Still some migrating waders around today with two Ruddy Turnstone and six Broad-billed Sandpipers the highlights. Plenty of Ruff, Little Stint, Wood Sandpiper, Common Ringed Plover and Black-winged Stilt. Also two Black-tailed Godwit and Marsh Sandpiper and a few Little Ringed Plover, a Curlew Sandpiper and a Common Greenshank. Still a large flock of Little Tern on Lady’s Mile so hopefully they will stay to breed. I also found two Woodchat Shrike and four Red-backed Shrike with a Black-eared Wheatear, a Whinchat, a female Common Redstart and several Spotted Flycatcher.
Back in Larnaca and out early to do the monthly waterbird count there. Good to find three Broad-billed Sandpiper and a Grey Plover on the Sewage Works pools but very dry elsewhere with just a small stream of water in the Kamares end of the main Salt Lake.
Larnaca Sewage Works
Ferruginous Duck 22
European Coot 40
Spur-winged Lapwing 29
Black-winged Stilt 11
Little Grebe 6
Yellow-legged Gull 22
Broad-billed Sandpiper 3
Little Stint 15
Kentish Plover 5
Green Sandpiper 2
Northern Shoveler 4
Common Teal 2
Grey Plover 1
Yellow Wagtail h
Common Sandpiper 6
Grey Heron 1
Temminck’s Stint 1
Yellow-legged Gull 17
Kentish Plover 26 inc several juvs
Larnaca Airport Coast
Yellow-legged Gull 36
Pallid Swift 2
Larnaca Salt Lake (Tekke area)
Masked Shrike 3 imm
Larnaca Salt Lake (Kamares area)
Spur-winged Lapwing 10 inc 1 juv
Common Redshank 1 (see photo).
Green Sandpiper 1
Common Kingfisher 1
There seemed to have been a clear out of birds overnight and there were less around than yesterday but still some migrants around including a Broad-billed Sandpiper on the Salt Lake. Other birds included:
Larnaca Sewage Works
Grey Heron 2
Little Tern 7
Yellow-legged Gull 1
Black-crowned Night Heron 1 along coast being mobbed by Hooded Crow
Little Stint 3
Common Sandpiper 1
Mallard 18 plus 1 female with 10 ducklings
Little Grebe 6
Common Coot 11
Sand Martin 20+
Barn Swallow 200+
Common Swift 50+
Northern House Martin 10+
Red-backed Shrike 1m
Greater Short-toed Lark 2
Larnaca Salt Lake
Little Owl 1
Eurasian Thick-knees (Stone Curlew) 1 h
Spur-winged Lapwing 16
Wood Sandpiper 5
Broad-billed Sandpiper 1
Little Stint 22
Temminck’s Stint 1
Glossy Ibis 8
Curlew Sandpiper 2
Squacco Heron 1 (see photos)
Black-crowned Night Heron 2 over road near Airport
This year a day out in mid-May means finding very few passerine migrants, the need to concentrate on breeding birds and visiting a wetland to increase the variety of species seen. Luckily Robert had a list of realistic target species which made our day easier although we had to work hard to find the Black-headed Wagtail. The other species Robert hoped to see were Cyprus Warbler, Cyprus Wheatear, Black Francolin, Chukar, Little Owl, Spur-winged Lapwing and Masked Shrike.
Starting at Cape Greco, the first bird we saw was a singing male Cyprus Warbler which was a great start. We explored the area and found another two males and two females together with a couple of juveniles. We soon heard the distinctive call of the Cyprus Wheatear and spotted a singing male on a low bush. Several others were later seen as were a couple of European Turtle Dove, a Spectacled Warbler, a male and female Red-backed Shrike as well as a couple of Sand Martin. A couple of Black-headed Buntings were singing near the Sea Caves area where we also found our only Chukar of the day.
We then headed to Akhna Dam where several Spur-winged Lapwing were found as was a male Garganey, a couple of Ruff and Common Sandpiper, some Little Egret, a Grey Heron and a Glossy Ibis. Several Eurasian Reed Warbler were heard singing and a flock of around 30 Common Swift and seven Alpine Swift were flying over the area and coming down to drink – a great sight. We visited both hides at Oroklini and Robert got great views of another of his targets here – this time a male Black Francolin was out in the open calling for quite a while. We also saw more Spur-winged Lapwing here as well as Black-winged Stilt, Curlew Sandpiper, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Little, Whiskered and White-winged Tern and Garganey. There were several recently hatched young Cattle Egret in the colony and we also spotted a Spur-winged Lapwing chick with one of its parents.
