Monday, 26 April 2010


My holiday in Turkey was amazing with my great spots, this will be a long post but i hope to keep you interested by photos and just plain curiosity, welcome to 'TURKEY, '2010''

We arrived in Antalya airport on the 8th, we departed to our hotel on a coach, we hadn't even left the airport before i had a life tick up, CRESTED LARK(world 207), not long after another lifer, a stonking male LESSER KESTREL(world 208). It turns out that this bird and a female roosted regularly on our hotel and was therefore seen most days.
Later that evening a stroll around the hotel grounds produced a WHITE SPECTACLED(yellow vented) BULBUL (209)


Dawn broke and a quick look from my balcony produced a flock of swallow and sand martin swirling around above me, but quickly a much larger bird flew in, the unmistakable jizz of a swift, just huge ALPINE SWIFT......(210), the bird circled with the flock for a few minutes above the hotel but then flew away towards Antalya town..
Then it was down to the beech, a gull was flying up and down the beech but at first I was unable to identify it, but then I remembered i wasn't in Britain and i need to think outside the box, I took in all the features and came to the conclusion that the only bird it could be was a 1st summer AUDOUINS GULL (211), as it happened this bird hung around for the rest of the day but only reappeared briefly now and then, another lifer quickly followed as a winter plumaged GULL BILLED TERN(212) flew along the beach, 2 Crested lark were feeding on the beech around the sun loungers!!!!!, 3 White spectacled Bulbuls were around the grounds and a few swift hawked above

As the day closed to an end a few hundred swallow piled over west, but out at sea a big bird caught my eye, a very big bird, a pink FLAMINGO (213)flying east along the coast. the bird slowly made its way into the distance allowing me to watch it for about 3 mins, but too far out of my camera range..
2 RED RUMPED SWALLOW(214) flew over with the flock of swallow


This day I up the beach, about 200m up the beach I stopped because 2 LRP were on a wasteground there, I followed, and was quickly led into a barrage of crested lark song, there were everywhere, in total 17!! of these birds were singing and gowd knows how many females were tucked up in there,
3 HOODED CROW(215 flew in and landed in the centre of the wasteland, 10 Gull billed terns were fishing ofshore and a flock of 6 LBBG(of race 'fuscus' eg baltic gull) flew over south with 2 Yellow legged gulls, 2 White spectacled bulbul were in the hotel grounds.


A quick day this at 11am while sitting on a lounger by the pool a stunning HOOPOE flew over(216), later that day I visited the wasteground again with my stepdads camera and check this.....

9 Crested lark were here and many were singing:

(note the rusty underwings and tail pattern)

The Hooded crow flock was now on 4:

A Lesser whitethroat with pale 'spectacles' was in a hedge and 3 White spectacled bulbul were again in the hotel and the 2 Lesser kestrel roosted on the roof
now it goes quiet for a few days:


The only birthday surprise was a flock of 41 Yellow legged gull which flew west offshore, a few Red rumped swallow flew over and a White spectacled Bulbul was around


The 3 Bulbul were again about and one each of Crested lark and YL gull flew over but the highlight was the (re) appearance of an Alpine Swift, annoyingly while I was eating my tea in the hotel restaurant.......


Starting to get used to the normal stuff now, the 3 Bulbul again, 5 Crested lark, 1 Lesser kestrel, 2 White wagtail and a YL gull


Bulbuls again. not much else....


I walked further up the beach than before and it reaped rewards, I found a lake where for the rest of the holiday most of my birding was situated....

2 PURPLE HERON were quickly spotted flying east offshore and 3 Gull billed terns were fishing offshore, a few Yellow legged gulls flew over, and then my attention turned to the lake, loads(20c) LRP were plastered up the shore and Reed warblers were singing everywhere, the odd Sedge warbler and the song of many Crested lark (again 20c),
An adult BALTIC GULL flew east back to its breeding grounds, walking over the ridge of a sand dune three strikingly black and white birds were flushed from the waters edge(no idea they where there), got me onto 3 BLACK WINGED STILTS(217), the birds flew a short distance behind another dune and landed where the birds shown superbly for ages at extremely close range

I moved to an area with the sun behind me and look at these beautys:

while in the exitement of the stilts i quickly latched onto 5 'egrets' which had just taken flight from further up the beech, the birds flew west towards were i was standing and after a minuite they had gone from egrets to SQUACCO HERONS(218):

(a bit overexposed but they are squacco).

Now with the lake done i decided to go up the path which follows the west side of the lake which turned out to be a good idea with a good load of warblers.......
8 Lesser whitethroat were hopping about on the path but one seemed more secretive hopping in and out of grass,in the shadows of a wall. I fired off a few shots and passed it off as another whitethroat and walked on. I got into a shade patch and looked at my images, the bird on the monitor shown pale legs and a pinkish throat with white 'moustach', oh my god, i looked back at the area the bird had been in and it was still there, a female SUBALPINE WARBLER(219) OK, not the stonking male I was after but who cares, and the photo in question, here it is:

(the moustach stripe can be clearly seen on other pics, but note all the other pro-subalpine features)

With 4 species of warbler i was on a roll with a great OLIVACEOUS WARBLER(220) which gave point blank views as I was changing my battery, it then flew off into the grounds of the adjacent hotel and wasn't seen again. about a hundred metres of path later I turned back as all the warbler activity was centered around the reeds, I got back and a 'grey warbler' landed on the hedgeline, my mind quickly changed from Blackcap to RUPPELL'S WARBLER(221) the second i latched onto it, it obligingly perched on the hedge but into direct sunlight.....

As the light was dying I doodled back to the hotel watching Gull billed terns and YL gulls flyby......


Back up to the lake had me watching a superb flock of 10, yes 10 Black winged stilts.

I scurried off to the Ruppells site and look what greeted me......

The male Ruppell's warbler showed well at a metre or 2 range in a trackside bush, but other warblers were hard to come by 4 female Subalpine warblers were on the roadside bushes, as was a female blackcap, i headed back to the lake where i was just in time to witness 11 Mediterranean Gull fly east offshore, I have never seen more than a lone med so to see a whole flock was mindblowing........
14 Gull billed terns quickly followed.
I spun on my heels and look at the lake, 2 waders were on the near shore, right next to each other, I gained a closer look and this is what i saw:

A male KENTISH PLOVER(222) feeding with a moulting adult LITTLE STINT. WOW, my kind of birding, they often fed around each other and shown superbly well, 2 super little birds.

2 SERIN(223) flew over into the grounds of the hotel where I from now on often saw them...
Then a monster of a tern flew in, a big red beak, short tail, CASPIAN TERN,(224) omfg, this thing was huge as it flew along behind a boat in an east direction, the bird then overtook the boat and continued its flight towards greece

For the last time I turned around and looked for warblers with no extra species added, I walked the road back to the hotel and stopped next to a river where a Common sandpiper landed directly in front of me a metre away, I took a series of shots of the bird unaware of me, but the shot i am going to show is the one where I realised I was there and called and flew off.


Back again, to the lake for yet another day of surprises, a promising start when a Red rumped swallow flew over, I climbed the dune where the stilts were but there was none but instead it had been replaced by a wheatear, in flight the wheatear was so striking it was unbelievable, all brow with that typical wheatear tail superb, it was an ISERBALINE WHEATEAR(226), it was actively feeding around me and seemed unperturbed., after a few confirmation shots i left it on its own.

The 3 Serin landed in the hotel grounds. working my way up the lake I saw 4 heron flying in, NIGHT HERON(225), they circled above the reeds for a bit then landed in a pool among the reeds(which I later found)

There was little going on on the lake so I headed behind the lake, where a surprise was in store,
I saw a movement in the sand ahead of me and it turned out to be no less than a SHORT TOED LARK(227)it blended in so well in with the sand I almost trod on it.
As I said the Night herons were relocated,

2 GRACEFUL PRINIA(228) were lurking about in the reeds and also 2 un-id'd warblers which I still need to show somebody, a turtle gave me a fright when I stumbled upon it( not literally) in the scrub, a bird then popped up on a bush some way away, I locked my camera onto it and yessssssssssssssssssssssssss,

Bogey bird gone.......
A stonking, immaculate, pristine summer plumaged RED BACKED SHRIKE(229), I have been waiting to get one of these since the one on the patch a few years ago(grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr), and for it to be a stonking male it was a great feeling, what a bird.....

The bird flew a short distance and disappeared, although a flock of 7 White spectacled bulbul was slight compensation, the usual Hooded crows and Gull billed terns, Crested larks were seen, but also 1 Meadow pipit and a Tree pipit

A day trip, the coach ride between the places was best, loads of Red rumped swallow, a Sparrowhawk, a load of Yellow legged gulls, but the highlights were a LONG LEGGED BUZZARD(230) which flew low over the coach in the country, a LESSER GREY SHRIKE(231) which was seen within 100m of the ll buzzard atop a bush, a dark morph HONEY BUZZARD which also flew across the coach but nowhere near the other buzzard site, and finally 2 WHITE STORK which were feeding in a flooded field near a coca cola distribution place near Antalya


4 White spectacled bulbul, 1 Gull billed tern and a Lesser ketrel,


An early morning trip to the shops rewarded me with a immense flock of 14 GREAT EGRET(232) which flew in off the sea and flew north on its migration into Europe(or elsewhere),
A male SPANNISH SPARROW(234) was singing near the front entrance, and what a different song it is, easily recognizable from house sparrow.
Later that evening a rufous female RED FOOTED FALCON(235) flew over in a NW direction(as was most of the passage throughout the holiday) , 7 Red rumped swallow also


A Little egret flew over, the Spanish sparrow was singing all over the site being very mobile today. 5 Red rumped swallow flew over, a very large movement of Swallow today consisting of 700+ birds all moving to the west


The Spanish sparrow was still holding territory and 5 YL gulls flew over, a flock of 4 GLOSSY IBIS flew over at c 11am off the sea, and later that evening we were on the beach, and 2 SPOONBILL(236) flew east.

That night(well the next morning at 1am) we were shipped out back to Britain on a rescue flight, we were stuck in turkey for an extra 5 day's but with great weather, great birds and everything free, who's complaining..........
And when we got back to britain it was raining HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA


Sunday, 25 April 2010

MB in TURKEY!!!!!!

hey all
back from my holiday in turkey, in fact i only got back into the house a few hours ago. a few technical hitches and a few confirmations on ID's and i will be posting how it plays out.
and to get your mouths watering, here are a few highlights of the holiday.
Audouins gull
Alpine swift
Ruppel's warbler
Black winged stilt's
Squacco heron's
Subalpine warbler
Caspian tern
Kentish plover
Little stint
Iserbaline wheatear
night heron's
Red backed shrike
White stork
Spanish sparrow
amongst many others, and guess what, i have some good photos......................


Thursday, 1 April 2010



undisclosed site

spent 4 hours in a woodland today.

we casually walked around for an hour and a bit untill i picked up our target bird up my its call (drumming), we then moved slightly closer and then i picked up the LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER moveing among the tree tops. the bird was a female but was quite distant for my digiscopeing or my friends camera. we watched from this safe distance and soon after a second bird flew across in front of the first and landed on a nearby tree( a male), this bird called and then flew off followed by the female. we moved on, not wanting to desturb the woodpeckers too much(at all), we walked around the site picking up 2 little grebes on a small pool+ nest, multiple nuthatch and treecreeper and the other 2 common 'british' woodpeckers(green and GS).

we climbed up the hills and searched the summit but no wheatears or rouzels appeared. a few buzzards were soring above. a flock of 30-40 stock doves was noteworthy with 20c woodpigeons(feding in field), 3 goldcrest were located in the 'ivy' covered places in the wood.

on another track, this is what we stumbled upon(and by that i mean, we knew it was there):

A roosting TAWNEY OWL, my first sighting this year, we spent a lot of time photographing the bird, showing other people with my bins/scope etc. most of which were quite interested. on a few occasions the owl started to 'hoot' with its call penitrating throughout the woodland, a really unusual sound in the daytime.

and thats all folks, no passerine migrants, although this was not what i was after.

2 year ticks

LS woodpecker

Tawney owl