Out with Simon and Natalie for the day we started at Paphos Sewage Works which is now a reliable site for Spur-winged Lapwing. At least twelve were in the recently cut alfalfa fields, as was a single Cattle Egret. A Hoopoe was also feeding there and a male Black Francolin showed nicely running down the side of the field. A flock of around one hundred Spanish Sparrow were continually moving around the area – stopping to feed in the fields or perch on the citrus trees. We picked out a lone Chiffchaff and there were several Willow Warbler still present. A couple of Stonechat were near the Ezousas river as were Whinchat and of course plenty of Yellow and White Wagtail were present. At least three Spotted Flycatcher were on the overhead wires and near the sea we found five Tree Pipit. I heard Red-throated Pipit fly over and finally we managed to find them and watch them through the ‘scope. As we returned to the car to leave four Red-footed Falcon were spotted flying over the abandoned aircraft.
In the fields at Mandria we found a couple of Isabelline Wheatear, around ten Greater Short-toed Lark and at least two more Red-throated Pipit. Simon spotted a lone Chukar in the middle of a ploughed area. Unfortunately only I spotted a Merlin being chased by a Hooded Crow. Near the church we managed to get close to nine Red-footed Falcon perched on overhead wires. We had great views of male, female and juvenile birds close together. In the distance another four were gaining height and yet more were on wires near Timi. Inland a Long-legged Buzzard could be seen flying over.
It was very quiet around Asprokremmos Dam although we were very pleased to find a male Cyprus Warbler in the trackside undergrowth and be able to watch him from the car windows. Simon had seen a black and white bird fly by on our outward drive behind the dam and on the way back we stopped and he found it again – a juvenile Masked Shrike. Simon hadn’t birded in this area of Europe before so we were picking up several species he hadn’t seen before, this being one of them. A lone European Bee-eater was in the car park area of the Dam and we also watched a male Sardinian Warbler for some time enabling us to compare the differences between it and the Cyprus Warbler seen earlier.
On to Kouklia where at the Soakaways we added two Grey Wagtail and a Blackcap to the day’s list. Near the Archaeological Site there we saw a Peregrine Falcon but more impressive were the Eleanora’s Falcon that we then watched flying near Petra tou Romiou. Three together and then one alone. We then went to Agia Varava hoping to find the other Cyprus endemic. A Cyprus Wheatear has been hanging on there for a few weeks now but it looked as if it had left when we arrived. We consoled ourselves watching a Little Owl high on the cliffs above us but further searching found the Cyprus Wheatear and Simon was able to take some record shots.
Returning to Coral Bay we passed over Minthis Hills hoping to see more raptors. We found four Northern Wheatear and three Red-footed Falcon and then finally a large raptor – a juvenile Montagu’s Harrier flew up to our left near the golf course. A good bird to end the day on.
Total species seen – 48
European Shag, Cattle Egret, Montagu’s Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Merlin, Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin, Spur-winged Lapwing, Common Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Little Owl, European Bee-eater, Eurasian Hoopoe, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Tree Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Whinchat, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch.