New bird species spotted in Lake Çıldır
A team from the Turkish conservation society Kuzeydoğa Association spotted the duck in the Taşbaşı village in the eastern Kars province.
Emrah Çoban, the coordinator of the association, told Anadolu Agency that their regular birdwatching bore fruit.
“During our observations in the Çıldır Lake, one of the biggest lakes in the Eastern Anatolia, we spotted a smew that had not been seen in Kars before,” Çoban said.
“Of course, it was among the species we expected in winter but we hadn't seen it until today,” he added.
The male smew is white with a black back, while the female is gray with a red-brown head.
Underlining that many wetland areas in Eastern Anatolia were frozen due to harsh winter conditions, he said all the birds gathered in the Çıldır Lake as it did not freeze.
“The smew duck was in winter form and one year old. It's a nice discovery because it is a rare sighting in Turkey," he added.
The number of bird species has risen to 307 in Kars, he said.
Lake Çıldır offers tourists scenic views with horse rides available in the vicinity.
In winter, fishing enthusiasts can mimic Eskimos, getting their catch for the day with a hole dug in the frozen lake. Others can stroll around or ride on sleighs.
In summer, the lake attracts visitors with its natural beauty and bird species.