On Saturday I had been surprised to see Ruff on Spiros Pool which appeared to be completely dry; visiting the area briefly yesterday I saw a Western Marsh Harrier put up many waders from that location. I returned for a search today and found water in the area near the Sewage Plant and Desalination Buildings. A good collection of waders and mosquitos awaited me. These included a Black-tailed Godwit (probably the same as seen at the Sewage Works last week), two Grey Plover moulting from their breeding plumage, a Temminck’s Stint, a Sanderling, several Wood Sandpiper, two Dunlin, a Curlew Sandpiper, two Little Ringed Plover and around ten Common Ringed Plover, four Common Snipe and tens of Ruff and Little Stint. Several Black-winged Stilt were there and a juvenile Collared Pratincole flew away as I arrived. Four Greater Short-toed Lark flew over the area calling and there were at least three Yellow Wagtail. The Western Marsh Harrier was still quartering the area.
After the excitement of finding a juvenile Rose-coloured Starling on the coast near the airport boundary fence, I then watched a young Peregrine Falcon chase a feral pigeon while being mobbed by two Commom Kestrel.
As I arrived at the Sewage Works pools a Long-legged Buzzard was soaring over the area. On the water were an adult and two juvenile ‘Baltic’ Gulls, an eclipse plumage Northern Pintail, at least four Garganey, six Northern Shoveler and a Eurasian Teal. A few waders around the edge of the pools – Common Sandpiper, Common Redshank, Ruff, Common Ringed Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing and Black-winged Stilt.
Had my first Pallid Harrier of the autumn today with a juvenile quartering the fields near Larnaca Desalination Plant. A Common Kingfisher was on the coast there and several Yellow Wagtail were in the fields. It was strange to see around twenty Ruff on the bone dry Spiros Pool.
On the Sewage Pools there were seven Garganey, around four Northern Shoveler and at least one Eurasian Teal – migrants mixed in with the resident Mallards. Around the edge were also some migrant waders – a Black-tailed Godwit, a Sanderling, two Common Ringed Plover, a Common Redshank, around twenty Little Stint, five Common Sandpiper and a Green Sandpiper. Two moulting adult White-winged Tern were flying over the water together with a juvenile. There are still good numbers of Black-winged Stilt and Spur-winged Lapwing there.
Near Tekke Mosque there were two Lesser Grey Shrike and two male, three female and a juvenile Red-backed Shrike.
No sign of the Broad-billed Sandpiper, that had been present last night, on Spiros Pool this morning but still plenty of interest as there were nearly twenty Curlew Sandpiper, a Red-necked Phalarope, four Black-tailed Godwit, two Little Tern, a Little Gull, more than a hundred Little Stint and a Ruff in near breeding plumage among the twenty or so of that species.
A couple of Whinchat and a late Northern Wheatear were also seen, ten Glossy Ibis passed over and then along the airport coast I watched 41 Collared Pratincole flying over the sea and then move inland. A Whiskered Tern was on the Sewage Pools.
A drive around the south side of the Larnaca Salt Lake today dodging the showers produced some interesting species. The water in the pools is slowly receding meaning that the conditions are just right for migrating waders.
Spent the afternoon birding around Akrotiri. The best bird was seen last at 18.10 when an Osprey flew over Lady’s Mile and headed north. Other birds seen included Squacco Heron, Glossy Ibis, Cattle Egret, Spotted Redshank, Black-winged Stilt, Common Greenshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Woodchat Shrike, Red-backed Shrike and Yellow Wagtail.
Black-tailed Godwit, Akrotiri Salt Lake 16th April 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours