Out around Larnaca doing the February Waterbird Count. Started the day in sunshine and luckily just finished before a thunder storm with hail and strong winds hit the area.
I only found one Greater Flamingo on the Salt Lake but just around eighty were on Meneou Pool together with five Stone Curlew and a few Armenian Gull. Two male Black Francolin were having a standoff in a corner of the pool but one of them was frightened off by a male Hen Harrier which flew over. The other celebrated by calling loudly.
The number of ducks on the Sewage Works was much reduced from last month and neither the Greater White-fronted Geese nor the single Greylag Goose were there – maybe they were out on the fields somewhere but I didn’t see them. There were just over five hundred Northern Shoveler, two hundred and thirty Common Teal, a hundred or so Mallard and around 160 Little Grebe. The Coot numbers were up – four hundred and eighty. The Black-necked Grebe (eighteen in total) were with the Little Grebe near to the hide so I could got great views of them – at least four are now in full breeding plumage and the others are acquiring it. There was a single Northern Pintail, five Eurasian Wigeon and two female Gadwall. Three Black-winged Stilt were feeding around the edge.
No water birds on Spiro’s Pool although a Bluethroat flew to the top of a bush briefly and I could make out two Sandwich Tern on the offshore buoys. There were still plenty of Common Shelduck on the main Salt Lake – around 700, together with many Common Black-headed Gull, some Armenian Gull and a few Caspian Gull. There were also five Slender-billed Gull. Kentish Plover, Dunlin, Little Stint and a few Common Ringed Plover were around the edge of the water. A couple of Marsh Harrier were quartering the area and two Little Owl were near Tekke Mosque. In that area there were also many Linnet, Corn Bunting and European Goldfinch.
At Kiti Dam there was a lone Green Sandpiper and twelve Barn Swallow and around twenty House Martin were feeding over the water.