Gardenwatch rules.
The small Bee-Easter flock behind the town tip was there a few days ago as I passed. Its possible there’s a nest site over that way as it’s difficult to access and must have suitable banks from the look of the tree islands in the marsh.
 
26/08/23
Plans for an early morning bike ride were scuppered by a 2am return from a night out around the outskirts of Muğla. Oddly reminiscent of SW England, sunken lanes’ lush fields, green grass and a notable drop in temperature. 3 noisy Tawny Owls visible from the restaurant garden the only birds of note. Hopefully a weekend birding up there is on the cards.

A 10.30 start was predictably quiet at first as the sun was kicking in. Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher & Lesser Spotted Woodpecker in the Sweetgum woods were easily picked out and there was also an elusive Nightingale.
Bee-eaters were a feature of the day across the area , sometimes in small numbers including a single which was lucky to avoid a Peregrine swoop over the Hamitkoy marshes.
The town dump though baking hot slowly turned up a few skulkers. Singles of Squacco heron, Purple Heron, Little Egret and a Great White Egret.
An Isabelline Wheatear couldn’t quite settle as the resident Crested Larks seemed put out by its presence. Also a pair of Skylarks singing above the cow meadow.
A few of the regulars just visible - Zitting Cisticola, a Great Reed Warbler,Reed Warbler, Cettis Warbler, Eastern Orphean Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous, Lesser Whitethroat, Syrian Woodpecker, 2 Penduline Tits, a flyover Black Headed Wagtail, Pygmy Cormorant briefly up from the reedbed.
Lots of Common Kingfishers in the area now, no White Throated today though.
A Lesser Grey Shrike just past the Palmiye merkez bridge was welcome, I rarely see them here. Red Backed Shrikes were common however and Masked Shrikes are regular around the outskirts of town. A quiet farm path turned up a Rufous Bush Robin for me plus a Stonechat on the heath type field that appears abandoned.
Corn Buntings, though quieter were in their usual spots in the open Hamitkoy fields.
A break in the shade of a fig tree on my favourite little side road was rewarding. A pair of Honey Buzzards drifting directly above me, Roller perched atop an orange tree, Whitethroat youngster almost at my feet, Hoopoe doing a midair u-turn a few feet from me. In the stream below a couple of Dice Snakes and some sizeable carp. I once saw an Otter fairly close to here and I’d guess the Carp are easy picking in this tree-dammed creek.

I took a swing up to the Toparlar side of the woods, a single Short Toed Eagle being the only bird of note. By now though the heat was draining and my water bottle empty. A return to the lake for Kokorec and a cold water was most welcome and 3 Whiskered Terns provided the entertainment. A small number of Alpine Swifts skimmed the waves off Iskele which is usually a good spot for lake birding.
A large deep brown Snake was a surprise as I turned the corner to our flat. It raced away quickly but was a good size and the first I’ve seen in the garden.
Last night around 10 pm my wife called me to the front room, where we could hear a huge number of Bee-eaters outside for maybe half an hour. I’ll take a guess they were roosting in power lines or in eucalyptus across the fields and had been disturbed.
 
Last edited:
26/08/23
Plans for an early morning bike ride were scuppered by a 2am return from a night out around the outskirts of Muğla. Oddly reminiscent of SW England, sunken lanes’ lush fields, green grass and a notable drop in temperature. 3 noisy Tawny Owls visible from the restaurant garden the only birds of note. Hopefully a weekend birding up there is on the cards.

A 10.30 start was predictably quiet at first as the sun was kicking in. Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher & Lesser Spotted Woodpecker in the Sweetgum woods were easily picked out and there was also a badly seen Nightingale.
Bee-eaters were a feature of the day across the area , sometimes in small numbers including a single which was lucky to avoid a Peregrine swoop over the Hamitkoy marshes.
The town dump though baking hot slowly turned up a few skulkers. Singles of Squacco heron, Purple Heron, Little Egret and a Great White Egret.
An Isabelline Wheatear couldn’t quite settle as the resident Crested Larks seemed put out by its presence. Also a pair of Skylarks singing above the cow meadow.
A few of the regulars just visible - Zitting Cisticola, a Great Reed Warbler,Reed Warbler, Cettis Warbler, Eastern Orphean Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous, Lesser Whitethroat, Syrian Woodpecker, 2 Penduline Tits, a flyover Black Headed Wagtail, Pygmy Cormorant briefly up from the reedbed.
Lots of Common Kingfishers in the area now, no White Throated today though.
A Lesser Grey Shrike just past the Palmiye merkez bridge was welcome, I rarely see them here. Red Backed Shrikes were common however and Masked Shrikes are regular around the outskirts of town. A quiet farm path turned up a Rufous Bush Robin for me plus a Stonechat on the heath type field that appears abandoned.
Corn Buntings, though quieter were in their usual spots in the open Hamitkoy fields.
A break in the shade of a fig tree on my favourite little side road was rewarding. A pair of Honey Buzzards drifting directly above me, Roller perched atop an orange tree, Whitethroat youngster almost at my feet, Hoopoe doing a midair u-turn a few feet from me. In the stream below a couple of Dice Snakes and some sizeable carp. I once saw an Otter fairly close to here and I’d guess the Carp are easy picking in this tree-dammed creek.

I took a swing up to the Toparlar side of the woods, a single Short Toed Eagle being the only bird of note. By now though the heat was draining and my water bottle empty. A return to the lake for Kokorec and a cold water was most welcome and 3 Whiskered Terns provided the entertainment. A small number of Alpine Swifts skimmed the waves off Iskele which is usually a good spot for lake birding.
A large deep brown Snake was a surprise as I turned the corner to our flat. It raced away quickly but was a good size and the first I’ve seen in the garden.
Last night around 10 pm my wife called me to the front room, where we could hear a huge number of Bee-eaters outside for maybe half an hour. I’ll take a guess they were roosting in power lines or in eucalyptus across the fields and had been disturbed.
Wonderful 👍🏼
 
Bug screen!
A busy few days with a lot of travelling. Too much to report here from elsewhere but a dead Nightjar was the highlight of a midnight police ID check near Gökova.
Local highlights were an Ortolan Bunting grubbing around on the tip, Marsh Sandpiper on the river pool by the lake as well as 2 Wood Sandpipers. A pair of Spur Winged Plovers were on the beach on Friday morning. A large mixed flock of Glossy Ibis and Egrets on the Namman at Hamitkoy plus Black Stork the following day circling the area.
Yesterday and today were thunderstorms resulting in the frenzied feeding and fall of birds I’m starting to expect after such weather. A Meadow Pipit on a power line ,from the front balcony , was accompanied by two Turtle Doves
Just after midday I went out to watch Bee-eaters passing through after heavy rain. This led to me finding a Woodchat Shrike in the grove, and then realising there were birds everywhere. Lesser Whitethroats and Blackcaps were in most trees, 5 Spotted Flycatchers , 2 Willow Warblers, a female Golden Oriole, an Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Red Backed Shrike youngster , 2 probably local Masked Shrikes, Hoopoe feeding in the open, a couple of Serins, lots of Hirundines, Common/Pallid Swift overhead, and lots of Greenfinches, Chaffinches, Blackbirds, House Sparrows, plus 3 Jays. All in the space of 20 minutes before visitors turned up and I begrudgingly went inside.
Wild Boars are now rooting the ground right up to the house. Like a top model rotavator creating a fine tilth where they’ve repeatedly gone over an area.
Had brief views of what appeared to be a young Black Rat being chased by a Whip Snake in the wood pile.
 
Autumn has been busy, lots to do and lots of birds through. Good numbers of expected birds including a field of around 40 Yellow Wagtails, mainly Black-headed. The 4 Shrike species have been seen regularly around the area, including a couple of Lesser Greys. Warblers in good numbers including Eastern Orpheans in the garden with the Lesser Whitethroats, several Willow Warblers, a Subalpine and a couple of Sardinian Warblers.
A few waders trickling through daily including Ruff( Hamitkoy) , Wood Sandpiper, 2 Temmincks Stint (beach), Green Sandpiper, 1 Sanderling, 2 Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, 2 Spur winged Plover, Greenshank and 5 Common Snipe ( roadside pool - Hamitkoy).
Bee-eaters are everywhere.

