Was surprised to arrive in Paphos and find it had rained and there was plenty of cloud around. The weather felt different than it had on my recent visits to the area and this was reflected in the birds seen. There was a noticeable reduction in the number of Whinchat, Willow Warbler and larger raptors. We also found no Yellow Wagtail at the sites we visited.
The first stop with Terry and Sarah was around the White River area near Avagas Gorge. We were pleased to see a male Blue Rock Thrush drinking from a puddle in the middle of the track but other than plenty of Western Jackdaw and Sardinian Warbler there wasn’t much else until a couple of Honey Buzzard, a Black Kite and two Marsh Harrier passed over and there were a few Bee-eater inland from the coastal track.
Terry and Sarah hadn’t come across Greater Sand Plover on their previous visits to Cyprus so we had a short walk around the Headland to find them. On our way to where four Greater Sand Plover were roosting on the shore we also saw two Dunlin, three Ruddy Turnstone, a Whimbrel and a Common Sandpiper. There were two Common Kingfisher flying along the coast and offshore a couple of Yellow-legged Gull flew by and a Gull-billed Tern was a surprise find fishing offshore.
We then visited Paphos Sewage Works, a site that Terry and Sarah know well. We were amazed at the numbers of Hooded Crow around the watering systems. At least twelve Spur-winged Lapwing were also in the fields and there were several Tree Pipit, Willow Warbler, Red-backed Shrike and Whinchat. A surprise though was the absence of any Yellow Wagtail but the stars of this location were the two Hoopoe feeding in a recently mown field.
Mandria was very quiet at first and we drove around checking the fields for any bird life. We had seen a Black Kite flying eastwards over the area as we drank our coffee. In the potato fields past Lark Corner we found seven Stone Curlew who were not really troubled by our presence and let Terry take several photographs. As we watched them the Black Kite floated above our heads giving a good chance to check his plumage and ID pointers. In the distance we could make out a couple of Red-footed Falcon circling up and decided to finish our morning by trying to get closer to them. We found nearly thirty birds in total on wires to the west of the village. Mainly female and juveniles but a very smart male decided to fly over our heads so we had lovely close ups of him as well. We could see others in the distance and then spotted a large white bird heading towards us from the Timi area. At first we wondered if it could have been one of the White Stork that had been in the area recently. But we soon realized it was a Great White Pelican. It was being mobbed by a couple of Common Kestrel. A few Honey Buzzard were circling up and the Pelican gained height below them.
Time to end our morning out with 40 species and several lifers for Terry and Sarah. Thank to Terry for allowing us to use some of his photos here.
Species seen –
Birds seen – European Shag, Great White Pelican, European Honey Buzzard, Black Kite, Western Marsh Harrier, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Greater Sand Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Dunlin, Common Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Ruddy Turnstone, Yellow-legged Gull, Gull-billed Tern, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Common Kingfisher, European Bee-eater, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Tree Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Whinchat, Blue Rock Thrush, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, European Goldfinch