Early morning found us skirting the airfield again at the Goksu Delta area. The main quarry this morning was to be Black Francolin, which was just as well, because birdlife in general was rather quiet. However, we turned off to the marked bird observation hide (after the main observation tower), and walked to the hide itself. This was a waste of time, since it merely looked out on to overgrown reeds in front of it. However, as we turned to return to the car, a Black Francolin started calling not far into the well vegetated sand dunes. We trudged through this, and managed a sneaky glance as it retreated into the undergrowth. Slow progress was then made along the main track, and a second bird was seen on the horizon of the dunes, before it also disappeared,
We made our way to the open lagoons, to find the waders quieter than the previous evening. Lower numbers of Spur-winged Lapwings were around, with no Kentish Plovers on show at all. 2 Purple Herons, 2 Grey Herons, and a Little Egret were feeding close in. Rather than follow the main track towards the peninsular end, and the second lagoon, we took the left fork (carefully) to the small channel, where we could go no further. The observation hide here is more than a little unstable, and the only extra birds for the day were a small group of Ruddy Shelduck. Making our way back, a much closer Black Francolin was calling from a mound on the seaward side of the track, but yet again disappeared after a few seconds. The fourth and best bird wasn’t far short of the airstrip, and this time spent much longer calling and in view – even if this was showing just the head and neck from behind its bush.
We then made our way a couple of km to the East and took a track to the South opposite a tyre repair shop (with “Goodyear” signs all over it!). This was to follow a wet reeded channel for some distance, and is reputed to be good for crakes. We didn’t manage to find any – only birds of note were Reed & Great Reed Warblers, and Yellow Wagtails. We eventually came to a smallholding, where we turned left to find three what looked like man made fishing pools alongside a building. This was great for stunning views of Black-crowned Night Heron, and also held Purple and Grey Herons. A stop off at the graveyard on the way back found only House Sparrows.
The journey to Akseki from Tasucu proved uneventful, taking more minor roads (but still generally of good quality) via the interior rather than the coast road. A stop at Karaman however, found an excellent restaurant on the bypass. Akseki is a tad larger than we had thought, but still constitutes a village rather than a town, and we found the choice of hotels on the main street without too much trouble.
The first location visited here was the walled orchard on the other side of the main highway to Akseki. The pension which was originally opposite the turn for this must have changed hands, since it is now known as the Toros. The old road opposite here was found, but after a kilometre, we could just see the tops of the trees in the plantation due to a new road being constructed. We climbed up and over this, to the old track on the other side, where the plantation was now in full view to the left. We parked the car in the field next to this, and walked around the periphery. Birding was difficult, since the deciduous trees within the wall are very dense. A Steppe Buzzard over was no problem, as was a Masked Shrike perched in the lower bushes near to the wall. However, the chirruping of Eastern Bonelli’s Warblers from the canopy was much more difficult to pinpoint, until a small group were pinned down again away from the wall.
With the day drawing to a close, we decided to try for the location of the Forest to the North of Akseki back up the highway, mainly to ensure we knew the location for a morning sorti. We found the tap to the left of the highway after 15.4km from the Akseki junction, but the old track, parts of which can still be seen, has been replaced by a new tarmac road. The clearing to look for nuthatches and woodpeckers is 2.8km on the left of this road. We spent a small amount of time here, and quite quickly located calling Kruper’s Nuthatches. In addition, a Western Rock Nuthatch was a little of a surprise, with singing Serin at the tops of the conifers. One extra addition to the area list was a tortoise.