John, Madeleine and I started our day out at Petra tou Romiou. On leaving the car our attention was attracted by a calling falcon and we found a young Peregrine Falcon clinging to a rock face opposite us. Its mother was trying to persuade it to leave and fly to her and a cache of food she had on a rocky outcrop. We left them to it and turned our attention to at least four Eleonora’s Falcon that were flying over the area – two of them were dark morphs. They were chasing the local Western Jackdaws. Two Alpine Swift were also in the area and a singing Cyprus Wheatear was ignored as we watched the acrobatics of the falcons.
Moving on the Kouklia Soakaways we found the recent rain had ensured a few small pools of water had reappeared but there was little there to detain us for long. Several Reed Warbler were singing in the reeds and House Sparrow and European Goldfinch family parties were drinking from the puddles. We went to Asprokremmos Dam and on our approach found two European Roller on the wires which enabled us to see them well from the car windows. Two European Bee-eater were also present. We found a Spectacled Warbler family group as well as a male and female Cyprus Warbler, several Sardinian Warbler , a male Common Redstart and a Western Marsh Harrier. The resident Little Owl obliged by sitting out in the sun away from the gloom of its usual cave.
Mandria was quiet with a Spotted Flycatcher the only real evidence of any migration. We visited Paphos Sewage Works where we saw four Spur-winged Lapwing and the same number of Cattle Egret. A male and female Blue-headed (flava) Wagtail were also seen. At Agia Varvara we watched a European Bee-eater feeding on insects and then found a pair of European Stone Curlew in one of the now –dry Soakaways as well as a Wood Sandpiper feeding by a large puddle and a European Turtle Dove.
Unwittingly we had saved the best to last. I was hoping that a few Red-footed Falcon and maybe a Lesser Kestrel or two would still be around Anarita Park although I knew that it was a bit late now for them. As soon as we arrived in the area a few Red-footed Falcon rose up to greet us – male, female and second calendar year birds. Then we found a female Lesser Kestrel and then a male. As we progressed into the area more falcons appeared over every ridge with several flying over us and one female Red-footed Falcon even landing on a stem by the side of the car. In total we think there were probably around forty Red-footed Falcon and at least ten Lesser Kestrel but we may have undercounted. We also found a couple of this year’s Common Kestrel juvenile resting in a field. We watched as several of the Red-foot rose to chase off a migrating Western Marsh Harrier but a bigger commotion occurred as first an adult Bonelli’s Eagle moved across the area beneath the goat farm and then a light phase Booted Eagle. A great spectacle.
There were four European Roller flying around adding some colour and we saw two male Cyprus Warbler – one singing and the second with food in its bill. One of the resident Little Owl was on its favourite perch and two Red-rumped Swallow were close by. We drove to the masts on our way out and several of the Red-footed Falcon were now on the overhead wires. We were looking for Great Spotted Cuckoo and were not disappointed. Two pairs were flying around as well as were another two European Roller. We all agreed that we may not have seen lots of different species as migration comes to an end but we had had a lot of quality birds and quality birding moments.
Total species seen – 50
Little Grebe h, European Shag, Cattle Egret, Western Marsh Harrier, Booted Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin h, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Spur-winged Lapwing, Wood Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Blue-headed Wagtail (flava), Common Redstart, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler h, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch