Completely soaked, a black and white bird stands on a beam. Here, at the corner of a settlement, I can photograph a Wagtail (Motacilla alba), which stands on a beam after a band and shakes and dries itself extensively. The feathers are completely soaked. It is not known whether the bird is a non-swimmer; In any case, it is not afraid of water. The Wagtail must have just climbed out of the puddle. Its feathers still hang down like wet hair; individual feathers stick out like hairs on a fluffy fur. At first it seems to enjoy the wetness of its feathers, then it shakes the body and then spreads its wings and flaps them wildly. The picture with the wet black and white wagtail on a gray board in front of a dark gray background of a house appears almost monochrome.
We are now back in an alpine-looking landscape. This although we can see the sea to the north and are less than 20 km as the crow flies from the water. But the Black Sea coast of Turkey is very mountainous. So it’s no wonder that we’re now at 1,950 m above sea level. We were actually on our way to the Ağaçbaşı peat swamp.
Restoration work to protect the 600-hectare Ağaçbaşı peat swamp on the border of Köprübaşı and Sürmene districts is said to have started in 2009. It should be the largest high mountain wetland in Turkey, composed of acidic peat soil and dead plants. Finally we arrive at the Ağaçbaşı plateau, which I would not have recognized if it hadn’t been pointed out by a sign I know from the internet gallery. The condition of this moor on a hilltop at an altitude of 2,000 meters above sea level can only be described as sad. The gravel road – not long laid out or widespread – obviously drains the moor and removes the water from it. The life source of endemic plants and animals in the peat swamp of Ağaçbaşı could therefore soon be devalued. How the area can still be registered as a “natural protected area” and “sensitive area to be strictly protected” will probably remain the secret of the responsible ministry.
For birds, cleaning and caring for their plumage is an important hygiene measure and necessary health care. The wagtail, for example, takes extensive water and dust baths to free its more than 1000 feathers from parasites such as ticks, mites and fleas. She whirls around in and under the water. With a bit of luck you can even watch the wagtail while bathing. You don’t need to go to Turkey for that.
In order to meet the growing demand for top images of the rarer species of Palaearctic Bird-lens.com has specifically made trips to remote places. Additionally every chance is used, if a rare bird is around the homeground. This to do everything to ensure excellent photos of the Birds of the Western Palearctic. The yield of pictures also of rare Western Palaearctic birds is very good. There are other nice images of birds, that you will find behind the tab “Picture Shop“. Just give a notice if you need a picture of a bird which is not online.