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YesilUzumlu, Incerkoy and Cadianda areas. (1 Viewer)

30th March
village area am / Cadianda road pm

Great to see the Alpine Swifts above the village this morning, a couple of dozen at least. We walked down to the Cadianda restaurant to attend a charity cake and bake sale, homemade Sausage Rolls and meat and potato pies, Lemon Drizzle cake. Fantastic close up view of a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker.

The afternoon we walked the Cadianda road where a Cetti’s warbler continues to call and a Hoopoe flew up the road out of sight around every corner thinking it had got away until we appeared around each corner, each time sending it on its way.

We took some shade in a small wooded orchard and watched an elderly goat herding laying down under a tree while the goats foraged nearby.

Great views of a Cirl Bunting and black eared Wheatear sat in the same bushy tree.
Greenfinch definitely the default bird for the entire walk, however a couple of great species enlivened the last part of the walk with a Rock Bunting perched in a roadside tree and when it flew off another joined it. However the bird of the afternoon was a female Red Crossbill feeding in a pine tree in the village.
 
1st April
Fools gold at Tlos

Half day out at the Lycian ruins of Tlos. Always good for two year ticks… Blue Rock Thrush and Western Rock Nuthatch both Guaranteed. But hold on, threat to life, 32 degrees! UK news says stay indoors, don’t go out and die!. Haha April fool….. Turkey weather, enjoy it while you can.

Stop off at the bridge before the ruins, always at least something to see, This morning 7 Little Ringed Plover and a Green Sandpiper.

Of course we arrive and order a pancake from the tourist cafe and I wander off for the easy pickings. Female Blue Rock Thrush in your face with at least five males dotted all over the ruins. Leisurely lunch with starred Agamas everywhere and Greenfinch calling from the tree above.

A little more effort needed for the western Rock Nuthatch, but yes they are vocal and eventually very visible. However sat in our picnic chairs under a lovely shaded Elm and a chattering of Serins above, when I spot one fly in front of me into the shrubbery….that doesn’t look like a Serin. It’s only a Red Fronted Serin…. Never seen one here before. Happy days. Raven made up the numbers before we called it a day. Great views of Alpine Swift kept us company all afternoon. Finished off my with a lovely male Black eared Wheatear.

Return visit to the bridge only bagged a couple of Little Egrets.
 

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3rd April
Garden only
Hobby being the highlight and also the first Shrike in the garden with a Woodchat. Red Rumped Swallows and Alpine Swift have been increasing in numbers

5th April
Day out at Patara Ruins and beach .
Am Ruins and bird spotting (which was actually quite difficult). Pm lazy beach bum

It’s a 75 minute drive with a now inflated entrance fee. But we snaffled an entrance card from a friend who was heading back to the uk. Usually a good place due to the wetlands within the site. Unfortunately no warblers at all and only Moorhen and Coot on the water.
Bagged a pair of White-eyed Bulbul for a year tick, and only really managed Eastern Black eared Wheatear, Woodchat Shrike, Ortolan Bunting and corn Bunting.

And just remembered that I disturbed a Little Bittern at the car park end of the site.
 
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7th April
Short Incerkoy road loop then stop for light breakfast at new council run cafe.
Overcast morning meant we could leave it a bit later in the morning without the intense morning sun. Slow amble with Liz and a neighbour, spent more time talking than bird watching but managed a new trip bird with a confiding Common Whitethroat singing on wires above our heads, plus a Woodchat Shrike on a telegraph pole. All other species were what I would have expected, although the Corn Buntings are now in the village rather than just the outskirts.
A few more Chiffchaff appeared around the garden areas this morning while the Blackcaps seemed to have moved through now.
 
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9th April
Pm walk along cadianda road.

Liz and myself walked the road to cadianda in the afternoon, looked a little dark overhead for a while in between the sunshone.

Started off with quite a few Woodlarks calling either side of the road. Only managed a fleeting glimpse as one crossed over our heads. It wouldn’t be long though before an Ortolan Bunting sang loud and proud on top of a small conifer, long enough for Liz to appreciate it as well…. One for her life list, something that Liz has no appreciation for unfortunately. I enjoyed pointing out the subtle differences between this and the soon to be seen Cretzschmars Bunting. That alone made the walk worth while.

