Saturday, 30 July 2011

Turkey July 2011

I've just retured from 2 weeks in Bodrum on a family holiday - had a fantastic time!

As any birder will know a 'family holiday' means you have to put in a few early mornings then try and sell a far away area to non-birders (normally by making stuff up; like there is a good clothes shop there etc) just so you can go there yourself!

I must be honest, I only had one morning birding and then 2 half days so the list from the trip isn't very impressive and neither are the photos! The majority are record shots but I did connect with some fantastic birds that I never anticipated seeing, especially in mid summer in 40 degrees!

I managed to get 12 lifers if the Steppe Buzzard is indeed one (it probs isn't though - take a look and let me know!). The biggest misses were; Roller, Black headed bunting, Kruplers nuthatch, Finsch's Wheatear and Pied Kingfisher.

Here is what lifers I did see;

Syrian Woodpecker - A complete surpirse as it flew past me calling then landed in a distant tree.

Cinereous Bunting - located a few in the hills surrounding Izmir.

Rock Nuthatch - thought I was going to miss out on this but on the last outing I bumped into a pair near Izmir, what great birds (very noisy and very active!).

Rock Partridge - located just outside Bodrum, very flighty!

Great Spotted Cuckoo - one seen whilst working a river near Bodrum airport.

White-Throated Kindfisher - pair seen just before the GSCuckoo - massive noisy things!

Rufous Bush Robin - several seen in the scrub along the river near the airport.

Masked Shrike - seen from the car on an unstopable motorway! really frustrating as it was a fanstastic looking bird!

Pygmy Cormorant - distant views on Bafa Lake

Dalmatian Pelican - distant views on Bafa Lake

White throated Robin - stunning male seen in flight in the hills surround Ismir. Female perched briefly but both were really flighty.

And now for some record shots:

Rock Nuthatch:
Cinereous Bunting:

Black Eared Wheatear (juv):

European Bee-eater:

Greater Flamingos:

Great Spotted Cuckoo:

Little Owl:

Dalmatian Pelican:

Red-Rumped Swallow:

Rufous Bush Robin (first photo shows it with agama lizard):

Steppe Buzzrd?? not sure about this and I'm mainly going on distribution - help please!?

Syrian Woodpecker:


White Breasted Kingfisher (dreadful photo - I know!):

I did get some photos I was happy with. They were all of praying mantids though. I found 4 throughout the holiday including 2 big adults! Those photos will be in a seperate post soon...

I'm happy with my bird sightings over the holiday considering the time I had availble and the time of year! I think it would be great to visit in spring and I'm sure somewhere along the line I will go back for a proper birding trip with the guys!

Blogging drought!!

Wow - apologies for the blogging drought!

let me explain before I get into my Turkey post...

I had a 7D but unfortunately, due to water damage, it is no longer with us. I struggled to decide what I should get next and 'ummed' and 'ahhed' about getting a 1D mark 4 for a bit but it's just too much money for me right now.

So after much pondering I went for the canon 1Ds mrk 2 - it cost me roless than a new 7D and battery grip so I'm appy about that! It's taken a bit of getting used to but I'm finally getting to grips with it and realising the benefit of a 1D set-up. The image quality is much better than the 7D and so far I haven't missed the frame rate too much. It also feels great - heavy study and well built! The AF system is great too - nice having all the AF points!