Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

January 24, 2018

Hatay Muze

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 2:57 pm

Antakya Archeological Museum.

Raining again this morning. I got the word to go to the Archeological Museum. I walked down the road and caught the number 15 bus. The bus driver made me sit next to him and yapped to me all the way and let me off right in front. The cost to get in in 15 Turkish Lira, about $5.

Zeus in Basalt
Zeus in Basalt.

They had lots of old statues and stuff.

mosaic
Mosaic of a lady.

I was amazed at the quality of the expression on this lady’s face. There is a lot of depth in this picture.

mosaic work close up
Detail of mosaic work

And here is a close-up of the mosaic work. You can see that the stone chips are quite large. The artistic skill of the workers is very amazing to get such a rendering of this face with such coarse “brush strokes”.

chain mail
Chain Mail

Some chain mail, I think from the Saracen period.

Mushroom Head.
Mushroom Head.

This is a statue of Suppiluliuma, some dude from the Persian period I think. He had all writing on his back.

Skeleton in grave.
Skeleton in grave.

I think this skeleton was from about 3000 B.C.

pointy head
Head binding results.

Thousands of years ago, they used to bind heads to make them elongated because they thought it was cool. People are still doing stupid things because they think it’s cool.

A stellae
A stellae

I think this stellae is from the Persian period. the sun emblem above the head is pretty much Persian.

January 23, 2018

Alanya to Antakya

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 6:01 pm

South-East Turkey.

From Fethiye, I headed to Alanya for a couple of days. The sun was out so I went for a walk along the water-front.

Alanya Beach
The Beach at Alanya

Above the harbour at Alanya there is the remains of the old castle and its walls which snake down the hill.

Alanya Castle
Alanya Castle

from Alanya I headed East to Limonlu, about fifty kilometers from Mersin. It is a small village with a small boutique hotel right near the beach.

Miniscule surf.
Miniscule surf.

The waves were really small but surfable if you were desperate. I did see a decent point break further down the coast while I was going past in the bus.

Turkish Surfers Paradise.
Turkish Surfers Paradise.

They have built all these hideous apartment blocks right on the beach. Mainly empty now that it is winter but I bet it gets crowded in summer. Ugh. All that flabby Euro flesh. “Shudder”.

Antakya's flooding river
Antakya and the flooding river

It has been raining for days and this morning I caught the bus from Adana to Antakya. The countryside is quite different in this part of Turkey. A lot more cultivation and industry.

Antakya Bazaar
The Markets at Antakya

I found the markets so I went for a wander. They go for ages.

Baking pizzas in Antakya Bazaar
Baking pizzas

These dudes were baking bread and turkish pizzas in this wood-fired oven. The fire came out really nice and red.

January 22, 2018

South-west Turkey Birding

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 2:13 pm

Limonlu, Mersin.

A few days ago I was at Limonlu, between Alanya and Antakya on the south coast of Turkey. It was raining for days and then the sun came out for a couple of days so I went out to the beach to get some photos.

Mediterranean Gull
Mediterranean Gull (Larus melanocephalus)

I am pretty sure this is a Mediterranean Gull. I have not seen one before so it was hard to identify it. Even now I am not one hundred percent. They were in a flock on the beach with Black-headed Gulls, Yellow-legged Gulls and a random tern.

Mediterranean Gull - in flight
Mediterranean Gull (Larus melanocephalus) in flight

A semi-reasonable shot of one in flight.

Yellow-legged Gull
Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis)

There were a couple of these in the mix. I have seen these before in the UAE.

Sandwich Tern - maybe
Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicensis)

This one was difficult to identify. It is close to a Sandwich Tern but I am not sure about the range. Edit: Id confirmed by Louis Driver. thank you.

European Stonechat - male
European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola)

After the beach I headed up the hill to a ruined castle and saw a few European Stonechats and White-spectacled Bulbuls.

Limonlu bird list

Mediterranean Gull (Larus melanocephalus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis)
Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicensis)
European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola)
White-spectacled Bulbul (Pycnonotus xanthopygos)

January 14, 2018

Even Higher on Olympus

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 12:33 pm

Olimpos Birding – Day 2.

