It was Esther and Marcel’s first birding trip in the eastern Mediterranean so they were keen to see as many regional species as possible. We started well at Petra tou Romiou where at least twenty Alpine Swift were flying noisily around. After a longer wait we had good views of four, maybe five Eleonora’s Falcon and their aerobatics. One of the birds was a dark morph so we had the chance to compare both plumage types. A couple of Chukar was on the slopes and several Yellow-legged Gull were on the cliffs. As usual the local Western Jackdaw were everywhere. We saw both male Sardinian and Cyprus Warbler but couldn’t locate the calling Cyprus Wheatear.
At Asprokremmos Dam we were treated to great views of a pair of Cyprus Warbler with two maybe three young moving around some bushes. A male Spectacled Warbler was singing nearby and we later saw at least two family parties of that species. A couple of male Sardinian Warbler were also singing in the car park area. A lone Squacco Heron was on the water and near the mast we found a late migrating Whinchat. A pair of Red-Rumped Swallow were near the pump area and a drive along the canal as we left the area allowed us to see a pair of European Roller and twelve European Bee-eater.
We made a quick visit to the Sewage Works where our target species was the Spur-winged Lapwing. Three were present on the edge of the pools and were very obliging. On to Anarita Park where ten days after my last visit all the migrating raptors and falcons had moved on. We did however find many Common Kestrel probably glad to have the area to themselves again. Two of them quickly chased off a single Eleonora’s Falcon flying high over the road. As we ate our lunch we were treated to an adult Bonelli’s Eagle floating to the north of us and a pair of Red-rumped Swallow and two Little Owl kept a close watch on us. We found a singing male Cyprus Wheatear and at least one European Roller.
Heading towards Kannaviou we went via Minthis Hills. We found another Roller and two more singing male Spectacled Warbler. New for the day were the several singing Corn Bunting and after hearing at least three Cretzschmar’s Bunting we finally saw an impressive male close to the track as we drove through. Our timing at Kannaviou was perfect as we missed what appeared to have been a heavy downpour. A lone male Mallard was on the water so we quickly focused on the nearby fields and plantations. We saw family parties of Cyprus Wheatear, Sardinian Warbler and Common Linnet on one slope and heard a couple of calling Black Francolin. The Francolin remained hidden in the tall grasses but many Corn Bunting were singing. There was no sign of the Black-headed Bunting though much to my disappointment.
In the forested area we saw a couple of Eurasian Turtle Dove and could hear others ‘purring’ in the pines. After hearing several Eastern Olivaceous Warbler we finally spotted one in a conifer and were able to follow it as it flitted from branch to branch. Several male Spanish Sparrow were collecting nesting material and four European Serin were seen together with the many European Goldfinch and Greenfinch that are always in the area. A male Masked Shrike flew into the open and perched on a low branch and we finished our time there watching him. As we drove back to Coral Bay a Long-legged Buzzard flew across the road near Psathi. A great sight on which to finish a really enjoyable day out.
Species seen – 43
Squacco Heron, Mallard, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Common Kestrel, Eleonora’s Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin (h), Spur-winged Lapwing, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Little Owl, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Whinchat, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Great Tit, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting