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Content Introduction Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Species List Text only

List of species seen

Caspian Snowcock   

This is one of the iconic species to see on a trip to Turkey. Some people choose to yomp up Demirkazik mountain themselves, and then camp overnight waiting for first light and the birds to start calling. We took the luxury option – a tractor ride (bumpy) and then a short climb up the mountain (still strenuous at this altitude), and then hike back down (not easy on the knees). We waited some time for the first birds to show, but a pair were found after about 50 minutes. A subsequent pair flew adjacent to top crags, then 1 was picked up on lower slopes

Chukar Partridge

1 on the plain towards Wadi from Cukurbag to Emli Bogazi, and 2 separate birds within the Wadi

See-see Partridge

We tried in vain to find these ourselves in the wadi behind the Bald Ibis centre at Birecik. However, we had to wait until the tractor ride at Yeniakpinar to see 3 separate birds at Yeniakpinar

Black Francolin  

These are one of the birds that are high on the wanted list at the Goksu Delta. We were there early to look for them, and weren’t disappointed when 4 birds were seen. Each one became more obvious than the last, although the fourth bird called mainly from behind a bush, only showing its head and neck

Common Quail 

2-3 heard in cultivated field near Demirkazik

Mute Swan

2 Goksu Delta

Ruddy Shelduck

Pair with young and a separate further bird Goksu Delta; ~4 Goksu Delta the following day

Mallard

2 separate birds - 1 at Pools South of Birecik and 1 on Euphrates South of Birecik; 1 Goksu Delta

Red-crested Pochard 

1 female Pools South of Birecik; ~4 Goksu Delta

Ferruginous Duck

2 at Pools South of Birecik; 6 flying North over Euphrates South of Birecik

Little Grebe 

1 heard at Pools South of Birecik; 2 Birecik Gravel Pits

Great Crested Grebe

3 on Euphrates South of Birecik; 2 Goksu Delta

White Stork

3 separate birds on trip from Antalya to Cukurbag; 5 on lagoon on journey from Cukurbag to Birecik; 1 on journey from Birecik; 2 at Goksu Delta; 1 on journey from Akseki to Antalya

Northern Bald Ibis  

The status of these as wild birds is debatable. The species apparently was extinct in the wild a couple of decades ago, but the Ibis Centre has been raising them at Birecik successfully. Within the confines of the colony, the birds breed in manmade boxes inserted into a cliff face. However, they then fly freely, and the first ones we saw were on the cliffs within the wadi behind the centre, as well as flying over Birecik

Glossy Ibis 

1 at Pools South of Birecik

Little Bittern

3 at Birecik Gravel Pits. One flew past us and onwards, the other were together and were located in the distance within the reed beds

Black-crowned Night Heron 

1 from bridge over the Euphrates (Birecik); 2 Birecik Gravel Pits; 4 Goksu Delta fish ponds. The latter birds were unexpected and stunning, since the fish ponds are relatively small and so the birds quite close. They were undaunted by our presence in the car, and the light enhanced their profiles

Squacco Heron  

~6 Birecik gravel pits; ~12 at Pools South of Birecik

Western Cattle Egret  

1 on journey from Cukurbag to Birecik; 1 with cattle at Birecik gravel pits; ~40 with cattle on Track next to Euphrates South of Birecik; Group of 12 on journey from Birecik to Tasucu

Grey Heron

1 Goksu Delta; 1 Goksu Delta fish ponds

Purple Heron 

2 Goksu Delta (2 Goksu Delta the following day); 1 Goksu Delta fish ponds

Great Egret 

1 Goksu Delta

Little Egret

2 at Birecik gravel pits; 2 birds over the river at Halfeti; ~15 over Euphrates South of Birecik; ~6 Goksu Delta; 1 Birecik Gravel Pits

Pygmy Cormorant 

Commonly seen around Birecik and along the River Euphrates

Black Kite

1 North of Birecik, perched on a lone bush on the horizon while looking for Finsch’s Wheatear

Short-toed Snake Eagle

1 over motorway on journey from Cukurbag to Birecik

Western Marsh Harrier

2 birds Goksu Delta; 1 Goksu Delta track the following day. All these birds had unusually white shoulder patches – those seen in the past in the UK have buff here

