Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A notable final day. 2.7.2015

A pre 0700  hours departure for our eventual arrival at Adana airport in early afternoon. First of all we had several sites to visit all of which were along the route. A couple of stops were unproductive,  but a river bridge provided a good vantage point and some good birding. An overflying Pygmy Cormorant, Smyrna and Pied Kingfishers along the river, Night Heron hiding away in a tangle of tree roots were welcome sightings as we made our way to a large wetland area adjacent to the coast.

Whilst it was now quite hot, with accompanying heat haze, the expanse of wetland habitat was a veritable treasure trove of birds providing a challenge of where to start.  A close Rufous Bush-chat was an immediate attraction and perched up for good views. Waders were everywhere ........Little Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Greenshank, Redshank, Grey Plover, Kentish Plover, Black-winged Stilt, Spur-winged Plover, Oystercatcher, Turnstone, Curlew Sandpiper, Common Ringed Plover and Greater Sand Plover.  Little Tern,  Sandwich Tern, Slender billed Gull and Yellow -legged Gull together with a couple of Spoonbill.  It left the impression that , the longer one could remain there, the more that would be found!!

All too soon we just had to retire to a nearby fish restaurant where we had a simple, but delicious, meal of grilled fish. On our way into Adana a few Laughing Dove were in evidence and, then, we were at the airport, saying goodbyes to Soner and the driver and going through the usual formalities. An uneventful transfer to Istanbul, a transfer to the International Terminal and a timely departure to the UK.

And that's where the problems started!  Unfortunately, within the first hour of flying, one of the passengers had a heart attack and we had to divert to Belgrade in order to effect a transfer to hospital.  Commendable actions by the cabin crew and flight crew and a useful experience to relate to. Another late arrival at Heathrow ensued with it being too late for the Hoppa service.  After goodbyes to all, Tony Pollard and I shared a taxi with my being the first drop off at Novotel, only to find they were full and that they had arranged a transfer for me to their sister hotel , the Mercure , the very one that Tony had just departed to!!!
A taxi whisked me off, after a complimentary pint of lager, and I eventually got to bed well into the day after that on which I'd got up previously ( again).

This is a trip that everyone ought to try if they have never done Turkey before. It's not a great commitment of time and is seamlessly organized by Wildwings in their joint promotional role with BirdWatch magazine. Early suggestions are that it will be repeated in 2016, so now is the time to consider and take that positive step. It's certainly worth it!!!

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