Out for the day with Christiane and Christian from Germany, our first stop was at Phassouri Reed Beds. A male Golden Oriole flew away from us as we parked in the shade of one of the eucalyptus trees at the start of the reed beds. The call of Bee-eaters filled the air and around fifty flew around the area stopping to rest on the bare branches of the trees near the aerials. Others could be seen moving high in the sky heading south. Several Turtle Doves flew fast over the area and a Purple and a Grey Heron made their way towards the main salt lake. Above us several Honey Buzzards were flying southwards, while others thermalled up to our left and disappeared from view. We saw around 20 of these as well as at least three Marsh Harrier, a juvenile Montagu’s Harrier and two Eurasian Sparrowhawk. Two juvenile Red-backed Shrike were in the reeds nearby and as we watched them a Collared Pratincole flew swiftly in front of us. A steady trickle of Sand Martin flew over as well.
We drove along the road until we came to the water. At least two more Marsh Harriers were hunting over the reeds and a Black Kite was seen in the distance gaining height. A Little Egret and Cattle Egret were with the grazing cows and several Red-backed Shrike, Whinchat and Zitting Cisticola claimed our attention from the tops of grass stalks and small shrubs. Two Common Kingfisher were chasing each other across the water – one of them hovering and diving to catch a fish right in front of us. Another flash of colour was provided by a European Roller which was probably the highlight of the day. Just as we were thinking of moving on a juvenile Montagu’s Harrier and a Glossy Ibis landed in the area. We were able to watch the Harrier take off and continue across the reed beds but the Ibis disappeared into the vegetation.
Moving on we scanned the Salt Lake itself but it was so hazy that the best we could make out were around 500 Greater Flamingo, a White Stork, some Little Egret and a Marsh Harrier. All was very quiet at the Agios Georgios Church although a Cyprus Warbler flitted in the bushes and two more young Montagu’s Harriers flew low over the area.
As we parked the car at Kensington Cliffs two Eleonora’s Falcon flew ahead of us. Another two birds then flew out from the cliffs and calling swooped in front of us. It was now very hot so we moved to Kourion Stadium for some lunch. As with my visit there the previous week at least two Cyprus Warbler were in the bushes but would not stay still long enough to be seen properly.
We then drove up to Troodos and spent our last hour at the picnic site at Livadhi tou Pashias. Both the endemic sub-species of Coal Tit and Short-toed Treecreeper could be heard although we only had a really good look at the Coal Tit. The Jay (another endemic subspecies) was high in one of the pine trees nearby. There were many House Martins above and a couple of Red-rumped Swallow. As I drove Christiane and Christian back to their guesthouse at Potamitissa we saw a couple of Cyprus Wheatear by the roadside.
Total day list: 47 species
Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, White Stork, Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo, Northern Shoveler, Honey Buzzard, Black Kite, Marsh Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Kestrel, Eleonora’s Falcon, Chukar, Collared Pratincole, Common Snipe, Common Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Turtle Dove, Common Kingfisher, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, House Martin, Yellow Wagtail, Whinchat, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Cyprus Warbler, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Short-toed Treecreeper, Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike, Jay, Magpie, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch.