A trip to North Eastern Turkey in July 2011

My family and I decided to spend a two week holiday at Uzungöl resort,  Turkey. We arrived late in the evening on 29th June.

Uzungöl is a lake at altitude of 1120m above sea level, the coordinates of which are 40 37′ 16.3173″ N, 40 17′ 20.2924″ E, to reach there we had to take a domestic flight from Istanbul to Trabzon we then rented a car from Trabzon airport and drove 75 minutes to reach Uzungöl Resort.

Uzungöl Lake Resort

Uzungöl Lake Resort

The most common bird at the lake was White Wagtail, no House Sparrows seen at the lake they were only seen at a car park at coastal area of Black Sea. Birds seen around the lake include Eurasian Jay, Great Tit, Common Chaffinch, Eurasian Blackbird, Common Redstart, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Rosefinch, White-throated Dipper.

Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius ssp. atricapillus. This is a very common and noisy at the lake and was seen even at higher elevations at C. 1800m.

Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius

Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius ssp. atricapillus

Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius ssp. atricapillus

Great Tit Parus major adult

Great Tit Parus major

Great Tit Parus major juvenile

Great Tit Parus major

Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs male

Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs

Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs  female

Common Chaffinch	 Fringilla coelebs

Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis. A single adult was at the lake for a number days.

Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis

Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus 

Common Rosefinch	 Carpodacus erythrinus

 White-throated Dipper Cinclus cinclus ssp. caucasicus adult.

Common Rosefinch	 Carpodacus erythrinus  ssp. caucasicus

 White-throated Dipper Cinclus cinclus ssp. caucasicus juvenile.

 White-throated Dipper Cinclus cinclus ssp. caucasicus adult.

On 01/07/2011 I decided to drive south to a higher elevation in search of White-winged Snowfinch, the first to encounter was the Horned Lark at Yaylaönu at 2500m above sea level above tree line at the habitat as shown below at coordinates: 40 33′ 43.8552″ N, 40 18′ 6.13552″ E where snow is still has not all melted down. I then reached  and Sekersu.

Habitat of Horned Lark at 2500m elevation ASL

Birds seen at this site included; Horned Lark, Calandra Lark, Northern Wheatear, Water Pipit, White Wagtail, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Common Rosefinch, Common Linnet, and Crested Lark.

Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris  ssp. penicillata. This ssp. has black chest connected with the black on cheeks.

Horned Lark  Eremophila alpestris

Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris  ssp. penicillata adult

Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris  ssp. penicillata adult

Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris  ssp. penicillata adult

Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris  ssp. penicillata adult

Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris  ssp. penicillata juvenile

Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris  ssp. penicillata juvenile

Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe juvenile.

Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe

Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe juvenile and adult.

Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe juvenile and adult.

Common Linnet Carduelis cannabina

Common Linnet Carduelis cannabina

Caykara at 300m, 18km north of Uzungöl held Barn Swallow, Crag Martin, House Martin, Grey Wagtail, Spotted Flycatcher, Northen Raven, Long-legged Buzzard and White Wagtail.

Barn Swallows and House Martins were breeding in a busy market, below a nest of a House Martin. Notice the nest reaches the ceiling.

House Martin nest

Another House Martin’s nest, but this one is under a bridge:

House Martin nest

Crag Martin nest under bridge

Crag Martin nest under bridge

Nests of Barn Swallows also in a busy market but not touching the ceiling. This nest had 3-4 chicks. Photographed by a compact camera.

Barn Swallow nest at Caykara

On 6th July I decided to go to Ispir through Sivrikaya hoping that higher altitude would produce something interesting. I drove first to the coast along the river there were some Yellow-legged Gulls, the coastal region was full of these gull where they roost on lamp posts and buildings, at the beach car park I saw the first and only House Sparrow for the trip and a number Hooded Crows.

Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis

Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis

Hooded Crow Corvus cornix

Hooded Crow Corvus cornix

I then reached an altitude 2690m at 40 37′ 31.5118″ N, 40 46′ 54.2876″ E where I saw the Three White-winged Snowfinches, Eurasian Crimson-winged Finch, Twite, Black Redstart, Common Rosefinch, Alpine Accentor, and Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush.

Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris

Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris

The habitat of White-winged Snowfinch, Alpine Accentor, Twite at 40 37′ 48.1059″ N, 40 44′ 28.5473″ E at 2413m elevation above sea level measured along the asphalt road. It was here when I first saw the White-winged Snowfinch and Alpine Accentor. Below in the valley I saw a Common Rosefinch, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Twite, and White-winged Snowfinch.

The habitat of White-winged Snowfinch, Alpine Accentor, Twite

White-winged Snowfinch Montifringilla nivalis. An adult male.

White-winged Snowfinch Montifringilla nivalis

White-winged Snowfinch Montifringilla nivalis. An adult male with a juvenile.

White-winged Snowfinch Montifringilla nivalis

White-winged Snowfinch Montifringilla nivalis. An adult female with a juvenile.

White-winged Snowfinch Montifringilla nivalis

Twite Carduelis flavirostris ssp. brevirostris juvenile

Twite Carduelis flavirostris

Twite Carduelis flavirostris ssp. brevirostris adult

Twite Carduelis flavirostris adult

Twite Carduelis flavirostris ssp. brevirostris adult

Twite Carduelis flavirostris adult

Eurasian Crimson-winged Finch Rhodopechys sanguineus

Eurasian Crimson-winged Finch Rhodopechys sanguineus

On 9th July 2011 I drove  towards through Sivrikaya until Kuzgun lake just 35Km north-west Erzurum. After descending from the higher elevation towards 1400m willow trees began to appear along the river and when I reached higher elevation at 1950m at 40 19′ 32.1224″ N, 40 51′ 0.987804″ E I heard the first singing Mountain Chiffchaff. Below is the habitat of the Mountain Chiffchaff.

Mountain Chiffchaff Breeding habitat

At this site I saw my first Blue Tit, also saw Common Rosefinch, Common Starling colony of 30 birds, Marsh Warbler, juvenile Common Whitethrat.

Mountain Chiffchaff Phylloscopus sindianus ssp. lorenzii

Mountain Chiffchaff Phylloscopus sindianus

Mountain Chiffchaff Phylloscopus sindianus ssp. lorenzii

Mountain Chiffchaff Phylloscopus sindianus

On my way towards Kuzgun lake I saw an Eastern Black-eared Wheatear at 40 26′ 6.702″N, 40,48′ 39.132″E together with four Egyptian Vultures>

Eastern Black-eared Wheatear Oenanthe (hispanica) melanoleuca

Eastern Black-eared Wheatear Oenanthe (hispanica) melanoleuca

I then drove towards Kuzgun Lake where I saw a colony of Western Jackdaw and Eurasian Magpie.

Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus 

Egyptian Vulture	 Neophron percnopterus

Then at these coordinates 40 21′ 48.3501″N, 40 48′ 0.706644″E I saw a group of Whinchats with juveniles at the following habitat.

Breeding habitat of Whinchat

Kuzgun Lake.

Kuzgun Lake.

Western Jackdaw Corvus monedula juvenile

Western Jackdaw

Western Jackdaw Corvus monedula juvenile

Western Jackdaw Corvus monedula juvenile

Western Jackdaw Corvus monedula adult

Western Jackdaw

Eurasian Magpie Pica pica

Eurasian Magpie Pica pica

More photographs of Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis

Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis

Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis

Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis

Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis

Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis

Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis

 

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