Lake Mogan

Today I went to Lake Mogan – less than one hours drive from Ankara. The lake has been suggested by local birders as a place where white-headed duck could be found. So I had high hopes of getting a new lifer. I primarily chechked the northeastern part of the lake. There are rather big areas with reeds along the shore and some marsh harriers flew around. Waders such as purple heron (10+), grey herons, squacco herons and one great white heron were nice birds. It acturally felt a bit like birding Florida, since many birds seemed to be quite approachable – even the kingfishers, which were common (7 seen).

At the reed area I was quite surprised to head and then see some little crakes. The called eagerly from the reeds, and finally I got a few poor pics – if I had the time good photos could probably have been obtained. I don’t know if they breed there, but it wouldn’t surprise me as I saw some 5 different birds.

Lake Mogan seems good for ducks. 10+ red-chrested pochards, 8 common pochards, garganey and mallards  were nice birds, but I couldn’t find any white-headed ducks. Two black-necked grebes joined many little grebes and great crested grebes and red-rumped swallows flew over the lake.

There weren’t many passerines – a few chiffchaffs, goldfinches and a redstart were pretty much it and the same was the situation with raptors – a few common buzzards, one long-legged buzzard and a sparrowhawk was all. A nice surprise was a flock of 13 whiskered terns, 2 black terns and about 10 little gulls.

So all in all a good day at lake Mogan. Hopefully the white-headed duck will be found soon.



4 comments on “Lake Mogan

  1. I’m thinking of birding Lake Mogan when I bird Turkey in the coming weeks and were wondering if you could give us some tips. Is the Northeast part of the lake (where you describe in this post) the best place to go to bird, or is there somewhere better (where things like white-headed duck, mustached warbler and bearded reedling may be found) that can be reached with public transportation. We intend to travel by bus–can we reach the spot you describe by taking a bus to Golbasi? Thanks so much for your help.

    • birdingfaroes says:

      The best place to watch birds at Lake Mogan is the southwest. On google maps you can find the road Dr. Özcanli Cd. Drive along that road. It offers some really good birding (moustached wbl, bearded reedling) and at the end of the road a pair of White-headed duck can be seen on the main lake.
      The other really good spot is a dirt road south of the main lake. There are a lot of storks (Yellow-billed was seen this summer), ducks, shorebirds and much. But it is quite far from Gölbasi, so you might wanna take a taxi from there.

      When exactly are you going to Turkey?

      Best regards,


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