Highlights have included:
09.09.23
Little Crake-ditch off the Zaferler Road, 2 Collared Pratincole-hawking around the fairly desolate dump area of the Namnam river past Hamitkoy, 2 Short Toed Eagles , Peregrine, Hobby, Cuckoo, White throated Kingfisher, several Pygmy Cormorants on Namnam and 2 flushed from roadside channels, 9 Squacco Herons on a Zaferler channel.

12.09.23 evening
2 White winged Black Tern with 15 Whiskered Terns.
4 Night Herons
Scops Owl & Little Owl

13.09.23
Semi-Collared Flycatcher female - Siğla wood, Gelişim side. In the palm tree clearing.

16.09.23
Montagu’s Harrier (male) Hamitkoy, Isabelline, Northern & Eastern Black Eared Wheatears all in the same field, Whinchat, an early Black Redstart, roadkill Water Rail, Penduline Tit pair.
 
Last edited:
17.09.23
The numbers of Bee-eaters around the flat are impressive today. I counted a conservative 70 across the fields using the power lines to perch but there were high flying flocks in most directions at the same time. Still are- they’re using the pine tree in the garden as I write.

One benefit of the Bee-eater invasion is it gave me an excuse to keep scanning one field opposite the flat. Northern Wheatear, Eastern Black eared Wheatear and Whinchat all added to my dodgily boundaried garden list plus a couple of Turtle Doves , Long Legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and 4 Ravens.
 
19.09.23

A nice wave of birds passed along the avenue of trees this afternoon, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Lesser Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, 2 Goldcrests, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler all within a 20 minute spell. This morning Red backed , & Masked Shrike and Spotted Flycatcher all openly hunting where the garden opens up and a Long legged Buzzard over the fields.
Biggest surprise was a calling Common Kingfisher on our stairwell rail late afternoon. I’m guessing it was a dispersing youngster on its way between one of the bigger channels and the lake.
 
05.10.23
A Wryneck at the tip was an enjoyable distraction from the usual Whinchats. 3 Ruff with a couple of Green Sandpipers and at least 1 Wood Sandpiper on the nicely flooded marsh behind the tip.

Busy with various things recently so have been birding on the fly but 2 Tawny Pipits, White Throated Kingfisher (off boatyard), and a Goshawk were recently highlights. Red backed Shrike, 3 Woodpecker species and Spotted Flycatcher still in the garden with a couple of awkward Warblers amongst the Lesser Whitethroats, Chiffchaff and Eastern Orphean.
 
07.10.23
Headed out for a bike ride yesterday. Generally quiet in terms of numbers but there’s always something of interest.
A dark phase Eleonoras Falcon along the Namnam hillside was impressive and I picked it up again later off the roadside above the lake and Donkey island.
A single visible Bee-eater plus the odd chirrup overhead a contrast to the numbers of a couple of weeks back. Red Backed Shrikes are still dotted around though again thinning out.
A flushed White Throated Kingfisher continues a good spell of local sightings though still haven’t got a nailed on spot for them.
A widely spread flock of Alpine Swifts descended on the lake at one point, with Pallid Swift visible in the good light too. Two Red Rumped Swallows remained over Zaferler amongst the Barn Swallows and a few Crag Martins were over the tip marsh.
Water Rails have become noticeably vocal along the roadside marsh and I managed a quick scuttler whilst scanning the tip marsh. Also here were 3 Great White Egrets , Purple Heron and a Green Sandpiper.
A lone duck on the lake by the beach. turned out to be a Shoveller and a Pygmy Cormorant wasn’t too far off either.
Last week a boat trip from Dalyan brought the usual specialities (Rock Nuthatch, Blue Rock Thrush, Spur Winged Plover) plus a Shag off Delik Adı. Also 5 Mediterranean Gulls on the sand spit here. Only a couple of Whiskered Terns seen during the trip. A roosting Night Heron was a nice find as swam in Çandır bay.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Back
Top