Saturday, 9 June 2012

TURKEY 9 June 2012: Nemrut Dagi to Adana

Our last day.  We birded around Pension Cesme before breakfast then slowly left Nemrut Dagi stopping frequently on the lower slopes.  We saw 7 Rufous Bush Chats, 8 White-throated Robins, a male Finsch's, 6 Black-eared and a family of 4 Kurdish Wheatears (the latter on the cliffs below the pension),  8 Upcher's Warblers, 3-4 Rock Nuthatches, 3 Pale Rock Sparrows and 3 Cinereous Buntings.
Rufous Bush Robin on the lower slopes of Nemrut dagi

we were pleasantly surprised the Rufous Bush Robins, like White-throated Robins, were not as skulking as we were expecting. Like here Nightingale and Cetti's warbler took that prize
the day's Rock Nuthatch test
we were quite happy this was Western based on its thin bill and eyeline
this one was more puzzling although the longer, heavier bill and thicker black eyeline might suggest eastern
one its own though the right hand of the two appears less convincing, at least in the eyeline department

We stopped a couple of times on the plains on our way south seeing a Calandra Lark and reasonable numbers of Spanish Sparrows.  Our flight wasn't until 3 am so we were in no rush to get back to Adana airport.  We had the option of returning to Durnalik or trying to find some wetlands south of Adana - a couple of minor diversions to lakes on the way being unproductive.  We reached Adana at about 5 pm and after failing to find a White-breasted kingfisher site headed down to the Tuzla delta.  Here in the last two hours of daylight we saw a reasonable selection of gulls, terns and waders including Spur-winged Plover, 3 Greater Sand Plover, 2 Broad-billed Sandpipers, 300 Kentish Plover, 110 Mediterranean and 150 Slender-billed Gulls and 2 Caspian, 1 Black and 14 Whiskered Terns.  We also saw 3 rather puzzling presumed  first-summer large white-headed gulls that unfortunately flew off while we were still struggling to identify them.

Greater Sand Plover at Tuzla estuary, it didn't move as much as anticipated in the overlong period between taking the photo and the camera's shutter actually operating 
unidentified large gull with Slender-billeds. The large gull options in the eastern Med would seem to be fuscus Lesser Black-backed, Heuglin's, Yellow-legged (the commonest at his time of year), Armenian and Caspian.  This bird didn't seem to fit any particularly well, its windows in the inner primaries in flight counting against the first three while Armenian should have a stubby bill and the gizz and its dark underwing seems wrong for Caspian
unidentified gull, presumed Caspian, with Mediterranean and Slender-billed
unidentified gull, presumed Caspian although with fairly dark underwing, with Slender-billed 
presumed Caspian Gull with Mediterranean and part of a Slender-billed.  Headshape, small eye, long legs and hindneck streaking would suggest this species.  It had a white rump, solid terminal tail band, windows in inner primaries, dark tertials with white crescents  but the underwing was darker than expected
presumed Caspian Gull with Mediterranean.  

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