Spent the hottest day of the year doing my first stint of raptor counting of the autumn at Akrotiri on Friday. A few Western Marsh Harrier were on the move as was a male Montagu’s Harrier and a Pallid/Montagu juvenile. Other birds of interest were three Isabelline Wheatear, some Eleonora’s Falcon, several Red-backed and Lesser Grey Shrike, a Woodchat Shrike, lots of Common Snipe, Grey and Squacco Heron and Cattle (see photo), Great White and Little Egret, Glossy Ibis, Western Yellow Wagtail, Ruff and Wood Sandpiper, European Roller and Greater Flamingo.
Two photos from the White Stork extravaganza this morning at Akrotiri Salt Lake. One of just a few of the migrating group of c1000 and the other is of one White Stork heading to the left while one of the three European Honey Buzzard that was soaring with the storks heads right.
A morning around the Akrotiri peninsula with some interesting species seen.
Akrotiri Salt Lake
Slender billed Gull 50+
Common Tern 2
Gull billed Tern 4
Caspian Tern 1
Little Tern 15
Spotted Redshank 1
Marsh Sandpiper 4
Wood Sandpiper 1
Green Sandpiper 4
Common Redshank 4+
Greater Flamingo c1000
Little Ringed Plover 4
Little Egret 3
Black winged Stilt 100+
Akrotiri Marsh (Phasouri Reed beds)
Glossy Ibis 24
Little Egret 16 (see photo)
Grey Heron 2
Cattle Egret 8
Spur winged Lapwing 1
Squacco Heron 4
Little Bittern 1m
Eleonora’s Falcon 1
Red rumped Swallow 7 heading S
Black crowned Night Heron 1 juv in flight
Spent the morning at Germasogeia Dam where I found at least three Bluethroat which were great to watch although not keen to have their photo taken! A trip around the Akrotiri sites later produced three more Bluethroats, a couple of Common Kingfisher, a large flock of Dunlin and Little Stint, three Temminck’s Stint, some Water Pipit and Woodlark, a Hen Harrier and several Western Marsh Harrier, three Water Rail and at least two Eurasian Penduline Tit.
Photo of a juv Slender-billed Gull with a Black-headed Gull behind taken at Lady’s Mile.
Only the Common Snipe was out in the open. They were less than a metre apart at times.
Although at first it didn’t look very promising at Phasouri this morning, things picked up slowly and I managed to get a good list together including a nice surprise in the shape of a juvenile Lesser Spotted Eagle (see cropped record shot). Other birds seen include:
Eurasian Sparrowhawk 1
Common Crane 1 flew down behind reeds
Jack Snipe 1 in flight
Common Snipe 3
Western Marsh Harrier 2
Common Starling c40
Water Pipit 13
Black Redstart 1
Spur-winged Lapwing 10
Great White Egret 2
Western Water Rail 1h
Red-throated Pipit 1+h
Northern Lapwing 9
A quick visit to Lady’s Mile this morning. Around 40 Dunlin and several Little Stint were feeding in the marshy area and at least 50 Black-headed Gull were flying around. Several Red-throated, Water and Meadow Pipit were also in the area as were three Northern Wheatear and two Common Redstart.
Photo of one of the Water Pipits.
Two scarce waders for Cyprus on the Gravel Pits at Akrotiri last weekend– a Bar-tailed Godwit and a Red Knot. Also at least nine Grey Plover with the Knot – which was a good count for Cyprus.
A good day around Akrotiri despite being in the wrong places at the time when three Short-toed Snake Eagles passed over. Anyhow saw nearly 70 migrating European Honey Buzzard as well as six Black Kite and several Montagu’s Harrier. Elenora’s Falcon were hunting over the area and hundreds of European Bee-eater were migrating through. Nearly two hundred Kentish Plover were on Lady’s Mile together with a few Little Stint and single Sanderling and Dunlin.
Photo below of a juvenile Kentish Plover in the midday sun on Lady’s Mile.
After a hot morning at Kensington Cliffs helping with the BirdLife Cyprus vulture census I was pleased to hear that a Rose-coloured Starling had been seen an hour or so before at Akrotiri Gravel Pits. Luckily it was still around and although it wasn’t exactly photo friendly I did manage a record shot.
Today the Travelling Naturalist group visited Akrotiri starting at Kensington Cliffs where we saw a Griffon Vulture and a male Cyprus Warbler. During the day we found many migrants in the area including Black-winged Stilt, Spur-winged Lapwing, Western Yellow Wagtail, Common Redstart, Ruppell’s and Subalpine Warbler, Little Ringed Plover, Eurasian Bittern, Common Hoopoe (photo). Black-eared Wheatear, Red-throated & Tree Pipit and ‘Steppe’ Buzzard.
As well as the Demoiselle Cranes at Akrotiri on 16th March I also found several Great Spotted Cuckoo (photo), a Common Hoopoe, Water Pipit, Baltic and Slender-billed Gull, some Little Ringed Plover (photo) and a Purple Heron.