I picked up Vlad from Ukraine at 5.30am from his hotel in Agia Napa and we headed straight to the picnic site at Cape Greco. Vlad wanted to get photographs of the endemic Cyprus Warbler and Cyprus Wheatear and hopefully some migrating raptors. I knew a few pairs of Cyprus Warbler bred in the area and once the sun rose at least two male could be heard singing. They weren’t the easiest birds to get photos of as they flitted between bushes and mainly stayed hidden but on a few occasions Vlad was able to get some shots . A female Marsh Harrier and a lone Honey Buzzard floated above our heads and were more photogenic as were the several Whinchat, Willow Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat and Blackcap that were in the same area of scrub. A male Red-backed Shrike was present as was a Masked Shrike (a lifer for Vlad), a rufous phase Common Cuckoo and two Ortolan and one Cretzschmar’s Bunting. At least seven Turtle Dove passed over as did seven Grey Heron heading south west.
As we explored the rest of the Cape we found at least four Isabelline Wheatear (another life), a male and a female Northern Wheatear, several of the resident Spectacled Warbler and a large group of Chukar. At Cava View Point we found a Cyprus Wheatear which Vlad was able to photograph and a juvenile Pallid Harrier migrating over the area. Two Alpine Swift were around as were a couple of Red-rumped Swallow. Moving onto Agia Napa Football fields we found at least twenty Yellow Wagtail and plenty of shrikes – at least four Lesser Grey, a female and a juvenile Red-backed and two Masked. A new species for the morning was a Spotted Flycatcher.
We had a quick stop at Oroklini Marsh but the strong sunlight meant that it was impossible to take good photos. We had a coffee though and a quick scan of the birds present. This included Spur-winged Lapwing, Black-winged Stilt, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Little Stint and a Marsh Sandpiper. There were a few Red-crested Pochard feeding on the water together with Mallard, Coot, Moorhen and Little Grebe. We then decided to head to Kensington Cliffs to see some Eleonora’s Falcon.
We stopped at Phassouri Reed Beds on the way. A juvenile Purple Heron was present and we put a Common Snipe to flight. Three European Rollers flew over and at least four Marsh Harrier were quartering the area. We added yet another Whinchat to the day’s total – there were many of these around today. At Kensington Cliffs a pair of Eleonora’s Falcon were obligingly flying out from the cliff face over the sea and Vlad could get a few photos although no close ups. We ate lunch at Kourion Stadium where there was another Cyprus Wheatear, at least two more Cyprus Warbler and of course a Whinchat. An Eleonora’s Falcon flew over as we ate and in the distance a Long-legged Buzzard soared. By then the heat of the day had defeated us and I returned Vlad to his hotel.
List of species seen: 54
Little Grebe, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Mallard, Red-crested Pochard, Honey Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Pallid Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Eleonora’s Falcon, Chukar, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Common Snipe, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Turtle Dove, Common Cuckoo, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, European Roller, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Yellow Wagtail, Whinchat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Masked Shrike, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Ortolan Bunting, Cretzschmar’s Bunting.