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SE Turkey 7.-25.5. 2022 (1 Viewer)

Arbu

Well-known member
We visited Sultan Marshes somewhat randomly, mainly because we were nearby in the morning and saw the landscape and immediately decided to check it in the evening for mammals, so we had a day to kill (which was an excellent idea as the evening brought Marbled Polecat, Tristram's Jird and William's Jerboa). We completely avoided the "tourist entrance" (we have never been there at all) and instead drove some tracks that skirt the area. Some channels had water with plenty of egrets and herons of all sorts and similar birds - nothing groundbreaking, but a lot of birds, a lot of species - and also European Pond Turtles, a species we looked so much for in Poland to no avail, here in plain sight next to a village. But the main highlight was when we found Turkestan Short-toed Larks in the sparse grasslands - this species we were somewhat hesitant to target around Birecik, as also the "original" Mediterranean species occirs there and we were not sure how to separate them reliably - but here, there was no confusion. Also the song sounded good.

We had again a lot of driving as we wanted to meet a group of birder friends at Durnalik the next day. There the weather was not great, but the rain stopped as we arrived - and as we were driving a track towards the aforementioned friends, we found, on the track, our main target for the area - Cinereous Bunting. There were also White-throated Robins - at that point a pretty cool bird, but later we saw almost too many of them! And Eastern Rock Nuthatch and Cretzschmar's Bu tings.

The search for Kurdish Wheatear near Isikli was cut short by a hailstorm and we continued on to Birecik, settling for two nights into a hotel for easier logistics (as our friends were not gonna camp). Interestingly, Birecik seemed completely fine despite being as close to Syria as we wanted to go, but there was a slight issue - most hotels were closer, only one was found to be open, but that sufficed.
Hi, which hotel did you stay in at Birecik please,? I'm arriving there tomorrow.
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Czech Republic
So this is actually funny, because we followd a specific eBird sighting to 37.0199,37.9744 - which is exactly the tree where we saw the owls, but now I clicked it - https://ebird.org/checklist/S109632392 - and inside it has more precise coordinates to another tree, so we found the owls by the virtue of a rounding error :)
 

Arbu

Well-known member
So this is actually funny, because we followd a specific eBird sighting to 37.0199,37.9744 - which is exactly the tree where we saw the owls, but now I clicked it - https://ebird.org/checklist/S109632392 - and inside it has more precise coordinates to another tree, so we found the owls by the virtue of a rounding error :)
Thanks, I got good views of one there. I also saw the lapwing at Kizilkuyu. Off to Nemrut Dag tomorrow where I will look for the wheatear.
 

andyb39

Well-known member
Seems like a good trip. Red-wattled Lapwing isn't a "common vagrant" though, it's a common breeder from Urfa eastwards. Also breeding Bar-tailed and Greater Hoopoe Larks were found last weekend, not sure if you'd heard of those.
When I lived in Turkey, they were only present at Cizre, and when I arrived there, I was almost immediately intercepted by the security forces and after being questioned and searched, put on the next bus out of town. I was quite relieved to leave, as the place felt horribly tense (this was in the 90s). I didn't realise they were more widespread now.
 

Jon Turner

Well-known member
It's Emin Yogurtcuoglu - son of the yogurt-maker. He sure knows his stuff.

When we were at Cımbar Boğası near Hassan's place at Safak Pensiyon, for the mountain species, I saw an animal that no-one else saw atop a cliff. It was cat-like, although bigger than a domestic cat with a long bushy tail. Views were very brief and no-one was able to help me - can you? Compensation came a few minutes later with a Wallcreeper, which despite being my top target for the trip ended up in third place! Oh and in 16 days we recorded 272 species. Our driver did 8,500 Kilometers.
 
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THE_FERN

Well-known member
It's Emin Yogurtcuoglu - son of the yogurt-maker. He sure knows his stuff.

When we were at Cımbar Boğası near Hassan's place at Safak Pensiyon, for the mountain species, I saw an animal that no-one else saw atop a cliff. It was cat-like, although bigger than a domestic cat with a long bushy tail. Views were very brief and no-one was able to help me - can you? Compensation came a few minutes later with a Wallcreeper, which despite being my top target for the trip ended up in third place! Oh and in 16 days we recorded 272 species. Our driver did 8,500 Kilometers.
Immediate reaction: civet or genet but neither are meant to be there. Perhaps a mongoose?

If really cat like, suggest wildcat: these can have really bushy tails. With their thick fur they can appear much bigger than a domestic cat
 

Jon Turner

Well-known member
Immediate reaction: civet or genet but neither are meant to be there. Perhaps a mongoose?

If really cat like, suggest wildcat: these can have really bushy tails. With their thick fur they can appear much bigger than a domestic cat
Thanks for that FERN.
I tried to describe it to the others on the tour but no-one came up with a definitive answer. It was a full-on birding tour, so Mammals were relegated to secondary importance, but we did record a few - including 2 Brown Bears! I'd be happy with Wildcat!
 

jurek

Well-known member
I saw an animal that no-one else saw atop a cliff. It was cat-like, although bigger than a domestic cat with a long bushy tail. Views were very brief and no-one was able to help me - can you?
Large domestic cat, stone marten, golden jackal or wildcat.

Turkey is home to leopard but it is probably long extinct in the area. There are also lynx, caracal and jungle cat, but they have short tails.
 

THE_FERN

Well-known member
Large domestic cat, stone marten, golden jackal or wildcat.

Turkey is home to leopard but it is probably long extinct in the area. There are also lynx, caracal and jungle cat, but they have short tails.
I've never seen the golden wolf ("jackal") but Wikipedia says it's not in mountains. Doubt a competent observer would mistake a felid for a canid... ...Think you'd also know if you'd seen a leopard. Stone martin only if you're very unfamiliar with mustelids.
 

Arbu

Well-known member
I got the wheatear at Nemrut Dag. Two singing males on the mountain. I also found Finsch's Wheatears more easily than it sounds like you did, seeing them at Aladaglar, Birecik and Kizilkuyu. Well, I think so, anyway, you can see the photos Observations. Maybe you were a little early for the best chances for wheatears? I also found Cinereous Bunting on Nemrut, saw about 10 Slender-billed Gulls flying around the Cendere Bridge, and had Spectacled Warbler north of Nemrut Dag.
 

rollingthunder

Well-known member
England
Mouth-watering thus far. I very much look forward to reading the full report. When I spent a couple of weeks late-March / early-April on the Bosphorous 12 years ago we got 2.5 NTL to the £ how times change!

Good birding -

Laurie -
 

Arbu

Well-known member
Mouth-watering thus far. I very much look forward to reading the full report. When I spent a couple of weeks late-March / early-April on the Bosphorous 12 years ago we got 2.5 NTL to the £ how times change!

Good birding -

Laurie -

Indeed. I don't think they want Sterling at all now...
 

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rollingthunder

Well-known member
England
Indeed. I don't think they want Sterling at all now...
A quick trawl and the exchange rate appears to be parity for both Euro and Sterling! Considering it is 0.86 Euro to the Pound are Brits not being ripped off? It should be nearly 20 to a quid.....
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Czech Republic
Well I am sure that if I came in with some juicy CZK, I'd also get far less than for the equivalent EUR bought for the same CZK at home. I am sorry to tell you guys, but GBP is a local currency, while USD and EUR are global ones. You could have had a global currency, you know :)
 

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