The weather had an autumn feel this morning when I picked up Howard for a day around Paphos and Akrotiri. The wind, that at least lowered the temperature, also seemed to affect the birds that we saw with very little raptor movement noted.
We had one Honey Buzzard circling up over Paphos Sewage Works and a Western Marsh Harrier putting the many Yellow Wagtail to flight. Red-backed, Lesser Grey and a very pale juvenile Masked Shrike were found as were a couple of Spotted Flycatcher, several Whinchat, lots of Willow Warbler and a few Zitting Cisticola. We also had great views of two male Black Francolin. One was creeping along the side of one of the fields and the other emerged from the track side vegetation. At the Ezousas Soakaways we found at least four Turtle Dove and a flock of migrating European Bee-eater together with a juvenile European Roller. At least one Eurasian Reed Warbler was spotted and a Water Rail was heard.
Another Honey Buzzard greeted us as we arrived at Mandria where again there were plenty of Yellow Wagtail in the fields. We also found a couple of Northern Wheatear and at least one European Stone Curlew was in one of the ploughed fields. A couple of European Shag were offshore and two Yellow-legged Gull floated past. As we approached nearby Asprokremmos Dam we saw a Long-legged Buzzard fly over which landed on the slope opposite us enabling us to examine it through the ‘scope. More European Bee-eater were around as were many Sardinian Warbler, at least six Chukar and at least three Spotted Flycatcher.
We then headed for Phassouri Reed Beds where we ate our lunch as we checked for migrating raptors. No Honey Buzzards during our watch but we did see a European Sparrowhawk and a couple of Western Marsh Harrier. Howard managed to get some photographs of the European Bee-eaters in the trees but the strong winds were hindering both us and the birds. We went to Zakaki Marsh and from the new hide saw the immature Great White Pelican that has been there for several weeks now. A White Stork was also present with the Little Egret and Grey Heron on the opposite shore. We were treated to a flying display by at least five Whiskered Tern and also watched a Spotted Redshank and Common Kingfisher. Another Western Marsh Harrier was quartering the area and put most of the birds to flight.
Our final point of call was Lady’s Mile. An Eleonora’s Falcon flew westwards over the sand dunes and then we spotted a female Red-footed Falcon heading straight out to sea. Checking the waders we found a Sanderling in with the many Kentish Plover and Little Stint. A couple of Dunlin were also present. We had a good variety of species seen on a day made difficult by the strong winds. Nevertheless an enjoyable day out.
Total 53 species seen:
European Shag, Great White Pelican, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, White Stork, Mallard, Eurasian Teal, European Honey Buzzard, Western Marsh Harrier, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin, Water Rail, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Kentish Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Sanderling, Little Stint, Dunlin, Spotted Redshank, Yellow-legged Gull, Whiskered Tern, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Common Kingfisher, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Barn Swallow, Yellow Wagtail, Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, European Goldfinch