A day out with Vanessa, Catherine, Les and David around Paphos where we saw some colourful and varied species. We started at Anarita Park where a pair of Great Spotted Cuckoo greeted us as we drove into the area. As we watched them several Lesser Kestrel could be seen hunting over fields and a female Pallid Harrier gained height to the south. Four Lesser Kestrel rested on a nearby pylon and we were able to see the ID pointers on both the male and females. Moving down the track we found at least eight male and two female Red-footed Falcon and also the male Amur Falcon that has caused great excitement amongst local birders since it was found on Thursday. A Cyprus first and we had the privilege of watching it fly and hunt over our heads! After a while we moved on and found a European Roller and both the Cyprus endemics – being able to watch a singing male Cyprus Wheatear on our right and a singing male Cyprus Warbler on our left. We also got close to the resident Little Owl and found another pair of Great Spotted Cuckoo.
Our next stop was the valley of Agia Varvara. On our way to check out the soakaways that still held some water we were distracted by a displaying European Roller that was also attracting the attention of the resident Hooded Crows who were not keen to having him setting up territory there. A great spectacle and with all respect to the Amur Falcon it was the highlight of the day. In the wet areas we found Purple and Squacco Heron, Glossy Ibis, Ruff, Wood and Common Sandpiper, Common Snipe, and Yellow and White Wagtail. A surprise find were two Ortolan Bunting. We heard a Eurasian Turtle Dove and saw two European Bee-eater. We saw two Eurasian Turtle Dove at Mandria where we also found a Eurasian Stone Curlew in a ploughed field and added Red-rumped Swallow, Sand Martin and Eurasian Shag to the day list.
After a picnic lunch on the coast at Mandria, we moved to the Sewage Works at Paphos where we quickly located Catherine’s target – Spur-winged Lapwing. At least five were seen – the same number of Cattle Egret were also in the fields where they were joined by twelve Wood Sandpiper and two Glossy Ibis. At least three Eurasian Turtle Dove were with a large group of Common Woodpigeon and a Eurasian Hoopoe flew over the area. Near the beach we found a female Northern Wheatear.
Our next stop was Asprokremmos Dam where we had been told there were some Golden Orioles. We were pleased to find at least three males and a female although we would have been happier if they had perched out in the open instead of flying quickly across the area. A Eurasian Hoopoe called over the area and some European Bee-eater flew over. We finished the day near the cliffs at Petra tou Romiou where at least four Eleonora’s Falcon and eight Alpine Swift gave us aerial displays. A good way to finish our enjoyable and successful day out.
Total 57 species
European Shag, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Pallid Harrier, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Amur Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Black Francolin h, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruff, Common Snipe, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Blue-headed Wagtail flava, Black-headed Wagtail feldegg, White Wagtail, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zittting Cisticola, Eurasian Reed Warbler h, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Great Tit, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Ortolan Bunting, Corn Bunting