Asia - Turkey


Always wanted to see birds en mass but never have? Don't worry come to Turkey and we can satisfy all your birding needs!

Demirkazik ©Vaughan Ashby Birdfinders

The country encompasses two main routes for birds migrating en mass. Twice a year, the land and water habitats of the country offers hospitality to migrating birds, some of which also breed here.

Ishakpasa Palace ©Vaughan Ashby Birdfinders

Turkey's vast land of over 800,000 square kilometres, surrounded on three sides by seas, serves as a bridge between three continents. A large variety of climatic zones co-exist due to its topography. The northern belt of humid forest, contrasting with the arid fame of the country, are home to rare White-backed Woodpecker, Greenish Warbler and Semi-collared Flycatcher.

Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus ©Vaughan Ashby Birdfinders

The Mediterranean coast harbours more than half of the world population of Rüppell’s Warbler, Olive-tree Warbler, the near-endemic Krüper’s Nuthatch, Masked Shrike and Cretzschmar's Bunting. The beautiful scenery of high mountains are accompanied with the presence of Caspian Snowcock, Alpine and Radde’s Accentor and Red-fronted Serin. 

Masked Shrike  Lanius nubicus ©Vaughan Ashby Birdfinders

Although located in the Palearctic zone, especially in the Southeast and the East, the Influence of oriental and Ethiopic (African) elements are observable. The Hakkari-Van plateau exhibit the influence of Asiatic flora and fauna, where one can find the rare Demoiselle Crane, Red-wattled Lapwing, Armenian Gull, Mongolian Finch & Grey-necked Bunting; the Hatay-Amanos bridge exhibits elements of Africa such as Cream-coloured Courser and Little Swift.

Blue-cheeked Bee-Eater Merops persicus ©Vaughan Ashby Birdfinders

With this extremely high diversity of habitats, Turkey is considered by many to be the best country for birds and birding in Europe. Turkey is considered by many to be the best country for birds and birding in Europe.

Rock Nuthatch Sitta neumayer ©Vaughan Ashby Birdfinders

Gernant Magnin describes the opportunities which awaits the demanding birder thus: Try the eastern Black Sea mountains that offer days of hiking and camping in magnificent alpine landscapes, with thousands of migrating birds of prey, calling Caspian Snowcocks above 2,600 metres and, above all, breath-taking silence. For people who would rather visit flat wetlands and can do without all the climbing, try wetlands near Ankara, to see breeding Red-crested Pochard, Monatagu`s Harriers, and vast numbers of waterfowl can be seen in winter and spring; the surrounding steppe holds Black-headed Buntings, Short-toed, Lesser short-toed, Bimaculated, Calandra and Horned Larks.

Bald Ibis Geronticus eremita ©Vaughan Ashby Birdfinders

The country even hosts some endangered species: The Bald Ibis Geronticus eremita has recently recovered and the captive bred population has started colonising other areas… If you choose to combine archaeological interest with an ornithological one, try visiting the ancient city of Zeugma, then quickly on to the nearby site of Birecik to observe the breeding colony of this sacred bird. Happy birding.

 

Major Source: Fatbirder

Photo Source: Birdfinders

Map Source: Googlemaps


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Checklist of birds for Asia - Turkey
Birding hotspots for Asia - Turkey