A day of Cyprus winter birding with Angela and Ronald around Paphos. On our way to Evretou Dam we passed over the Tsada/Minthis Hill track and stopped to watch flocks of finches – Serin, Linnet, Chaffinch. Greenfinches and Goldfinches as well as several singing Corn Bunting. Near the deep end of Evretou Dam two Long-legged Buzzard were soaring and they passed over us later when we arrived at the shallow end. On the dam we found Grey Heron, Northern Shoveler, Common Coot. Great Cormorant and Little Grebe. A stop in orchards along the stream which runs parallel to the track from Skarafos Bridge gave us good views of male and female Blackcap, Grey Wagtail, Chiffchaff, Sardinian Warbler, European Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush and Chaffinch. A rail-type species flew into the deep vegetation too quickly for us to get any ID pointers.
Heading south back into Paphos we saw a couple of Common Buzzard near the road side. Our next stop was Anarita Park where we were able to get good views of three male Finsch’s Wheatear – one of them obligingly close to where we ate our lunch in the winter sunshine. Two large birds of prey flew low into the area in front of us and landed on a slope. The local Magpie population headed straight towards them and we were pleased to see an adult and a juvenile Bonelli’s Eagle. They stayed for about fifteen minutes until flying off heading north. A Little Owl sat perched on a rock watching us throughout our stay while many Stonechat, a couple of Western Black Redstart, a Chukar and seven Woodlark were also seen.
At Paphos Sewage Works we found at least fifteen Spur-winged Lapwing as well as six Cattle Egret and more flocks of finches as well as many Meadow Pipit, several Spanish Sparrow and some Eurasian Skylark. At least 300 Common Wood-pigeon were in the area as were many Hooded Crow. The best bird of that location though was an impressive male Hen Harrier that flew over the alfalfa fields putting all the small birds to flight. The surprise of the day was also seen there – a single Barn Swallow – an early sighting for the west of the island.
At Asprokremmos Dam we checked the large flock of Yellow-legged Gull on the water and were able to pick out a couple of adult Caspian Gull although there may well have been more. A singing male Cyprus Warbler held our attention for a while until the setting sun meant it was time to return Angela and Ronald to their hotel in Kato Paphos. Some good birds on a warm winter day and thanks to Angela and Ronald for their company.
Forty nine species seen:
Little Grebe, Great Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Northern Shoveler, Hen Harrier, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Eurasian Coot, Spur-winged Lapwing, Yellow-legged Gull, Caspian Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Little Owl, Crested Lark, Woodlark, Eurasian Skylark, Barn Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, European Robin, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Finsch’s Wheatear, Eurasian Blackbird, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Corn Bunting.