Next up a magnificent Cirl Bunting, on a wire, above our head…. Crippling views!! Again it sat there singing out loud while Liz got unparalleled views… stunner. We stopped at the end of the road and enjoyed a sit down in a small cemetery under the shade. I watched at distance a dark flycatcher but couldn’t pin it down to anything other than a Flycatcher sp.

Not to be too disappointed just on queue the Cretzschmars Bunting flew in to pick grit From the roadside along with a White Wagtail and a Chaffinch… oh and another couple of Cretzschmars. Literally a few feet away, stunning.

The return walk bagged a Cettis Warbler and a Common nightingale that gave me the briefest of views, but great to have on the edge of the village.

Sat here now on the balcony with a calling Scops Owl to my left and a calling Tawny owl to my right

A wonderful place
 
11th April
Just an hour of balcony birding before a lazy beach day ……

Sombre Tit is a good garden bird here, so very pleased to see one this morning. Woodchat Shrike is still here. Syrian Woodpecker and a calling Green Woodpecker that I couldn’t see from the balcony.

Quick glimpse of a Tree Sparrow amongst the resident House sparrows and a few vocal Great Tits and 2 Serin

Hirundines are in good numbers, especially Red-rumped Swallows.

Birding starts in earnest again on Sunday 👌
 
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Managed a quick visit to a patch of wetlands between Fethiye and Calis
5 Purple Heron and Little Egret

Moved to a wetland pool at Zircon Beach near Calis and managed a few more purple Heron, Ruff, Little Egret and a close Kingfisher
 

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15th April
Decided to keep fairly local (after the painters let me down this morning and didn’t show up)

Drove to Zircon beach wetland as it’s a straightforward drive. Little egrets very close to my parking place with three Purple Heron further back. The single Ruff has now been joined by another one plus at least four Wood Sandpiper.

Then tried to find Ak Gol wetlands, where I have been before but over a year ago, and of course building work has changed the scenery and of course I got lost. Eventually found it and immediately located two little ringed plover on the beach. I climbed the path at the back of the lake which gives good views over the inlet canal and a good proportion of the lake, (although a good few inlets can’t be seen from this vantage point). Great to see three Black-Necked Grebe. Unfortunately they went down one of the channels that I couldn’t see and out of sight. Surprisingly the only other water fowl were Coot and Moorhen. Cettis and Reed Warbler were calling in the usual good numbers.

I returned quickly to Zircon where I only added a Little grebe.

Some images of the Ak Gol Wetlands

Sat on my balcony here in Yesiluzumlu and have a Scops Owl calling
 

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16th April
A recky to the mountain pass as a friend is coming out for a weeks birding and to be honest it’s just a damn good place to see some specialist species.

Set off at 7am heading on the Antalya road where you climb up to 1300mtrs and you come to a plateau at an old Roman Bridge. Last year I bagged a Wallcreeper here. Armed with some playback I was desperately hoping to entice another one in, but not today. However I spent an hour here and got a great list including Rock Nuthatch, Cretzschmars Bunting, a very obliging Cettis Warbler that gave up stunning views, a few Black eared Wheatear. There is a seasonal lake a few miles away that attracts waterfowl so always Cormorants flying back and forth along with Herons and today a single
Steppe Buzzard passed close by. Along the canal Reed Warbler, Marsh Warbler and my still bogey bird a Moustached warbler sang but didn’t show it self. Two Penduline Tit gathered nesting material and gave brief but excellent glimpses for a while. Serin, Black-eared Wheatear, Woodlark and the other usual stuff flitted about in the chilli air
After giving up on the Wallcreeper and Moustached warbler I continued on the 10 minutes journey to Seki, famous for the Apple Statue and the wonderful White Throated Robin.
This was just brilliant this morning, arrived with singing Woodlark, everywhere. Crested lark, Woodchat Shrike, a Sardinian Warbler was my first of the year while three crazy Ruppells Warblers sang, chased, and generally flew left and right…. Cracking bird.

