Only two weeks before we left, me and my girlfriend Susanne Jacops decided to visit Turkey as it was an area in the WP where I could see more than 20 new lifers. We there for concentrated on the new lifers for me and didn’t care if we missed other species like waders or other marshland birds by this.
Our target list was following: Caspian Snowcock, Caucasian Black Grouse, See-see Partridge, Black Francolin, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Cinereous Bunting, Grey-necked Bunting, Persian Nuthatch, Krueper’s Nuthatch, Desert Finch, Crimson-winged Finch, Mongolian Trumpeter Finch, Demoiselle Crane, Armenian Gull, Bimaculated Lark, Rueppell’s Warbler, Radde’s Accentor, Finch’s Wheatear, Mountain Chiffchaff, White-throated Robin, Rufous-tailed Scrub-Robin, Dead Sea Sparrow, Chestnut-shouldered Petronia, Fire-fronted Serin and Blue-cheeked Bee-eater. There was one other target species on the list as a group English birdwatchers from Celtic Bird Tours (www.celticbirdtours.com) found Iraq Babbler in Turkey near the Syrian border! I couldn’t find any directions of the exact location so I put an extra day Birecik in our itinerary to give the area an extra look because this was the only place I could think where this species could turn up. We’ve succeeded to see most of our list including the Iraq Babbler! We missed Caspian Snowcock and Grey-necked Bunting. The Caspian Snowcock is difficult in Sivrikaya in july and when we were in the area of the Grey-necked Bunting I got sick and didn’t have the energy to search hard for this bird. In july this is also not an easy species. To search for Demoiselle Crane in Bulanik was a big detour and chances were slim that we would see this bird so we skipped the place. A bonus-bird was an adult Steppe Eagle near the Iranian border.
All in all we had a very productive trip and we even combined birdwatching with ordinary tourist stuff.
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