Fethiye, Flamingos & Football – A Weekend With Agent L (Part 1)

Twitter is a wonderful invention. No more than 140 characters per Tweet and yet you can get to know a stranger quite well and have a good sense that you will get on when you do eventually meet in person. This was certainly the case with the lovely lady behind the Istanbul blog, Agent L Abroad. When she mentioned she needed a vacation (she’s American), “Come and crash at ours for a few days,” we said. So she did.

We meet her at the otogar and this is a city girl craving the beach – right now. We’re a bit short on time so we head back to ours to dump bags, put swimming gear on and we’re straight back out and on the dolmuş to Koca Çalış. And don’t you just love it when there’s something special and unexpected to show a guest when you’re trying to show your town off?

Flamingos At Koca Çalış, Fethiye

Summer scene, complete with flamingos, at Koca Çalış

Never before have we seen baby flamingos on the beach at Koca Çalış – never before have we seen baby flamingos anywhere for that matter. But here they are, standing by the sea, watching the bathers and the kite surfers go by. They seem completely unphased by all these goings on and don’t mind too much as I walk towards them, ever so slowly, so I can get a closer photo.

Flamingo, Koca Calis, Fethiye

Paddling in the sea at Koca Çalış

Where they’ve appeared from, we have no idea. We’ve posted a couple of photos to our Facebook page and know that, at least until yesterday, they are still around; further along the beach towards Dalaman. We know there are thousands of flamingos in Turkey…just not in Koca Çalış. In fact, when we first see them from a distance, it doesn’t even cross our mind that they’re going to be flamingos.

Koca Çalış Flamingo

Koca Çalış Flamingo

Because the main habitat of Turkey’s flamingos is up around the central Anatolian lake, Tuz Gölü, a long way away from our Mediterranean shores. They also reside in the wetlands of Thracian Turkey up in the northwest and also around Lake Bafa, northwest of Milas. Flamingos don’t come to Fethiye…except it appears they do, now.

It kind of makes sense. Flamingos thrive in salty wetlands, of which there’s no shortage (at least for now) around Çalış, Çiftlik and beyond. Maybe the dams and unpredictable rains – or lack of – around Tuz Gölü are forcing them southwards? Whatever the case, according to a Hürriyet article, 2011 thankfully saw record numbers of flamingos hatching; good news for a bird that is increasingly endangered in Turkey. Let’s hope this pair are the start of flamingo population in Fethiye.

And as for Agent L, well she did have her camera and she did take some photos – she’d just forgotten to put the memory card in. It was to be a theme of the weekend, and an eventful weekend it was.

Part 2 – the football – to come tomorrow. In the meantime, here’s the recent flamingo conversation from our Facebook page:

We’re sticking with our baby flamingos for today’s photo. We just loved how they stood around, completely ignoring the swimmers and sunbathers. Wonder where they flew off to… 🙂

Posted by Turkey’s For Life on Monday, August 26, 2013

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  1. What a gorgeous sight it must be to catch, loved seeing these flamingos 🙂

  2. . . like twits that pass in the night!

  3. @ Ozlem: Hopefully, they’ll stick around then we get a chance to see them growing up and hopefully breeding, too. Would be great to have a flamingo population in Fethiye. 🙂

  4. Flamingos also stop every year at Lake Tuzla on the Bodrum Peninsula. They make an amazing site. The salt water lake is virtually the last unspoilt bit of the area and there is pressure to drain it for yet more development (golf courses, in the main). It would be a huge shame.

  5. Great photos! I’d say you just happened to all be in the right place at the right time! 😉

  6. @ Jack Scott: Well golf courses are my pet hate – sorry golfers – and we love flamingos. I’d say the flamingos are more important than the golf course!

    @ Joy: I know, lucky us! 🙂 And thanks.

  7. Love the Flamingos….and what a great looking beach. The only time I ever saw Flamingos was in Florida. looking at your photos I miss Turkey…

  8. @ Erica (Irene): Sorry to make you miss Turkey. 🙂

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