A delayed start to our day due to a nasty accident on the road to Polis, meant that Janice and I headed quickly to the area behind Neo Chorio village and the Smygies picnic site. The first of several small flocks of European Bee-eater that we would find throughout the day passed over our heads continuing their journey northwards. The only other passage migrant we found there was a Spotted Flycatcher. We did however get great views of several migrant breeders – plenty of Cyprus Wheatear, a male Masked Shrike and at least four Cretzschmar’s Bunting. The Cretzschmar’s could be heard singing throughout the area and one very kindly flew and perched on a bush next to us.
We drove to the deserted village of Androlikou finding several European Roller as we passed the gorge. There were yet more Cyprus Wheatear and migrating Bee-eater as well as a Woodchat Shrike. We spent a while watching a calling Eurasian Hoopoe outside the village. It was oblivious to us as we amazed at its ability to call and hold a caterpillar in its bill at the same time. Behind Arodes village we found more Rollers, several family parties of Sardinian Warbler and a couple of Spanish Sparrow. There was also both a male and female Red-backed Shrike but the stars of the area were two singing Black-headed Bunting.
Another Black-headed Bunting was on the wires outside the village of Kathikas as we passed through it to Kannaviou Dam. The only waterbird on the dam was a single Little Grebe but that wasn’t the reason for our visit there. The area is great for migrant breeders and we were not disappointed finding Eurasian Turtle Dove, more migrating Bee-eaters, Red-rumped Swallow, House Martin, many Cyprus Wheatear, several singing Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Masked Shrike, Cretzschmar’s Bunting and another Black-headed Bunting. We also found a Coal Tit – one of the Cyprus endemic sub-species.
As we drove back to Latchi to return Janice to her hotel, we stopped for a quick view over Evretou Dam. A lone Yellow-legged Gull flew around the shallow end and one of the long staying Northern Pintail was still there. No other birds to add to our day list which includes great views of most of Cyprus’ migrant breeders.
Total species seen – 39
Little Grebe, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Common Kestrel, Black Francolin, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Common Swift, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Black-headed Bunting, Corn Bunting