Common Buzzard 

1 over Akseki plantation

Long-legged Buzzard 

2 together then 1 later on Kaynarca journey to Cukurbag; 1 on way back from Chromium Mines;     3 over Wadi from Cukurbag to Emli Bogazi; 1 Yeniakpinar; 1 on journey from Tasucu to Akseki; 1 over forest North of Akseki

Golden Eagle 

1 showing well in Demirkazik Gorge, being mobbed by Choughs and Lesser Kestrels, the a pair on second day again at Demirkazik over the Demirkazik Gorge; 1 Yeniakpinar circling above Ahmet’s farm

Lesser Kestrel 

Pair in Demirkazik Gorge, later hassling Golden Eagle; Pair at Demirkazik Gorge on second day again; Small numbers at Birecik Bald Ibis wadi

Common Kestrel  

1 at Demirkazik Gorge on second day; Small numbers at Birecik Bald Ibis wadi (including a next in a holein the cliff face with 3 almost fully grown young); 2 Yeniakpinar; Pair on Track next to Euphrates South of Birecik

Eurasian Hobby 

Pair over village near Demirkazik

Lanner Falcon 

1 with prey circled over Demirkazik. The light grey back and rust coloured crown could be seen clearly as it passed by with prey in its talons

Peregrine Falcon 

1 Halfeti

Common Moorhen

2 at Birecik gravel pits; 3 at Pools South of Birecik

Eurasian Coot 

5 on Euphrates under main road bridge; Common on Euphrates South of Birecik; Some Birecik Gravel Pits

Eurasian Stone-curlew

1 flew from shingle beach on Euphrates South of Birecik 

Spur-winged Lapwing

~16 Goksu Delta; ~6 Goksu Delta the following day

Little Ringed Plover

3 at Pools South of Birecik

Kentish Plover 

~12 Goksu Delta (none were seen at the same stretch the following day!)

Common Redshank 

1 heard Goksu Delta

Temminck's Stint

1 Goksu Delta feeding with Kentish Plovers

Cream-coloured Courser

This is a bird I had wanted to see for a long time! They do occur in the Birecik area, and some trips have found their own. However, to make a going bet of finding them, we hire the services of Ahmet Demir and his trusty tractor at Yeniakpinar, 16km to the North of Birecik. He duly delivered, even though the ~6 birds or so were a little distant

Yellow-legged Gull  

1 over Goksu Delta

Gull-billed Tern

2 over Birecik gravel pits; 1 over Pools South of Birecik; 6 over Euphrates South of Birecik; 1 over Goksu Delta

Common Tern

1 over Euphrates South of Birecik with a small group of Gull-billed Terns

Black-bellied Sandgrouse

At least 6 Yeniakpinar. 2 pairs were seen in flight, but two single birds were also picked out on the dry rocky terrain in the same area as the coursers

Rock Dove 

There are many of these in the Birecik, and there is even a colony on the cliff face in Birecik town. The status of this species is often in question, but my feeling is that the uniform plumage of these birds may indicate that they were truly generally of wild origin

Common Wood Pigeon

2 on Antalya to Cukurbag journey; 4 together in Birecik Bald Ibis wadi

European Turtle Dove 

1 near Demirkazik; Pair in Wadi from Cukurbag to Emli Bogazi; Few around Birecik; Quite common around Yeniakpinar; Few at Durnalik

Eurasian Collared Dove

Quite a few on Antalya to Cukurbag journey; Quite common on journey from Cukurbag to Birecik; Good numbers around Birecik; Common around Yeniakpinar

Laughing Dove 

1 near Kaynarca on Cukurbag drive; Few around Birecik; Quite common around Yeniakpinar; Few at Durnalik

Common Cuckoo

1 heard near Demirkazik; 1 heard in Wadi from Cukurbag to Emli Bogazi; 1 heard Birecik Gravel Pits; 1 heard Akseki plantation

