Trip Report: Northwest Turkey, April 16-21, 1996

José Tavares, Ankara, Turkey;

The main purpose of this visit to Turkey was not birdwatching. I was based in Istanbul for the whole period, and went to Rumelikavagi one day to watch the raptor migration. Also, I did a boat trip from Kabatas ferry terminal to Anadolukavagi, and back (several hours), across the Bosphorus. The time I spent watching for migrating raptors at these places are detailed below.

Weather was unseasonably cold. Temperatures varied between 4°C (at night) to a maximum of 17°C. Air currents were mainly from the north (NE and NW), and it rained for 4 days.

Istanbul and Bosphorus. Important Bird Area

Worthy of note is the complete absence of terns and waders from the Bosphorus, even at this time of the year, as well as the scarcity of small migrants going through the area. I was expecting to see the bushes at Rumelikavagi and Anadolukavagi alive with migrant passerines, but only a handful of birds were found. Maybe the strange weather pattern can explain this fact?

In the bird market south of Galata bridge saw Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes) and Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla) in cages (together with more common passerines).


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This page served with permission of the author by Urs Geiser;; November 27, 1998