Corn bunting and Crested Larks are the norm however Greater Short toed larks called in a few locations before I tracked one down towards the end of the scrub that should hold White Throated Robin. A Cirl bunting sang from a tree top with Greenfinch. A farmer came out to see what I was upto on this quiet Tuesday morning. Linnets were plentiful as a long-legged Buzzard soared over and circled for a while. However the star of the show had been waiting, a male White throated Robin hopped onto a rock right in front of me, crippling views for a while before it retreated to a thorny bush. Two Middle Spotted Woodpecker completed a good 90 minutes in Seki… now the final drive upto 1850mtrs at the Gocu Beli pass for more high altitude species.

Gocu Beli has some normal everyday birds such as Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Black Redstart and Northern Wheatear, all excellent to see but unfortunately they were all going to play second fiddle to some serious competition this morning and early afternoon. First off a male Blue Rockthrush flew onto a pine top right in front of me, and a first sighting of this species up here for me. A couple of Red fronted Serin darted about below me as a few Crag Martin flew amongst the rocks and the Mountain goats. Two loud Red billed chough flew across the valley and back with nesting material, and a common Cuckoo called for the first time this year.
But one of the stars of the day was the Rufous tailed Rock Thrush (or whatever it is called nowadays) sang high up in a tree that clung to a steep rock cliff. I headed to the famous second water trough, famous for the photogenic Red-fronted Serin that come to feed here…. When there is enough mountain water to fill it. Today it was full, and full of bird life. Linnet, Serin, Northern Wheatear that were actually nesting in the side of the trough. Mistle Thrush and plenty of red fronted Serin, brilliant half hour close up and personal, using the car as a hide.

I pulled myself away and walked over the top of the pass and a few hundred metres down the far side, Sombre Tit, a very unusual sighting with a single Starling (my only ever sighting in 15 years of visiting Turkey), Willow Warbler and a year first common Redstart. Wryneck had been singing for a while and I managed to see one calling from a pine tree top, while a Rock Bunting did the same close by.
Raven always frequent these parts more do than the Alpine Chough, but today they were outdone 2-1. I have been lucky to see many Hoopoe this spring, in all types of habitat, even today at 2000mtrs I managed to see one. Alpine Swift appeared just before I left.

A raptor flew into a tree that as yet I haven’t identified but overall a cracking days birding in a very special place, one life bird and a few species new for my Turkey list
 

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18th April
Still got an upside down house as the painters never finish a room but do bits in every room….. time to get out in the Garden.

Great news is that the Eastern Oliveacous Warbler is back, singing from the land behind the garden, still a single Woodchat Shrike.

Decided to walk the Incerkoy loop, immediately picked up a flock of Bee-eaters, 13 I counted. All along the walk Common Whitethroat called from either bushes, trees or wires, large numbers. Not long onto the flatlands my first Masked Shrike hunted from a low tree branch and a first for me with a single Pallid Swift, I scanned all along the walk but it was definitely a single passing bird.
Woodchat Shrikes were dotted about but was especially pleased to find a large mobile flock of
Western Yellow Wagtail 12 in total as they flew to another uncultivated field. Two encounters of day calling Scops Owl but incredibly difficult to locate in the now fully leaf laden trees. As ever Corn Bunting still singing along the route, still amazes me that the loud call actually masks the fact that they are further away than first think.
Wood pigeon are not too common here but four flew over the wheat field's and more Eastern Oliveacous Warbler skulked in dense bushes.

Another flock of Bee-eaters flew over but this time landed in a tree a few hundred meters away, 21 in total.
Chiffchaff, Common Nightingale singing and a few Causican Red Squirrel completed the walk

Nice to see the colour back in the fields and the vines growing back

This afternoon from the balcony Common Cuckoo calling
 

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21st April
Picking fellow forum member, Jeff, up from the airport this afternoon for a weeks birding my local patches and a little beyond.
Contacted forum member angusmecoatup, to spend a few hours in the morning in his area of Koycegiz.
We were only going to bird two areas, the canal/dump and Hamitkoy.
Quickly disturbed a Purple Heron that flew out of the canal reedbed while I got a rarity for me in Turkey with a Common Magpie.
Two weeks ago the place was dripping with Yellow wagtail, but only a single female foraged on the canal bank this morning. The Eastern Oliveacous Warbler certainly behave differently in different habitats, today it was a reedbed skullker. I managed a descent view and a year tick with Great Reed Warbler and got brilliant views along the track of Greater Short Toed Lark. We didn’t persevere with the calling Moustached and Reed warblers, although the Moustached warbler still very much evades my list spreadsheet.

