This is a trip to Göksudelta & Taurus-mountains. the main focus will be on Butterflies/Dragonflies, but the opportunities for Birds will also be excelent.

Göksu Delta
The Göksu Delta, is a marshland of international importance under conservation, where various rare species of wildlife find refuge. The Göksu River flows to Mediterranean Sea at a place between Tasucu and Silifke, forming a delta that holds two lagoons namely Paradeniz and Akgöl. These lagoons, drainage canals, swamps and marshland area holds different bird species during migration seasons.

This ecosystem, sheltering many endangered species of birds and reptiles as well as endemic plants is the ideal place to visit for local and foreign travelers and explorers.
The best place to start an exploration of the area is Akgöl, the westerly lagoon, where Pygmy Cormorants, Dalmatian Pelicans, Marbled and White-headed ducks and even the practically extinct Black Francolin and Purple Gallinule feed. The sand spit is a nesting ground for Loggerhead and Green Turtles as well as a home to Sea Daffodils and Audouin’s Gulls. East of this, reached by an access road halfway between Tasucu and Silifke, are extensive ditches where you’ll see kingfishers (including the rare chestnut brown and white Smyrna variety), Coots, Wagtails, Spoonbills, Egrets and Grey, Purple and Squacco herons.
In the delta we will meet the first real Turkish Butterfly species (Indian Grass Blue, Small Bath White and Mallow Skipper) and Dragonflies (Dark-winged Groundling and Red Chaser)

Uzuncaburç ("Tall-ish Tower"), 32 km north of Silifke, is the ancient city of Diocaesarea-Olba. At Uzuncaburç the most impressive ruins are those of the Temple of Zeus Olbius, the nearby Temple of Tyche, and the monumental city gate. There are also ruins of a Nymphaeum (fountain), and a Theater.

Between the ruins of Uzuncaburç nature still exist, characterized by small-scale cultural landscape with many low bushes. Here we have opportunities for Masked Shrike, Krueper's Nuthatch and Finsch's Wheatear. The butterfly-species to look for will be Eastern Festoon, Southern White Admiral, Iolas Blue, Eastern Orange Tip and Large Wall Brown.


  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
  • Day 7-8
  • Day 9
  • Tasucu
  • Göksüdelta
  • Uzuncaburç
  • Taurus Mountains
  • Çukurbag
  • Emlivalley
  • Aladaglar N.P.
  • Adana

Taurus Mountains
Taurus Mountains are a mountain complex in southern Turkey, dividing the Mediterranean coastal region of southern Turkey from the central Anatolian Plateau. The deciduous and coniferous trees, deep valleys, mountain streams and waterfalls make the Taurus Mountains an incomparable site of natural beauty.
In the Valley's we will try to find Gerhard's Black Hairstreak, Anatolian Fiery Copper, Levantine Skipper and Lattice Brown.

Aladaglar National Park
The Aladaglar are a mainly limestone range of mountains forming part of the Taurus chain, which runs west to east along the southern part of Turkey. Aladaglar means ‘red mountains’, and they are named from their fiery glow in the light of the setting sun. The park has extremes of climate, with hot summers and very cold and snowy winters, with snow-capped peaks throughout the year. There is also a huge difference between night and day temperatures, with the lake usually freezing at night yet can reach up to 30°C during the day.
The Aladaglar supports a very rich flora and fauna, attracting numerous botanists and ornithologists every year. The most common species of plant life is Black Pine and Cluster Pine trees, with some Cedar dotted between, and Fir trees in the northern areas with higher humidity. The Alpine region, from the upper borders of the forest, has pastures with rocky areas and little variety of plant life because of the high altitude and slope.
Here we will try to find Chukar Partridge, Eastern Black-Eared Wheatear, Caucasian Horned Lark, Fire-fronted Serin, Caspian Snowcock and Radde's Accentor. Beside Birds we will look out for Wild Goat's, Alpine Ibex and European Souslik's.
The butterflies to look for are: Dalmatian Ringlet, Clouded Apollo, Anatolian Green-underside Blue, Geranium Argus and Glanville Fritillary.

