Friday, 21 September 2012

The Golden Key at Bordubet - wildlife

If you read my post about Bordubet yesterday, you'll remember this Lily-pond, with the sunbathing turtles...

I tried very hard to get some good photos of those turtles (and their colleagues), but without a very long lens (which I haven't got), this is the best I could do:

Most of the time this is the sort of view that greeted me - turtles all round the pond scuttling for cover as soon as they saw / heard me.

This tiny baby one was still too naive to be scared. Or perhaps more worried about how someone of his size was supposed to climb onto a lily-pad...

The pond was also full of frogs, which were a little less shy. I don't know what type of frogs they are, but they are evidently masters of the art of camouflage. Look how well they blend in with the brown patches on the dying lily-pads:

This one was obviously a born poser:

Now moving away from the lily-pond, here are some very different creatures. The hotel has a flock of about 15 ducks of various sorts. Last year we saw a white one with a very distinctive crest. Because of this he was nicknamed "Elvis". This year we learnt that "Elvis" was actually "Elvira" and had unexpectedly produced a brood of ducklings! Unfortunately the attrition rate amongst the ducklings is very high (foxes are the presumed culprits) and only two of Elvira's brood remain, but aren't they cute?

This probably doesn't count as wildlife, since it's domesticated, but I think it fits the general theme of my post...

Pet rabbit
The gardens of the hotel are full of plants and flowers of many different types, which are a magnet for insects of every conceivable nature. This is a brown butterfly (type unknown!) using its long proboscis to sip nectar from a Lantana flower.

Here are some wasps building a nest in a Pomegranate tree. They have some way to go yet, I think...

Can anyone identify what type of wasp these are?

And what is this huge fly / wasp / bee thing? Whatever it is, I wouldn't want to be bitten / stung by it!

The whole area around Bordubet, and especially the hotel garden, was literally buzzing with bees. It was practically impossible for me to take a photograph of a flower without a bee on it.

The production of honey is a major industry in this region of Turkey, and everywhere you look there are rows and rows of the distinctively blue-painted bee-hives. I asked our tour guide why all the hives are painted blue. I thought that maybe blue attracts bees better than other colours, but apparently not. It's just that hives are traditionally painted blue and no-one seems to remember why!

Bees on Lantana flower
I am VERY fond of figs, and a constant feature of my breakfast at Bordubet was figs with honey, feta cheese and a sort of brioche-type bread. Amazingly good! And the figs were well-nigh perfect - plump, soft and juicy. The honey, of course, was local - purchased from the farm next door I believe.

Bee disappearing into a flower of a Prickly Pear cactus

Bee on a Zinnia flower
As you can probably imagine, I did sample a few of the chillis from the hotel vegetable garden (no, I didn't steal them - guests are invited to pick them). I had a few of them drying in the sun on our balcony, but even here the bees just had to investigate...

Bee doing acrobatics on a chilli stalk

In terms of the wildlife, this next photo is my most treasured one. Kingfishers. Not just one, but two together! We saw these birds often, usually in the early morning and the evening, flying up and down the line of the river. Wow, they fly fast. A photo of a kingfisher in flight must be very rare indeed. Luckily, this pair stopped for a while just below our balcony, perching on the river-bank waiting for some poor unsuspecting fish to swim by. Again, my standard camera lens doesn't really do the subject justice, but at least it allows me to provide evidence of the sighting. 

Tomorrow I plan to write about the edible plants in the hotel's garden and vicinity.


  1. Oh Mark, kingfishers how wonderful. I think I may have to invest in a proper camera.

  2. Lovely, just lovely. I have some ducks just like that. You can tell the males because one feather on the tail will curl up.

  3. Hi Mark,

    Regarding the colour blue, I was talking to a bee keeper the other week and he did say that bees are attracted to the colour blue and will therefore visit blue flowers first so perhaps there is a good reason for the hives to be blue in colour after all...

  4. What an amazing place for wildlife - you're becoming the David Attenborough of the blogging world at this rate. Fantastic kingfisher shots - lucky you to be able to get a photo

  5. What great photos! I think your paper nest wasps are bald faced hornets/wasps and, if so frankly I'm amazed they let you get that close. The fly thing with the big eyes might be a Syrphid fly. And I just loved the pics of the Kingfishers, I haven't seen them in 22 years - thanks for the treat.

  6. All your photos are simply beautiful. I especially love the Kingfishers, as I have never seen them before. Really quite stunning!

  7. Looks like a wonderful spot, and so much going on!

  8. Fantastic photo's. Can't believe those turtles can make it up that incline. Love the kingfishers too.

  9. nice photos, Mark. Love the Kingfishers!


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