Pallid Scops Owl

This is another of those “must see” birds on a trip to Turkey. This one is particularly notable because they are seen at the Gulhane tea gardens at Birecik, where local Turkish men partake of drink, chatter, and table games. We were not surprisingly accosted immediately by a chap congratulating us on finding one of the few people in the gardens who speaks English (lucky us!). And what’s more, after a little idle football chatter, he could point out where the owls were likely to be. It was a bit of a struggle finding the bird near the top of the tree next to the entrance, but we managed to peer through the leaves to find it in the end

Eurasian Scops Owl 

1 heard dusk at Ozsafak pension, Cukurbag

Little Owl

1 from tractor at Yeniakpinar, and a second one on wires as we left; 1 on Track next to Euphrates South of Birecik

Long-eared Owl 

Pair in small park next to Gulhane's Tea House, Birecik

Alpine Swift 

Large colony flying around Demirkazik Gorge; Small numbers over Demirkazik Gorge on second day; 1 over cliffs in Birecik town

Common Swift

Quite common on Antalya to Cukurbag journey; Quite common at Demirkazik; Common over cliffs in Birecik town; Fairly common Halfeti and Yeniakpinar

Little Swift 

At least 1 in hirundine flocks over Euphrates

European Roller 

~20 in Birecik Bald Ibis wadi, and ~4 at Birecik gravel pits; 1 Halfeti; 4 on Track next to Euphrates South of Birecik; 1 over Birecik Gravel Pits on second visit there

Pied Kingfisher 

1 caught fish at Birecik Gravel Pits

European Bee-eater

~8 over Birecik Bald Ibis wadi; 2 over Pools South of Birecik; 4 on Track next to Euphrates South of Birecik; 8 feeding at Birecik Gravel Pits; 2 over Birecik Gravel Pits

Eurasian Hoopoe 

3 separate birds on trip from Antalya to Cukurbag; 2 in Birecik area, 1 at Birecik gravel pits; 2 on ridge at Halfeti; at least 10 in orchards above Halfeti; 5 on Track next to Euphrates South of Birecik; ~4 Birecik Gravel Pits; 2 on journey from Tasucu to Akseki

Middle Spotted Woodpecker

1 at Durnalik in same tree as Syrian Woodpecker

Syrian Woodpecker  

1 in orchards above Halfeti; 1 on return from Halfeti; 2 separate birds at Durnalik; 3 at Akseki graveyard

Red-backed Shrike

Pair and 2 separate males on Kaynarca to Cukurbag journey; 1 on track from Chromium Mines, and 3 more near Demirkazik; 1 pair and 2 separate males in Wadi from Cukurbag to Emli Bogazi

Lesser Grey Shrike

3 separate birds near Kaynarca (on way to Cukurbag)

Woodchat Shrike  

1 in countryside North of Birecik; At least in orchards above Halfeti; 1 Yeniakpinar; 2 pairs Durnalik; 1 on journey from Birecik to Tasucu; 2 on journey from Tasucu to Akseki

Masked Shrike

1 at Akseki plantation; Pair in Akseki graveyard

Eurasian Golden Oriole

1 Heard from Ozsafak Pension

Eurasian Jay 

1 bird on Antalya to Cukurbag journey; 1 at Forest North of Akseki; 1 at Forest East of Akseki

Eurasian Magpie

Common on Antalya to Cukurbag journey; ~6 at peak of Demirkazik Gorge; ~6 on journey from Tasucu to Akseki

Red-billed Chough 

At least 1 identified amongst Choughs in Demirkazik Gorge; Common around Demirkazik; Presumably these fairly common over Wadi from Cukurbag to Emli Bogazi

Alpine Chough

At least 2 identified amongst Choughs in Demirkazi Gorge; Fairly common around Demirkazik

Rook

3 on journey from Antalya to Cukurbag

Hooded Crow 

~20 seen on Antalya to Cukurbag journey; 2 seen around Demirkazik; Odd birds on journey from Cukurbag to Birecik; ~6 around Birecik; Common around Birecik; Odd one on journey from Birecik to Tasucu

