This day out had been scheduled for May 6th but after two hours in the pouring rain and driving through low cloud we had abandoned it and rearranged our trip for the following week. A much brighter and warmer day yesterday, although we had probably missed out on several migrants that could still have been around last week.
Carl, Riss and I headed to the track heading towards Tsada Golf course and driving towards the village we stopped as soon as we saw a Great Spotted Cuckoo being chased over the ridge by a couple of Magpies. The cuckoo disappeared from view but we stopped there to watch singing Corn Bunting, Spectacled Warbler and Cretzschmar’s Bunting. Both the Buntings were seen with caterpillars and insects in their bills and were obviously breeding in the area. In the distance we could see a juvenile Bonelli’s Eagle but unfortunately it flew out of sight without coming closer to us.
We did however get another chance to see Great Spotted Cuckoo as we crossed the countryside to get to Kathikas and Arodes. A pair was being chased by yet more harassed Magpie as we approached Kathikas. Behind the village of Arodes we found a couple of European Roller, more Corn Bunting, a Woodchat Shrike and two singing male Black-headed Bunting. They were unfortunately too far away for Carl to take a photo of but luckily we found another two by the roadside later which he was able to get closer too.
We then spent a couple of hours around Smygies. Migrating Bee-eaters treated us to several displays of aerobatics and we spotted a single female Red-footed Falcon passing high over the area. Cretzschmar’s Bunting were singing and we managed to spot a couple of males but the singing Serin were harder to pick out high in the trees. Singing Eastern Olivaceous Warbler were also spotted flitting amongst the trees but we couldn’t see the calling Turtle Dove, Golden Oriole and Scops Owl that were heard calling briefly. Cyprus Wheatear and Masked Shrike were easier to see.
We were pleased to see a Long-legged Buzzard as we drove through the village of Psathi on the way to Kannaviou Dam. There Carl was pleased to finally see a Eurasian Turtle Dove – one of several lifers for him during the day. We found two more Black-headed Bunting and found the Coal Tit – one of Cyprus’ endemic sub-species in the forest there. As usual at this time of year there were several Masked Shrike, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler and Cyprus Wheatear present. The Dam itself had many House Martin, Barn Swallow and Common Swift feeding around the wall.
We will never know what other species we may have seen if we had visited ten days earlier as originally planned but we had an enjoyable time watching those around yesterday.
Total species seen – 40
Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Black Francolin, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Eurasian Scops Owl h, Common Swift, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Barn Swallow, Common House Martin, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Eurasian Golden Oriole h, 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