Birdwatching

Birdwatching is one of the best ways to get fully acquainted with the nature.

A pair of binoculars, a small notebook and a book with illustrations, helping you identify birds, are enough to carry out this activity which can be called as observation sport. Because of wetlands and being on the important migratory routes, bird diversity of our country, hosting 470 distinct bird species, is almost as much as Europe’s. Büyük Menderes Delta and Bafa lake are important birds habitats in Turkey.Even Büyük Menderes Delta is breeding ground of endangered Dalmatian Pelicans, . In addition, it is the breeding ground of important endangered species such as Phalacrocorax pygmeus, Egretta garzetta, Falco naumanni, Caharadrius alexandrinus and Haliaeetus albicilla. Apart from these endangered species, there are approximately 250 distinct bird species in Büyük Menderes Delta, Bafa Lake and Didim and the number is increasing day by day.

If you have a small pair of binoculars, you have the opportunity to observe a lot of bird species beside the species aformentioned.The only thing you’d better do is to visit sites ,filled with birds, early in the morning and observe them with binoculars without being too close and disrupting. The best part of this observation is that they behave as if you weren’t there although they have noticed your presence. Even the moment youmake eye contact, you have to turn your eyes away in order not to disrupt them. A lot of bird species migrate to central parts of our country, the Balkans and the north because it is too hot in July and August.

Wetlands , protected by General Directorate of National Parks, starts from the fishing port in Taşburun.It is an ideal site for people wanting to observe birds and start birdwatching.You can observe a wide variety of sea and wetland birds with your binoculars by parking by the side of the road. Bafa Gölü hosts the birds of prey such as white-tailed eagles, fish eagles, greater spotted eagles between October and April when its water level is high.In addition, May and July are right time to observe short toed eagles in Bafa Lake and Bölme within Akköy. Only one couple of fish eagles have spent summer around the delta before the migration out of six couples have been monitored so far.

There are 2500-2600 flamingoes in winter.Although most of them migrate to Gediz Delta to breed, it is realised that 822 of them spend summer within South Büyük Menderes Delta ,called as Bölme, as a result of the count carried out at the beginning of August . However, a baby one hasn’t been spotted yet. Breeding of flamingoes within Büyük Menderes Delta as a result of some works and arrangements , made in future,will be a good opportunity for birdwatchers. Birdwatching sites aren’t confined to Büyük Menderes Delta and Bafa Lake in Didim. The Monastry Cove,which a lot of domestic and foreign tourists visit to sunbathe and get cool themselves off in summer, hosts birds such as greenshanks, wood sandpipers, white-winged terns, snowy plovers, little ringed plovers, sanderlings, black-winged stilts, common sadpipers and ruddy shelducks, famous for their loyalty to their mates. In addition, the wetland between Mesut holiday village and the lighthouse is preferred by few flamingoes beside aforementioned birds to feed for a couple of months.

Some sites are special for some species. For example; cursorius cursors can be found in Urfa. Gannetts,expert at vertical diving while flying, are found only in Hatay. Didim offers such opportunities to birdwatchers. For example; white-tailed eagles breed in Bafa Lake beside Bolu and Gediz Delta. In addition, stormy petrels, a small sea bird spending summer in the north of the Mediterranean Sea after spending winter in North Africa, are monitored only off Didim in our country in August .Although their habitat is unkown, It is thought that they breed on Papaz andToprak Island beside Terlik Island, located off Bodrum Yalıkavak.

One of the inevitable results of birdwatching is birdphotography. It is sure that a birdwatcher wants to photograph especially birds , a wonder of nature with their colours. But this situation is about money because most of bird photographers spend considerable amount of money on equipments in our country.Approaching birds is so impossible that fixed focus objectives, called as telezoom, are preferred while photographing. We can take desired shots with the help of objectives with at least 300 mm. In conclusion, turning of Didim, world-renowned for its sea and historical structures, into an tourist attraction for birdwatchers will be realised by cooperation of local foundations.In addition, decreasing and giving up hunting in due course as a result of the education is a great wish for the sake of birds. Getting pleasure from kiling another creature can’t be defined as a sport. Meeting of each hand,holding a rifle, a camera is our gretaest wish as birdwatchers and bird photographers. Goodbye!

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Visit Didim. YENİMAHALLE 19 MAYIS CADDESİ NO : 21 Aydın, Didim, Turkey

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