Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Bewildering delights. 29.6.2015.

Whilst I think we grabbed an extra hour of sleep this morning the approaching departure was rent with commotion sufficient to wake up southern Turkey as one of our party found himself unable to get out of his room!! After closely choreographed transfers of replacement keys from an adjacent balcony three storeys up by the hotel manager, carefully balanced on a yard brush, ( Basil Fawlty, you were a mere amateur !!  )  the offending door was opened and we retraced our steps to the area of untilled land we'd visited yesterday afternoon.

A couple of Crossbills flew over,  Great Spotted Cuckoo and Sombre Tit showed briefly and various Masked Shrike were in evidence. Amidst calls from Eastern Bonelli's Warblers a small group of Lesser Spotted Woodpecker appeared , but very little else. Other calling woodpeckers were tracked, but proved elusive, so it was decided to move to a higher elevation within the nearby hills. Good views of Krupers Nuthatch were had by all, but White-backed Woodpecker avoided us.

After breakfast, and a convenient Laughing Dove on a roof straight opposite our dining area, we loaded up and  headed off yet again. A chance sighting of a couple of soaring Black Storks led to a hurried stop, the return of one of these adults to a roadside nest on a crag and views of youngsters being fed. Nearby a large cave held breeding House Martins.

Soon we approached Sugla Lake and scanned widely from various vantage points before driving along a retaining bank. First of all we stopped in a nearby village to have close up views of breeding White Storks and their exploitative little neighbours, Spanish Sparrows, who were nesting within the huge untidy nesting structures.

Booted Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, were all seen at this juncture along with Little Bittern, Corn Bunting, Great Reed Warbler, Little Egret, Great crested Grebe and Yellow Wagtail (feldegg)

A lunchtime stop at a roadside restaurant located conveniently next to a piece of open woodland provided Nightingale, Cetti's Warbler, and Eastern Olivaceous Warbler accompanied by a local speciality  which resembled very thin pizza with grilled minced lamb on top.

Into the afternoon and we stopped and explored a roadside valley with a water trough located at the junction. Walking along part of the road  it first of all produced Isabelline Wheatear , Olive-tree Warbler and Rock Sparrow. We then "hunkered down" and kept watch over the trough as birds were visiting on a regular basis. Linnet, Greenfinch, Goldfinch were in numbers together with a Serin and at least one Cretzschmar's Bunting. Two Wryneck called nearby and were seen very briefly and Black-headed Buntings provided a non-stop background of song.

Moving on with a succession of Short-toed Eagle sightings and one Egyptian Vulture in direct flight, we eventually stopped along a long, straight road with semi-mature trees lining each side. Scrutinizing several of these we eventually located one containing two roosting Long-eared Owls. Apparently they nest in previously used Magpie nests and had done so this season.  Having seen these well we turned our attentions to the larks which were clearly present within the vast area of untilled land and located a couple of Calandra Lark. There could have been many more as at least one large flock of larks had been noted as we arrived.

A roadside stop provided us with views of Lesser Kestrel and yet another Long-legged Buzzard before we set off for Eregli where we booked into the rather plush Cherry Orchard Hotel.  The rooms were large and palatial and doubtless appreciated by everyone. Dinner, chosen from an extensive buffet, was taken al fresco amidst the presence of very many local families

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