The usual sites with a trip to Akyaka and the Bay of Gokova
Paul Hopes book ‘ Walking and birdwatching in Southwest Turkey’ describes the area of Akyaka and the bay of Gokova as a large area of wetland as an S.P.A. and 1st degree protected nature site . The site is around a 45-minute dive from Dalyan on the main road to Mugla.
There are two roads down to the marsh area one drops down into the village of Akyaka and the other leaves the road to Mugla in the direction of Marmaris.
Once you make your way from the main road down to the village you can find a public car park just next to the river and the mouth of the bay. From here we followed the map from Paul Hopes book on page 154. We crossed the bridge and made our way towards the marsh area along the seafront following the line of the beach. Here we saw, solitary Greenshank, Kentish Plover, Fan Tailed Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher and over the reed beds a Marsh Harries briefly.
On the map you will notice that there is a small stretch of water to wade through if you wish to continue with the walk skirting beach side. We attempted this and though it is just below waist high if you have short legs like me the risk of tripping whilst carrying expensive equipment is not worth it and so after an initial attempt nerves took the better of us and we decided to approach the reed beds from the road so we retraced our tracks and took the road towards Marmaris. Since Paul Hopes book has been written there have been a new road development (dual carriage way built) and you need to take the road off the dual carriageway signposted to the ‘Kite Surfing ‘ and follow the signs until you get to the beach. There is a small charge to park if you are Kite surfing, but we said we had just come to bird watch and the parking was free. It was just as well it was free because the beach was full of Kite Surfers and their kites, hanger on’s and beach bars…. No Birds.. 1st degree protected nature site it was not.
The lack of birds may have been the time of day and year, and the number of people, not to mention large paragliding style kites flapping in the breeze from the sea, it was still very hot even though we were in September. It would be worth visiting the site in say March, April as suggested by Paul Hope.
We left this site and returned to Ortaca for a spot of lunch before a leisurely stroll
Through the Kocadere Valley near Okcular.
Other sites on this trip included Eskiköy, Iztuzu beach and Köycegiz Lake
House Sparrow, Collard Dove, Jay, Great Tit, Gold Finch, Hooded Crow, Swallow, Yellow-legged gull, Ring Plover, Little Egret, green finch, Kingfisher, Red backed Shrike, Moorhen, Reed Warbler, Squacco Heron, Crested Lark, Wheatear, Marsh Harrier, Mallard, little owl, Rock Nuthatch, Grey Heron, White Stork (usually not around this time of year) Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Coot, Bittern, Long Legged Buzzard, White Wagtail, Juvenile White-tailed Eagle, Kentish Plover, Greenshank, Spotted Flycatcher, Blackbird, Fan Tailed Warbler, Bee eater, Moorhen, Grey Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, Osprey and Chiffchaff.