Moved to the expansive Reed bed along the main road and got close view of Whinchat, Zitting Cisticola and Corn Bunting.

Moved onto Hamitkoy bridge where a Black crowned Night Heron appeared from nowhere and quickly disappeared again. Plenty of Little Egret and Grey Heron catching large fish while at least a pair of Little Ringed Plover managed their territory on the stony islands of the river. A raptor kill remains gave us some final interest with what was left of a European Nightjar
A White Stork nested on a mosque nearby.

After picking Jeff up we managed a Collared Flycatcher in the garden.
 

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22nd April
Incerkoy Loop am
First days birding with Jeff, so hopefully a whole load of year birds this morning.
Started off with an Eastern Oliveacous in the rear of the garden before crossing onto the flatland and Incerkoy road. Was actually fairly quiet. The most common species was the Common Whitethroat which we came across every couple of hundred yards, not many skulkers as most were happy to sit on wires above our heads. Alpine Swifts are always nice to see, but a pristine male Whinchat posed on a fence wire with its partner nearby.

Tlos ruins pm
A stop at the bridge to Tlos was very unproductive with only a single Wood Sandpiper. The ruins obliged with the regular Blue Rock Thrush happy to come within 20 foot while we sat and sipped beer under the shade of a large tree. Western Rock Nuthatch and Black-eared Wheatear in their normal good numbers. Two nice surprises with a Hoopoe clinging to a wall face of the ancient baths, while a Turtle Dove purred atop a nearby tree.

Whistle stop trip to Zircon wetland that is now mostly under water after a torrential downpour the day before gave up only a single Purple Heron on the only small island left.
 
23rd April (pt 1)
Heading high today to the Gocu Beli pass, I think it’s always a treat to bird in the special location. Today I am Jeff’s guide, he needs a few lifers on this trip so hopefully I can put my now “local Knowledge” to the test and see if i can pin down what he needs.

A fairly early start upto the Roman bridge (or as I call it the Wallcreeper site). It’s always going to be a little chilly at 1300m early morning. But it’s a good time to try for the wallcreeper before the traffic gets roaring past. No sighting this time…. We were greeted by a singing Woodlark on the wires above the electricity substation.
But it’s a good place to look down on a very thin strand of reedbed along a canal either side of the bridge. Cetti’s warbler gives stunning open views here and obliged easily, as did a pair of Penduline Tits feeding extremely close to the bridge. Jeff got his Marsh Warbler as it quietly skulked deeper in the reeds, in fact we may have got two, they were not calling as they foraged and were soon gone. Surprised not to hear either Reed Warbler or Moustached this morning as they were very noisy last week. The first Eastern Orphean Warbler picked its way trough some thicket while a few Linnet came into the nearby tree tops.
Black-eared Wheater, Cormorant over and a Kestrel being mobbed by a triplet of Crows was the side entertainment.
 

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23rd April (pt2)
Seki
After an hour at the Roman bridge we arrived at Seki and parked at the near end of the road opposite a farm track. It was now warm enough to remove the fleece. We walked to the front of the car and were met with a very loud and almost inquisitive White Throated Robin, or maybe it was the nearby Blakbird that had chased it nearer. Stunning bird giving prolonged crippling views. All awhile Woodchat Shrikes were everywhere as were Corn Buntings and Crested Larks, a Greater short- toed Lark was heard but not seen. A partially skullking Eastern Ophean Warbler gave enough to give a positive identification. I had seen a circling Long Legged Buzzard here a week before, this time maybe the same bird soared in and landed in a near tree. In the meantime we are now watching a second White-throated Robin and again singing only a few meters away…. We a being treated well this morning.
Just as we headed down to look at the third Singing White Throated Robin (now this is epic) a singing Lesser Whitethroat gave great views for comparison to the previous Orphean.

