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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Köyceğiz & Mugla area - SW Turkey (1 Viewer)

I made a dogged attempt to view more of the marsh & flooded areas concealed by cane beds. Waders totalled 7 Green Sandpipers, 2 Wood Sandpipers, 6 Common Snipe and a Ruff. Plus Squacco Heron, 2 Zitting Cisticola’s, 2 seen Water Rails and over 40 Meadow Pipits. Lots of the usual birds around including Stonechats, ChiffChaffs & Black Redstarts everywhere.
I made a dogged attempt to view more of the marsh & flooded areas concealed by cane beds. Waders totalled 7 Green Sandpipers, 2 Wood Sandpipers, 6 Common Snipe and a Ruff. Plus Squacco Heron, 2 Zitting Cisticola’s, 2 seen Water Rails and over 40 Meadow Pipits. Lots of the usual birds around including Stonechats, ChiffChaffs & Black Redstarts everywhere.
A similar selection of birds over the last couple of weeks until yesterday when a superb juvenile White tailed Eagle crossed the Hamitkoy cane beds and drifted off across the lake. Also a Marsh Harrier, 2 Long legged Buzzards, 2 Buzzard Sp, several Sparrowhawks, 1 Peregrine and a Kestrel.
The flooded areas held large numbers of Common Snipe - 27 counted but undoubtedly many more across the general area. 3 Green Sandpipers flew from here but again there’s presumably a multitude of hidden pools. Lots of Meadow Pipits on the pools but also 2 Water Pipits.
A flushed White throated Kingfisher was one of several sightings I’ve had by the flood meadow behind the dump recently. Also here 4 Great White Egrets , Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Wood Sandpiper.
Water Rails can be heard all around the lake and along most ditches, the numbers must be huge.
I had another brief Otter sighting at the Melon farm pool plus something crashing along the cane beds of one of the ditches.
Wild Boar are making nightly visits to the grove out back, impressively rooting up large swathes of ground. They’re also apparently eating the lower hanging oranges and mandarins. A step up from acorn fed animals for the adventurous gourmand I’d guess?

A quality afternoon started with an Osprey off Yangı. Cirl Bunting male puddle bathing in the flooded meadow just after the town road bridge. Water Pipit here too.
The whole lake margins are extensively flooded now and the woodland too. Grey Plover from my new favoured spot, the pile of rocks opposite dog sanctuary road. If approached slowly a good chance of waders, WT Kingfisher, Water Rails, Egrets etc.
Had a moment of confusion watching a female Marsh Harrier over the Hamitkoy reedbeds, when a juvenile Lesser Spotted Eagle appeared from the lake direction and circled back towards town. It was then joined by an adult, both circling high and then flew back past me along the Hamitkoy shoreline and cane beds before turning again back. This over an hour during which 3 more Marsh Harriers including 2 perched, seen plus another 2 crossing the lake from Eski Köyceğiz later in the afternoon. Also a small looking Buzzard, Peregrine Falcon, Sparrowhawk and a distant falcon.
2 Woodlarks were along the Zaferler road area and 5 Teal flushed by an angler from one of the concealed pools/ ditches.
Beautiful warm day today, spent most of the afternoon in a t-shirt.

3 Black necked Grebes from the promenade, 2 Mediterranean gulls with a flock of Black headed Gulls.
A friend rescued a Barn Swallow (photographed) from a cat during the week, though it died after a couple of hours. Probably weak and roosting low down as the weathers been very wet and chilly.
Blackcaps feeding on olives again, Black Redstarts everywhere as are Chiffchaff. 5 Chiffchaff in one small orange tree after a downpour earlier.

Having had various things taking up time recently I’ve been getting lax on updating here. I doubt there’s much interest in a detailed update so just a couple of recent sightings and observations.
Christmas Day was t-shirt weather and a couple of drinks by the lake were enlivened by a Whiskered Tern skirting the Black headed Gull flock and patrolling the promenade. A surprise but apparently small numbers winter around the Mediterranean region.
Whilst pointing out a lake crossing Marsh Harrier to a pal a larger bird behind turned out to be a White tailed Eagle, always a magnificent sight.
A few more Black necked Grebes can be found around the lake now if walking the prom.
A wander up to the flooded marshy areas gave a count of over 30 Wood Sandpipers, 3 Green Sandpipers, 30 plus Common Snipe, and an oddly displaced Chukar. A Great Bittern flew low along the Hamitkoy reedbeds and Night Herons have been coming to the boatyard forest side at dusk.
The Turkish version of Long tailed Tit has been passing through the garden regularly in good numbers , and a couple of Sombre Tits are around. A couple more sightings of Hawfinch along the tree avenue were welcome, also a couple of Bramblings amongst the countless Chaffinch flock.
A new garden bird was a flushed Common Snipe. Also a couple of Cattle Egrets took a short cut past our window this week. Collins doesn’t have them as wintering in this area but I’m reasonably sure a local has recorded them regularly from Eskikoy too. Corn Bunting and Reed Buntings have been just making it into my dodgy, extremely liberal recording area on occasion.
Sparrowhawks have been getting bolder, hunting acrobatically between the mandarin trees and flashing past the windows of the flat.
Goshawk sightings have dropped off so a fine male atop the pine tree was a relief. I was alerted by the Hooded Crow, Magpie and Jay cacophony resulting from this. The Goshawks may still be regularly visiting though, I found chicken feathers beneath the pine one morning.
Lesser, Greater, Middle Spotted and Syrian Woodpeckers are all visiting and much easier to see as the leaves drop. The Lesser Spotted being particularly easy to watch.
ChiffChaffs are everywhere, and there’s a male Lesser Whitethroat and a couple of Sardinian Warblers visiting the garden too.

