Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

January 10, 2018

Challish Beach Wetland

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 5:49 pm

Challish Beach – Fethiye, Turkey.

I did go down to Challish Beach this afternoon. I caught the Dolmu(minibus) and found the wetland near where a canal opens into the ocean. I think there were more fishermen than birds.

Water Pipit - maybe
Water Pipit (Anthus spinoletta) maybe

I am not totally sure about this identification but I think it is a pretty good guess.

Eurasian Teal - male
Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca)

This one is the male.

Eurasian Teal - female
Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca)

And this is the female.

Common Redshank
Common Redshank (Tringa totanus)

A small mob of Common Redshank were the only waders on the swamp.

European Stonechat
European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola)

There were a few greassbirds around the wetlands. I managed to get a couple of them.

Challish Beach bird list

Water Pipit (Anthus spinoletta)
Common Moorhen
Common Coot
Eurasian Collared Dove
Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca)
Common Redshank (Tringa totanus)
Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix)
Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)
Black-necked Grebe
Mallard
Grey Heron
European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola)

Birding From A Dolmu

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 9:15 am

Aksazlar Beach – Fethiye.

After a hearty breakfast, I was out at the bus stop waiting for a bus to take me over the other side of the peninsular from Fethiye. It seems that there were no buses going to where I wanted to, so I just grabbed a random bus that took me to Aksazlar Beach, a few kilometers up the road. It was a nice little beach with fake sand and a resort. The nice man let me walk around taking photos of the birds.

Grey Wagtail
Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)

I was quite surprised to see a Grey Wagtail, because they have been all White Wagtails up until now.

Great Tit
Great Tit (Parus major)

There were a few birds near the beach but not a great variety.

Common Chaffinch
Common Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)

I walked along the road a while until I came to a lookout on a point and then turned back. There were no buses going this way and very few cars. The country around here is mainly pines , so not a great variety of flora.

Mallard  - male
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

I got a lift from a nice man who worked for a yachting charter company, then had a nice turkish coffee in the mall. And that was it. My escapade was over by 10am. This afternoon I might go to Challish Beach, where there might be a few birds near a creek entrance.

Fethiye Bird List

Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)
Great Tit (Parus major)
House Sparrow

January 9, 2018

Masts and Snow

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 5:35 pm

Fethiye – South West Turkey.

I was up at 8am this morning. Made my breakfast, packed up and walked down to the bus station (otogar). It was a half-sized bus and went half-way to Mugla. At Mugla I changed buses and made it all the way here to Fethiye.

Schooners and snow
Schooners and snow

You can see snow-covered mountains from the ocean. That is pretty amazing.

Masts and snow
Masts and snow

There is lots of money tied up in boats around here. So many boats.

A new Gulet being made
A new Gulet being made

I happened upon the shipyards where they are making even more schooners. How many do they need? But they are amazing boats. All made out of wood. Gorgeous. Here the ribs have been put together.

A Gulet hauled out.
A Gulet hauled out.

This one was hauled out of the water having some work done.

Another new boat
Another new boat

This one had the skin on. Thin layers of wood, put on diagonally.

Wide view of the shipyards.
Wide view of the shipyards.

There were lots of boats hauled out getting work done.

Cutting some steel.
Cutting some steel.

A couple of guys cutting some steel. It looked like it might be going to fit somewhere on the keel.

Boats in the marina
Boats in the marina.

And this was not the only marina. There were dozens of them.

January 7, 2018

Castles and Trawlers

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 6:57 pm

Selchuk, Pamucak and Bodrum.

After Ayvalik and the rain, I was very happy to get sunshine at Selchuk, about one hundred kilometers east of Ayvalik. The moon was out as well as the sun.

Selchuk Moon
Selchuk Moon

There was a castle on the hill but I did not get to visit it. I looked at it from afar quite a few times but I was too busy looking for birds to get up there.

Castle on the hill
Castle on the hill.

The next day I went to Pamucak, about ten kilometers from Selchuk and on the coast. This trawler was out on the water trying to catch some fish.

trawler at work
Trawler at work.

Most people were out on this jetty trying to get some fish as well. I did not see anyone catch anything. There seems to be two schools of fisherfolk, the bait on the ganged hook brigade and the jiggers.

Pamucak jetty
Pamucak jetty

This guy was on the other side of the inlet going out to sea. I do not think he was catching anything either.

The Lone Fisherman Theory
The Lone Fisherman Theory.

This afternoon I arrived at Bodrum, further east along the south coast of Turkey. This is the pool at the hotel where I am staying. I might go for a swim tomorrow. Nothing but the best for me.

my hotel's swimming pool
Luxury Swimming Pool.

And here is a view from my luxury resort. The view is free, luckily. Bodrum, look out.

bay of bodrum
Bay of Bodrum.

