Starting our day out with a walk around the Paphos Headland, John and I quickly located our target species there – four Greater Sand Plover. An added bonus were three Ruddy Turnstone flying along the coast line. We also found two Northern Wheatear inside the fenced area of the Archaeological site. As usual there were many Crested Lark and Hooded Crow. Moving onto Paphos Sewage Works we found the Spur-winged Lapwing that now breed there. Many Willow Warbler were in the roadside vegetation together with several calling Sardinian and a Cetti’s Warbler. Yellow Wagtail were hidden in the alfalfa fields occasionally flying over and on to another field. Five White Wagtail were in a ploughed area and Tree Pipit, Red-backed Shrike and Whinchat were nearby. A walk down to the sea produced a European Shag on a nearby rock and suddenly four Honey Buzzard appeared and flew southwards. Two Eurasian Hoopoe were in the olive groves and thirteen Grey Heron moved eastwards along the coast. As we were in the car a Green Sandpiper flew over.
Mandria seemed quiet although many European Bee-eater and Barn Swallow were moving south. We checked all the fields and there were Yellow and White Wagtail there as well as the usual Crested Lark and then twelve Greater Short-toed Lark and at least 18 Whinchat – each on sitting on its own sprinkler! Three Red-throated Pipit flew down into the potato fields but despite searching John didn’t get a view of them. An Isabelline Wheatear was easier to see as were the Stone Curlew siting in the shade of the olive trees. As we drove away from the area a strange noise prompted me to stop the car and we got out to check what it was. Although we didn’t discover the perpetrator two White Stork flew into the fields ahead of us. Presumably the same pair that had been at Paphos Sewage Works over the last few days.
At Asprokremmos Dam we found more Bee-eaters and a rather tired looking Turtle Dove. A Spotted Flycatcher was in the car park woods and a search of the area produced several Sardinian Warbler and one possible Cyprus Warbler that refused to come out of the undergrowth for full identification. With little or no raptor migration in the area we decided to head for a quick visit to Akrotiri for the rest of the day – specifically Phassouri Reed Beds.
And that seems to have been the correct decision. As soon as we arrived we were greeted by yet more migrating Bee-eaters and a more healthy looking Turtle Dove and over the next hour or so we watched migrating raptors go over – at least 20 Honey Buzzard, a couple of ‘steppe’ Buzzard (Buteo buteo vulpinus), more than twenty Red-footed Falcon, three Eleonora’s Falcon and eight Marsh Harrier. A female Blackcap was also a new bird for the day and in the area grazed by the cattle we found Cattle and Little Egret, two Glossy Ibis, several Yellow Wagtail, a couple of Wood Sandpiper and two Common Snipe. A rather scruffy Coot was also present. Barn Swallow and Sand Martin were flying over all the time.
To try and get better views of Eleonora’s Falcon we went on to Kensington Cliffs where three, maybe four birds, were flying. Checking the area around Kourio Stadium for Cyprus Warbler we saw at least two birds flitting from bush to bush and calling but neither sat still for very long.
Raptor migration is definitely slowing but we had quality rather than quantity in the birds seen. Thanks to John for a good day out in interesting company.
Total species – 52
European Shag, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, White Stork, Glossy Ibis, European Honey Buzzard, Western Marsh Harrier, Steppe Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Eurasian Coot, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Greater Sand Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Wood Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Common Snipe, Ruddy Turnstone, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, European Bee-eater, Eurasian Hoopoe, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Tree Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Whinchat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch