A planned day’s guiding was spread over a day and a half in the end due to a flat car battery at Panagia Stazousa on Friday morning! The sort of morning that you couldn’t really make up – but Greg and I had good views of a late Cyprus Wheatear and were able to spend several hours listening and watching at least four male Cyprus Warbler while we waited for a jump start to the car. We also had plenty of European Robin, Eurasian Blackcap, Sardinian Warbler, Chiffchaff and Common Stonechat to watch and listen to. A Eurasian Sparrowhawk flew over as did at least two Long-legged Buzzard. We saw many Chukar and after a heavy rain storm at least ten Common Kestrel were flying over the area.
With my car restarted we decided to try again on Saturday and I went off to replace the battery. With Greg’s primary targets, the Cyprus endemics, well seen on Friday we aimed for some general birding and additions to his life list. We stopped at Oroklini Marsh on our way to Cape Greco where the numbers of Mallard, Northern Shoveler and Eurasian Teal are increasing after the recent rain. We heard a Water Rail and saw a couple of Common Redshank as well as five Northern Lapwing and several Spur-winged Lapwing. Stopping at Kermia Beach we were pleased to find two Greater Sand Plover.
At Cape Greco there were flocks of finches – Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet – and a couple of Corn Bunting. Plenty of Spanish Sparrow were present and Eurasian Skylark and Meadow Pipit were flying over. We found a late migrating Northern Wheatear and at least four Blue Rock Thrush. The star birds, and the main reason for our visit there, were a male and female Finsch’s Wheatear that appeared to be competing for territory as we watched them.
A quick visit to Makronissos Beach found four Greater Sand Plover, a Little Egret and added Kentish Plover to Greg’s increasing world list. A Common Sandpiper was at Potamos Liopetri where two European Shag were fishing offshore. Arriving back in Larnaca we visited the northern edge of the Salt Lake where we found nearly three hundred Greater Flamingo were now on the Lake. At least fourteen Common Redshank were feeding at the edge as were five Common Ringed Plover and a Water Pipit. A flock of Kentish Plover could be seen in the distance. Just as we were leaving I spotted a larger bird behind the reeds and was surprised to find it was a White Stork. A Black-crowned Night Heron flew over as we returned to the car.
Another surprise, again in the reeds but this time at Spiros Pool, was a juvenile Purple Heron. On the flooded area there we had two more Northern Lapwing for the day and three Green Sandpiper flew over. A couple of Black Francolin flew allowing good views and two arguing Cetti’s Warbler squabbled in a stand of reeds and for once came well into the open. A lone Common Starling on a wire was our last new species for the day.
Some good birds seen over a day and a half and thanks to Greg for his patience during our enforced stay in the Panagia Stazousa valley.
Sixty two species
European Shag, Black-crowned Night Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, White Stork, Greater Flamingo, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Water Rail (h), Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Greater Sand Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Northern Lapwing, Common Redshank, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Common Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Crested Lark, Eurasian Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Water Pipit, White Wagtail, European Robin, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Finsch’s Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Corn Bunting.