Northern Raven 

1 on journey from Tasucu to Akseki

Sombre Tit

3 in party at Halfeti; 2 at Durnalik

Coal Tit 

Few at Forest East of Akseki; 2 at Forest North of Akseki

Great Tit 

A family of ~8 in Demirkazik Gorge; 1 in Wadi from Cukurbag to Emli Bogazi; 1 at Durnalik

Calandra Lark 

At least 2 identified amongst other larks on Kaynarca to Cukurbag journey

Bimaculated Lark

At least 16 identified amongst other larks on Kaynarca to Cukurbag journey; At least 12 at Yeniakpinar

Greater Short-toed Lark

1 Yeniakpinar

Lesser Short-toed Lark 

Quite common at Yeniakpinar

Crested Lark 

Quite common on Antalya to Cukurbag journey; Few on journey from Cukurbag to Birecik; Quite common in countryside around Birecik; Common at Yeniakpinar; few along Track next to Euphrates South of Birecik; Common Birecik Gravel Pits; Common Goksu Delta and journey from Tasucu to Akseki

Woodlark

1 in Wadi from Cukurbag to Emli Bogazi

Eurasian Skylark 

Heard at least 3 singing on Antalya to Cukurbag journey 

Shorelark

3 birds on Kaynarca to Cukurbag journey; 8-10 on descent from Demirkazik Mountain; 1 near to Wadi from Cukurbag to Emli Bogazi. The birds here have pronounced “horns” and pale faces lacking any yellow

Yellow-vented Bulbul

2 flew up Birecik Bald Ibis wadi; 1 flew from Birecik churchyard; 1 Goksu Delta; ~4 Goksu Delta

Sand Martin

~6 hawking around fields in arable land East of Konya; Few on journey from Cukurbag to Birecik; Very common around Birecik, especially gravel pits and over river; Quite common Halfeti by the river; Common Birecik Gravel Pits  

Barn Swallow 

Quite common on Antalya to Cukurbag journey; Very common around Birecik; Common at Goksu Delta and journey from Tasucu to Akseki

Eurasian Crag Martin 

Small colony Demirkazik Gorge (~10 Demirkazik Gorge on second day); ~10 flying around Wadi from Cukurbag to Emli Bogazi

Common House Martin   

2-3 on journey from Antalya to Cukurbag; ~50 around water pipe on Demirkazik Mountain; Very common around Birecik; Common Birecik Gravel Pits

Red-rumped Swallow

1 at Halfeti; 2 at Durnalik

Cetti's Warbler 

1 heard at Pools South of Birecik

Long-tailed Tit

Small family group circled Akseki graveyard

Eastern Bonelli's Warbler

~5 Akseki plantation

Great Reed Warbler

4 singing at Birecik Gravel Pits; 2 singing along Goksu Delta track 

Moustached Warbler

1 Birecik Gravel Pits

Eurasian Reed Warbler 

Common at Birecik gravel pits; 1 Goksu Delta; ~8 along Goksu Delta track

Eastern Olivaceous Warbler

Common around entrance to Birecik Bald Ibis wadi; 2 singing at Durnalik; 2 Birecik churchyard

Upcher's Warbler  

1 in orchards above Halfeti; 2 at Durnalik. The birds definitely identified as this species all showed the characteristic tail swaying

Olive-tree Warbler  

1 Durnalik

Graceful Prinia 

2 singing at Birecik gravel pits; 2 Birecik Gravel Pits; 1 Goksu Delta; ~4 Goksu Delta. Their characteristic sewing machine type of buzzing song often gave their presence away

Iraq Babbler

3 in bush at Birecik gravel pits; 2 + 3 Birecik Gravel Pits the following day. Due to the fact that this species wasn’t seen in the country until recently, it remains on many a lister’s wanted list. As babblers go, it isn’t the most exciting, but was a little tricky to pin down. We found two small groups, one of which was in the same area on both visits to the gravel pits

Garden Warbler

1 in Wadi from Cukurbag to Emli Bogazi

Lesser Whitethroat 

1 in scrub just above Demirkazik; ~10 in Wadi from Cukurbag to Emli Bogazi; 1 scolding snake at Durnalik

