The first of two days out with Mark and Sally around the Paphos area; today we visited Acheleia Dam, Anarita Park, Minthis Hills, Kannaviou Dam and surrounds, and Evretou Dam.
A good surprise on the small Acheleia or Pianina Dam was a Ferruginous Duck – one of Mark’s targets that I had not expected to find around Paphos. Pleased with our start we headed to Anarita Park where we found a couple of Woodlark, flocks of European Goldfinch and plenty of Common Stonechat on our arrival. Scanning the rocks for wintering Finsch’s Wheatear we found two males that appeared to be fighting over territory and a female to the left of them. To the north we found another male (although we weren’t sure it wasn’t one of the two earlier seen arguing) and another female. We then spent some time watching a male Blue Rock Thrush who was showing better than a female we had seen earlier. A Little Owl was on its usual rock and we spotted another roosting in an olive tree.
We had no joy finding a Cyprus Wheatear there, nor at Minthis Hills our next stop, with all seeming to have moved on. We found several flocks of wintering birds there – European Serin, Common Linnet and Meadow Pipit. At Polemi we saw a Common Buzzard and moving on to Kannaviou we stopped and scanned the Dam first. A Great Egret was the best of the water birds there which also included two Grey Heron, many Eurasian Coot, some Mallard, Little Grebe and a single Great Cormorant. Two male Western Black Redstart were flying around and arguing near the dam wall in front of us. Eating our lunch in the nearby forest we were surrounded by flocks of Common Chaffinch, plenty of European Robin, some European Serin and Sardinian Warbler. We explored the area and finally managed to get views of around six Coal Tit – an endemic Cyprus sub-species.
Another Great Egret was on Evretou Dam and a Common Snipe was feeding around the edge. We were treated to fly pasts from both a Long-legged Buzzard and a Peregrine Falcon and spent some time watching the flocks of Corn Bunting. Two Common Starling were a good bird for that area of Cyprus. Large flocks of both Common Woodpigeon and Western Jackdaw were flying around. As the sunset we watched eight Great Cormorant coming into roost on water side trees.
Total species seen – 44
Little Grebe, Great Cormorant, Great Egret, Grey Heron, Mallard, Ferruginous Duck, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Common Snipe, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Little Owl, Crested Lark, Woodlark, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, European Robin, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Finsch’s Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Corn Bunting