Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

December 29, 2017

The waters of the Bosphorus

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 7:53 pm

Istanbul Ferries

This morning was raining lightly as I stepped outside onto the paved tourist streets of Istanbul. I trotted down the hill to the waterfront and headed towards the ferry terminal. My mission was to go on ferry rides today. I did not know what I would find but it was more than I expected – four new birds.

Pygmy Cormorant
Pygmy Cormorant (Microcarbo pygmeus)

The Pygmy Cormorant lives up to its name. See its size compared to the Common Coot behind it. Roughly the same size.

European Shag
European Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)

I followed this European Shag along the waterfront on the European side of the Bosphorus just past the Harem ferry terminal.

Yelkouan Shearwater
Yelkouan Shearwater (Puffinus yelkouan)

There was a large flock of Yelkouan Shearwaters flying round and round as I went on a tourist boat ride that only cost me four bucks. Money well spent, I reckon. Four bucks for two ticks. That is very good value.

Common Shelduck
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)

I seen this mob of Common Shelduck on the tourist boat ride and was so shocked I stuffed up the first few shots because I was pressing the wrong buttons on the camera. I eventually got my act together.

Heuglin's Gull
Heuglin’s Gull (Larus heuglini)

This is a big close up of a Heuglin’s Gull. I was impressed with the detail and marbling in the bill of this amazing bird.

Common Starling
Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

Common Starlings have the most amazing colours and textures. I always love taking their photos.

I spotted a few Rose-ringed Parakeets and was very surprised to see these Indian birds here. They are feral in the United Arab Emirates as well. This is what a local newspaper said about them:

” The number of “Psittacula” ringed-necked parakeets is increasing every day in Istanbul. The parakeets, which were first brought to Istanbul by animal sellers and are said to have settled in the city after escaping from their cages, have acclimatized to the local climate..” (

Istanbul bird list

Pygmy Cormorant (Microcarbo pygmeus)
European Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)
Yelkouan Shearwater (Puffinus yelkouan) 918
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
Great Cormorant
Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis)
Heuglin’s Gull (Larus heuglini)
Black-headed Gull
Rose-ringed Parakeet
Common Coot

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