We walk along a narrow pebble beach on the Black Sea coast. What is really remarkable is that I see a fawn colored bird flying in that has a remarkable eye stripe and a thick beak. Spontaneously I think of a Pipit (Anthus sp.), but it is a Greater Short-toed Lark (Calandrella brachydactyla), which turns out to be quite shy but lingering on the thick pebbles for quite a while. After researching the literature, I decide on the subspecies longipennis, which occurs in the Ukraine, the northern Caucasus, Iran and western Mongolia and probably spends the winter more frequently in Turkey. Overall, the geographic variation in the Gerater Short-toed Lark – complex is rather small and clinal. It becomes paler and grayer towards the east – which is also clearly visible in this specimen. The extent to which the plumage is subject to natural wear and tear naturally also plays a role, as does a not inconsiderable individual variation. The subspecies artemisiana, hermonensis and woltersi are all found in southern Turkey but are absent as breeding birds on the Black Sea coast.
It is worthwhile as an ornithologist to visit the few natural places on the densely populated and densely built-up Turkish Black Sea coast. That which flows into the sea on a narrow sandy beach is no exception. We are now at Gelincik Köprüsü, a supposedly protected area with a river mouth. Given the rarity of beaches, a number of sun worshipers and, above all, bathers quickly gathered, of course, especially on weekends.
The Black Sea coast of Turkey is better known for the migration of birds of prey. But the songbird migration is also worthwhile to investigate in Eastern Anatolia.
Turkey’s unique location between Europe and Asia makes it a popular destination for migratory birds, which spend the winter in Africa before heading to Europe for the summer breeding season. The wetlands in the country’s eastern Mediterranean are now gathering places for the flocks of birds, where they rest and strengthen before their long flight to Europe. Tens of thousands of birds of various species migrate from Europe to Africa in autumn, traveling across the skies of Turkey before returning home by the same route in spring.
It is therefore worthwhile as a birder to visit the few natural places on the densely populated and densely built-up Turkish Black Sea coast. The Black Sea coast of Turkey is better known for the migration of birds of prey. But the songbird train is also worthwhile here in Eastern Anatolia.
To meet the growing demand for top-of-the-line images of the rarer Palaearctic species, Bird-lens.com strives to expand the range of images of Western Palaearctic birds. Trips to many locations to take pictures of rare western Palearctic birds have been very successful. This nice picture of the blog is just a first impression of what you can find in the gallery of the birds of Turkey or in the “Picture Shop” very soon. Please leave a message if bird-lens.com can provide a picture.