Second day out with Ann and Peter and we started at Zakaki Marsh. We quickly found two newly arrived Sedge Warbler and a couple of Eurasian Reed Warbler and heard a Spotted Crake. Unfortunately we couldn’t see it, although apparently it had been on view before our arrival. Two Spur-winged Lapwing flew over. In the nearby vegetation we found Spectacled and Willow Warbler and were treated to good views of a male Black Francolin. On Lady’s Mile we found Armenian and Caspian Gull as well as a couple of Little Egret, a juvenile Greater Flamingo, a Black-tailed Godwit, three Common Redshank, some Kentish Plover, three Dunlin and more than fifty Little Stint. In the scrub were several Isabelline Wheatear and a male Northern Wheatear as well as several large flocks of European Goldfinch, European Greenfinch and Common Linnet.
It was very windy in the Gravel Pits area and workmen in the church grounds prevented us from checking those but as we drove across the area we heard a familiar call – it was Eurasian Penduline Tit. We stopped to investigate and then spent some time watching at least ten of them – mainly males – feeding in tamarisk bushes and calling to each other as they flitted around. We also found three Eurasian Hoopoe, that looked as if they had just flown in from the sea, and watched three Western Marsh Harrier and a Common Buzzard patrol the area. A male Merlin flew quickly over the old rabbit sheds. A flock of Spanish Sparrow also caught our attention.
We decided to head to Germasogeia Dam and then return to Zakaki later in the afternoon. At the Finikaria end of the dam we came across a Long-legged Buzzard and flocks of Spanish Sparrow and several singing Corn Bunting. A single male Cretzschmar’s Bunting was sitting high on a hawthorn bush. Checking out the remaining pools in the shallows we had great views of two Common Snipe and a Jack Snipe and it was especially interesting to compare their size when they flew. A single Alpine Swift flew low over our heads and a Water Pipit came down to the water’s edge to drink. At least five Black-headed Wagtail were flying around.
As the sun started to go down we headed back to Zakaki for a final check for the Spotted Crake. No luck again but we found Cattle and Little Egret there as well as two Ferruginous Duck and a Spur-winged Lapwing that flew in front of the hide.
Despite the wind making it difficult to find migrant passerines during the day we were pleased with the species we did see – a good variety in our 65 day total.
Total species seen – 65
Little Grebe, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Greater Flamingo, Mallard, Ferruginous Duck, Western Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Merlin, Chukar h, Black Francolin, Spotted Crake h, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Kentish Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Jack Snipe, Common Snipe, Common Redshank, Common Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Caspian Gull, Armenian Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Water Pipit, Black-headed Wagtail (feldegg), White Wagtail, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Great Tit, Eurasian Penduline Tit, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting