Around the Region 2015-2

Kerem Ali Boyla, Nizamettin Yavuz

The winter arrived very late to Turkey and autumn was unusually long and warm, like in the rest of Europe. Many rare northern waterfowl have not been recorded during the second half of 2015. Away from the Black Sea, a maximum of 4 Common Eider Somateria mollissima were observed at Hersek Lagoons on 23 Dec. A total of 142 Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus at Acıgöl on 3 Oct is a record count away from the known breeding areas. A very late or overwintering Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus was present at Dalyan on 23 Dec. In Istanbul at Güzelce, Büyükçekmece, an organised team counted 33495 White Stork Ciconia ciconia on 23 Aug and 59690 on 24 Aug. This is the highest daily count away from the Bosphorus. A Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus was present near Kasımkuyu Şanlıurfa on 22 Nov. A Red Kite Milvus milvus was seen at Toygartepe, Istanbul on 4 Oct. Two late Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo were present at Boğazkent Antalya on 1 Nov. Corncrake Crex crex was recorded at Gerede Plain on 5 Jul, which might indicate a third known breeding site, after Posof and the nearby Yeniçağa Gölü. A single passing Demoiselle Crane Anthropoides virgo was recorded in Enez Lagoons on 29-30 Aug make up the only record from the west for many decades. A single Little Bustard Tetrax tetrax was observed at Gediz Delta on 5 Nov. A single Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva was observed at the regular stopover site, Kızılırmak Delta between 11-28 Oct. Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus were recorded in Karacabey Longozu on 5 Jul, and two on Filyos Delta between 2-4 Sep, are remarkable for the western half of the country. A total of 1200 Blue-cheeked Bee-eater Merops persicus in Bozova, Şanlıurfa, might well represent the total national breeding population. A new subspecies of Eurasian Eagle Owl Bubo bubo, possibly omissus, was recorded at Çıldır Gölü on 28 Nov, which might have arrived from Central Asia or Iran. A group of 10 Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola, was recorded in Daltan Delta on 14 Oct, indicating a late passage migration. A single Desert Wheathear Oenanthe deserti was recorded at Kızılırmak Delta on 30 Oct. A late Rufous-tailed Rock-thrush Monticola saxatilis at METU Campus, Ankara on 10 Oct is a good addition to the universities checklist. A Wallcreeper Tichodroma muraria between Kütahya and Bozüyük on 30 Aug may related to a new breeding site in NW Turkey. Booted Warblers Iduna caligata were present at Rize coastland on 17 and 27 Aug, confirming a very regular passage of the species. During field work for the Turkish Breeding Bird Atlas Garden Warbler Sylvia borin was found probably breeding in Bolu and Sinop and Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva in Sinop provinces. The mild autumn helped to stay some House Martin Delichon urbicum in Bursa city center on 22 Nov. This autumn few Siberian vagrants have been recorded. The second Dusky Warbler Phylloscopus fuscatus, was recorded in Kızılırmak Delta on 1 Nov, the like a Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus ringed at the Ringing Station at the same site on 16 Oct, another photographed near Okcular, Dalyan on 30 Oct. The first Common Myna Acridotheres tristis for Antalya was recorded at Atatürk Parkı on 25 Nov, which may be the start of further expansion along the Mediterranean coastline.