Spent most of the day sea watching in the Polis Chrysochou Bay. The bird of the day was this Whimbrel (photo) which flew in off the sea and started feeding on the beach in front me. Also migrating were some Grey and Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis and Garganey. Other waders seen were a flock of eight Common Sandpiper, four distant Pied Avocet flying west over the sea and two Grey Plover which flew into the bay as I was leaving and couldn’t see where they had landed.
A few days in the Akamas area 6th – 8th August produced several adult and juvenile Masked Shrike, a male and a female Woodchat Shrike and among the first return migrating Lesser Grey Shrike and Red-backed Shrike. Sea watching was quiet with not much movement yet, although I had several Gull-billed and Whiskered Tern, a flock of 22 Common Sandpiper and an ‘in off’ European Roller as well as a Western Yellow Wagtail feeding in a coastal feed.
Back in Larnaca today I found a resting group of Grey Heron and Little Egret and saw a small group of Glossy Ibis flying over. Little Tern are still fishing offshore and a group of c80 Greater Flamingo are on the Salt Lake which still has some water. Another Lesser Grey Shrike was also there and while I was looking at an Olivaceous Warbler in a track side bush this juvenile Masked Shrike came to check me out.
The Black-winged Stilt appear to have had a successful breeding season in the Larnaca area. Lots of juveniles of all age and sizes around.
A relaxing morning in the Troodos area. Several family parties seen – of Masked Shrike, Northern Wren, Olivaceous Warbler, Cyprus Wheatear, Eurasian Jay as well as several Spotted Flycatcher, Coal Tit, Common Chaffinches, European Goldfinch and Greenfinch. Also a couple of Eurasian Crag Martin, two Grey Wagtail and a Common Hoopoe. This Masked Shrike looked the worse for wear – after a tiring breeding season I’m guessing.
After all the wet weather during last winter, its great to find that a species that hasn’t bred in Cyprus since 1982 has bred this spring at two locations – Great Crested Grebe. This pair has five young and was seen this morning. Distant photo.
This lovely Lesser Grey Shrike at Pervolia was a surprise late migrant.
After a hot morning at Kensington Cliffs helping with the BirdLife Cyprus vulture census I was pleased to hear that a Rose-coloured Starling had been seen an hour or so before at Akrotiri Gravel Pits. Luckily it was still around and although it wasn’t exactly photo friendly I did manage a record shot.
Found a very flighty Red-tailed (Turkestan) Shrike at Larnaca yesterday morning. Best photos I could manage….
Out for an hour before sunset in the Meneou/Spiros Pool area. A few birds seem to have been put down by the heavy storms in the area during the afternoon. Interesting species seen were:
Larnaca Airport Pools South
Little Tern 2
Squacco Heron 1 (see photo)
Little Bittern 1m
Northern Pintail 1m
Eurasian Wryneck 1
Little Tern 4
Common Redstart 1f
Black-tailed Godwit 1
Common Whitethroat 2
Little Stint c40 (See photo)
Eurasian Stone Curlew 2 (See photo)
Kentish Plover c30
Common Ringed Plover 3
Northern Wheatear 1m and 1f
Out around Larnaca counting the waterbirds today. The depth of the water on the Sewage Pools means they hold very few birds but the surrounding Salt Lake area still had Greater Flamingo as well as Black-winged Stilt (see photo), Spur-winged Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Ruff, Little Stint, Common and Little Ringed Plover, Garganey and single Mediterranean Gull. Whiskered Tern and Grey Plover.
Out again guiding for Birdwatching Breaks – today trying to dodge the heavy rain around Paphos with some success. Good views of a very mobile flock of Greater Short-toed Lark at Mandria with Eurasian Turtle Dove, Tawny Pipit, Western Yellow Wagtail and Squacco Heron also seen there. Several Collared Flycatcher seen at Timi as were a couple of Laughing Dove at Kouklia. Ending the day at Lady’s Mile and Zakaki Marsh we saw several Spotted Flycatcher, three Eurasian Spoonbill (see photo), a male Little Bittern and a Great Reed Warbler.
A great day out around Paphos guiding for Birdwatching Breaks. Starting with Little Bittern and Baillon’s Crake at Agia Varvara we then saw a singing male Cyprus Warbler and at least seven Great Spotted Cuckoo (one photographed). We had European Bee-eater over our heads in off the sea at Mandria, while we were searching for the female Caspian Plover seen there earlier. We caught up with the Caspian Plover after lunch and then moved onto Timi where we found two male and a female Citrine Wagtail. The day finished with good views of a Scops Owl.