We then went inland to Panagia Stazousa to try and find a Masked Shrike and a Little Owl. We found the Little Owl perched outside its nest site but it took a while to find a Masked Shrike until eventually a male flew into view. We also saw more Cyprus Warbler and Cyprus Wheatear as well as Olivaceous Warbler, a European Roller, a fly-over Eurasian Hobby and two Long-legged Buzzard. We heard Cretzschmar’s Bunting but couldn’t get decent views of them.
Our next stop was on the eastern side of Larnaca Salt Lake where there was still some water and I was hoping may be a suitable location for the feldegg race of the Yellow Wagtail – Black-headed Wagtail. We found some water and the bonus of three Broad-billed Sandpiper (a regular but scarce passage migrant to Cyprus) feeding with Black-winged Stilt, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper and some stunning Curlew Sandpiper. A Squacco Heron was also present and we heard the call of a Yellow Wagtail and saw a couple fly over but were unable to see which race they were. Finally, a male Blue-headed was spotted feeding next to some reeds and then to its right there was a male Black-headed. All of the target species seen we went south of the airport to see what was on the Sewage Pools there. There were several Little Tern and a couple of White-winged Tern as well as two Yellow-legged Gull, some Spur-winged Lapwing and several Ruff. New birds for the day were a single Gull-billed Tern feeding over the water and a Collared Pratincole which we saw head out towards the coast.
We finished our day there pleased with our efforts.
Total species seen 66
Chukar, Black Francolin, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Common Teal, Little Grebe, Common Woodpigeon, European Turtle Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, Laughing Dove, Alpine Swift, Common Swift, Common Moorhen, Common Coot, Glossy Ibis, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Black-winged Stilt, Kentish Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruff, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Common Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Collared Pratincole, Yellow-legged Gull, Little Tern, Gull-billed Tern, Whiskered Tern, White-winged Tern, Little Owl, Long-legged Buzzard, European Roller, Common Kestrel, Eurasian Hobby, Red-backed Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Great Tit, Crested Lark, Zitting Cisticola, Olivaceous Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Northern House Martin, Barn Swallow, Collared Sand Martin, Cetti’s Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Cyprus Wheatear, House Sparrow, Blue-headed Wagtail, Black-headed Wagtail, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Black-headed Bunting, Cretzschmar’s Bunting
Good to see John and Madeleine again for another day’s birding. We visited a few Paphos locations in the morning before spending the rest of the day around Akrotiri. Eight species of raptor seen including Red-footed Falcon, Lesser Kestrel and Montagu’s Harrier at Anarita early morning and later on a Peregrine Falcon and two Eleonora’s Falcon hunting the waders on Akrotiri Salt Lake where we were surprised to find a female Hen Harrier as well. We saw many different waders including Broad-billed Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper and Temminck’s Stint plus great views of Collared Pratincole and White-winged Tern.
Highlights per location visited:
Agia Varvara – Black Francolin 2, European Turtle Dove, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Lesser Kestrel, Eleonora’s Falcon, Spotted Flycatcher
Agia Varvara village reservoir- Ruff, Temminck’s Stint, Wood Sandpiper, European Roller, Red-rumped Swallow
Anarita Park – Montagu’s Harrier 1m, Long-legged Buzzard, European Bee-eater h, Lesser Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Cyprus Warbler, Corn Bunting
Kouklia village – Laughing Dove
Akrotiri Gravel Pits – Great Spotted Cuckoo 2, European Turtle Dove 4, Little Egret, Kentish Plover, Willow Warbler, European Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, Spotted Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher 1f
Phasouri Reed Beds – Ferruginous Duck, Glossy Ibis 6, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Ruff, Olivaceous Warbler, Black-headed Wagtail 1m, European Serin
Akrotiri Salt Lake – Greater Flamingo, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Cuckoo, Black-winged Stilt, Grey Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Ruff, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Collared Pratincole, Little Tern, White-winged Tern, Hen Harrier 1f, European Bee eater, Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon
Lady’s Mile – Little Egret, Common Ringed Plover, Ruff, Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Common Greenshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Little Tern
Zakaki Marsh – European Bee-eater, Squacco Heron
Total species seen – 75
Black Francolin, Ferruginous Duck, Mallard, Little Grebe, Greater Flamingo, Common Woodpigeon, European Turtle Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, Laughing Dove, Common Swift, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Cuckoo, Common Moorhen, Common Coot, Glossy Ibis, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Black-winged Stilt, Grey Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit, Ruff, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Temminck’s Stint, Little Stint, Common Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Collared Pratincole, Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Little Tern, White-winged Tern, Hen Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Eurasian Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Great Tit, Crested Lark, Zitting Cisticola, Olivaceous Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Northern House Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Willow Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, Cyprus Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher, Cyprus Wheatear, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Black-headed Wagtail, European Greenfinch, Common Linnet, European Goldfinch, European Serin, Corn Bunting
A good day out birding with Byron started at Akrotiri Salt Lake where we scanned the area for roosting Demoiselle Cranes. None were present but although we were unlucky with that species we had a successful day enabling Byron to get many of his target species which included – Chukar, Black Francolin, Cyprus Warbler, Cyprus Wheatear, Spur-winged Lapwing, Kentish Plover, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Long-legged Buzzard, Eleonora’s Falcon, Slender-billed Gull, Spectacled Warbler, Pallid Swift and Masked Shrike.