January 6, 2018

A Day Out In A Dolmu

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 11:27 am

Pamucak Birding

Breakfast was at 8:30am with traditional Turkish food – olives, fetta cheese, tomato, bread. It was delicious. I caught the minibus at 9am and was heading to Pamucak. I got off at a creek flowing into the ocean. There were fishing boats all around and on the jetty lots of people were fishing.

European Serin
European Serin(Serinus serinus)

I went out along the breakwater but nothing was happening, so I walked along the creek. This was a bit better with a few mobs of little birds. I finally got a definitive shot of a European Serin. This time I could definitely tell what it was.

Eurasian Magpie
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica)

I took quite a few photos of the Eurasian Magpies flying around. I could not choose, so I did two. One with the wings down.

Eurasian Magpie
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) 2514

And one with the wings up.

Hooded Crow
Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix)

Funny seeing a Hooded Crow around with all the Jackdaws flying about.

Wheatear ?
Wheatear ?

I think this is a wheatear but I am not sure. doh!

Pamucak bird list

European Serin(Serinus serinus) 2370
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica)
Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius atricapillus)
Western Jackdaw (Corvus monedula)
Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix)
White Wagtail (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)
Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
Intermediate Egret (Egretta intermedia)
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)
Pygmy Cormorant (Microcarbo pygmeus)
Great Tit (Parus major)

January 5, 2018

Selchuk – South West Turkey

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 5:00 pm

The Seven Sleepers.

It was raining yesterday and I was not real happy about it. But this morning I got up and I could see the moon! Blue skies were coming so I set out along the track to the Seven Sleepers.

Western Jackdaw
Western Jackdaw (Corvus monedula)

I had been seeing these crows for the past few days and at first I thought they were Hooded Crows but something seemed off about them. They were too small and made this weird uncrowlike call. I finally got some decent shots and worked out what they were. Western Jackdaw.

Eurasian Blackbird
Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula)

I am not sure if this is the same one that we have in Australia. I better check. Yep. It is the same one that we have in Australia. Probably introduced by stupid Europeans.

Great Tit
Great Tit (Parus major)

First time I have seen this one. I have seen the Cinereus Tit and the Japanese Tit, which have been split off from the Great Tit.

Syrian Woodpecker
Syrian Woodpecker (Dendrocopos assimilis)

I did not know what I had here until I saw it on the computer. Awesome. Just near the tea stalls at the Seven Sleepers. The male is on the right with the red on top of the head. The female is without red on the head.

European Serin - i think
European Serin(Serinus serinus)

I am totally unsure about the identification for this one. It also may be something like a Rock Sparrow? No idea, please help if you can. 🙂

ID help needed
Long-legged Buzzard ? 1948

I have no idea what this is. It may be a buzzard. Steppe Buzzard?

Raptor id needed please.
Rough-legged Buzzard (Buteo lagopus)

thanks to Louis Driver for the ID. (Once again, no idea. Please help.)

ID needed please
female house sparrow

Again, no idea what this is. It looks like a sparrow with rufous shading. Petronia? doh! the female House Sparrow got me again. thanks Louis. 🙂

Eurasian Jay
Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius atricapillus)

At last a decent photo of a Eurasian Jay. Good light, low ISO. laughing.

Selchuk bird list

Western Jackdaw (Corvus monedula)
Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula)
Great Tit (Parus major)
Syrian Woodpecker (Dendrocopos assimilis)
European Serin(Serinus serinus)
Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius atricapillus)
White Wagtail (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)
Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
House Sparrow
European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)

Rough-legged Buzzard (Buteo lagopus) ?

January 3, 2018

Rain Rain Go Away

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 4:22 pm

Ayvalik In The Rain

I was up at 8am in the dark, ready for a day of birding. Cheese, eggs, and olives for breakfast and then the hotel manager informs me that it is raining. Doom and gloom. Oh well. I finished my breakfast leisurely, took some photos of a fighting cat, then went back to bed.

Black-necked Grebe
Black-necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) – adult in winter plumage.

Around lunch time, it looked like it might be clearing up, so I put the camera in the bag and headed outside. I walked west, towards the town centre, had a doner kebab and yoghurt drink for lunch and kept heading along the waterfront. Ugh, it started raining again. I sat down under a shelter for a while, then when it stopped, I kept moving.

Hooded Crow
Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix)

Then all of a sudden, I see a grebe in the water. I am hoping it is a new one, but I am pretty sure it is a Black-necked Grebe, seen before in Aswan, Egypt. I take a few photos and keep walking. I get to the bridge to the islands, take a couple of photos of the Hooded Crows, then head back.

Mallard - male
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) – male

More rain, I see some Mallards. At least there is a male and female. So I take both to show the difference.

Mallard  - female
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) – female

I spot someone welding a boat in the shipyard. I take some photos. Interesting.

welding a keel
Welding a keel

Ayvalik bird list

Black-necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Hooded Crow

January 2, 2018

A Walk Along the Water-front

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 6:06 pm

Ayvalik, Turkey.

