A 5 day tour.
Accommodation in Istanbul.
Max: 3 people.
Transportation: Sedan 4-door car.

Every spring and autumn over 500.000 storks and 250.000 raptors fly over the Bosphorus. This tour aims to get the best of the spring migration. The timing is the peak time for many species and the location will give us unique opportunities to see the birds well and close. Kerem Ali Boyla will be your tour leader and driver.

Day 1 Fly to Istanbul

Flight from the UK, to Istanbul. Depending on the arrival time, we may stroll along the Bosphorus to see Yelkouan Shearwater.

Day 2-4 Migration Watch over the Bosphorus

We will have an early morning start to the Black Sea Coast.

At 09:00 we will set ready for the migration. The main bulk of migration starts at 09:00 and peaks between 10:00 and 16:00. In some calmer evenings in continues until 18:00. We will make sure to see most birds.

Expected daily averages are as following:

First Period: 2000 Common (Steppe) Buzzard, 2000 White Stork, 500 Lesser Spotted Eagle, 150 Sparrowhawk, 20 Booted Eagle, 20 Black Stork, 20 Short-toed Eagle, 10 Black Kite, 10 Marsh Harrier, 5 Hen Harrier.

Second Period: 1910 White Stork, 870 Common Buzzard, 170 Lesser Spotted Eagle, 100 Sparrowhawk, 20 Black Stork, 20 Booted Eagle, 10 Short-toed Eagle, 10 Black Kite

Third Period: 1020 Common Buzzard, 210 White Stork, 80 Lesser Spotted Eagle, 80 Sparrowhawk, 10 Black Stork, 10 Booted Eagle, 10 Hen Harrier, 10 Montagu’s Harrier

Beside the regular migrants, we expect to see: Egyptian Vulture, Pallid Harrier, Goshawk, Long-legged Buzzard, Greater Spotted Eagle, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Steppe Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Peregrine, Hobby, Osprey.

On rainy days we will visit the Black Sea coastland, or one of the wetlands around the city. In early mornings we will be looking for passerines on the coastal shrubland and Belgrade Forest, which is a mature forest with good populations of woodpeckers. On rainy days and early mornings, we will visit the following sites:

  • Belgrade Forest for Grey-headed, Middle Spotted, Great Spotted and Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers, Semi-collared Flycatcher.
  • Lake Büyükçekmece for Pygmy Cormorant, Glossy Ibis, Spoonbill, Short-toed Lark, Caspian Tern, Alpine Swift.
  • Black Sea Coast for: Isabelline Wheathear, Hoopoe, Syrian Woodpecker, Yelkouan Shearwater, Mediterranean Gull, Citrine Wagtail.

Days 5 Departure

This morning we will spend most time birding until our return flight.

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