Dean Eades & TUB
TUB & 'The Daddy' at Buyukcekmece Lake in the centre of town
'The Daddy' & TUB chillin'
I've been here for four nights, staying in a lux massive apartment with photographer and Northern enigma Dean Eades (www.birdmad.com), somewhere in Istanbul - don't ask me where - and I've only just sussed that we have internet access! Our last flamin' night! What a dumbo!
I'm here with Dean to research for my next Bird Watching Magazine article. Dean's here to take shots of the urban wildlife scene for our respective websites and for my forthcoming book which will be a guide to cities of Britain and Europe. To cut a long story short, we've had an amazing time with our host and Turkish birding guide extraordinaire Murat 'The Daddy' Bozdogan, visiting some really interesting inner city sites and a few that were further out. We've clocked such delights (notice that I refrained from using the suffix 'Turkish' before the word 'delight'. That's restraint for you!) as Red-fronted Serin, Kruper's Nuthatch, Pygmy Cormorant, Sombre Tit, Eastern Bonelli's Warbler, Barred Warbler, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Cirl and Rock Buntings.
We also witnessed some of the fabled raptor migration over the Bosphorus including over 100 Lesser Spotted Eagle, scores of Short-toed Eagle, Steppe Buzzard and lesser numbers of Sparrowhawk, Levant Sparrowhawk, Hobby and single Goshawk and Booted Eagle. There was also a number of White and Black Storks too. The numbers that I saw were impressive to me, but just a week before the skies were literally filled with thousands of birds including over 10,000 Lesser Spotted Eagles. That must have been some sight.
My birding that particular morning (our first in Istanbul) was severely hindered by the consumption of too many vodka and oranges too late into the night. In fact, Dean and I didn't stop until Murat picked us up to take us to the Bosphorus. I was seriously caned, tottering about and seeing double. I also felt as sick as a dog and had to take several impromptu siestas often on the nearest available flat ground.
Anyway, I will tell you more about the Istanbul experience tomorrow.
Gule gule x