Tour At A Glance

Cost:

1850.00

Deposit:

350.00

Single Room Supplement:

None [single rooms may not be available at all hotels]

Tour Code:

Intensive with several early morning starts.

Group Size:

Eight plus Leader

Pied Kingfisher Rufous Bush Robin White-throated Robin Pale Rock Sparrow Spur-winged Plovers Iraq Babbler

Central & South-east Turkey - Where East Meets West

Date: Tour not currently operating
Leaders: Dave Gosney

Itinerary

 

DAY ONE
Early morning check for our flight to Istanbul at London Heathrow Terminal Three. We have approximately one hour before our internal flight to Ankara. Arrive Ankara at approximately 16.00 where we will meet with our driver. Once everyone has cleared customs, we transfer to the small village of Kulu, arriving in time for an early evening visit to Kulu Golu.
Overnight Hotel Atay.

DAY TWO
Birding around Kulu Golu and its environs. The lake has a reputation of being one of the best birding wetlands in Turkey and we will circumnavigate the shoreline. We can expect to see a wide variety of gulls, terns, waterfowl and shorebirds. This area also holds steppe species such as Calandra and Asian Short-toed Larks, Isabelline Wheatears, Montagu’s Harrier and Black-headed Wagtail.  Slender-billed Gull, Spur-winged Plover, Greater Flamingos should all be noted and migrants, which in recent years have included one or two Armenian Gulls and occasional White-tailed Plover, Greater Sand Plover and Broad-billed Sandpiper, as well as large numbers of Little Stints. In the late afternoon, we transfer to the small town of Sulthani, three hours further south, making stops en route for any interesting species such as Lesser Kestrel, Lesser Grey Shrike, Little Owl and possibly Black-bellied Sandgrouse and Great Bustard. Steppe Eagle is regularly recorded along this road.
Overnight Kervaran Pansiyon

DAY THREE
We depart after breakfast for the transfer to Camardi in the Taurus Mountains. We will stop en route near the volcano at Hasandag, where we will look for Syrian Woodpecker, Western Rock Nuthatch, Upcher’s Warbler and Bimaculated Lark. We continue on to Akkaya Barraje for wildfowl including possible White-headed Duck, Whiskered Tern, Olivaceous Warbler, Golden Oriole and possibly Great Spotted Cuckoo. Driving through Nigde, we will stop to check for any potential breeding sites for Greater Sand Plover, before arriving in the fantastic setting of Safak Pansiyon mid afternoon. We take an early evening excursion to Demirkazik Gorge for Black Redstart, Alpine Swift, Golden Eagle and White-winged Snowfinch among others before we take an early night in preparation for the long day tomorrow.
Overnight Safak Pansiyon

DAY FOUR
We rise very early [03.45] for the tractor ride to Demirkazik and the hoped for Caspian Snowcock. We also hope to encounter Radde’s and Alpine Accentors, Red-fronted Serin, Alpine and Red-billed Choughs, Rock Thrush, Blue Rock Thrush, Water Pipit, Wallcreeper, Golden Eagle, Crimson-winged Finch, Finsch’s Wheatear and Ring Ouzel. The whole day will be spent in the area and we will decide whether to walk back down the gorge or return with the tractor depending upon how we have done. We may have to visit an alternative site near the Ski Centre for some of the species. Hopefully - a day to remember! It should be noted that even walking short distances at altitude can leave you breathless and heavy legged, but this does soon pass.
Overnight Safak Pansiyon
 
DAY FIVE
If the weather was unkind yesterday, we will once again attempt the trip for the snowcock. If all has gone to plan, we will drive to the nearby Emli Valley and revisit the gorge for any species that are missing.
Overnight Safak Pansiyon

DAYS SIX & SEVEN
Tearing ourselves away from the mountains, we transfer from Camardi to Tasucu on the Mediterranean Coast. It is a long journey, and we leave early, but this is the only way to ensure we have sufficient time to explore internationally important Goksu Delta fully.  Vast numbers of shorebirds, waterfowl, gulls, terns and herons should be present as we visit Lake Akgöl and Paradeniz Golu. White-throated Kingfisher, White-spectacled Bulbuls, Marbled Duck, Grey-headed Swamp-hen, Spur-winged Plover, Black Francolin, Audouin’s Gull and Graceful Warbler are among the specialities we should encounter here. We will also head inland to search for Masked Shrike, Olive-tree, Ruppell’s and Barred Warblers and Kruper’s Nuthatch near Uzuncaburc.
Overnights Lades Hotel

DAY EIGHT
A very long transfer day as we leave at dawn for the journey east. We will stop en route for comfort and birding stops, which last time brought us Short-toed and Booted Eagles as well as a small party of Griffon Vultures. We stop at Isikli and Durnalik valleys, where our principal target species is Persian Wheatear, though it should be noted that these are very difficult birds to find and require a lot of patience and searching. There should be a tremendous supporting cast including White-throated Robin, Desert Finch, Pale Rock Sparrow, Cinereous Bunting, Eastern Rock Nuthatch, Sombre Tit, Upcher’s Warbler and Black-eared Wheatears amongst others. We will arrive early evening at the wonderfully atmospheric town of Birecik.
Overnight Hotel Mirkelam

DAYS NINE & TEN
We spend the day birding around the town, including pistachio orchids, parks and the wadi, where we hope to see the last remaining Bald Ibises as they fly around the gorge and hopefully Eagle Owl. Other species in this area should include Striated Scops Owl, Little Swift, See-See Partridge, Dead Sea Sparrow, Menetries & Upcher’s Warblers, Desert Finch and Yellow-throated Sparrow. We will also look around the Euphrates River for Pied Kingfishers and Pygmy Cormorant. We will use our local information to try and establish the whereabouts of nomadic breeding species such as Blue-cheeked Bee-Eater, Cream-coloured Courser and Bonelli’s Eagle. One of the major highlights of our tour in 2006 was finding a small colony of breeding Iraq Babblers and we will check the location of these birds, hoping that they will have been able to establish themselves.
Overnights Hotel Mirkelam

DAY ELEVEN
We leave Birecik and make the short journey to Gaziantep. We will make a return visit to Isikli and/ or Durnalik or stay around Birecik until the early afternoon depending on what species are still required.
Overnight Kaleli Hotel

DAY TWELVE
It is an early start as we head to Gaziantep airport for check in. Fly to Istanbul, arriving mid morning. Free time for duty free shopping, followed by check in for flight to London at approximately mid day. Arrive London Heathrow Terminal Three mid-afternoon where the tour concludes.

 

Additional Information

 

WHATS INCLUDED
Return flights London/Ankara/Gaziantep/London via Istanbul, all accommodation in en suite rooms where available, all meals [includes in flight meals on days one and twelve], ground transport in Turkey, services of guides and reserve entrance fees.
 
NOT INCLUDED
Travel to/from London airport and any overnight stay that might be involved, entry visa, [£10.00 payable locally in GB sterling with a £10.00 note] travel insurance, drinks and any items of a purely personal nature.

 

 

Tour Reports

 

2007  2006  2008 2009

 

Testimonials

 

“ The holiday was very good value for money, the organisation first class and the guide excellent – once again I enjoyed my trip with you very much” C. H. Cardiff
 
"Excellent leadership, excellent birds, excellent company and excellent value for money - once again you have delivered the goods! I'm looking forward to my next trip with you already!" C. J. Glamorgan
 
“As ever I enjoyed my holiday and particularly enjoyed the B&B in the mountains; excellent home cooked food, lovely surroundings and a genial host. The 208 species of birds were also pretty enjoyable!” C. B. Oxford
 
“We saw virtually everything and Steve was exceptionally patient and made great efforts to ensure that everyone saw the target birds. You were recommended to me and I would certainly recommend you to others. The pre-tour was also very helpful; probably the best I have seen and I enjoyed the holiday very much” T. F. Herefordshire.
 
"I enjoyed the holiday very much. It was well led and the birds and company were good" A. R. Glamorgan
 
“Thanks for a great trip!” A.D. Edinburgh
 
“I particularly enjoyed the company and was most impressed with the leader” M. B. Norfolk
 
“I enjoyed my holiday very much – I cannot single out any one particular part of the holiday as I thoroughly enjoyed the whole trip. The leader was very likeable and certainly knew his birds. Although you are a small company, it does not detract from the efficient organisation and I would certainly take another trip in the future” A. J. M. Glamorgan
 
" Many thanks for organising a great tour. I enjoyed the company and the general experience and the guide was a laugh a minute” C. B. Derby 
 
“I particularly enjoyed the hotel in the mountains and finding Caspian Snowcock and Greater Sandplovers. Once again the personal service stood out and again the office and the leaders were reliable and helpful. The small group size makes for more flexibility and ensures that there is a better chance for everyone to see everything without falling over each other as happened with another group of a much larger size “ J.C. Penarth
 
"The trip was fantastic [you said I would enjoy it]. The birds, countryside etc were all great and the people very friendly and Steve is a great leader [you would know that anyway] and found us pretty well all the target birds and also found lots of other wildlife. The trip was very well organised and although hectic we had good time on all the key species and Steve took great pains to ensure everybody had as good views as possible of all the birds. Highlight - probably a Lammergeier at no more that a few hundred metres although there were many great moments" W. D. Somerset
 
"The birds and the scenery were particularly enjoyable and the leader tried very hard to find birds and to make sure everyone had good views as well as pointing out other interesting wildlife and other aspect of Turkish life. It was nice not to rush from bird to bird as has happened on other holidays where they often try to do too much. The group size of eight was also very good. The tour was very good value for money and I would definitely participate on another of your holidays" C. H. Bristol.

 

Back