A few days ago I returned from Antalya, Turkey. I wasn’t there for fun or birding; it was a work trip. I was unable to go anywhere except walk around the hotel grounds and look for whatever wildlife might appear there. However, the grounds were large and beautiful; there were lots of trees, and the property backed up to the Mediterranean Sea.
Between walking around the hotel grounds and returning to the Antalya airport, I saw 20 species of birds, including 16 lifers. I still wonder what it would have been like to take a tour or hike; I may well have doubled these numbers.
But I can’t complain at all. I was there for work, and just spending about 45 minutes outside each day was plenty of fun. My favorite find was a White-spectacled Bulbul, which was the first bird I photographed when I first walked onto the grounds.
The most noticeable species were the wagtails. White Wagtails were everywhere, and they were very conspicuous–frequently vocalizing and constantly wagging their tails. Every once in a while a Gray Wagtail would also make an appearance.
Next were the finches. I added four species of finch to my list. Common Chaffinch were seen were often seen in the grasses with wagtails, and they were probably the most numerous species on the grounds. I also saw several European Greenfinch, 2 European Goldfinch and a Eurasian Siskin.
Other birds seen around the grounds were Black and Common Redstarts. These old world flycatchers, not wood warblers like our American Redstart. However, from looking at the males, it’s easy to see why our American Redstart was given the name. There were also many Great Tits calling throughout the grounds. I was surprised by how much these guys sound like our chickadees.
Along the Mediterranean there were many Yellow-legged Gulls; in fact, that’s the only gull I found. There were also a couple Great Cormorants and several Hooded Crows.