Around the Region 2017-1

Ali Atahan, Nizamettin Yavuz, Kerem Ali Boyla

Turkey experienced some cold winter between 2016-2017, and this was reflected in the number of good sightings of northern species. Five Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus, appeared during crane surveys at Akyatan Gölü, Adana on 24 Jan, making up the second sighting from the site. The Red-breasted Goose Branta ruficollis was also present at three sites, 2 at Büyükçekmece Gölü, İstanbul on 24 Jan, 1 at Kamil Abduş Gölü between 4-12 Feb, and a remarkably late one at Kuyucuk Gölü, Kars between 13-17 May. An adult Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis gave good photo-shots at İğneada Harbour, between 28 Jan and 4 Feb. Another cold-weather waterfowl, Common Scoter Melanitta nigra was seen at two sites 20 km apart along the Black Sea coast in Istanbul, 2 at Karaburun on 28 Jan, and 3 at Kilyos on 17 Feb. Singles of Horned Grebe Podiceps auritus was in Istanbul, at Büyükçekmece Gölü on 3 Feb and at Kamil Abduş Gölü, 12-19 Feb.

A single Lesser Flamingo Phoeniconaias minor was again At Kulu Gölü on 10 -30 Apr, accompanies with a possible hybrid. Far from known breeding sites, a single Grey-headed Swamphen Porphyrio poliocephalus was at Ekşisu Sazlığı, Erzincan on 30 Apr. The Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus was recorded Karkamış on Euphrates on 19 May, making the westernmost appearance. A single Herring Gull Larus argentatus was recorded on Rize on 3 Jan, indicating a fairly regular occurrence at the Black Sea. A 3rd year Greater Black-backed Gull Larus marinus was recorded at Küçük Çekmece Gölü, İstanbul on 29 Jan. An adult Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus of race intermedius was observed at the Yellow-legged Gull colony at Oymapınar Barajı, Antalya. This is probably a long-staying individual previously seen in May 2014 and May 2015, and has a high potential to form pair with a local gull and produce hybrid offspring. Finally, a Long-tailed Jaeger Stercorarius longicaudatus fell into the observer’s eye at Milleyha, Antakya on 12 Feb. A good count of 5 Pomarine Jaeger Stercorarius pomarinus off Erdemli, Mersin on 16 Jan indicate a regular wintering at the Mediterranean coast.

Escaped White-eared Bulbuls Pycnonotus leucotis was recorded in Avcılar, İstanbul on 26 Apr, which question the origin of the birds previously recorded on the Syrian border. Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia is rarely sighted away from the ringer’s nets, one was at Köyceğiz Gölü on 10 Apr. A Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus was seen at İğneada, Kırklareli on 28 Jan. Searches for Cypriots at Göksu Delta revealed a Cyprus Warbler on 18 Mar and Cyprus Wheatear 25 Mar. A male Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus wintered at Subaşı, Antakya on 7 Jan. Common Mynah Acridotheres tristis may be regular in İzmir, as at least three were present at Fuar during February.  The 7th Blyth’s Pipit Anthus godlewskii was photographed at Milleyha, previously known site at Hatay on 5 Feb. This spring there was an influx of Trumpeter Finch Bucanetes gigantheus, singles at Göksu Delta on 22 Mar, at Çorum, Central Turkey on 14 May and Rize at the Black Sea coast between 14-17 May.

This report was published in “Sandgrouse”, the Journal of the OSME (Ornithological Society of the Middle East and Central Asia), in the section “Around the Region” edited by Ian Harrison.

Lesser Flamingo Phoeniconaias minor and a possible hybrid of Greater x Lesser Flamingo. 10 Apr, Kulu Gölü © Cenk Polat.