Eastern Orphean Warbler

2 singing birds in Wadi from Cukurbag to Emli Bogazi; 1 in orchards above Halfeti; 2 Durnalik

Menetries's Warbler 

Common in Birecik Bald Ibis wadi - at least 20; 1 Birecik Gravel Pits

Rüppell's Warbler 

2 males on slopes towards Forest East of Akseki

Goldcrest

~8 at Forest East of Akseki

Eurasian Wren 

1 heard at Forest East of Akseki

Krüper's Nuthatch

2 at forest clearing North of Akseki; ~12 at Forest East of Akseki; ~8 at Forest North of Akseki on the second visit. These birds are quite numerous in the coniferous forests, and when present, easy to locate by their busy calls

Western Rock Nuthatch 

3 at entrance to Demirkazik Gorge - more may have been amongst the other Nuthatches seen here; Few at Demirkazik Mountain; Small numbers around orchard at Durnalik; 1 at Akseki forest clearing

Eastern Rock Nuthatch

At least 1 definite bird of this species at Demirkazik Gorge; 1 bird flew over track in Wadi from Cukurbag to Emli Bogazi; Abundant in crags above Halfeti; Good numbers on crags at Durnalik

Wallcreeper

1 flew along crags ar Demirkazik Mountain

Short-toed Treecreeper  

1 at Forest East of Akseki

Common Starling

Odd few on journey from Antalya to Cukurbag; Quite common at Demirkazik; Some on journey from Cukurbag to Birecik; Quite common around Birecik; Occasional Yeniakpinar

Common Blackbird 

3 on journey from Antalya to Cukurbag; 3-4 around Demirkazik; ~6 in Wadi from Cukurbag to Emli Bogazi; 1 in Birecik Bald Ibis wadi; 2 Durnalik; 1 at Akseki forest clearing; 1 at Forest East of Akseki; 1 in Akseki graveyard

Mistle Thrush

3 at Forest East of Akseki

Common Nightingale 

1 heard early hours at Demirkazik

White-throated Robin 

The first birds found were relatively shy, and difficult to get good views of. From then on, those found were more showy, if not particularly approachable: At least 3 males and a female were in the Wadi from Cukurbag to Emli Bogazi; 2 males and female in orchards above Halfeti; 2 males Durnalik

Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin  

At least 3 in orchards above Halfeti; 1 at spring Durnalik; 1 on Track next to Euphrates South of Birecik; 1 Birecik graveyard 1 on journey from Tasucu to Akseki

Black Redstart

1 at Demirkazik Mountain; 5 at Demirkazik Gorge; Separate male and female in Wadi from Cukurbag to Emli Bogazi

Common Redstart

Pair with fledged young in Akseki graveyard

European Stonechat

1 on journey from Kaynarca to Cukurbag; 1 above Demirkazik

Isabelline Wheatear 

Very common in open upland from Kaynarca to Cukurbag; Common around Demirkazik; ~4 on plains towards Wadi from Cukurbag to Emli Bogazi; 1 Yeniakpinar; 1 on journey from Tasucu to Akseki

Northern Wheatear 

Pair and separate males on Kaynarca to Cukurbag journey; Common around Demirkazik

Red-tailed (Kurdish) Wheatear 

Pair with 2 immatures Durnalik

Black-eared Wheatear

The males seen were of both full black ear and also minimal black on the ear varieties. These didn’t seem to form populations, since both varieties were seen on the same slopes in Akseki - 1 early in journey from Antalya to Cukurbag; At least 2 males Durnalik; 2 on journey from Tasucu to Akseki; 1 near to Akseki plantation; Pair and separate male on slopes towards Forest East of Akseki

Finsch's Wheatear  

At least 3 singing males on descent from Demirkazik Mountain; 3 males and a female in arid country North of Birecik Pair near to Halfeti

Common Rock Thrush

At least one pair with nest Demirkazik Mountain

Blue Rock Thrush

3 males in fells early in Antalya to Cukurbag journey; 2 Demirkazik Gorge; Pair in Wadi from Cukurbag to Emli Bogazi