I caught the bus from Canakkale at 10am and after innumerable stops at every otogar along the way, I arrived at Ayvalik, more than a hundred kilometers east. The weather is overcast today. After checking into my hotel, I had a doner kebab and a turkish coffee. Then came back and got my camera gear and went for a walk along the water-front.

bridge to the islands
A Bridge to the islands.

This bridge goes over to the Ayvalik islands.

Yellow-legged Gull
Yellow-legged Gull

Very few birds about. I was very disappointed. 🙁

rocky hill
A rocky hill

This rocky hill across the bay had some interesting rock structures.

Ayvalik panorama
Ayvalik panorama

A view looking towards the town of Ayvalik.

sunset over the bay
Sunset

The next bay around from Ayvalik.

Ayvalik bird list

Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochuros)
Yellow-legged Gull (larus michahellis)
Great Cormorant
White Wagtail
Crested Lark
European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)

January 1, 2018

Dardanelles Birding 2

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 5:43 pm

Canakkale – Dardanelles.

I got up before the sun this morning. (The sun does not rise here until 8:50am). Walked north along the waterfront at Canakkale. My goal was to find some forest out of town and discover some new birds. Most of the way it was land inhabited by the military and photography was forbidden.

Eurasian Jay
Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius atricapillus)

I found a park along the way and saw a Eurasian Magpie and then spotted my first Eurasian Jay. I was lucky that they are very easy to identify, having quite distinctive features.

European Greenfinch
European Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris)

The last bird I photographed this morning was a European Greenfinch. Same park on the way back. I continued past the park until I found some cultivated land and then went up a road through the farmland. There were a few birds about.

European Goldfinch
European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)

The European Goldfinch were in a flock of about forty birds and feeding on the grass seeds. There were a few flocks of birds about – Crested Larks and Common Starling. The starling flock consisted of thousands of birds.

Crested Lark
Crested Lark (Galerida cristata)

I was surprised to still be seeing Crested Larks. They must have quite a range because I had seen them in the UAE and Egypty, as well as India.

Common Starling tree
Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

I worked out that I walked more than six kilometers this morning. When I got back to the hotel, I had to walk another couple of kilometers to find out that Burger King was closed! At mid-day! I had to have a couple of biscuits and a coffee for my breakfast/lunch. 🙁

id please
Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus)

I have no idea what this bird is. Please help to identify it. (edit: Thanks to Dick Hoek for the ID.) Louis thinks it might be a Mistle Thrush. I will have to have a closer look. More from Louis “Definitely not song thrush – the spots on the belly are a different shape on song thrush and the head is browner, not grey.” Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus)

Tomorrow I am going to Ayvalik, which is more than a hundred kilometers east of here along the coast. I hope to find some more new birds there. But I have no idea what they might be. I have done very little research on Turkish birds. doh!

Canakkale bird list

Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius atricapillus)
European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)
European Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris)
Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus)
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica)
Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
Crested Lark (Galerida cristata)
Hooded Crow
Common Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)
Steppe Buzzard (Buteo buteo vulpinus)

A Day At Gallipoli

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 11:56 am

Dardanelles Peninsular

Yesterday I took a tour to Gallipoli from Canakkale. There was another Aussie in the hotel and they needed two people to make it viable so I went along. We started at 11:30am and crossed over on the ferry and were met at the European side by a van. Then we drove to the restaurant and had a fish dinner. Very yummy.

crossing the bosphorus
Crossing the Bosphorus

First stop was the museum where we wandered around for twenty minutes. I was most impressed with the dioramas. I love a good diorama.

bayonet charge diorama
Bayonet charge

trencb diorama
Life in the trenches.

Then it was on to Brighton Beach which was nice and flat. I dunno why they did not come ashore here. Lots easier than Anzac Cove.

anzac cemetery
Cemetery near Anzac Cove

Anzac Cove is just ridiculous. There are cliffs right on the beach. It must have been insane landing here with bullets flying and then having to climb a humungous cliff. Utter madness.

Anzac Cove
Anzac Cove

The Anzac Commemmorative site is where they hold the dawn service. It is quite a nice spot right next to the water. It is not real huge but.

Anzac Commemorative Site
Anzac Commemorative Site

Lone Pine
Lone Pine.

We saw the remains of the trenches where the Aussies were dug in. The ridge is really narrow and the hill behind you is super steep. Not a nice place to be.

Aussie trenches
Aussie trenches

To the north the land is really flat. It would have been so easy to land there. Sometimes it is easy to be perplexed at the stupidity of war.

view to the north
View to the north.

And for a bonus, I took a photo of the Trojan Horse this morning at Canakkale. This is the one they made for the movie “Troy” starring Brad Pitt as Achilles. Brilliant casting, that. derrr.

Trojan Horse
The Trojan Horse

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