Around the corner toward the boulder field a Western Rock Nuthatch clambered amongst the large boulders and a Cretzschmars Bunting foraged in the corner house vegetable field. It seems a good fall of Ruppells Warblers have arrived as after last week’s feisty three a single one sang close to the roadside, yet another stunning bird that this site gives up.

What a morning, we have to pull ourselves away as we have another lifer to try for, to add to Jeff’s list up at Gocu Beli
 
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23rd April (pt3)
Gocu Beli

After a fantastic hour a Seki we drove the 20 minutes and further 700m elevation up to Gocu Beli pass.
On the lower slopes we stopped for a lesser Spotted Woodpecker which flew off but gained a Perigrine Falcon that circled over us for a few minutes. We reached the summit and parked up where I suggested to Jeff that we scan the cliff tops for Rock Thruxh…. You bet 👍🏼 tight on cue we spot one on the cliff edge. Great bird and not an easy one to find. This area is littered with Northern wheatear, at least 3 or 4 pairs are very easy to come across. The star bird up at this altitude is Red Fronted Serin. In the Goat paddock, in the trees, on the road side verge, everywhere today, and of course the European Serin follow their every move. Where there are Serin there are Linnet, these beautiful birds we’re showing nice variation's of plumage and the birds were literally everywhere too.

Red billed Chough own the skies up here but today only a single individual made a couple of sorties over our heads.

This area in SW Turkey is currently seeing a huge influx of Bee eaters, today 6 good sized flocks passed noisily over the peak.

A Short toed snake eagle flew in and dropped into a tree on the craggy top where Cragg Martins were the dominant hirundine of the peak.

Last week I missed Rock Sparrow up here but today we found a nesting pair in the goat headers cottage roof. Certainly not a boring mountain bird today.

We dropped down the 100 metres to the famous water trough and watched loads of the Serins and linnets feeding at point blank range, Mistle Thrush nervously feeding alongside.

A little walk down the far side (Elmali side) of the pass got us a calling Wryneck sat on top of a pine while a single Cirl Bunting also sang on top of a very tall pine. We walked back up to the goat farmers residence and saw a Sombre tit in a tree above our heads while a Whinchat perched for ten minutes watching us drink our beer in the shade. We had been chasing three Starling around for a while hoping they were more than just a boring European Starling ( even though they are incredibly scarce in SW Turkey), unfortunately they were just boring European Starling…. To lift the spirits a little and out of nowhere a Green Woodpecker flew into a tree right next to us.
A second Perigrine Falcon of the day soared above while another Rock Thrush came down to eye level in the nearest tree…. A great species to see any day of the year.

We quickly tried to locate Rock Bunting at the first water trough but missed so reluctantly headed down back to Seki. We decided to stop at the seasonal lake nearby on the Seki plateau and were immediately rewarded with 3 Ruddy shelduck and a pair of Glossy ibis. Unfortunately these were all distributed when a family decided to take their car off road and down to the waters edge…… Great crested Grebe, Grey Heron and Common Sandpiper were all on this side of the lake. It’s a place that I will visit on more occasions.
 
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24th April
Decided to stay local and make whistle stop visits to three sights.
Firstly we did a portion of the cadianda hill to pick up Kruipers Nuthatch which duly obliged very quickly. We drove down the lower slip slowly hoping for maybe a calling warbler or two or a few shrikes. Within a few minutes we had seen in two separate locations two Ruppells Warblers singing out in the open, one location very close to the edge of the village. A Cretzschmars Bunting was seen very high up on the tallest pine tree of the area so not the best viewing this morning.

Ak Gol
After lunch we made the 25 minute drive to Ak Gol lake solely to see the Black necked Grebe. It took a while but eventually we had prolonged views of a single adult and a fleeting view of another adult with possibly 4 chicks.

Chalis Wetland
Due to disturbance the place often gets I don’t visit too often, however I was surprised to see a nice selection of species here.
6 Black winged Stilt on the canal side along with 3 Glossy ibis a little nearer.
Whiskered Tern and a few Common Tern fed in the wetland and over the bay.
Two Ruff in the sedge grass and a brief view of a flying Yellow Wagtail.

