Turkey #1: Shrikes

This is the first of a three part post on our trip to Turkey.

One of the animals that you most commonly see in Turkey are birds, and the most frequently seen of them are the Shrikes. During our stay in Southern Turkey, we saw all of the species of shrikes you can see in Europe and the Middle East (except the Great Grey Shrike, which isn't in Turkey).

Most of the shrikes we saw were sighted in the more mountainous regions near the coast. As well as the stereotypical male shrikes, we also saw juveniles and females. From a shrike point of view, it was a very successful trip.

The Species

The species we saw most frequently was the Woodchat Shrike. They were normally perched on top of taller trees or telephone wires, looking out for prey such as lizards or small mammals.

Woodchat Shrike
We also saw what we presume is a juvenile Woodchat Shrike (below). If you disagree with this decision, please email: exploringwildlife.email@gmail.com

Juvenile Woodchat Shrike?

The next species, we also saw reasonably frequently, the Red-Backed Shrike. We only saw adult males of this species, sitting on their hunting perches.

Red-Backed Shrike
We only saw a few Lesser Grey Shrikes on this trip, but the sightings we did get were amazing.

Lesser Grey Shrike
The next species we only sighted on one of the last days, but it was my personal favourite. The Masked Shrike. We used our hire car as a hide, and sat by the road, waiting for the shrike to sit in the tree next to us, which is where we spotted it. After literally 30 seconds, the shrike returned and sat right next to the car, and I was able to get some amazing film of it, which will be posted on the YouTube channel soon.

Female Masked Shrike
The last shrike we saw we only caught a glimpse of as it sat on a telephone wire next to the road. We were lucky to spot this one. The Isabelline Shrike. We think it was a young shrike.

Isabelline Shrike
All in all, it was a very successful trip for shrikes. See the next Turkey post coming soon.

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