SOUTH-EAST TURKEY Western Palearctic Birding at its Best!

Visiting South-East Turkey in the springtime guarantees some of the most exciting birding in the Western Palearctic, lying in a spectacular avian and cultural crossroads between Europe and Asia. Nowhere else in this region offers such a complex mosaic of habitats and resulting heady mix of mouth-watering species. We will explore the south-east corner of this fascinating country amidst habitats ranging from Mediterranean maquis, saline lagoons, marshes and beaches, through flower field fields, steppe and semi-desert, to alpine meadows and all the way up to the snow-capped Taurus Mountains. 

We will begin by meeting in Istanbul before a short, domestic flight to Adana where we will arrive mid-morning. Our first day will be spent along the coast looking for migrants and breeding species that could include the usual Mediterranean species such as European Roller, European Bee-eater and Eurasian Hoopoe, as well Pygmy Cormorant, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Thrush Nightingale or even a Semi-collared Flycatcher. Then we will head up to the eastern Taurus Mountains and in particular, Aladag Mountain where we will stay for a couple of nights at a delightfully secluded pension. We will use 4x4's to head high up towards the mountain tops early one morning in search of the main prize - Caspian Snowcock. Other specialities include Lammergeier, Radde's & Alpine Accentors, Wallcreeper, White-winged Snowfinch and Asian Crimson-winged Finch. Slightly lower down the slopes we will seek out Finsch's Wheatear, Western Rock Nuthatch, White-throated Robin, Sombre Tit, Red-fronted Serin, Black-headed, Ortolan & Cretzschmar's Buntings, Heading further east we will arrive at the famous town of Birecik, home to some amazing birds. Here we can find See-See Partridge, Pallid Scops Owl, Syrian Woodpecker, Eastern Rock Nutjatch, Iraq Babbler, Upcher's Warbler, Dead Sea & Yellow-throated Sparrows, Heading west we will explore some lagoons and steppe country where Kurdish Wheatear, Calandra & Bimaculated Larks occur, Pale Rock Sparrow, Cinereous Bunting, Desert Finch and we will also look for Turkestan Short-toed Lark. Moving on down to the famous Goksu Delta will take us across rocky hillsides where we can see Ménétries’s & Ruppell's Warblers, with Kruper's Nuthatches in the forest just inland, before reaching the lagoons, reedbeds and marshes a the delta. Here, anything can turn up and we should see some interesting migrants, as well as many shorebirds, egrets, herons, ibis, gulls and terns to end a fascinating trip to this Western Palearctic hotspot.

 

Friday 10th - Sunday 19th May 2024

KEY SPECIES

Here are just a few of the key species we will be targetting on this tour:

  • See-See Partridge
  • Black Francolin
  • Caspian Snowcock
  • Little Bittern
  • Pygmy Cormorant
  • Grey-headed Swamphen
  • Broad-billed Sandpiper
  • Pallid Scops Owl
  • White-throated Kingfisher
  • Syrian Woodpecker
  • Kruper's Nuthatch
  • Yellow-billed Chough
  • Sombre Tit
  • Lesser Short-toed Lark
  • Turkestan Short-toed Lark
  • Calandra Lark
  • Bimaculated Lark
  • Semicollared Flycatcher
  • Delicate Prinia
  • Upcher's Warbler
  • Olive-tree Warbler
  • Ménétries's Warbler
  • Ruppell's Warbler
  • White-spectacled Bulbul
  • Eastern Bonelli's Warbler
  • Eastern Orphean Warbler
  • Eastern Subalpine Warbler
  • Short-toed Treecreeper
  • Krüper's Nuthatch
  • Western Rock Nuthatch
  • Eastern Rock Nuthatch
  • Wallcreeper
  • Rufous-tailed Scrub-Robin
  • Eastern Black-eared Wheatear
  • Finsch's Wheatear
  • Dead Sea Sparrow
  • Yellow-throated Sparrow
  • Alpine Accentor
  • Radde's Accentor
  • Pale Rock Sparrow
  • Desert Finch
  • White-winged Snowfinch
  • Asian Crimson-winged Finch
  • Red-fronted Serin
  • Black-headed Bunting
  • Rock, Ortolan & Cretzschmar's Buntings
White-throated Robin
White-throated Robin

Leader:  Nick Bray and local guide.

Ground Price:  £1950.00 - Istanbul/Istanbul

Airfare: £300 - £450.00 (Approx) - Istanbul/Istanbul

Single supplement: £250.00

Deposit: £300.00

Group size: Minimum of 4 and maximum 8.

Included in cost: Acommodation in twin rooms, all en-suite, all meals, bottled water, ground transport throughout, entrance fees to national parks, and services of leaders.

Not included: International airfare, insurance, drinks other than water, tips, and items of a personal nature.

Accommodation: 7 nights in standard hotels and 2 nights in a basic pension in the mountains, but all are within easy reach of the areas we wish to bird, eliminating long travelling days as best we can.

Tour Code: This is a standard birding tour with all day birding. We will generally take picnic lunches unless close to our lodge where we will take a restaurant lunch. Weather should be warm with an outside chance of a shower.