Finished the day with a quick drive up the cadianda road and picked up a pair of Masked Shrike and the return of a Turtle Dove to the village cemetery.
 
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25th April
Travelling to Koycegiz for a days birding and a stop over at Blackbird Cottage where we will be meeting Paul in the late afternoon and evening.
The idea was to use Paul’s place as a base overnight before heading further North west to Bafa Lake the following day.

Before leaving the Fethiye/Chalis area we had a Pygmy Cormorant flying from inland presumably to one of the coastal wetlands.
When arriving at Koycegiz at about 8am the first stop would be at the cottage to see the current small group of Golden Orioles. When we arrived we were greeted by the clear bubbling call in the large trees near to Paul’s balcony, they moved down to the cottage where we got good views of a couple feeding on the Mulberry. A large flock of Bee-eaters flew over while a singing Garden Warbler moved along the tree line to the rear of the garden.
At the beach end of the town we used the bridge to scan for the Bittern but it wasn’t moving today.

Zitting Cisticola and Eastern Oliveacous Warbler were abundant along the canal reeds. A pair of Squacco Heron spent the entire day in the canal, only moving positions when disturbed by a walker or motor cyclist using the far side path. We would spend a couple of hours in this area trying to pin down sightings of
Great Reed Warbler, Common Reed Warbler and Moustached Warbler, all of which we’re calling constantly. Fairly easy views of the common Reed, ok views of the Great Reed Warbler and absolutely zero views of the moustached. All awhile the Hirundines were feeding around us including a couple of Sand Martins. A few Whiskered Tern were just of the beach area. A single beautifully plumaged Black headed Yellow Wagtail was the only one seen on the canal edge.

We moved to the expansive Reed area along the Hamitkoy Road where we spent a good couple of hours including a roadside lunch on the travel chairs. Zitting Cisticola were active and noisy, I picked up a single Stonechat and we had plenty of Common Whitethroat. A Lesser Whitethroat picked its way through the ditch while a Moustached warbler sang from a large dense bushy. I physically watched the bush for the best part of those two hours and eventually got a good sighting of it singing almost out in the open…. At last it goes on my life list after many aborted attempts in the past.
A trip further on to the Hamitkoy bridge and riverside proved unproductive with nothing unusual catching our eye, so we headed back to the canal and dump. It was reasonably warm so decided to head into the woods to try for views of the ever calling Common Nightingales, it was worth the 20 minutes as we got great views of one.
A coffee stop at the beach cafe got us a brief view of a Marsh Harrier, while we watched nine Black Winged Stilts come into the bay and drop onto the canal. We were due to meet Paul at 4pm on the bridge overlooking the canal, now we had the two Squacco, Purple Heron and the nine Black Winged Stilts.
We finished the day with Paul taking us to a few other locations where we picked up Turtle Dove,
Middle Spotted Woodpecker and a nice flock of Bee-eaters perched on wires.
A nice evening in Koycegiz alongside the moonlit Lake.
 

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26th April
Koycegiz canal am
Overnight we had decided not to do the 6 hour round trip to Bafa Lake and decided for a little lie on and try again for the Bittern at the canal reedbed.
Again no luck but after a little perseverance we were rewarded with absolutely crippling views of Great Reed Warbler and Moustached Warbler feeding virtually side by side out in the open in a very thin strand of reeds. Very nice 👍🏼

The usuals were still here this morning,
Common Reed warbler, Purple Heron, Squacco x2, Little Egret and Zitting Cisticolas

Paul had given us a location to try for Savis Warbler. We only gave it a short try but no reeling at all. We did get an incredible sight of at least 200 (possibly many more) Bee-eaters leave the wires and surrounding trees in unison giving a wonderful spectacle.

Cadianda pm
Drive home to Yesiluzumlu for lunch and we would drive up to the Cadianda Ruins for an afternoon in the shaded Lycian site.
Kruipers Nuthatch are regular and Icter easily seen of which there were plenty about, we also managed a few Short-toed Treecreeper.

Back down on the cadianda to Uzumlu road we picked up a pair of Northern Wheatear and a pair of Black eared Wheater which were in someone’s Garden and on the house roof.
 

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