Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Turkish delight 1 - Krueper's Nuthatch @ Akseki

So as you understood, I went on a short weekend-trip to Turkey (Thursday to Sunday) with three of my friends - Rami Mizrahi, Amir Balaban and Rony Livne. Our main target was Brown Fish Owl, but we decided to look for some more good birds in this beautiful, huge country. It was my first visit to Turkey, and I really enjoyed it. I am sure I will return many more times.
We landed around noon at Antalya, collected a car from the airport and drove off directly towards Akseki in the mountains above Antalya. Driving up we saw lots of proper habitat much closer to Antalya, but the 'fire-protection' site west of Akseki is well-known and very good. We birded there for about three hours and had a very productive time. We say about 15-20 Krueper's Nuthatch (lifer #1) - lovely birds. They were very active and vocal, but not easy to photograph, running along the canopy branches of the tall conifers. All I managed was this lousy record shot:

Krueper's Nuthatch - male

Another key species we saw in good numbers was Short-toed Treecreeper. I had seen it many times in Europe before, but it was a lifer for Rami and Rony. We had about 15 of these.

Short-toed Treecreeper (correct way up)

Other good birds included Balkan Warbler, Masked Shrike, Mistle Thrush and Sombre Tit. Coal Tits (good for us Israelis) were common and we had some families.

Coal Tit

Spur-thighed Tortoise (Testudo graeca)

Rony and Rami

 Amir doing it the right way

Next episode - Brown Fish Owl...

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