Istanbul - near Bosphorus
Caught with bread in the middle of Istanbul at the mouth of the Golden Horn.
A number of Oriental plane trees were used prominently in the landscaping of the Tokapi Palace. Some of them were centuries old, whereas the palace itself is about six centuries in age. This species is known only to the Old World in natural occurrence, and is a native taxon here in Turkey. This tree was well known to the ancient Greeks, who controlled this part of Turkey as early as c. 300 BC.
About a dozen of this species were seen on the open waters of the Bosphorus Strait in the dim early morning light. This individual was about a 36 cm size bird.
Seen not far from the Bosphorus water edge on the New Town side of the Golden Horn in the vicinity of the ferry terminals, somewhat east of the Dolmabahce Palace.
A number of these gulls were seen floating in the quiet Bosphorus near shore waters on the New Town side of the Golden Horn.
Adult. On a nearby roof; superzoom shot from our hotel rooftop breakfast terrace.
2nd-year. This was on our hotel rooftop breakfast terrace.
First-winter. Princeton Field Guide (Birds of Europe, Svensson) says "many 1st-winters acquire second-generation inner wing coverts and tertials by October, much earlier than same age Herring Gull." You can see the molt between the worn juvenile plumage below & the fresh first-winter coverts, which are lighter, above.
From the famous Ishtar Gate in the walls of Babylon, dating to 575 BCE and at one time considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The bull was sacred to Ishtar. This is an aurochs, the now-extinct ancestor of domestic cattle.
Ok, so this is cheeky. This is really a photo of the 14th century Galata Tower across the Golden Horn, in the heat of Istanbul. The gulls were piratically pirouetting across the foreshore, where the famous fried fish kiosk serves delicious kebabs to locals from dawn till dark. Fishermen also line the bridge, and there are plenty of pickings for the most persistent gulls.
On our hotel rooftop breakfast terrace, looking for a handout.
I saw carp and goldfish seen swimming inside the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul, Turkey. What species live there?