Around the Region 2013-1

Ali Atahan, Nizamettin Yavuz and Kerem Ali Boyla

The cold weather arrived early this winter brought some interesting waterfowl before the end of the year. There was 1 Common Merganser Mergus merganser at Samsun Kurupelit Marina on 14 Dec, 2 at İğneada Forest on 14 Dec and 1 at Kocaçay Delta on 29 Dec. Outside of the Central Anatolian lakes, 1 White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala was at Hersek Lagoon, Yalova on 22 Nov and other 4 at Kocaçay Delta on 1 Dec. A single Red-throated Loon Gavia stellata was present along the Mediterranean coast at Göksu Delta on 30 Dec. The traditional waters off Didim, Aydın for Storm Petrel Hydrobates pelagicus produced 3 on 24 Aug. Maximum of two Horned Grebe Podiceps auritus were at Karaburun, Istanbul on 3 and 13 Dec, but a single bird photographed at Samsun’s Kurupelit Marina on 29 Dec drew more attention and even reached the national press. A two Greater Flamingo Phoenicopteurs roseus in Büyükçekmece İstanbul on 28 Aug, and grew to the total of 4 individuals by December. Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus seems to be regular at Kızılırmak Delta, some where there on 22 Dec. Late individuals of Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus appeared at Samandağ Hatay on 2 Nov and Göksu Delta on 3 Nov, probably being pushed through by the same weather front. Staggering singles of Lanner Falcon Falco biarmicus was seen on Kocaçay Delta on 1 Dec, Sultansazlığı on 22 Sep.  A long staying Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus was at Lake Mogan, Ankara between 13 and 28 Jul, and 2 at Şanlıurfa on 18 Jul.

This late autumn was also productive for migrant Little Bustard Tetrax tetrax arriving across the Black Sea; one at Yedikır Damlake, Amasya on 26 Nov, a wonderful group of 6 at Göksu Delta on 12 Dec, being the highest count in the last decade, 2 at Kızılırmak Delta on 29 Oct and a single at Lake Büyükçekmece on 17 Dec. During earlier autumn single Corncrake Crex crex were in Samsun on 8 Oct and Kızılırmak Delta on 13 Oct. Crakes have been seen late in autumn along the Mediterranean coastland. A Baillon’s Crake Porzana pusilla was at Osmaniye on 31 Oct. Last recorded in 1912 in Kars, a single Macqueen’s Bustard Chlamydotis macqueenii that was recovered injured in Konya province on 17 Dec, which was cured and fitted with a satellite transmitter and released back to nature after 25 days.

Spur-winged Lapwing Vanellus spinosus may be regular in winter. 19 were in Osmaniye at Ceyhan River on 14 Dec. A late Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarius was in Karakaya Barajı on 10 Nov. Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus was finally sighted at Hatay Samandağ Beach on 31 Aug. Black-winged Pratincole Glareola nordmanni seems to be regular at Hancağız Damlake, Gaziantep, where a single was resting on 10 Sep. Audouin’s Gull Larus audouini finally reached Hatay at Samandağ beack on 23 Nov. The single adult Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus at Istanbul’s Haydarpaşa Harbour on 3 and 7 Dec may relate to the long staying invidivual that has been seen since Sep 2005. 2 1st year Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla were at Karaburun, Istanbul on 3 Dec.

A single wintering Black-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles orientalis at Samandağ beach in Hatay on 15 Dec make few of the wintering birds along the E Mediterranean coast. However the highlight is certainly 120 birds at (former) Ereğli Marshes on 17 Dec, where the local hunters point out the presence of a good wintering population. Several Eurasian Eagle Owl Bubo bubo at wetlands may related to wandering immatures; one at Ayvalık Cunda Island on 1 Oct, one at Kocaçay Delta on 30 Nov and another at Sultan marshes on 15 Dec. Arriving singles of Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus appeared along the coastland, singles at Kocaçay Delta on 13 Oct, Rize coast on 2 Oct and Kızılırmak Delta on 21 Oct. The first wintering Great Spotted Cuckoo Clamator glandarius was at Milleyha Hatay on 7 Dec. A single Alpine Swift Tachymarptis melba was in downtown Kırklareli on 6 Dec, making the few late records outside of Istanbul.

A single migrant Blue-cheeked Bee-eater Merops persicus was at Osmaniye Kırmıtlı on 31 Aug. and a wintering Hoopoe on 5 Dec at the same site. One of the few records of Blyth’s Reed Warbler Acrocephalus dumetorum was made at the Ringing Station at Cernek, Kızılırmak Delta on 31 Aug. The regular passage of Booted Warbler Hippolais caligata is once more proven with one at Yorma Trabzon on 2 Sep, 2 at Rize coastland on 3 Sep and one in Antakya on 19 Sep. A single Asian Desert Warbler Sylvia nana arrived at Antalya on 5 Dec after cold arriving to the highlands. Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicillata was at its second known location, Hatay Balık Lake on 21 Dec. There was a good influx of  Inornate (Yellow-browed) Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus across Turkey; 1 at Kızılırmak Delta on 13 Oct, 1 at 19 Oct, 2 at 20 Oct and 2 at 27 Oct, a single in Osmaniye along Ceyhan river on 27 Oct and 3 on a plane tree at Olympos Ruins, Antalya on 8 Nov. An organised seach for other species yielded the first country record of Dusky Warbler Phylloscopus fuscatus at Kızılırmak Delta on 24 Oct. Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti seems to arrive later than warblers; singles at Samandağ, Hatay on 2 Nov and Zonguldak at 3 Nov. Even later arrived two Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus on 24 Dec at Kızıırmak Delta. Buff-bellied Pipit Anthus rubescens were at the tradition Milleyha beach in Hatay a single on 9 Nov and two on 15 Dec together with a single Richard’s Pipit Anthus richardi. A single Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis arrived at İğneada Forests on 8 Dec.