Rose coloured Starling
Rose coloured Starling : part of a large flock
White winged Black Tern
White winged Black Tern
We left our hotel at Ercis at 5.30am, nothing new there then. We drove for about an hour before reaching an area of grassy plains. As usual Soner picked out our target birds, Great Bustards, at some distance. At first only their heads were showing but then all four flew along a ridge giving good views. Other birds in the area included Calandra, Bimaculated and Short toed Larks, Black headed and Corn Buntings and Rollers. Our focus was on Cranes though particularly Demoiselle Cranes. Again we used bridges as observation points from which to scan flood plains and river banks. At each bridge we got out and walked along the banks for some way. At one such stop I forgot my hat a big mistake as it turned out. We walked in the heat of the day towards imaginary Cranes. A shape in the heat haze had to be checked out. When the shape turned out to be a cow or a bush we found another Crane shaped shape and walked further into the wilderness. The heat was getting to me now and I turned back as the fruitless search continued. Back at the bridge a few Terns were feeding. They were mostly White winged Black terns with a single Black tern a couple of Common terns, Little tern and a single Gull billed Tern. A Common Sandpiper and a Stone Curlew were also seen on an island. Another feature of this area were big flocks of Rose coloured Starlings which favoured the lush flower and clover 'meadows'. The final bridge proved a bridge too far, we had attracted the attention of the army after our usual ' reccy' of the area we returned to find the coach had been surrounded. What more could happen to this coach. The soldiers were well trained and stood with guns at the ready at regular intervals around the coach. However the soldiers were nowhere near as intimidating as the police we had met earlier.
It also proved a bridge too far for me as I was now feeling distinctly strange but the soldiers jumped back in their truck and we all jumped aboard the Skylark, AKA coach with dodgy brakes and a cardboard box for a back window. The bridge too far had given us the opportunity to watch a couple of Montagues Harriers and Vaughan found two Greylag geese but no sign of the sought after Cranes.