The Journey from Side to the Eregli marshes took approximately 5 hours, going via Beysehir and Konya. We followed the directions in Gosneys book from Karapinar past the small hollowed out mountains. This road was excellent for larger larks. We had excellent views of Calandra, Crested and Bimaculated Larks prior to reaching the first small mountain. Unfortunately we saw little else in the area as the marshes have been completely drained, apparently for some while according to people I met later.
The only birds around the area where the marshes stood were a party of Lesser Kestrels on telegraph wires. Unless you are desperate for Bimaculated Lark, I suggest that you give this area a miss.
We decided to try the Aranci Baraji, Site 5 in the guide as we had not yet found any water in any of the areas suggested by the guide. You will need to find this artificial lake on your own map. It is fairly easy to find and parking and walking round the lake are not too difficult.|
Here was water at last, although fairly devoid of bird life from first glances. However, after walking to the far end of the lake away from the barrage, we found two family parties of Ruddy Shelduck, passing Whiskered Terns, waders including both Stints, Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper and a pair of Greater Sand Plover that appeared to have possibly bred in the area.
Around the lake in the scrub were several warblers including Orphean and Sardinian Warbler. Easily the best bird of the day was an adult Imperial Eagle, which Sarah spotted coming up off the ground from the far side of the lake. We watched the bird circle and gain height for a good ten minutes before it headed away. Other raptors in the area were Black Kite, Long Legged Buzzard and Kestrel.|
En route we also picked up Little Owl, Tawny Pipit, Isabelline Wheatear, Black-eared Wheatear, Rock Thrush and Black-headed Bunting along with Eastern Hedgehog, Red Fox, Suslik and Herman's Tortoise.
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