Turkey is a huge country, situated on two continents, on the eastern edge of the Western Palearctic, and thus offering a great and spectacular birdwatching.
A huge country means a big distances, but our itinerary has excellent logistic we believe and thus the total driving is about 2 000 km. Within the tour we will be focused on central, eastern Mediterranean and south-eastern regions. We will start and end our tour in the southern town of Adana, with a flight change in Istanbul. We visit deltas, coastal lagoons and high mountains (up to 3 000 m.a.s.l) in order to get the local specialties.
And what birds they are! – White-throated Robin, Red-fronted Serin, Dead-sea Sparrow, Iraq Babler, Caspian Snowcock, See-see Partridge, Cinereous Bunting, Trumpeter Finch, Pale-rock Sparrow, Red-tailed Wheatear, Rufous Bush Robin, Black Francolin and many more. Good number of plants, butterflies and dragonflies will be also recorded as we will visit variable habitats.
Turkey`s vast land of over 800,000 square kilometers, surrounded on three sides by seas, serves as a bridge between three continents. A large variety of climatic zones co-exist due to its topography. The northern belt of humid forest, contrasting with the arid fame of the country, are home to rare White-backed Woodpecker, Greenish Warbler and Semi-collared Flycatcher. The Mediterranean coast harbours more than half of the world population of Rьppell’s Warbler, Olive-tree Warbler, the near-endemic Krueper’s Nuthatch, Masked Shrike and Cretzschmar's Bunting,. The beautiful scenary of high mountains are accompanied with the presence of Caspian Snowcock, Alpine and Radde’s Accentor and Red-fronted Serin.
Although located in the Palearctic zone, especially in the Southeast and the East, the Influence of oriental and Ethiopic (African) elements are observable. The Hakkari-Van plateau exhibit the influence of asiatic flora and fauna, where one can find the rare Demoiselle Crane, Red-wattled Lapwing, Armenian Gull, Mongolian Finch & Grey-necked Bunting; the Hatay-Amanos bridge exhibits elements of Africa such as Cream-coloured Courser and Little Swift. With this extremely high diversity of habitats, Turkey is considered by many to be the best country for birds and birding in Europe. Turkey is considered by many to be the best country for birds and birding in Europe.
Gernant Magnin describes the opportunities which awaits the demanding birder thus: Try the eastern Black Sea mountains that offer days of hiking and camping in magnificent alpine landscapes, with thousands of migrating birds of prey, calling Caspian Snowcocks above 2,600 metres and, above all, breathtaking silence. For people who would rather visit flat wetlands and can do without all the climbing, try wetlands near Ankara, to see breeding Red-crested Pochards, Monatagu`s Harriers, and vast numbers of waterfowl can be seen in winter and spring; the surrounding steppe holds Black-headed Buntings, Short-toed, Lesser short-toed, Bimaculated, Calandra and Horned Larks.
The country even hosts some endangered species: The Bald Ibis Geronticus eremita has recently recovered and the captive bred population has started colonising other areas... If you choose to combine archeological interest with an ornithological one, try visiting the ancient city of Zeugma, then quickly on to the nearby site of Birecik to observe the breeding colony of this sacred bird.
Saturday 18th - Tuesday 21st May 2013
COST: 490 EUR
Group size: 4 - 12 + leader
Thursday 9th - Saturday 18th May 2013
COST: 1 295 EUR
Group size: 6 - 12 + leader
Wednesday 25th June - Wednesday 9th July 2014
COST: 2 100 EUR
Group size: 6 - 12 + leader