The Wild Boar seem to have reached monstrous proportions from the evidence of footprints, turds , earth excavation and the height of plucked satsumas. The last time I camera trapped, the youngsters were now quite hefty but this strikes me as being a new herd. The amount of digging, foraging in the wood piles and left over fruit skins suggests numbers are high again.
Beech Marten was seen on our road recently, and the early morning roof space thudding and banging suggests there’s one living with us!
Happy New Year!

A good garden-ish tick yesterday was a Woodlark on the wire across the neighbouring orange grove visible from my desk.
The two Cattle Egrets have passed the window on a couple more occasions, presumably related to a neighbouring farmer moving their livestock to the fields over the road from us.
A Wood Sandpiper flew low along the field margins in heavy fog on Friday. I’m starting to wonder if there’s a seasonal-formed body of water in that area, not visible from the house. That would explain the Kingfisher on a balcony rail in late autumn.
Not an unusual phenomenon locally. A friend who has lived in Muğla for many years tells me there’s a winter “lake” outside the city that is so deep on occasion the villagers keep a couple of boats to get around. Definitely worth a birding trip.
A Peregrine female riding the wind gusts over town yesterday afternoon entertained me as I sat pondering the mysteries of life during a shopping trip tea break.
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A big storm and torrential downpours for a couple of days made any kind of birding difficult but a break in the weather brought crippling views of the male Goshawk. On and off throughout the day either soaring or balancing on the wind and occasionally returning to the high garden pine, it was easy to find as the local chickens and Hooded Crows were kind enough to alert me to its presence.
Yesterday a late afternoon bike ride to Yangı was rewarded with a forest edge White throated Kingfisher.
I’m in the Uk now for a few days and managed to catch up with a handful of Waxwings.

Last notable bird of Turkey was a Black Stork wading through flooded fields near Ortaca. Easily visible from the D400. Pleased to catch up with this wintering bird which may be the same one seen in Hamitkoy and Nasuhdede over the last few months.
Back in Turkey- glorious sunny day.
An afternoon out round the lake started with 3 Little Gulls amongst the Black headed gull flock, 2 Mediterranean hills amongst the beach flock. A Sandwich Tern was fishing mid-lake on the edge of the gull flock.
A circling Marsh Harrier pair stood out well in the sunlight, a couple of Long Legged Buzzards also out on the marsh. Other highlights were White throated Kingfisher, Pygmy Cormorant, 12 Common Snipe, Wood Sandpiper, Great White Egret, Middle Spotted Woodpecker and a Water Pipit.
An Otter was off the boatyard side of the forest again.

A Barn Swallow and 3 House Martins heralded the warm spring weather and ChiffChaffs were calling from all corners.
A typically Turkish encounter with a local ended up with me (and my bike) being given a lift in a tractor trailer to his land by the lake near the Namnam river. Here he pointed out a distant perched raptor that on closer approach turned out to be an adult White Tailed Eagle. Apparently here on and off for a month or so.
A scramble up one of the slopes above the river gave good views of Krupers Nuthatch but also saw me sliding dangerously towards a sizeable drop. The area above here is now acknowledged as being territory for Caracal and Lynx and its inaccessibility in places is its best defence. A pair of Sombre Tits were also here and there was a Blue Rock Thrush on the Hamitkoy dump.
The floodplains along the road were good for several Snipe, Green and Wood Sandpiper, seemingly several Marsh Harriers - one of which flushed a pair of scolding White throated Kingfishers. Great White Egrets were egret of the day as several were seen fishing or flying throughout the morning.
Siskins, Serins and 3 Bramblings added to the innumerable finch flocks on the forest edges and fields. Reed and Corn Buntings also noticeable. A briefly and poorly seen lark looked like Calandra, and 3 Woodlarks grubbed on the land next to the dog sanctuary road.

On the lake a Little Gull remained, 3 Slender billed gulls roosted on the beach for an hour and a couple of Black necked Grebes floated just offshore.
During the week a Goshawk caused much cacophony amongst the Hoodies as it perched for 10 mins atop the garden pine. This tree is also regularly used by a Sparrowhawk pair and at least once a Long legged Buzzard.
An Otter was again on the watermelon farm channel and a Dice Snake crossed the road at one point.
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