Sun September 5 - Tue September 7. Chasing the Caucasian Black Grouse. Ispir. Begin Trip Return. Bayburt.


Caucasian Black Grouse Territory. It's about 6am, overcast, misty but not yet raining.


Tara and Sharon following the trail (Mustafa's already around the hill) in the rain.


Waiting while Mustafa climbs the mountain, trying to flush up the birds. When it gets misty like this, he just stops in place and waits for it to lift.


Sharon fell once, collecting a nice sample of the local mud.


Back in one of the summer homes, Tara warms up by the fire.


Milk and water are both boiling on top of the stove on the left. Eggs are boiling in the pot on the right. Bread has baked in a lower part of the wood-fired stove and is ready to remove.


These children are from two families, who are headed by two brothers. Our guide Mustafa is one of those brothers. So everyone here is siblings or cousins.


Mustafa demonstrates that it is impossible for a Turk to answer 'yes' or 'no', when there is a longer way to answer. Tara did yeoman's work as translater while Sharon and I rested up from our fruitless grouse search.


Driving back down the mountain. This shot is from inside the car. The brown strip is road and the blue strip is a stream, created from today's steady rain.


Now you can see the brown mountain road bending to the left, where it connects with the paved road, also visible, running along a stream.


We love to see the animals working. Here a donkey carries the load, with a loud, "Haw Hee."


Breakfast in our hotel in Bayburt was simple, and typical of the simplest Turkish breakfast. Hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, yogurt, olives, bread, cheese and hot tea.


None of us felt totally comfortable in Bayburt, partly because we saw absolutely zero women out on the streets or in the restaurants after dark. That and everybody staring at us.

I liked these yurts, or tents, set up by Turks who probably follow the produce-picking work, like California's migrant workers.


Sharon took this remarkable shot of a Long-legged Buzzard (hawk) as it lifted off from the side of a hill.


Our last night on the road, at the top floor restaurant of our hotel in Sivas. Our waiter took great care of us.


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