Trip Report

This trip was made 25 may - 2 june 2013
After a late arrival in Tasucu on the first day, the next morning we set up for an early visit to the Göksüdelta. The first stop was at an old factory site, where we did find the Black Francolin a Little Owl and an European Roller. The second stop was at the Southern Watchtower, overlooking Akgol lake, and this gave us the chance to scan the lake and surrounding reeds in search of Grey-headed Swamphen, which is another of the local specialities. The first sightings gave me some Purple and Grey Herons, Yellow-legged Gull's along with a Western Marsh Harrier and then there came 3 Grey-headed Swamphen's in sight. Furtermore there where Moustached Warbler's, Bearded Reedling and a Greater Short-toed Lark.
The third stop was in the area in between the two lakes, where i found the Spur-winged Lapwing and the first sightings of the dragonflies. (Dark-winged Groundling, Green-eyed Hawker, Blue-eye and the Black Pennant) This was also the place for Indian Grass Blue, Long-tailed Blue and the Mallow Skipper.
The last stop (at the south-east corner of the delta) was the place for Mediterranean Peregrine Falcon, Graceful Prinia, Woodchat Shrike, White-spectacled Bulbul and Corn Bunting. The small channels in this area gave me sightings off the Levantine Frog, European Pond Terrapin and an unexpected Syrian Clubtail.


This list, give's you a nice idea of the things I h've photographed.
So explore the list, to see nice picture's of different familie-goups; there are also detailed list available of the different species.

There are also some pictures available of the Scenery
When you want to know more about this region, you have to visit my travelpages.

This trip is made possible by

It was a nice day around the old roman city of Diocaesarea-Olba. In the surronding area's i found Masked Shrike, Krueper's Nuthatch, Cretzschmar's Bunting, Eastern Black-Eared Wheatear. The butterfly-species here are Levantine Marbled White, Levantine Vernal Copper, Hungarian Skipper, Samos Grayling, Eastern Orange Tip, Spotted Fritillary and Amanda's Blue. It's also a place to find reptiles (Eastern Montpellier Snake/Greek Tortoise), plants (Red Helleborine/Wild Gladiolus/Wavyleaf Mullein) and some amazing net-winged insects (Libelloides macaronius/Nemoptera sinuata).
Outside the roman village is the eponymous tall Hellenistic Tower, a stolid squarish one over 22 meters high, built for observation and defense, which is home for a nice Tawny Owl. In a nearby small vineyard i have got sightings of Short-toed Eagle, White-backed Woodpecker, Eastern Steppe Festoon, Caucasian Spotted Fritillary and a Blue Emperor.
Taurus Mountains
On the north-side of Limonlu we visited a valley of a river that came down from the Taurus Mountains. It was a very nice place for dragonflies (Odalisque/Banded Demoiselle/Indigo Dropwing/Turkish Clubtail/ Dark Pincertail). Birds seen her include: Western Rock-Nuthatch, Alpine Swift, White-throated Kingfisher and Egyptian Vulture.
After sundown, we set up a light in the hotel-garden to attract moths. It was quite succesful finding Spurge Hawk-moth, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Dark Dagger, Teinoptera olivina, Chrysocrambus craterella
W espent a hole day in this valley near Çukurbag (on the edge of Aladaglar National Park) seeing Great Spotted Cuckoo, Red-billed Chough, White-throated Robin, Isabelline Wheatear, Fire-fronted Serin, Black-headed Bunting, Greater Short-toed Lark and European Souslik.
A small river bed was a good place to find Anatolian Green-underside Blue, Pontic Blue, Clouded Apollo, Scarce Swallowtail and Freyer's Fritillary.
Aladaglar National Park
The next morning we get up at aroun 04:00 am for a tractor-ride (about 60 minutes) to reache to Arpalik Plateau which has 2400 m altitude. This is the place to look for the Caspian Snowcock. And indeed, however far away there where a total off 5 Snowcocks. Besides agroup off Wild Goats, there were sighting off Radde's Accentor, Levantine Black Redstart, Snowfinch, Rufous-tailed Rock-Thrush and Golden Eagle.
The way back was a descent through a small gorge, which gave spectacular vieuwings off the surrounding area.
The last day in the park proved to bee good for Steppe Buzzard, Alpine Accentor, Blue Rock-Thrush and Eastern Orphean Warbler.