Lake Büyükçekmece, Turkey

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Jeff Curnick
Posts: 209
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 9:46 am
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Latest Lifers: Mediterranean Gull, Pygmy Cormorant, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Nightingale
Location: Crawley, West Sussex, UK
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Lake Büyükçekmece, Turkey

Postby Jeff Curnick » Mon May 05, 2014 3:18 pm

Hi all,

During a short work trip to Turkey in mid-April 2014 I went out early one morning for a quick bit of birding. Having been in touch with a few locals before I arrived, Lake Büyükçekmece (no idea how to pronounce that :oops: )was the suggested spot for me. On the western outskirts of Istanbul, it's not exactly a birding hotspot but only a short taxi ride from the hotel so perfect for me.

During my 2 hours walking around the area I managed to pick up 29 birds which I was slightly disappointed with but unfortunately it was quite a windy day which never helps. My targets for the morning were Mediterranean, Yellow-legged and Slender-billed Gull plus Pygmy Cormorant - and I shouldn't really complain as I easily got three of these, only missing out on the Slender-billed Gull.

Other good birds for me were plenty of Alpine Swifts and a lone Greater Flamingo - both would be new for my European list but I'm not sure if they count? As I understand it I was birding on the European side of Istanbul so theoretically they should count but I'm open to correction.

Lake Büyükçekmece

A few of the gulls that I had to work through

This little island was full of Yellow Wagtails with a lone Greater Flamingo hiding on the far side

Pygmy Cormorant

Pygmy Cormorant with Great Cormorant to show size difference

A pair of extremely vocal Common Terns looking very smart in their breeding plumage

Full trip list:

Little Grebe
Great Crested Grebe
Greater Flamingo
Grey Heron
Little Egret
Pygmy Cormorant
Great Cormorant
Eurasian Coot
Black-headed Gull
Mediterranean Gull
Yellow-legged Gull
Sandwich Tern
Common Tern
Rock Dove
Eurasian Collared Dove
Alpine Swift
Common Swift
Common Kingfisher
Eurasian Magpie
Western Jackdaw
Hooded Crow
Great Tit
Barn Swallow
Common Starling
House Sparrow
Western Yellow Wagtail
White Wagtail
Common Chaffinch

This was an interesting area and I will definitely have to go back for more birding.



Latest World Lifer: Pygmy Cormorant, Mediterranean & Yellow-legged Gull -- Istanbul, Turkey, 10 April 2014
Latest UK Lifer: Common Nightingale -- Pullborough Brooks, West Sussex, 5 May 2014

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