In this trip we combine birding with one of the regions most famous archeological sites. Turkey is very rich in fascinating and well-preserved archaeological sites standing witness to the many cultures that have thrived here over the millennia. 

The Dalyan Delta is also an important natural biotope with rich avian and marine fauna as well as typical wetland flora. It is also an important staging post for migratory birds. The ruins at Kaunos overlooking the reed beds towards the sea and with Suluklu Golu (lake of Leeches) can provide some excellent birding.

Kaunos additional information

The amphitheatre, built on the slope of the acropolis, features Hellenistic and Roman characteristics, with a capacity for 5000 spectators. Much of the site has yet to be unearthed and a temple to Apollo just recently being identified. Northwest of the theatre are the Byzantine basilica and Roman baths, both in excellent condition. Further downhill are the Doric temple, agora and restored fountain house. Excavations are still on going and further discoveries will illuminate this sites interesting history.

Target Birds on this trip should include :

Eastern Rock Nuthatch, Long Legged Buzzard, Peregrine Falcon, Rüppells Warbler, Blue Rock Thrush,Purple Heron, Water Rail,Gt White Egret, Night Heron and Osprey on migration amongst others.



With your back to the mosque and facing the river, take the river front path to your left and walk and continue until you come to the Kaunos Kral Bahcesi. There is a wooden jetty here and you can get a return rowing boat across to the other side for 7.5 lira (2019) to get to the road to Kaunos. Simply get the boat across and when you return from Kaunos the boat will bring you back across the river.

rowing boat crossing [640x480].jpg


Once on the other side you have a choice of two places for a drink, we usually wait until we have returned from Kaunos. Follow the only road which leads to Çandir passing Kaunos on the way. Almost immediately when you set off you will come across a cemetery on your right, this is a good spot for Coal Tit and especially Jays and the odd Hooded Crow and raptors.

burial gate [640x480].JPG


Once you have spent some time here make your way along the road, keep an eye out for raptors above. At the fork in the road keep straight on bearing to your right, the turn to the left takes you back to the river and the new ferry boat crossing.The road rises up a gentle incline and you will come across the turn for Kaunos on your left up this track and the entrance is at the top.The entrance fee was 18 lira in September 2019. 


It doesn’t matter how you decide to go around Kaunos, however, I suggest a circular route for your bird watching . 

From the entrance bear left towards the Amphitheatre and on reaching the Amphitheatre enter via the wooden stairs until you are fully inside. Rock Nuthatches are abundant at Kaunos and Blue Rock Thrush have been seen here along with Blackeared Wheatear, as have Red Squirrels. Once you have looked around the Amphitheatre make your way down the steps to the Amphitheatre stage/floor area and take the track leading down the hill until you get to a direction finding post pictured below.  

direction post [640x480].jpg


The track to the left of this direction post will take you to public toilets and a cafe area (not always open) if they are needed. Take the track to the right and then take the first track to your left (almost immediately) and this will lead you down to Suluklu Golu (lake of Leeches) where good views of Purple Heron, Heron, Night Heron, Great and Little Egret may be had, Ospreys have been present on migration and again this area is good for resident and passing raptors. Raptors seen around here being, Short Toed Eagle, Honey Buzzard, Osprey and Rough Legged Buzzard as well as the smaller raptors such as Red footed falcon and kestrel. Make your way to the lake passing a small pond area . Follow the edge of the lake bearing to your left and this will lead to a small track along the side of the lake. Penduline Tits have nested in the overhanging  trees and bushes in the past  though not consistently, you may be lucky.

Follow the track right to the end and this eventually come to an end at a rocky point where you will see steps carved in the rock from years ago leading up the rocks towards the top of the hill, you can make your way up these if you feel confident and it offers good views over the reed beds towards Ala Gul on the right and towards the beach straight on and slightly to your left. It is possible to set up a scope in this area.

Kaunos map five [640x480].jpg

Once you have finished here make your way back to the small pond and you will find a track to your left (see map above) which you should follow to explore the rest of Kaunos. When you have finished at Kaunos make your way back along the road and enjoy a drink in one of the two restaurants before heading back. 

© Brendan Searson 2017