The weather rather dampened our expectations for our day out but in the end we managed some good species although not large numbers. Picking up Richard and Ethelyn from Coral Bay we headed first to Mavrokolympos Dam hoping to find a late Finsch’s Wheatear. We had no luck with that species but a couple of male Cyprus Wheatear were fighting over territory and at least two male Cyprus Warbler were singing. The heavens opened as we left and drove to Agia Varvara. Luckily it had stopped when we arrived there. We found a bedraggled Cretzschmar’s Bunting perched in a tamarisk and a Red-rumped Swallow on the wires looking the worse for wear. The orchards were full of European Serin, Common Chaffinch and European Goldfinch and we could hear European Blackcap singing in the olive groves. Two Great Spotted Cuckoo were calling and we watched as they were chased by a couple of Hooded Crow. I spotted a Peregrine Falcon but it speeded out of sight before Richard could find it. We had seen a male Western Marsh Harrier as we turned off the motorway and I hoped that we could maybe see other large raptors but the weather was definitely not helping.
We spent some time watching a mixed flock of finches and Spanish Sparrow on the road into Asprokremmos Dam where we also found a Chukar. Otherwise it was quiet there so we moved to the Paphos Sewage Plant where we found five Cattle Egret and a pair of noisy Spur-winged Lapwing. A small flock of around fifty Black-headed Wagtail were emerging from an alfalfa field to drink and bathe in a puddle and were joined by a couple of Meadow Pipit and a single Water Pipit. At Mandria we found the vagrant Namaqua Dove that has been present in the area for a couple of weeks before driving down to the coast. The strong wind meant that we ate our lunch in the car but we did find a couple of Isabelline and Northern Wheatear to watch as we did so.
As we headed inland to Anarita Park it began to rain hard again and as we waited in the car for it to stop I even contemplated calling it a day. But we could see the clouds clearing from the west so we were patient and were well rewarded with several species coming out to dry in the late afternoon sun. These included a male Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, a male Finsch’s Wheatear and an Isabelline Wheatear shaking themselves dry, at least twelve Cretzschmar’s Bunting, a male Blue Rock Thrush, a female Cyprus Wheatear, three Red-rumped Swallow, two Lesser Whitethroat, a Woodlark and a calling Common Quail. A great end to a wet and windy day.
Total species seen 54
Little Grebe, Great Cormorant, Western Marsh Harrier, Common Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Quail, Spur-winged Lapwing, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Namaqua Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, Crested Lark, Woodlark, Eurasian Skylark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Water Pipit, Black-headed Wagtail (feldegg), White Wagtail, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Finsch’s Wheatear, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Blue Rock Thrush, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting