Migrants on the move

29th Mar 2020

Anemone coronaria © Ian Green

The evening before last we had a noticeable change in the birdlife. Suddenly wheatears and buntings were dropping out of the sky to roost. Black-eared Wheatear is our regular bird, we expect to have a few around all spring now, but there was a surprise here in the shape of a Pied Wheatear. Not much is really known about how far west they come in Turkey, but this is certainly further west that expected! Cretzschmar’s Buntings were with the wheatears too. By the morning the bushes around the house were full of birds. The pear tree had six species of warbler over breakfast. Lesser Whitethroats the commonest, but there were also Eastern Orphean Warbler, a lovely male Rüppell’s Warbler, Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and a Wood Warbler, the latter very uncommon here. A Middle Spotted Woodpecker was in the oak tree. Later a Short-toed Eagle sailed over…

Anemones are early flowerers here, we get the first flush in February, but a few are still hanging on, here a nice blue form as well as the red one which is dominant here. Only a few kilometres east and the blue one takes over. Lots of Ornithogalum nutans is coming into bloom around the house and everywhere is the little Fritillaria elwesii.

Zoe met her first tortoise of the spring yesterday and came back very enthusiastic about it!