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Podiceps cristatus

Vogel des Jahres / German Bird of the Year 2001
(click on pic for infos)



from Metehan Ozen

More reports for 2001


  Metehan's Mailbox



Until now I was just a sleeper in your list but I think it's time we all need a refreshing breath. I'm writing for a country about which you possibly have only limited information; TURKIYE.

Newsletter No. 1

For more than one year we (Turkish birders) have been steadily catching up, and now there are more than ten birding groups in 10 different regions of the country. I hope we will keep this going well and will be able to achieve a proper coverage of the country as soon as possible. We have regular meetings, counts and communications. I'll be sending information about not only rare birds in my country but also interesting records according to the time or location.

I may also send information about vulnerable (VU) and near-threatened (NT) birds globally which are regularly seen in my country such as Pygmy Cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmeus (Zwergscharbe), Lesser Kestrel, Falco naumanni (Rötelfalke), White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala (Weisskopf-Ruderente).

I want to start with Kızılırmak delta which is located on the northern coast of Central Anatolia. The regular counts are from Samsun Bird-watching society who are very lucky in having not only a wetland with nearly 300 species but also the best birder and field guide in Turkey.

Records from 26.11.2000

An excellent record of a female Little Bustard Tetrax tetrax (Zwergtrappe).
It's the first record for the wetland. A tiny colony was rediscovered in central Anatolia 2 years ago (Güven Eken) and the species was for long believed to be extinct as a breeder in my country.

A first-winter White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla (Seeadler).
It is a local resident in wetland areas and has been seen occasionally in northern and central regions this year, recent breeding information is lacking.

4 Great Black-headed Gulls Larus ichthyaetus (Fischmöwe).
It is a scarce winter visitor. This is the first record of the year.

19 Pygmy Cormorants Phalacrocorax pygmeus (Zwergscharbe) (NT). Regularly breeds in western, northern parts of Turkey, regularly winters in Kızılırmak delta.

6 Dalmatian pelicans Pelecanus crispus (Krauskopfpelikan) (VU)
. Regularly breeds in Turkey.

1 Whooper swan Cygnus cygnus (Singschwan)
Increasing winter records from western two-thirds of Turkey.

159 White-headed ducks Oxyura leucocephala (Weisskopf-Ruderente) (VU)
They are regular winter visitors, but breed irregularly. New breeding sites in central and eastern Anatolia were explored this year.

That's all for today. Stay tuned for news from Türkiye.

Newsletter No. 2

Here are records from counts at 3 localities this year:

Kýzýlýrmak delta (KD) - northern coast of central region.
Akyatan Lake (AL) - near south coast in Adana city.
Burdur lake (BL) behind the Taurus mountains, only 120 km from the famous tourist resort of Antalya.

Lots of wintering White-headed Ducks. White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala (Weißkopf-Ruderente); 791 of which 509 female and 282 male at BL on 11.12.00
(15 individuals or 5 breeding pairs are required to qualify as an IBA Category A1)

Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea (Rostgans)
1138 at BL. (225 is enough to qualify as an IBA Category A4i).
I have searched my data if this was the highest number but really astonished to learn that, there are numbers such as 10000, 8000. I have found 7 localities with more than 2000 birds.

Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena (Rothalstaucher)
1 at KD on 29.10.00
a common summer visitor but very rare winter visitor. The latest record I have found was from 8.10.1995 at BL, so this must be the latest record for my country.

Purple Gallinule Porphyrio porphyrio (Purpurhuhn)
They were seen on every visit to the KD. Numbers up to 28 present
Here is the third place to observe this bird in Turkey that is impossible to find in any guidebook. They were discovered 4-5 years ago.

Lanner Falcon Falco biarmicus (Lannerfalke)
1 is observed at almost every visit to KD this winter. It is a scarce breeding resident.

Saker Falcon Falco cherrug (Würgfalke)
1 at KD on 12.11.00. It is also a rare breeding resident.
(As I have already mentioned, I believe bird-watching group of KD have the best birder and feld guide and wetlands)

Your encouraging letters requested not only rarity news; but also unusual records for Europe. So sometimes I will include bird records which are regular for my country but rare for Europe. Some examples follow:

Smryna (White-breasted) Kingfisher Alcedo atthis (Braunliest)
2 at AL on 12.11.00. Serious decline in records warn us about its status. It is not seen in western coasts of country anymore where its name derived from (Smryna is now Izmir city).
Unfortunately this species and Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis (Graufischer) can be both treated as threatened in my country, mainly due to habitat destruction.

Black Francolin Francolinus francolinus (Halsbandfrankolin)
(1 on 25.9.00),

Yellow-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus xanthopygos (Gelbsteißbülbül)

Rufous Bushchat Cercotrichas galactotes (Heckensänger)

Graceful Warbler Prinia gracilis (Streifenprinie)

are all specialities of AL that can be observed easily.

Spur-winged Plover Hoplopterus spinosus (Spornkiebitz)
They were seen at both AL & BL on 27.08.00 and 24.09.00. They are summer visitors to southern/western parts of country and they have already passed through as there has been no record since October.

Armenian Gull Larus armenicus (Armeniermöwe)
seen at KD & BL on almost every visits.

Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus (Krauskopfpelikan) (VU) and Pygmy Cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmeus (Zwergscharbe) (NT) were seen during all last visits to KD so they are regular winter visitors to the area.

Feel free to mail any comments or requests for up-dated material,


Newsletter No. 3

After a very long holiday break (in Turkey) I'm online again.
At last I've managed to summarize (for the last 4 months), almost all Turkish birdwatchers' records for the year 2000. Records for 2001 will follow, hopefully more punctually! Some remarkable sightings during the last 2 months

Rare birds

Alpine Chough Pyrrhocorax graculus (Alpendohle)
2 in Taurus mountains (in the south region) on 27.12.00

Krüper's Nuthatch Sitta krueperi (Türkenkleiber)
2 as above

Radde's Accentor Prunella ocularis (Steinbraunelle)
3 at Kayseri ( in Central region) on 03.12.00

Dotterel Charadrius morinellus (Mornellregenpfeifer)
9 at Yay lake in Kayseri on 12.11.00

Bonelli's Eagle Hieraaetus fasciatus (Habichtsadler)
2 at Erzurum ovası ( east) on 25.10.00

White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla (Seeadler)
1 at Burdur lake on 26.11.00

Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga (Schelladler) : 1 at Kızılırmak delta & 1 at Akyatan lake on 11.12.00

Great Black-headed Gull Larus ichthyaetus (Fischmöwe)
2 at Beysehir lake on 26.12.00

Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca (Kaiseradler)
1 at Mogan gölü ( In Ankara) on 17.12.00 2 at Gediz delta (In Izmir) on 17.12.00

Unusual sightings according to date

Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus (Wespenbussard)
1 in Antochia ( in Southern region near the Syrian border) 31.12.00

Swallow Hirundo rustica (Rauchschwalbe)
1 in Antochia 31.12.00

Black Kite Milvus migrans (Schwarzmilan)
1 ad, 1 juv at Sugla lake (in lake district) on 27.12.00

White-winged Black Tern Chlidonias leucopterus (Weissflügel-Seeschwalbe)
7 at Akyatan lake on 26.11.00

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'Das Beste'/Best of Europe 2001