Neil and Christine had specific targets so the day was arranged to ensure we had the best chance to see them. The presence of a male Amur Falcon at Anarita Park changed the locations we had originally intended to visit but we still found all of them – although the Black Francolin refused to show from inside the cereal crop from which it was calling loudly – very frustrating!
The target species were Long-legged Buzzard, Spur-winged Lapwing, Chukar, Black Francolin, Cretzschmar’s Bunting and Cyprus Warbler, plus the Amur Falcon.
The Chukar turned out to be a roadside tick as one ran along the side of the road as we headed to Anarita Park from Neil and Christine’s Limassol base. Four then flew across the motorway. Flocks of swifts and hirundines were everywhere throughout the day – migrants probably bought down lower by the unsettled weather. We saw our first Alpine Swift in one of these flocks as we approached Anarita and we saw several more of these throughout the day plus good numbers of Sand and Common House Martin, Common Swift and Barn Swallow as well as one Red-rumped Swallow.
The Amur Falcon was the perfect bird – sitting on wires in front of us as we parked the car in Anarita Park where it was with several small falcons. In the area we found several male and female Red-footed Falcon and Lesser Kestrel. After watching them for a while we checked out the rest of the area and found a Cyprus Wheatear, three Little Owl, a Great Spotted Cuckoo and heard a Cyprus Warbler which remained deep in the hawthorn bush. More accommodating was a male Cretzschmar’s Bunting which we found busily collecting seeds. We watched it until it flew away towards the goat farm. Flocks of European Bee-eater flew over.
Moving on to Paphos Sewage Plant again we quickly found our target – the Spur-winged Lapwing. We counted at least six near the plant and in the nearby fields. Two Eurasian Turtle Dove were on the wires and again hirundines and swifts were everywhere. We had a couple of probably Pallid Swift but they were a little too distant for us to be 100 per cent sure. Mandria was quiet and little was seen apart from five Little Egret moving west along the coast. After a quick check of the area behind Asprokremmos Dam where we watched European Bee-eater on the wires we then headed back towards Limassol and inland to Omodos.
The weather was now cloudy, windy with scattered showers. However, we were pleased to see a Long-legged Buzzard flying over the area and find at least seven singing male Black-headed Bunting and one female. Several Cretzschmar’s Bunting were singing and European Serin, Cyprus Wheatear and Corn Bunting were reasonably common. We then decided to check Germasogeia Dam where we spent quite a while listening to a Black Francolin calling in a field of uncut cereal. He didn’t come out into the open however but at least Neil will recognize the call when he hears it again!
Our last stop was at Prastio Kellakiou. It was now very over cast but before the heavens opened we had brief views of a Cyprus Warbler family party, saw a fly-by Great Spotted Cuckoo, a male Masked Shrike, at least two singing male Black-headed Bunting and three Cretzschmar’s Bunting.
We headed back to Limassol in the rain- both the rain and the Black Francolin having defeated us but with the other targets met it didn’t seem important that the overall count for the day was low.
Full species list:
Little Egret, Long-legged Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Amur Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin h, Spur-winged Lapwing, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, European Bee-eater, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Black-headed Bunting, Corn Bunting