Picking up Pat from her hotel in Nicosia we headed south east to the abandoned village of Agios Sozomenos. In the fields we heard and saw a few Eurasian Skylark, Meadow Pipit and Red-throated Pipit. Hundreds of Western Jackdaw were on the cliff face and we were really pleased to find two Cyprus Wheatear still present and a migrating Whinchat in with the many Common Stonechat that were setting up territories. A smart male Western Black Redstart stood out and we also had good views of Zitting Cisticola, Chukar and Spectacled Warbler. The target species for the area was the Finsch’s Wheatear that spends the winter in the area. I wasn’t sure if they had arrived and at first it seemed we were too early but then I heard one singing and we located a very smart male. We were then pleased to locate another further along the road. We were also treated to fly-bys from a Long-legged Buzzard, a Peregrine Falcon and a Western Marsh Harrier.
The sky looked very threatening and we drove through a heavy rain storm to Limassol and Phassouri Reed Beds. As the rain was stopping our timing was just right, and we saw a male and juvenile Red-footed Falcon circling up together with a Eurasian Sparrowhawk. Two European Honey Buzzard were also gaining height as were at least two Western Marsh Harrier. We heard a Common Kingfisher, a Water Rail and several Cetti’s Warbler in the reeds but the best bird there was a Moustached Warbler that we saw moving around at the base of the reeds. Akrotiri Gravel Pits held many Common Stonechat and we also found a flock of Common Linnet, Sardinian and Spectacled Warbler.
There were only a few Little Stint on Lady’s Mile and the water levels had risen at Zakaki Marsh but we still had close up views of a Common Kingfisher and two juvenile Yellow Wagtail. A couple of Little Egret were feeding in the mud and at least fourteen Grey Heron were present. A lone Sand Martin was perched on the electricity wires
We decided to finish the day at Kensington Cliffs and we arrived there at around 4.30pm. Here we were treated to an aerial display by several Eleonora’s Falcon – in fact when we looked in the distance we counted at least forty birds – but five were flying and calling over our heads, catching insects and avoiding Hooded Crows and Yellow-legged Gull. As the sun got lower seven Griffin Vulture came into view and flew over the cliff opposite us to their nearby roost. A spectacular sight to round off a great day.
Fifty seven species
Little Grebe, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Greater Flamingo, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, European Honey Buzzard, Eurasian Griffon Vulture, Western Marsh Harrier, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Water Rail, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Little Stint, Common Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Kingfisher, Crested Lark, Eurasian Skylark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, European Robin, Western Black Redstart, Whinchat, Common Stonechat, Cyprus Wheatear, Finsch’s Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Great Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet