A visit to some different sites today with Steve and Julie concentrated on finding his two target species – Eleonora’s Falcon and Black-headed Bunting – but also produced some other interesting sightings.
We started our search for the Eleonora’s Falcon at Petra tou Romiou where we found several Alpine Swift, singing Cyprus Wheatear and Warbler and heard Chukar. Unusually we also heard a calling Scops Owl. More Alpine Swift were at Pissouri where we had great views of a male Cyprus Warbler, heard but couldn’t see a Black Francolin and Steve spotted a Hoopoe flying over the area. Our first Eleonora’s Falcon was seen by the roadside on the way between Pissouri and Avdimou. We had stopped to watch four European Rollers that were on roadside wires and an Eleonora’s Falcon flew nearby.
At Avdimou Bay we found several Cyprus Wheatear and a fly-by migrating Lesser Black-backed Gull of the fuscus race (Baltic Gull) was a good surprise. Arriving at Kensington Cliffs we were quickly treated to the aerial show of at least six Eleonora’s Falcon. We spent at least half an hour enjoying them and also saw one of the local Peregrine Falcon, a migrating juvenile Western Marsh Harrier and up to ten Alpine Swift.
One of our targets enjoyed, we then headed inland to see if Black-headed Buntings had arrived on their territories in the Omodos area. On the way we saw another Roller and pairs of Great Spotted Cuckoo and Turtle Dove. We sat and enjoyed the scenery in a valley outside the village. We could neither hear nor see any Black-headed Bunting but were treated to a pair of Long-legged Buzzard flying over the area – one of which had a rat in its talons and we assumed they were off to feed it to their young somewhere nearby. We also saw a Peregrine Falcon and a couple of Red-rumped Swallow and European Serin. Both Sardinian and Cyprus Warbler were heard and seen and Cyprus Wheatear were on territories. Several Eastern Olivaceous Warbler were singing in the thick vegetation but we couldn’t succeed in our attempts to actually see one. As we left I finally heard a singing male Black-headed Bunting and we managed just brief views of it as it flew away and out of sight over a ridge.
We headed back towards Limassol and then back inland to the east of that town to Prastio Kellakiou where I hoped we may find Black-headed Bunting. We were in luck and heard at least one as soon as we arrived. In the end there were three singing males and we managed much better views of them than at Omodos. We also found at least six Cretzschmar’s Bunting, several of which were singing, and two pairs of Masked Shrike. The area was full of Spanish Sparrow and a group of at least twenty European Bee-eater flew over.
An enjoyable day with some great bird watching moments – quality rather than quantity summing up the day.
Forty six species seen
Western Marsh Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin, Lesser Black-backed Gull (Baltic Gull), Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Eurasian Scops Owl (heard), Common Swift, Alpine Swift, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Great Tit, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Black-headed Bunting