Trip Report: Turkey, 14 July - 19 August 1999

Ahmet Baytas

Sites visited:

  • FK: The Foothills of the Kackar Mountains - the Little Caucasus or the Pontic Alps. I birded and butterflied the alpine meadows, valleys and villages on the southern side of this mountain range in northeastern Turkey, July 17-July 25. I basically stayed around the villages Yaylalar, Olgunlar and Korahmet (my birthplace!). Elevation between 2,000-2,800m. (I did not climb higher up - the highest peak is just over 3,500m.)


  • ERZ, YUS and BAR: Erzurum, Yusufeli and Barhal. To go to the Kackar Mountains, I took an airplane from Istanbul to Erzurum (ERZ), a town in eastern Turkey, and from there I took a bus to Yusufeli (YUS), a town in Artvin. From Yusufeli I took a van to Barhal (BAR) (elevation 1,200m), a small village in the province of Artvin. I stayed one day in BAR, and then took another van to FK.


  • FO: Fatih Ormani, a forest just outside the city of Istanbul. A half day visit-not too productive.


  • IST: The city of Istanbul. The sightings are from parks around the city, usually along the Bosphorus.


  • TER: Termal. A small town in the province of Yalova (YAL), located on the Marmara Sea. A day trip here produced about 30 species of butterflies and as well as about two dozen birds.


  • GEL: Gelibolu Peninsula. During my last days in Turkey, I spent 3 days at the southern tip of the Gelibolu Peninsula (Gallipoli) in European Turkey. Superb birding, but very poor in butterflies.


  • TUZ: Tuzla. This town, located in Asian side of Istanbul (one hour from downtown by car), had a small wetland/lake that produced some good birds - thanks to my friend Ercan Sakar, for showing me this area, and for spotting the Kingfisher!


  • ULU: Uludag. A mountain in the province of Bursa (BUR), just south of the Marmara Sea. A day visit.



