Rather a hotter day than we had expected and despite a disappointing show by migrating raptors we had a good day’s birding. It was the third time I was taking Terry and Sarah out and we headed straight for Agia Varvara, a new site for them. We were greeted by the sound of migrating European Bee-eaters – which was to be found wherever we went throughout the day. There was still some water in the river and we found a Sedge Warbler but could not see the Water Rail we had heard. Our lone European Honey Buzzard of the day was a juvenile bird seen in the area perched on a small tree. We saw two Cyprus Wheatear, two Eurasian Turtle Dove and the first of many Whinchat and Masked and Red-backed Shrike that were around throughout the day.
There were many Yellow Wagtail in the fields at Paphos Sewage Works – many juveniles and females but we also saw some male Black and Blue-headed. We counted at least fifteen Spur-winged Lapwing which included at least seven juveniles. There were several migrating Willow Warbler and resident Sardinian Warbler in the roadside vegetation and we also found a Eurasian Reed Warbler, a Eurasian Hoopoe and an Isabelline Wheatear which was sitting on the top of some hay bales.
The star birds at Mandria were eight European Rollers that were together on some wires to the west of the main beach. They were calling to each other as we watching and swooping down to feed on insects in the fields. Our attention was drawn to a kestrel nearby and on watching it through the ‘scope we realized we were looking at a male Lesser Kestrel. Our only Lesser Grey Shrike of the day was also in those fields. Again Whinchat and the other shrikes were plentiful and we also had four Northern Wheatear and yet more Yellow Wagtails. On the beach, avoiding the bathers were two Little Ringed Plovers.
Visiting the area behind Asprokremmos Dam we were pleased to locate a male and female Cyprus Warbler, a Spectacled Warbler and then a single Eurasian Stone Curlew in the shade of the carob grove. As we ate our lunch in the shade of the car park trees we watched a Eurasian Hoopoe, a Spotted Flycatcher and the many European Goldfinch that are always there. On the water we found a single White-winged Tern and disturbed a Purple Heron that flew off inland.
We finished the afternoon at Evretou Dam adding juvenile Bonelli’s Eagle, Western Marsh Harrier, Grey Heron, Common Greenshank and Eastern Black-eared Wheatear to our list. We also had good views of European Bee-eaters coming down to drink from the water until frightened off by the Bonelli’s Eagle, as well as three Cyprus Wheatear and another Northern Wheatear. Many Willow Warbler were feeding in the roadside orchards.
Driving back to Paphos we caught sight of a hovering large bird of prey – a Long-legged Buzzard. We spent some time just watching it as it hunted over the area near Stroumbi. A spectacular display to end our day.
Number of different birds seen 51:
Grey Heron, Purple Heron, European Honey Buzzard, Western Marsh Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Water Rail (h), Eurasian Stone Curlew, Little Ringed Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Common Greenshank, Yellow-legged Gull, White-winged Tern, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Black-headed Wagtail (feldegg), Blue-headed Wagtail (flava), Whinchat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch