Yellow-billed Stork in Turkey

Anything is possible!

by Tristan

Turkish birder and photographer Emin Yoğurtcuoğlu recently contacted me with the exciting news that he had photographed a Yellow-billed Stork at Mogan Gölü, (Ankara Province). The bird was found by two Turkish photographers and constitutes the 4th record for Turkey (and the first for around 50 years).

Yellow-billed Stork with White Stork © Emin Yoğurtcuoğlu 2012

Yellow-billed Stork with White Stork © Emin Yoğurtcuoğlu 2012

Yellow-billed Stork is a predominantly sedentary resident throughout much of Africa, though the species will make partial migratory (nomadic) movements depending on food availability.

White Stork Migration

The wintering grounds for the White Stork overlap the range of the Yellow-billed Stork. So it is no great surprise how Yellow-billed Stork can make it into the Western Palearctic.

There are loads of predictions of migratory species that could (but haven’t so far) made it onto UK shores. The Willet is certain a favourite choice of many! However, I thought it would be interesting to look at the potential of species with local migratory/nomadic tendancies.

There are of course UK records of nomadic species such as the Black Lark and White-winged Lark. So there is a precedent! Are their species out there that we have not considered as potential vagrants due to limited migration behaviour?

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6 Responses to Yellow-billed Stork in Turkey

  1. Mike Watson says:

    I often think there must be more sub-Saharan species that could get dragged north to Europe by the hordes of migrants that routinely cross Africa each year and after all there are quite a few that have already done so in the past.

    • Tristan Reid says:

      HI Mike,

      I certainly agree. I have chatted with people in the past about potential new birds for the UK/WP. A subject that often comes up is ‘reaching saturation point’; i.e. there is not a limitless pot of ‘new birds’. This may be the case, though thankfully, we are a very long way off this at present! Exciting times!

  2. Steve lister says:

    Yellow-billed Stork is I think regular on Lake Nasser esp at Abu Simbel in the summer: small numbers move north from East Africa. Lake Nasser is of course in the WP.

  3. Tristan Reid says:

    Many thanks for your comments Steve. You are of course quite correct that Yellow-billed Stork are regular in Egypt. I guess I should have referred to Europe rather than the Western Palearctic 🙂

  4. Tony Disley says:

    If the Irish Swift is accepted as a Horus, that would have big implications for possible sub saharan species turning up in the future, and would surely warrant another look at the Spurn Mottled Swift record? On the subject of storks how about an Abdims turning up with returning Black Storks? I’m sure there will be more surprises to come from Africa over the coming decades

  5. Aleix Comas says:

    Abdim’s Stork has occurred in Finland, though it didn’t make it into A category despite being unringed:

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