A 15-days tour exploring different regions in search of Oriental rarities!

Butterflies of Turkey

Sunday 8th - Sunday 22nd July 2018

Turkey is a huge country, situated on two continents, on the eastern edge of the Western Palearctic, and thus offering a great and spectacular butterfly diversity. Within the tour we will be focused on central, eastern Mediterranean and north-eastern regions. We are going to visit river valleys, semi-desert regions and high mountains (up to 3 000 m.a.s.l) in order to get the local specialties.

Good number of other wildlife and plants will be also recorded as we will visit variable habitats.


ITINERARY

Day 1
   Arrival at Adana airport and drive to Tasucu (about 2 hours), where we accommodate in the sea view hotel. Depending on the arrival time, there is a chance to explore surroundings of our hotel. Stay overnight for two nights.

Day 2     Early morning start to coastal region near Tasucu and Silifke. Here we will explore different sites for our primary species here - Pigmy Skipper, Sage Skipper, Millet Skipper, Indian Grass Blue, Small Desert Blue, Little Tiger Blue, Aegean Meadow Brown, African Ringlet, Southern Swallowtail, Cleopatra and Powdered Brimstone. Additionally we should be able to find some migrating species like Plain Tiger along our route. In the afternoon we will drive to Goksu Canyon - an area covered by dry maquis. Here we shall look for Lebanese Silver-line, Grass Jewel, but also - Inky Skipper and many more.

Day 3     After an early breakfast and morning we shall head to the north AladaglarД± region by crossing the Taurus Mountains. On the way we will have some stops, where we can catch up any species we may have missed, plus some others - Aegean Skipper, Levantine Skipper, Anatolian Skipper, Reverdin's Marbled Skipper, Krueper's Small White, Levantine Marbled White, Iolas Blue, Long-tailed Blue, Bavius Blue, Anatolian Fiery Copper, Isaurian False Argus, Lebanese Adonis Blue, Yellow-legged Tortoiseshell, Lydian Tawny Rockbrown, Great Steppe Grayling, Great Sooty Satyr, Eastern Grayling, Samos Grayling, Southern Grayling, Nettle-Tree Butterfly. The transfer itself is about 3 hours and upon arrival we accommodate in Safak pension for two nights. In the late afternoon we will start to explore the nearby spectacular gorge and our walk shall produce mainly some local Blues. We shall enjoy our dinner, home made food, with sightseeing of Demirkazik Peak, and prepare ourselves for early start next morning.

Day 4     We will have an exceptional trip today (optional) in AladaglarД±, ascend with a tractor or by 4WD to about 2 600 m. a.s.l.. Here we will enjoy our breakfast. When ready in the area, we start back with option for several stops on the way down which can produce Anatolian Green-underside Blue, Anatolian Fiery Copper, Actis Blue, Eastern Brown Argus, Geranium Argus, Isaurian False Argus, Bosnian Blue, Chelmos Blue, Lebanese Adonis Blue, Gerhard's Black Hairstreak, Odd-spot Blue, Freyer's Tawny Rockbrown, Tawny Rockbrown, Peak White. Picnic lunch. Late in the afternoon we can explore the village surroundings. Back to Safak Pension for our second night here.

Day 5     Today we shall continue to drive north, heading to Goreme. The Goreme National Park (Goreme Milli Parklar in Turkish) was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985. In the afternoon we will explore rock formations and scrubby area around, where we will look for Persian Skipper, Mountain Small White, Iolas Blue, Alcedo Blue, Lebanese Anomalous Blue, Gerhard's Blue, Small Anatolian Blue, Persian Anomalous Blue, Turkish Furry Blue, Anatolian Chalk-hill Blue, Poseidon Blue, Wagner's Blue, Orange-banded Hairstreak, Nogel's Hairstreak, Great Steppe Grayling, Amasian Satyr etc. Overnight in Goreme.

Day 6     After early breakfast we will continue exploration of the region and in the afternoon will head north-east to the town of Gurun - a fore post of semi-desert fauna. On the way will make a brief stop at Mazikiran Pass. Accommodation for two nights.

Day 7     The whole day will explore surroundings of the town for Pogge's Skipper, Persian Skipper, Anatolian Green-underside Blue, Turkish Fiery Copper, Firdussi's Blue, Turkish Furry Blue, Bavius Blue, Gerhard's Black Hairstreak, Orange-banded Hairstreak, Orange Hermit, Anatolian Hermit, Great Steppe Grayling, Saadi's Heath, Staudinger's Steppe Brown, Wagner's Steppe Brown, Freyer's Tawny Rockbrown, Klug's Tawny Rockbrown, Amasian Satyr, Southern Swallowtail, Peak White, Sooty Orange Tip.

Day 8     After early breakfast we shall continue to drive north, heading to Sivas. Near the town we will visit Camlibel Pass, searching for Mountain Small White, Balkan Copper, Eastern Brown Argus, Gerhard's Blue, Pontic Blue, Chelmos Blue, Myrrha Blue, Lesser Lattice Brown, Southern Grayling, White-banded Grayling, Anatolian Clouded Yellow. Accommodation in Zara for one night.

