Holly had been at the same conference in Larnaca as Norm and Tracy who I had taken out on Monday so I was under some pressure to provide an obliging Black Francolin for her as well as some other eastern Mediterranean species.
We started at the edge of Meneou Pool where we found nine Stone Curlew. Around us we could hear two calling Black Francolin and on a hay bale to the back of the area we watched another through the telescope. As we drove up to the Larnaca Sewage Pools hide at least twenty Chukar were in the field. Another one of Holly’s targets seen. On the pools themselves there was nothing new for a UK birder until we spotted a Whiskered Tern fishing in the far right hand corner. In fact the activity in the undergrowth in front of the hide and to its side was more interesting. We found at least three Spectacled Warbler and a smart male Spanish Sparrow and of course several Stonechat. We had seen something else moving between the bushes and the ground but for a while it remained hidden until finally a Bluethroat hopped forward. It even sat on the fence for a short while. A single Yellow Wagtail was on the ploughed fields together with several White Wagtail while many Skylark flew over the site.
The farmer was working in the field in front of Spiro’s Pool so we had only a brief glimpse of the female Black Francolin there and saw the male fly off. On the wires next to the Sewage Work Plant sat seven Barn and two Red-rumped Swallow. Stonechat and Crested Lark were everywhere and we moved to the fields further east to find yet many Skylark – some even flew out to sea from there so seemed to be migrating further south -, a few Red-throated Pipit and more interestingly seven Lesser Short-toed Lark. No Water Pipits however and they must have moved on from yesterday but there will still plenty of Spanish Sparrow flying around the area. A few Kentish Plover were close to the sea as was a Common Ringed Plover.
We counted twenty six Greater Flamingo in the middle of Larnaca Salt Lake. We found Common Snipe, Ruff, Spur-winged Lapwing, Common Redshank and Common Ringed Plover on the northern shore. There were more Spur-winged Lapwing, another Ruff and two Common Redshank at Oroklini Marsh together with many Shoveler , Coot and Moorhen. There was also, two Little Egret and four Cattle Egret. A Marsh Harrier quartered the area and most of the birds present were keeping a watchful eye on its movements. We heard a Water Rail call but couldn’t get a decent view in the thick reeds which were full of House and Spanish Sparrow.
A good variety of birds in a few hours on a Sunday morning.
List of species (43)
Little Grebe, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Greater Flamingo, Common Shelduck, Common Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Marsh Harrier, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Water Rail (heard), Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Stone Curlew, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruff, Common Snipe, Common Redshank, Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Whiskered Tern, Lesser Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Common Skylark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Red-throated Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Bluethroat, Common Stonechat, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Goldfinch