I had previously taken Gareth out in April 2015 when we had visited Akrotiri and managed to see 90 species. We knew that we couldn’t reach that total today around Paphos but we had some great birding moments – quality rather than quantity being the order of the day. We started at Anarita Park where we saw seven species of raptor – Bonelli’s Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Western Marsh Harrier, Common Kestrel, Lesser Kestrel, Amur Falcon and Red-footed Falcon. We also found both the Cyprus endemics – Cyprus Wheatear and Cyprus Warbler, at least six Great Spotted Cuckoo, watched a displaying European Roller, enjoyed the feeding antics of many European Bee-eater and in return were watched by two Little Owls.
We spent several hours at Anarita Park and then moved on to Petra tou Romiou where we saw at least three Eleonora’s Falcon, an Alpine Swift and then – my birds of the day – a female Peregrine Falcon with two young birds flying out over the sea and near the cliff face. A great spectacle watching them trying out aerial manouvres and chasing each other. A quick detour into the village of Kouklia meant we found two of Cyprus’ newest colonisers, Laughing Dove. Usually noted as a vagrant to Cyprus, a population of escapees has bred for several years in Agia Napa and Limassol and they are now spreading, although the exact origin of the Kouklia birds is unclear. While eating our lunch in the Agia Varvara valley we added Squacco Heron and Spotted Flycatcher to our day list and again were entertained by European Bee-eaters.
We then drove to the area around Kannaviou Dam. There was little on the dam itself – a single Purple Heron but in the nearby wooded area we found two of Cyprus’ endemic sub-species – Coal Tit and Eurasian Jay – as well as Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Masked Shrike, Cretzschmar’s Bunting and European Serin. There was no sign though of any Black-headed Buntings which have been seen near the Dam in previous years. So we headed towards Kathikas where we heard at least two singing males and got good views of one in the vineyards. A nearby soaring Long-legged Buzzard completed a great day’s birding.
Total species – 50
Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, Western Marsh Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Amur Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Laughing Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Jay, 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