Day 9     After early breakfast we will head east to the town of Erzincan. Today we will visit two mountain passes on the way - Kizildag Pass and Sakaltutan, where among many others we hope to see also Tessellated Skipper, Persian Skipper, Mediterranean Skipper, Alcedo Blue, Turkish Furry Blue, Mountain Green-veined White, Great Steppe Grayling, Persian Fritillary, White-banded Grayling. Accommodation for two nights.

Day 10     We will explore Munzur National Park: near Caglayan- a valley in Munzur mountain ranges and KolcekmezdagД± Pass. First one is the only place during the tour, where is possible to find Levantine Silver-line and Large Silver-line. Other species for today: Gerhard's Black Hairstreak, Rebel's Hairstreak, Alcon Blue, Large Blue, Fiery Copper, Loew's Blue, Zephyr Blue, Alpine Blue, Turkish Furry Blue, Poseidon Blue, Turkish Blue, Gerhard's Blue, Persian Anomalous Blue, Mithridates, Bosnian Blue, Geranium Argus, Bowden's White, Anatolian Hermit, Great Steppe Grayling, Eastern Grayling, Russian Heath, Chestnut Heath, Wagner's Steppe Brown, Syrian Marbled White.

Day 11     Transfer to Erzurum for one night stay. On the way will stop at Tanyeri and Kopdagi Pass. The main target species there are Pogge's Skipper, New Skipper, Tessellated Skipper, Aegean Skipper, Lesser Fiery Copper, Rebel's Hairstreak, Gerhard's Blue, Dusky Large Blue, Fiery Copper, Bosnian Blue, Diana Blue, Hubert's Blue, Eastern Baton Blue, Larger Anatolian Blue, Turkish Blue, Gerhard's Black Hairstreak, Orange-banded Hairstreak, Odd-spot Blue, Syrian Marbled White, Anatolian Tawny Rockbrown, Small Bath White, Hewitson's Ringlet, Marsh Fritillary, Eastern Orange Tip, Menetries' Clouded Yellow, Bowden's White, Peak White.

Day 12     Transfer to Yusufeli, situated in Coruh Valley. In the morning will explore Palandoken Mountain, where we expect to see Large Blue, Balkan Copper, Fiery Copper, Eastern Brown Argus, Larger Anatolian Blue, Pontic Blue, Damon Blue, Firdussi's Blue, Hubert's Blue, Turkish Furry Blue, Nina's Blue, Phyllis Blue, Tanker's Blue, Gerhard's Black Hairstreak, Rebel's Hairstreak, Balkan Marbled White, Esper's Marbled White, Caspian Satyr, Anatolian Clouded Yellow, Christoph's Clouded Yellow, Menetries' Clouded Yellow. On the way will cross Golyurt Pass, where will make some stops trying to find among the others Pfeiffer's Green Hairstreak, Osiris Blue, Turkish Fiery Copper, Bosnian Blue, Larger Anatolian Blue, Hi Blue, Eastern Baton Blue, Odd-spot Blue, Russian Heath, Yellow-legged Tortoiseshell, Southern Comma, White-banded Grayling, Anatolian Satyr, Eastern Orange Tip, Anatolian Clouded Yellow, Christoph's Clouded Yellow, Bowden's White, Mountain Small White.

Day 13    Exploring Kackar Mountain - a real butterfly paradise. Here we expect to see Alcides Skipper, Inky Skipper, Anatolian Skipper, Tessellated Skipper, Aegean Skipper, Persian Skipper, Levantine Skipper, Anatolian Fiery Copper, Turkish Fiery Copper, Fiery Copper, Larger Anatolian Blue, Gerhard's Blue, False Chalk-hill Blue, Hopffer's Blue, Hi Blue, Poseidon Blue, Gerhard's Black Hairstreak, Eastern Grayling, Tree Grayling, Oriental Meadow Brown, Amasian Satyr, Powdered Brimstone, Krueper's Small White, Small Bath White, Southern Swallowtail.

Day 14     Exploring Coruh Valley, where we expect to see Inky Skipper, Persian Skipper, Levantine Skipper, Nettle-Tree Butterfly, Grass Jewel, Anatolian Fiery Copper, Turkish Fiery Copper, Fiery Copper, Larger Anatolian Blue, Gerhard's Blue, False Chalk-hill Blue, Hopffer's Blue, Hi Blue, Poseidon Blue, Gerhard's Black Hairstreak, Checkered Blue, Little Tiger Blue, Odd-spot Blue, Orange Hermit, Freyer's Grayling, White-bordered Grayling, Ionian Emperor, Krueper's Small White, Small Bath White, Southern Swallowtail. Farewell dinner and last overnight in Yusufeli

Day 15     Two hours of driving bring us to Erzurum airport, for our connection flight to Istanbul from where we fly back home.




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