Monday, September 17, 2012

Istanbul, Turkey 13-16 Sept

Combination of sightseeing and very gentle-paced birding produced Levantine Shearwater as the highlight, with a flock of 10 seen from a ferry crossing the Bosphorus. Other notables included a migrating flock of 30+ European Bee-eaters and a good passage of Red-breasted Flycatchers (the first one I got onto being a nice red bird),  Spotted Flycatchers and Chiffchaff.

Levantine (Yelkouan) Shearwaters - not the dark vent and dark bar on  underwing

Alpine Swift

The other "joy" of birding the Bosphorus has been practicing my non-existent large gull ID skills, and all I've seen so far have been Yellow-leggeds, though Caspian and Armenian Gulls are possible.

The big gap so far has been raptor passage - I've not managed to get to any of the various watch points, but will have a couple of other visits to the city in the coming weeks so hope to get a chance to try then.

Over and above the birding I must say that Istanbul is a fab place! This is my first trip to Turkey but I get the feeling it won't be by last.

juv Yellow-legged
juv Yellow-legged
juv Yellow-legged
juv Yellow-legged Gull

2nd winter Yellow-legged Gull

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