Spotted Flycatcher 

1 at Forest North of Akseki

House Sparrow 

Abundant almost everywhere 

Dead Sea Sparrow

2 males and female Euphrates Bridge at Birecik; 2 small parties on Track next to Euphrates South of Birecik; Common Birecik Gravel Pits and also Birecik graveyard

Eurasian Tree Sparrow

1 at Ozsafak Pension

Rock Sparrow  

~8 in a mobile group on Kaynarca to Cukurbag journey; Small colony of ~20 birds in Wadi from Cukurbag to Emli Bogazi    ; 2 in Birecik Bald Ibis wadi

White-winged Snowfinch

~20 Demirkazik Mountain

Radde's Accentor 

5 at Demirkazik Mountain

Western Yellow Wagtail 

All birds seen were of the black-headed feldegg race - 1 Pools South of Birecik; 2 Goksu Delta; ~10 Goksu Delta

Grey Wagtail 

1 on stream near Demirkazik

White Wagtail 

2 at hotel near Antalya airport hotel; 1 on Antalya to Cukurbag journey; 2 near Demirkazik

Tawny Pipit 

1 on plains towards Wadi from Cukurbag to Emli Bogazi

Water Pipit 

1 very pale bird on descent from Demirkazik Mountain

Common Chaffinch  

~4 at Akseki forest clearing

Red-fronted Serin 

A group of 8 on meadow at Demirkazik Mountain; 2 in Demirkazik Gorge

European Serin 

Female near river near Demirkazik; At least 3 singing at Akseki forest clearing to the North of the village

European Greenfinch

Pair in Wadi from Cukurbag to Emli Bogazi; 1 at Birecik dam; Pair at drinking pool Durnalik; Family Goksu Delta; 1 at Akseki forest clearing; 1 Forest East of Akseki

European Goldfinch

Pair at entrance to Demirkazik Gorge; Pair in open country North of Birecik; 2 at Yeniakpinar; 2 Goksu Delta

Common Linnet

~6 either on singles or pairs on Kaynarca to Cukurbag journey; Fairly common around Demirkazik; Common at Durnalik

Eurasian Crimson-winged Finch

At least 1 kept flying back and forwards at Demirkazik Mountain

Desert Finch

Pair at orchards above Halfeti; at least 12 Yeniakpinar; 1 in orchard at Durnalik

Red Crossbill 

7 in 3 groups flew over Forest East of Akseki; Female with 1 fledged young Forest North of Akseki

Corn Bunting

~10 singing males on Antalya to Cukurbag journey; ~10 at lower elevations around Demirkazik; 1 singing in Wadi from Cukurbag to Emli Bogazi

Rock Bunting

Pair in Demirkazik Gorge; ~8 in Wadi from Cukurbag to Emli Bogazi

Cinereous Bunting 

3 males Durnalik

Ortolan Bunting 

1 on journey from Kaynarca to Cukurbag; 1 very close bird on slopes from Chromium Mines near Demirkazik; 1 singing male Durnalik

Cretzschmar's Bunting

1 singing at the entrance to Demirkazik Gorge; 2 males singing on slopes towards Forest East of Akseki

Black-headed Bunting

~12 singing males on Antalya to Cukurbag journey; ~5 singing  males around Demirkazik; 3 singing males in Wadi from Cukurbag to Emli Bogazi; 1 singing in open country North of Birecik; 1 Yeniakpinar; 1 at orchards above Halfeti; 5 males and ~3 females Durnalik; Pair at Akseki plantation

Common Reed Bunting

4 Goksu Delta

 Other Wildlife

Black Whip Snake  

1 Durnalik; 1 dead on road at Akseki 

Spur-thighed Tortoise

1 Akseki forest clearing; 1 Akseki plantation   

Red Fox

1 in Birecik Bald Ibis wadi

European Hare

Pair in Wadi from Cukurbag to Emli Bogazi

Alpine Ibex 

Couple of small groups on Demiikazik mountain when looking for snowcocks

European Ground Squirrel  

4 on Antalya to Cukurbag journey; ~10 around Demirkazik; ~4 on plains towards Wadi from Cukurbag to Emli Bogazi

 

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Content Introduction Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Species List Text only