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Okçular   

Recent sightings in Dalyan




Birds seen or reported at this site





Barn Swallow

Blackcap

Cetti's Warbler

Chaffinch

Collared Doves

Common Buzzard

Common Kestrel

Common Redstart

Corn Buntings

Crested Lark

European Roller

Goldfinch

Great Tit

Great White Egret

Greenfinch

Grey Heron

Hooded Crows

House Martin

Kingfisher

Krupper’s Nuthatch

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

Lesser Whitethroat

Little Egrets

Long-tailed Tit

Middle Spotted Woodpecker

Ortolan Bunting

Red-backed Shrike

Reed Bunting

Reed Warbler

Rufous Bush Robin

Robin

Sedge Warbler

Sombre Tit

Sparrow Hawk

Spotted Flycatcher

Stonechat

Syrian Woodpecker

Tawny Pipit

Tree Pipit

Turtle-Dove

Whinchat

White Storks

Wood Warbler

Woodchat Shrike


Okçular is a small village on the Dalyan to Ortaca road about five or six minutes away from Dalyan by dolmus.  To the south of the village lies a small mountain range which separates the Köycegiz Delta from the Dalaman Delta whilst to the north of the village lies low lying arable farming land punctuated with the occasional small scrub clad hill. A good starting point to discover these two areas is the LeyLey Restaurant which has a dolmus stop on either side of the road for convenience and better still, if you intend to eat there, the restaurant provides free transport to and from Dalyan and a small information kiosk can be found on the Ataturk Bulvari road. Here you can pick up a leaflet about the restaurant with contact details or email them on info@leyley.com.tr .

The LeyLey restaurant  is a good example of ‘eco-tourism’ where the owners have concentrated on providing nesting sites for the White Storks and care for those birds unable to make the return migration to Africa, further developments proposed include the  plans to create an authentic Turkish village complete with cows, chickens, sheep and goats and more importantly bulrush houses. Okçular, though is an authentic Turkish village and has managed to so far avoid the commercial development (both in tourism and industrial) that has seen the loss of natural habitat in places like Dalyan for example. Indeed the village itself has only recently emerged from a struggle to prevent a outside companies from building a quarry and cement factory and this is even more impressive as work had already started on the project. Thankfully, the area is the site of rare plants and this was brought to the attentions of the authorities before it was too late.


Alan Fenn’s book ‘ Okçular Village -A Guide’ written in both English and Turkish chronicles how the village fought this struggle and covers a little of the history of the village and the immediate area; the flora and fauna (including tables of what you can expect to find); stories, in their own words, from some of the senior villagers and  how life was in a developing country, the book outlines in detail several walks that you can enjoy complete with accurate maps drawn by the author. The book is on sale at the LeyLey restaurant and all proceeds from the book go to funding environmental and community projects in and around Okçular Village.

Walk one in the book is a walk we have done previously though time did not permit us to complete it so we will outline what we did below.


We basically followed Alan Fenns’ directions, with your back to entrance to the LeyLey restaurant leave the car park to your left and heading in the direction of Ortaca, immediately take the small road which turns right , follow this road for a few hundred meters passing through a group of farm houses, the track will start to veer to the right . Here there is a second track joining from the left marked point A on the map below. At this juncture you have the choice of continuing along the road or take the route to the left which takes you up along the side of the hill. Basically we did both, and for each walk it is a case of keeping to the track without deviation and simply retracing your steps back to the LeyLey restaurant when you have had enough time.


Keeping straight on follows the old Ortaca to Dalyan road  which skirts the edge of the hills which are on your left and open meadows to your right. Alan Fenns book describes how this area floods in the winter time to form a seasonal lake in the low lying land .This seasonal lake attracts Herons, Egrets, Coots, Moorhens and Storks in considerable numbers and even Black Storks on their passage through. It is here on our last trip that we photographed  the Red-backed Shrike missing it’s top bill (see bird section). Also on our last trip here we had good views of Sparrow Hawk and Common Buzzard . The other option is to take the the track up the hill at point A on the map below. On this route we were surprised to come across a common Robin , we also had brief glimpse of Krupper’s Nuthatch and a couple we met who are familiar with this area say they often see Hoopoe on this track. Keep following the road for about two Kilometres, eventually the track makes a sharp bend to the left at the entrance to a valley, you should be able to see a seating area a little way in to this valley ( on your right) Once you have had a rest return to the track and continue on it as it bends left on a gentle incline up the hill. Further along you will pass a large villa on your left followed by three cottages. Just after the third cottage there is a track to your right follow this for a short way as it meanders up the hill. At point B on the map below you will find  a ‘wishing tree’ here stones create an oval structure between two trees and pieces of cloth are tied to represent various offerings. Although this dates back to a time before Islam was the dominant religion it is still used by locals today and is something akin to a wishing well.

After here return to the main track and you have a choice of continuing, something we did not do or returning by the same route back to the LeyLey restaurant.  





















Hover mouse over map to see larger version




































If you wish to have a copy of Alan Fenns book before you travel you can order one direct from Alan himself who will mail them out to anywhere in the world. Alan can be contacted on the following email

                          surmanfenn@gmail.com  Or

visit the web site:

www.okcular.net/shopping.html

Alan has done a follow up to the walks in the original "Okcular Village - a Guide"  titled "Backways & Trackways" it is a guide to walking/cycling around Dalyan, Okçular & Çandır and the areas around Kosten and Olemez Mountains.  

For each of the walks there is a map, which together with clear and comprehensive information will mean that even the most accident-prone walker should manage to avoid getting lost on any of the 16 walks.

Produced to the highest quality standards it is printed on laminated card, is spiral bound and made to withstand the rigours of outdoor use. The hand-drawn maps are accurate, very well crafted and the directions clear to ensure you always know where you are. The books are available locally for only 20TL each from the  following: Dalyan IZ; Select Property Service; Central Park Hotel; Waterfall Bar
Okcular: Ley Ley restaurant; Kivrak Market or by the email or web address above.