The first day out of what promises to be a busy spring season for Cyprus Birding Tours, was with Peter and Sian. We had arranged to go to Anarita Park and Akrotiri to show Peter those locations. Our target species were Cyprus Warbler, Cyprus Wheatear and Finsch’s Wheatear. After heavy rain over night the weather was mainly sunny if hazy as we headed for Anarita Park. Flocks of finches – Common Linnet, European Serin, European Goldfinch and Greenfinch greeted us as did a Eurasian Hoopoe. Corn Bunting were singing and we heard a Great Spotted Cuckoo although we didn’t see one there. After a few false starts we found both Cyprus and Finsch’s Wheatear as well as a couple of Isabelline and Northern and a very smart Eastern Black-eared. We were told by a local birder that a male Lesser Kestrel was hunting near the road and we passed by there and had good views of it. We briefly saw a male Cyprus Warbler as well as a Chukar, two male and a female Blue Rock Thrush, some male Spanish Sparrow and a few Woodlark.
We then headed to the Agia Varvara valley hoping to get better views of the Cyprus Warbler. We were in luck and found a male singing there which kept us entertained for a while until we were interrupted by a fox dashing through the undergrowth nearby being chased by three dogs. We then moved on to Kourio Stadium where we ate our lunch in the shade of a carob tree watching Isabelline, Northern and Cyprus Wheatear and added Red-rumped Swallow to our list of species.
Two Eurasian Hoopoe flew over Phasouri Reed-beds but we didn’t find much else there. We drove to check the coast of the Gravel Pits and assumed we had found Garganey floating on the sea. Putting the scope on them it was a surprise to see five Gadwall and around twenty Eurasian Teal. Driving through the Gravel Pits area we came across five Little Ringed Plover, a Ruff and a Green Sandpiper, two Kentish Plover, a Great Spotted Cuckoo, two Isabelline Wheatear, a male Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, five Lesser Whitethroat, a Woodchat Shrike and many mosquitos. A quick scan over the Salt Lake revealed a couple of hundred Greater Flamingo and a Western Marsh Harrier quartering the shore.
On Lady’s Mile we found just a couple of Kentish Plover and Ruff, a Black-winged Stilt, a Spotted Redshank and a Common Redshank. A couple of Slender-billed Gull with a lovely pink tinge to their plumage were floating offshore with some Common Black-headed Gull and at least one Armenian and Caspian Gull. We then spent a short time in the hide at Zakaki Marsh where we could hear Eurasian Penduline Tit calling. Finally two males were spotted by Peter feeding in a tamarisk bush to the left of the hide. Also present were a Little Egret, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot and five Common Starling.
The last stop was Kensington Cliffs but unfortunately we were too late to see any Eurasian Griffon Vulture but we did see at least six Alpine Swift. We returned to Paphos happy with our days birding.
Total species – 72
Little Egret, Grey Heron, Greater Flamingo, Gadwall, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Western Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Kentish Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Ruff, Common Snipe, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Green Sandpiper, Common Black-headed Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Caspian Gull, Armenian Gull, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Woodlark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, European Robin, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Finsch’s Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Eurasian Penduline Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Corn Bunting