Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Nemrut Dagi

This will be my last post for Turkey, as it'll be time to move on to a new place anytime soon. Packed my bags and off to Heathrow later today. Anyway, we spent an afternoon and early morning at the fantastic site of Nemrut Dagi (the one near Adiyaman, not Van). With it being at a decent altitude, the temperature was much more pleasant and there was actually quite a bit of bird activity. We also stayed at the Cesme Pansion right by the entrance gate - excellent Trout in the evening, a simple room and decent breakfast all for £17. Eastern Turkey is noticeably cheaper than the west of the country.
Nemrut Dagi - view from the top
Eastern and Western Rock Nuthatches occurred side by side, and at one point both were together allowing the massive size of Eastern Rock to be seen. Loads of Rock Sparrows buzzing around plus niloticus Woodchats, Eastern Orphean Warblers and Black-headed Buntings. Back to what I remember Turkey being like, nice and bird filled. And also a few Cinereous Buntings, including the cryptic juveniles.
juvenile Cinereous Bunting - another streaked bunting...
Up at the top, in fact in the car park itself, we were surrounded by Shore Larks (including several juveniles) - not the best name for the species in these circumstances so for once the yanks may have their birds named correctly in the form of Horned Lark.
penicillata Horned Lark
juvenile Horned Lark
And of course, no trip to Nemrut Dagi could be complete without seeing Kurdistan Wheatears (formerly Red-tailed Wheatear of the race xanthoprymna). Several birds were seen, by the track on the way up to the summit and some nice showy birds at the cafe near the summit. The juveniles are a subtle affair, and although pretty warm, need careful separation from the many Eastern Black-eared Wheatears.
male Kurdistan Wheatear

juvenile Kurdistan Wheatear

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