Great photo Klaus, we're in Birezik in a few days time so hope we're as lucky!
Hi Chris and others
The direction to the babbler site:
The gravels pits, southern part. From Mirkelam Motel immediately west of the River Euphrates bridge, from the main road turn N at sign "Kiji Restaurant" (275 m. W of River Euphrates) and continue for 2 km. The restaurant is on the right after some hundred meters, continue at the gravel works along tha main track, until it divides into two tracks, exactly 2 km. from the main road. In between the two tracks is a green swampy area with some scrub and reed beeds - it is the site - just below where two electic wires makes a X (crossing!). On 24.5 the pair was accompagnies by 4 youngs, but search on the morning of 26 May was fruitless, but the birds ARE around - they keep skulky from time to time, so have patience and good luck!
Thanks KIaus! I'll let you know how we get on. We should be in the Birezik area on Wednesday/Thursday.
All the best
Don´t miss the Striated Scops Owls in the Cafe Gülhane tea garden. they are just above the blue fountain, posing freely in the largest trees or sometimes flying around in bright daylight.
Hi Klaus, we got back from Turkey today so I wanted to say thanks for your info on the Babblers. We spent about 5 hours at the gravel pits over 2 days and finally saw 2 adult birds in the overgrown ditch to the left of the track by the crossed wires you describe. A mega WP bird! I'll drop you an email with details of our trip. We got ther owls too.
Hi Chris and others!
Excellent! Anyone visiting the area should allow enough time, as the species are rather skulking, as also noted by a Swedish group, who visited the area 3rn June.
I am working on an update of the 2005 report (appearing on e.g. www.netfugl.dk) with recent observations 2006 and 2007. To anyone wishing to supply additional information I will be most grateful. My e-mail is email@example.com
Iraklarmdrossel er formentligt nemmere end nogensinde før i år! Foruden på det sted, der omtales ovenfor blev arten i maj 2009 fundet på flere lokaliteter. Hvor mange fugle er ikke hlt klart, men stort set alle, der prøvede for sug selv, fandt denne ret æstetisk ret uspændende art, der forekom Jens T. Madsen at være det nærmeste, man kommer tegneseriefuglen Woodstock fra tegneserien Radiserne. Kaldet er som en kort, nedadgående Lille Lappedykker.
Selv fandt vi min. 3 fugle ca. 15 km. syd for Birezik langs Eufrat - i et rærparti umiddelbart efter en mindre lodseplads, på gps-position B 36,976333, L 37,900973
Iraq Babbler seems easy this year in Birezik! Several teams have succeeded in finding the species at the "usual" site at birezik (described above)as well as on several sites along the river Euphrates between Birezik and the syrian border. Our team found 3 birds (including a pair) ca. 15 km. south of Birezik, just after passing a small garbage dump, at GPS-position B 36,976333, L 37,980973.
The bird in general reminded one of our team-members, Jens t. Madsen, of the bird Woodstock from the cartoon series Peanuts. The call, which was frequently heard, was like a short Little Grebe with a downward ending.
Actually, it was Troells Mellgaard who mentioned the Iraq Babbler as being the most Woodstock like bird he had seen. Personally, for me that honour goes to the Fairy Wrens from Australia, excpet for breeding males.
No criticism to you Klaus. With the amount of information gathered on this trip, it is no wonder that a minor detail gets mixed up.
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