Two mornings out with Mike on 9th and 12th August. On Friday we headed first to Meletis forest outside Cape Drepanum to try and find the Cyprus Warbler I had seen a couple there earlier in the year, today though but we did see an adult Masked Shrike, several Chukar, a couple of Zitting Cisticola, a lone Cyprus Wheatear and a few Sardinian Warbler disappearing deep into vegetation.
On the roadside wires outside Kathikas we found a Roller and in the valley behind Arodes village there were another two as well as at least four juvenile Masked Shrike, two Turtle Dove and a migrating Woodchat Shrike. Behind Neo Chorio we found two juvenile Cyprus Wheatear who were very user friendly and enabled Mike to take a few photos. At the Smygies picnic site we could hear Eastern Olivaceous Warbler but could only see Great Tit and Greenfinch although an overflying Red-rumped Swallow was more interesting. As we left we found a female Cyprus Wheatear and then next to the stream a male Cretzschmar’s Bunting was very pleasing. Heading towards Neo Chorio an overflying Long-legged Buzzard gave us great views and another two Turtle Dove were an unexpected sight. Another shrike on a wire was a Lesser Grey Shrike – a lovely adult.
We had a quick scan of the Bay before finishing for the day as the heat was becoming unbearable. Despite all the caravans parked in the field overlooking the sea we spotted an Isabelline Wheatear flitting between two clods of earth and in the Bay itself a group of around forty Glossy Ibis headed west.
Picking Mike up on Monday we headed straight to Paphos Harbour for a walk around the coast. We were hoping to find Greater Sand Plover and after picking out one on the rocky shore we soon located another four. Only one was still showing any sign of breeding plumage. We also found a Common Sandpiper and after hearing it on the way out we found a Common Kingfisher on the way back. Moving onto Paphos Sewage Works we spotted one tern over the area – a Gull-billed and as we watched it a White-winged Tern joined it. In the fields there were at least eight Spur-winged Lapwing with many Western Jackdaw and Hooded Crow cooling off under the spray of the mobile watering unit. A juvenile Masked Shrike was on the wires and Zitting Cisticola and Sardinian Warbler were in the roadside vegetation. More interesting were the Yellow Wagtail feeding around a muddy pool and flying around the fields. There were at least six which mainly seemed to be female or juvenile and hard to assign to any race but Mike was pleased to pick out a Black-headed.
Driving away we both saw a Black Francolin – Mike’s to our left and mine to the right – and then another one to the left. Three individuals, two of which were feeding in the cut alfalfa and allowed Mike good views of one of his target species. Leaving the area two Turtle Doves flew in front of the car. On to Asprokremmos Dam where we were hoping to find Cyprus Warbler. We found a juvenile Spectacled Warbler and also a male that flew across the scrub area. Two Chukar and two more Masked Shrike were around and in the distance we heard a Stone Curlew. In the woods near the car park there were four Hoopoe as well as many Goldfinch, a few Sardinian Warbler and at least one more Masked Shrike. We checked out the scrub overlooking the Dam itself and in the distance had a brief glimpse of a female Cyprus Warbler as it showed briefly. A possible male was also in the area and showed for a few seconds. Two male Sardinian were however seen from close up and a juvenile watched from a conifer as we drank our coffee.
We finished the morning in the area still known as Aspro Pools but now completely dry. Again we found several Sardinian Warbler. A Long-legged Buzzard flew over the area ignoring the attentions of two Common Kestrel. We could hear two Cyprus Warbler in the undergrowth near the pumping station but they refused to be seen for more than a few seconds at a time. So that species refused to be user-friendly for Mike but he had had good views of his other targets – Black Francolin and Cyprus Wheatear. Leaving the area and heading back into Paphos a Eurasian Hobby flew over the motorway in front of us giving us a total of 43 species over the two hot August mornings.
List of species:
Glossy Ibis, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Eurasian Hobby, Chukar, Black Francolin, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Greater Sand Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Common Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Gull-billed Tern, White-winged Tern, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Common Kingfisher, Common Swift, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Yellow Wagtail species, Isabelline Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Zitting Cisticola, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Great Tit, Lesser Grey Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, European Goldfinch, European Greenfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting