Mike McKavett has just sent me these BRILLIANT pix from his trip to Turkey, plus a brief trip report.
Many thanks Mike. ALL PICTURES ARE MIKE'S COPYRIGHT AND MAY NOT BE USED ELSEWHERE.
Incredible photographs - but you expect nothing less from Mr McK.
MIKE'S TRIP TO TURKEY....
As promised the robin shots from my recent trip to Turkey.
The first shows the view from my hotel room across the suburbs of Antalya towards the SW fringes of the Taurus mountains.
They don't look all that impressive here due to the effects of the wide angle lens, but the highest peak in this shot is actually 3,084 metres which is just over 10,000 feet.
The second shot shows the peaks from the ski centre at Saklikent, only 25 miles from Antalya. Shut in the summer and deserted apart from loads of spectacular birds. Rock Thrush, Blue Rock Thrush, Finch's Wheatear, Snow Finch, Ortolan Bunting, Rock Bunting, Alpine Accentor, Shore Lark, Black Redstart, Chough; the list is endless.
The alpine flowers in the foreground were just beginning to emerge. I reckoned that in a week to 10 days, the area would be a blaze of colour.
The third shot shows the Korkuteli Hills where I found loads of robins on territory.
About 5,000 feet above sea level and 4 kms south of the small town of Korkuteli, which is 45 miles from Antalya, this area is THE place for White-throated Robins.
Dave Gosney wasn't exaggerating when he said the robins were the most common bird in the area. The fourth shot shows typical robin breeding habitat and where I photographed my star bird. Stony boulder covered hillside with bushy vegetation and scattered juniper trees.
The similarity with their wintering grounds in Kenya is uncanny. I saw my first White-throated Robin on the morning of Friday 1st December 1995.
I was at Samburu Game Reserve in northern Kenya photographing Yellow-billed Hornbills, when a small dark long-tailed chat flew in front of my vehicle and entered a nearby bush.
I knew I'd not seen this before but the overall dark grey colour hadn't given me any clues. I drove up to the bush and this amazing male White-throated Robin emerged from the bush. I had it in my bins for about 10 seconds before it was gone and I never saw it again.
From that day I just had to photograph one of these stupendous birds.
The shot of the area where I photographed this bird looks as if it was taken at Samburu. I can almost visualise the Grevy's Zebra coming out of the bushes in the foreground.
I've attached 4 shots of the robin, the first a typical pose with tail up and wings pointing down.
The second shot shows the male aggressively displaying to a rival male that has come to feed on his patch; tail vertical showing the snow-white under tail coverts.
The third shot is of a male in flight display. They normally sing from the higher junipers, but occasionally set off on these display flights. With slow exaggerated wing beats and with tail fanned, they fly to a nearby juniper singing loudly; magic. This is the only shot that came out of a sequence of 45 taken in less than 6 seconds.
The last shot is the one I wanted. This is just how I visualised the shot before I left for Turkey. Bird on low perch in early morning light with it's gob wide open; superb.
The sun had just cleared the horizon and the Fuji Velvia film has caught that early morning 'butter light' perfectly. I don't care what anyone says, digital would not have captured the image as perfectly as this.
Enjoy the pics.