14 June 2009

Do you like apricots?

Soldier: "Do you like apricots?"
Me: "Apricots?"
Soldier: "Yes, apricots,... you know [performs eating gesture]"
Me: "Oh, yes."
Soldier "OK!" [waves us on]

And so concluded the, as yet, most bizarre questioning at a Turkish Army checkpoint, just one element of a generally weird day. Firstly, Bendimahi Marsh appears to have been turned into a country park for the Turkish Army, although, as long as you don't mind birding under the watchful eye of gun-toting irregulars, you can still get to what remains of the site (it'll cost you 3TL though and there were very few birds - Gull-billed Tern and Quail were the highlight). Then came a brief stop at the Selale Waterfall which was rammed with joe out enjoying a sunny afternoon (again no birds). Then the frugivorous questioning at the checkpoint. And finally, we endured a full blown electrical storm at 2000+ metres by cowering under rocks before I had enough and, screaming like a girl, bolted (pun intended) for the car. It did clear and Grey-necked Bunting was bagged but the Mongolian Finch is yet to be gathered.

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