Sunshine Coast Birds

Birding and other wildlife experiences from the Sunshine Coast and elsewhere in Australia - and from overseas - with scribblings about travel, environmental issues, kayaking, hiking and camping.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Birding around Ancient Ruins in Southern Turkey

The Silifke area of southern Turkey is best known to birders for the Goksu Delta wetlands but sites around the stunning ancient ruins of Oba Diocaesarea nearby provide some excellent birding as well as a top-rate cultural experience. It is little known that two key Turkey birds - Kruper's Nuthatch and Ruppell's Warbler - can be found here.

Just short of the ruins is a large picnic area in the beautiful open pine forest. Here I found several Kruper's Nuthatches, a bird almost endemic to Turkey. The nuthatches were feeding on breadcrumbs on the ground and on picnic tables.

 Around the ruins and along the road below them were numbers of Western Rock Nuthatches, with the black line through the eye much narrower than the Eastern Rock Nuthatches seen earlier in the trip. Also in scrub along the road up from the town of Silifke I found several Ruppell's Warblers.

Some more common species included Eurasian Hoopoe,
and another Turkish specialty, Cretzschmar's Bunting.

Before reaching the coast we checked out the Eregli area further north, where the extensive wetlands have been drained and a magnificant habitat for waterbirds destroyed. Still, we found a Stone-Curlew and Calandra Lark here.

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