Species Comments
1. Great Crested Grebe Several in TUZ
2. Red-necked Grebe 1 in IST
3. Little Grebe Several in TUZ
4. Yelkouan Shearwater Fairly common in IST, flying on the Bosphorus
5. Cormorant Common in IST; 5 in GEL
6. Shag 1 in IST; 2 in GEL
7. Pygmy Cormorant About 20 in TUZ
8. Little Egret Several GEL; about 30 in TUZ
9. Gray Heron About 15 in TUZ
10. White Stork About 1,000 in TUZ; about 200 between IST-GEL; 1 just outside ERZ; 3 near BUR; 2 in GEL
11.Glossy Ibis 1 just outside ERZ
12. Mallard Many in TUZ
13. Ferruginous Duck 2 in TUZ
14. Lammergeier 2 at FK; a magnificent sight!
15. Egyptian Vulture 3 between ERZ-YUS
16. Griffon Vulture 1 between ERZ-YUS
17. Sparrowhawk 1 at FK
18. Buzzard 2 in GEL
19. Long-legged Buzzard 1 in GEL
20. Golden Eagle 1 at FK; 2 between YUS-ERZ
21. Short-toed Eagle 1 in GEL
22. Kestrel 1 in IST (at the airport); several at FK; 1 in ERZ
23. Hobby 1 in GEL; 1 at FK
24. Chukar About a dozen in GEL
25. Water Rail 1 in TUZ
26. Moorhen About half a dozen in TUZ
27. Coot Very many (over 100?) in TUZ
28. Little Ringed Plover Several in TUZ
29. Golden Plover 1 in TUZ
30. Lapwing 2 just outside ERZ
31. Greenshank Few in TUZ
32. Wood Sandpiper Several in TUZ
33. Common Sandpiper 1 near BAR; 1 in TUZ
34. Green Sandpiper 2 in TUZ
35. Mediterranean Gull Several in IST; several in GEL; some in TUZ
36. Yellow-legged Gull Abundant around the Marmara Sea
37. Common Tern 2 near ERZ
38. Woodpigeon Several in BAR; few at FK
39. Rock Dove Abundant in cities, towns
40. Collared Dove Very common in open wooded areas, countryside
41. Turtle Dove Very common in GEL
42. Laughing Dove Common in IST
43. Cuckoo 1 at FK
44. Nightjar 3 in BAR
45. Alpine Swift Common throughout, esp. in IST
46. Swift Common throughout
47. Pallid Swift 2 in ULU
48. Kingfisher 1 in TUZ
49. Bee-eater 1 in TUZ; several in GEL
50. Roller 2 between ERZ-YUS; 1 in ERZ
51. Hoopoe Fairly common in GEL
52. Green Woodpecker 1 in BAR
53. Syrian Woodpecker 1 in IST; several in GEL
54. Skylark Several in GEL
55. Crested Lark Very common in GEL
56. Crag Martin Common between FK-ERZ
57. Red-rumped Swallow Common in GEL
58. Swallow Common throughout
59. House Martin Common throughout
60. Water Pipit Common at FK
61. Tawny Pipit 1 in TER; several in TUZ
62. Pied Wagtail 1 in ULU; abundant at FK; common in BAR
63. Gray Wagtail Common at FK; several in BAR
64. Yellow Wagtail Several in TUZ; common in GEL
65. Dipper About a dozen between BAR-FK
66. Wren 1 in IST; 1 in BAR; 1 at FK; 1 in TER
67. Robin 2 in TER
68. Nightingale 2 in GEL; 2 in FO
69. Black Redstart Abundant at FK
70. Whinchat Few at FK; several in GEL
71. Stonechat Several at FK
72. N. Wheatear Common at FK; common in GEL
73. Isabelline Wheatear 1 in GEL
74. Black-eared Wheatear 2 in GEL
75. Rock Thrush Common at FK
76. Blue Rock Thrush 2 in GEL
77. Ring Ouzel Common at FK
78. Blackbird 2 in TER; 1 in BAR; several in IST; several in GEL; few in FO
79. Mistle Thrush 1 at FK
80. Great Reed Warbler Several in TUZ
81. Reed Warbler Common in TUZ; 2 in GEL
82. Olivaceous Warbler Several in TUZ; few in GEL; 1 in IST; several in TER
83. L. Whitethroat Common at FK; some in GEL
84. Whitethroat Common at FK; 1 in GEL
85. Blackcap 1 in GEL
86. Sardinian Warbler Common in GEL
87. Orphean Warbler 2 in IST; 1 in GEL
88. Willow Warbler 1 in GEL (early migrant)
89. Chiffchaff 2 in FO; 2 in GEL; 1 in IST
90. Goldcrest 2 in ULU
91. Semi-collared Flycatcher 1 in FO
92. Spotted Flycatcher 2 in GEL; 1 in TER; 1 in FO
93. Blue Tit 2 in FO; 2 in IST
94. Great Tit Common throughout
95. Coal Tit Common in ULU; 2 at FK
96. Long-tailed Tit 4 in TER
97. Nuthatch Several in TER; 1 at FK; 1 in FO
98. Short-toed Treecreeper 2 in TER
99. Wallcreeper 3 at FK
100. Red-backed Shrike Common throughout
101. L. Gray Shrike 1 between IST-GEL
102. Woodchat Shrike 4 in Gel
103. Masked Shrike 1 in GEL
104. Starling 1 in GEL; 2 in ERZ
105. Golden Oriole 1 in GEL
106. Jay Seen in small numbers throughout
107. Magpie Common throughout
108. Alpine Chough Few at FK
109. Chough Common at FK
110. Jackdaw Very common in IST, GEL, YAL, BUR
111. Raven 3 in GEL; 1 in BAR; 3 in ULU
112. Hooded Crow Abundant throughout
113. Rook Abundant just outside ERZ
114. Tree Sparrow 3 between YUS-ERZ; several in TUZ; several in GEL
115. House Sparrow Abundant in towns, cities
116. Chaffinch Common throughout
117. Serin Few in ULU; 1 at FK
118. Red-fronted Serin Common at FK
119. Greenfinch 2 in GEL
120. Goldfinch About 10 in GEL; about dozen in BUR; some in TER
121. Linnet Common at FK
122. Scarlet Rosefinch Common at FK
123. Crimson-winged Finch 2 at FK
124. Corn Bunting 6 in GEL
125. Cirl Bunting 3 in GEL
126. Rock Bunting Common at FK