Out again today in Olimpos. I started a bit later this morning. It rained a bit yesterday afternoon and last night so I was a bit sluggish starting off.

Blue Tit
Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)

I got a bit of a shock when I saw these in the computer. I thought they were Great Tit. First time for me. Terrible photos but, #recordshot only. This photo I had to paint in sharpness and clarity because it was so out of focus.

Blue Tit
Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)

I did another photo of the Blue Tit but this one is at a bad angle. At least it is a little more in focus than the other one.

White-spectacled Bulbul
White-spectacled Bulbul (Pycnonotus xanthopygos)

This White-spectacled Bulbul was hooking into a pomegranate in the orchard of my hostel. I just walked down the back and there it was. Last seen in the UAE.

Black Redstart - male
Black Redstart (Pnoenicurus ochruros)

I just worked out what yesterday’s “Eastern Nightingale” was. It was a female Black Redstart. Same ruddy rump. Same bobbing motion.

European Stonechat - male
European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola)

And last but not least, a European Stonechat.

Olimpos bird list

Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)
White-spectacled Bulbul (Pycnonotus xanthopygos)
Eurasian Jay
Great Tit (Parus major)
Common Chaffinch
Black Redstart (Pnoenicurus ochruros)
European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola)
European Robin

January 13, 2018

High on Olympus

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 2:06 pm

Olimpos, South Turkey.

After a five hour bus journey yesterday, I was ready for the sack, which I hit after a hearty meal of meatballs and salad. As well as soup. I was ready to go at 9am but the sun was not up yet. It was still behind this massive mountain. But I still set off.

Long-tailed Tit
Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus)

This is a new bird for me, found in the pine forest half way down the mountain.

Cetti's Warbler
Cetti’s Warbler (Cettia cetti)

I am pretty sure it is a warbler but not totally sure if it is a Cetti’s Warbler. I need expert input.

Eastern Nightingale
Black Redstart (Pnoenicurus ochruros) female

I am not even sure about the taxonomy of this one. Edit: At first I thought it might be an Eastern Nightingale but I am more inclined towards Common Nightingale juvenile. But to me it looks more like an Indian Robin or Brown Rockchat, which is impossible. So I am pretty much stumped. Edit 2: Back to Eastern, doh! Edit 3: female Black Redstart. double doh!!

Sardinian Warbler
Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala)

I am pretty sure this is a Sardinian Warbler. This is the second time I have seen one of these.

Great Tit
Great Tit (Parus major)

There are heaps of these Great Tit around. It is raining now and they are still flitting around the trees near my hostel. For your information the sun did not come over the mountain until 10:30am! That brought a few more birds out.

Olimpos bird list

Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus)
Cetti’s Warbler (Cettia cetti)
Black Redstart (Pnoenicurus ochruros)
Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala)
Great Tit (Parus major)
White Wagtail
Eurasian Jay
Common Chaffinch
Mistle Thrush (turdus viscivorus)
Syrian Woodpecker (Dendrocopus syriacus)
European Robin

January 11, 2018

Fethiye Birding 3

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 5:02 pm

Challish Plaji – Phase Two.

Second day at Challish Plaji. Early morning this time. I climbed back through the hole in the fence. This time there were no fishermen. I had it all to myself.

Sardinian Warbler
Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephela)

I got a lot of out of focus shots of this male Sardinian Warbler, but I got lucky with just a few. whew!

European Robin
European Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

Another new bird on the reeds. But I am not totally sure about the ID of this one. I know what. I will look it up on the internet. doh! Yep. Back again. The internet confirmed my prelimary Identification. It is a European Robin.

Eurasian Collared Dove
Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)

This dove was being very patriotic. Peace, man.

Grey Plover
Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola)

There was only one of these around. Lucky I saw one.

Great Cormorant
Great Cormorant ( Phalacrocorax carbo)

Crested Lark
Crested Lark (Galerida cristata)

Fethiye bird list

Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephela)
European Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca)
Great Cormorant ( Phalacrocorax carbo)
Black-headed Gull 1st winter
White Wagtail
Little Egret
Grey Heron
Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola)
Common Redshank
European Stonechat
Crested Lark (Galerida cristata)
Common Chaffinch
House Sparrow

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.

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