Dalyan in September heralds the influx of kingfishers and if you fail to see one in September or October then you are not looking! Virtually all water courses, rivers, streams and irrigation ditches will see these normally quiet birds zipping up and down with their high pitched calls. Whilst my time in Dalyan on this occasion was not for bird watching I did manage to get one day in. The aim was to take in the Dalaman Kocagöl (Göl means lake) and reed beds and go to Hamit Köy to try and see the elusive White Breasted Kingfisher. We set off at 8.30 and drove (thanks John) towards Ortaca and then headed for the airport at Dalaman. The Göl (lake) and reed beds are situated to the south east of the airport. The aim was to take photographs which would aid others to make their way there on their visits to Dalyan. On the day there was little in terms of birds to see there, Grey Heron, Little Grebe and a couple of cormorants. Still we managed to get the photos to put on the site (only for them to be lost in cyber space on transferring to the computer). The reed beds and lakes look like they should be promising, Paul Hope in his book ‘Walking and Bird watching’ in South West Turkey citing the following: Wigeon, Great White Egret, Pochard, Mallard, Great Crested Grebe, Little Egret, Water Rail, kestrel, Black-necked grebe, Marsh Harrier, and Long-Legged Buzzard as regular visitors. Time of year or just bad luck, we saw little. We decided to head to the village of Hamit Köy and find the bridge over the Namnam River where others have reported seeing the White Breasted Kingfisher which we were lucky enough to see in October 2009. On the way we pulled over as a Short Toed Eagle soared for a while just outside Ortaca on the dual carriageway heading towards Köycegiz. Once we had passed through Hamit Köy we parked up near the bridge and walked down the track on the left of the bridge. Access to the river’s edge is limited to a few gaps in the thick foliage lining the bank. Although we heard the call of the White Breasted kingfisher we failed to get a sighting. After spending some time up and down the banks of the river we decided to head for the rocky outcrop at Eskiköy (see Eskiköy under the ‘sites tab’ www.dalyanbirding.com )where the birding was more productive. In a non-birding weeks holiday I managed to see the following:
Hooded Crow, Red backed Shrike, Little Egret, Willow Warbler, Purple and Grey Heron ,Short toed Eagle, Marsh Harrier, Cormorant, Coot, Gull Billed Tern, Buzzard, Kestrel, Yellow Legged Gull, Gold Finch, Green Finch, Collard Dove, Little Owl, Bee Eater, Kingfisher, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Crested Lark, Grey Wagtail, Spotted Fly Catcher, Whinchat, Isabelline Wheatear, Wheatear, Robin, Rufous Bush Robin, Blackbird, Jay, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Rock Nuthatch, heard but not seen White Breasted Kingfisher. Next time maybe!