Friday, August 10, 2012

Turkey. Spice and all things nice!

You write a blog, expecting a few friends to read it, but never knowing quite how many are interested in what you have to say. So I am not sure how appropriate this latest blog offering is and whether readers will be particularly interested. Sure it is a promotion, but also an opportunity as I see it, so I hope you might read it and be interested. I am happy for feedback on this to know whether or not to repeat this kind of blog in the future?

Every now again I get to explore new destinations and invite folk to join me on a Recce Tour. Often I head-off into the unknown, accompanied by invited friends, to discover wild places in far off and exotic countries. A country I have frequently discussed and wished to visit is Turkey, in fact it became a bit of an obsession for me to get around to arranging a tour to this large and historically rich region. I began my research and tentative approaches to organising a visit back in April of this year, very soon I became excited by the potential of exploring birds in this diverse area.
Of course places on these tours are limited and often very popular with friends, so I would like to personally invite you to join me on this wonderful opportunity to explore the nature of Turkey. Below is a brief tour description, I hope you might be tempted and will be happy to send further information for your interest. Please do contact me as soon as possible, with only 2 places available I expect to fill this tour very quickly. I hope it might be you that can join me.

A bird shall know neither bounds nor confines of man, remaining a free spirit to brighten our lives, a symbol of peace, fostering friendships for those who share in their joy. Peter Jones

In Turkey birds from three bio-regions converge to reside, migrate or winter, demonstrating a blissful ignorance of political boundaries. Asia, Africa and Europe are represented by our birds on this recce tour, a real treat in store for all of us participating on our journey through mountains, marshlands, steppe and lakelands.
The first part of our tour visits Sultan Marsh; it is one of the largest and most important wetlands in Turkey as well as in the Middle East and Europe. The number of species of birds, both predators and warblers, that visit, winter or breed in this area, where fresh and saltwater ecosystems are found side by side, is around 250, with extremely high numbers of certain bird communities during the migration season. Populations of Flamingo reach 50.000, Shelduck 10.000 and ducks of various species 600.000.
From the Sultan Marsh we visit Aladağlar National Park, located north of Adana, it is a huge park of around 55,000 hectares and the summit of Demirkazik at 3756m is the highest point in the middle Taurus mountain range. There is a huge range of flora and fauna. Wildlife includes wild goats, bears, lynx and sable. Here we hope to find the elusive Caspian Snowcock, Radde’s and Alpine Accentors, Alpine and Red-billed Choughs, Crimson-winged Finch and White winged Snow finch.

Onwards we visit the Goksu Delta, now a Specially Protected Area; this is one of the most important ornithological areas in the Western Palearctic region. Where the River Goksu enters the Mediterranean a large delta has developed and although much has been lost to agriculture the remainder hosts an outstanding collection of bird species. Some rather rare or local breeders such as Marbled Duck and Ferruginous Duck, Ruddy Shelduck, Black Francolin, Spur-winged Plover and Purple Swamphen, which, in Turkey, breeds only here. White-breasted Kingfisher and Pied Kingfisher both occur in this area and raptors include Egyptian Vulture and Griffon Vulture and Lesser Kestrel. Various herons breed in the reedbeds of Akgol along with Glossy Ibis and Eurasian Spoonbill, Black-winged Stilt, Pied Avocet and Collared Pratincole. White-tailed Plover has bred.
Our next main area to visit is Birecik – Euphrates River (Firat). The area is home to Bald Ibis, See-see Partridge, Pallid Scops Owl, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Bimaculated Lark, Upcher's and Ménétries's Warbler, Iraq Babbler, Dead Sea Sparrow, Chestnut-shouldered Petronia, Pale Rockfinch and Desert Finch. We will also visit the rolling hills and rocky cliffs along the Euphrates in search for Eastern Rock Nuthatch and Bonelli’s Eagle. Back in Birecik, we will visit the site for the colony of Iraq Babblers. Wow!
Finally we move to Isikli and Durnali areas. Brief views of a Cinereous Bunting are obtained in this area, whilst other species like the male Blue Rock Thrush, Eastern Black eared Wheatears and Eastern Rock Nuthatches. At the Durnali area it is possible to find Cinereous Buntings, Desert Finches, Turtle Doves, Eastern Black-eared Wheatears, Greenfinches and Eastern Rock Nuthatches. After exploring the fascinating areas of Isikli and Durnali we drive back to Gaziantep.
I think this tour will provide unequalled opportunities for enjoying great scenery, locations and of course birds from 3 continents. I hope you will join me.

To download the information sheet on this Recce Tour see: HERE
To request further information follow this link CONTACT US
To reserve your place follow this link BookOnline

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