Highlights per location visited:
Akrotiri Salt Lake – Lesser Grey Shrike, European Bee-eater, Red-backed Shrike
Akrotiri Gravel Pits – Greater Flamingo c20 along coast, European Honey Buzzard 3 gaining height over area 9.30 am, Black Francolin, Common Ringed Plover, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Broad-billed Sandpiper (thanks to local birder Tony who told us where the bird had moved to when it was absent from Lady’s Mile), Common Kingfisher, Tawny Pipit, Common Whitethroat, Northern Wheatear, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Cretzschmar’s Bunting 2h and seen briefly
Lady’s Mile – Dunlin, Curlew Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Eleonora’s Falcon (one over high up)
Phasouri Reed-beds – Western Marsh Harrier, Pallid Swift, Alpine Swift, European Roller, Eurasian Roller, Yellow Wagtail inc feldegg and thunbergii, Cattle Egret, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Masked Shrike
Panagia Stazousa – Montagu’s Harrier 2m, Long-legged Buzzard, Peregrine Falcon, Whinchat, Cyprus Wheatear 3, Cyprus Warbler 2m, Lesser Whitethroat, Spotted Flycatcher, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Masked Shrike
Larnaca Airport Pools South – European Bee-eater, Eurasian Stone Curlew
Larnaca Sewage Works – Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo, Montagu’s Harrier 1 juv, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, Black-winged Stilt, Ruddy Turnstone, Slender-billed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Whiskered Tern, White-winged Tern, Spur-winged Lapwing
Spiros Beach – Ruddy Turnstone 5
Petounta – Long-legged Buzzard
Agios Theodoros – Little Owl 2, Eurasian Scops Owl 1 h and seen, Black-crowned Night Heron 16 heading S
Total species – 79
Little Grebe, Black-crowned Night Heron, Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, European Honey Buzzard, Western Marsh Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Greenshank, Ruddy Turnstone, Slender-billed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Whiskered Tern, White-winged Tern, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Scops Owl, Little Owl, Common Swift, Pallid Swift, Alpine Swift, Common Kingfisher, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Tawny Pipit, Blue-headed, Black-headed and Grey-headed Wagtail, Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting
Found the melanistic Greater Flamingo today in with the others on Larnaca Salt Lake – not as interesting a find to be honest as the Lesser Flamingo found on Tuesday at Kouklia Reservoir outside Famagusta. The first record of this species in Cyprus and it seems it may have been overlooked on other occasions in with the group of Greater Flamingo there, and has been there at least a week. Would be nice if it decided to move further south to give others the chance to see it. After all the melanistic bird showed that the species is quite mobile when here in Cyprus moving between wetlands.
Other interesting species included Gull-billed, Little and White-winged Tern, Temminck’s Stint and Broad-billed Sandpiper.
Full sightings include:
Aradippou – European Roller 2
Livadhia – Spotted Flycatcher 1
Livadhia Drainage Channel (Jumbo) – Spur-winged Lapwing 6
Larnaca Salt Lake – Greater Flamingo 300+ (including melanistic individual), Great Reed Warbler 1h, Black-winged Stilt 24, White-winged Tern 3, Little Tern 1, Spur-winged Lapwing 5, Glossy Ibis 6, Ruff 24, Purple Heron 2, Common Ringed Plover 7, Curlew Sandpiper 9, Gull-billed Tern 2
Larnaca Sewage Works – Spur-winged Lapwing 5, Black-winged Stilt 16+, Ruff 46, White-winged Tern 7, Whiskered Tern 6, Little Tern 1, Wood Sandpiper 8, Northern Shoveler 1m
Spiros Pool – Ruff 66, Common Ringed Plover 15, Little Stint c240, Curlew Sandpiper 28, Greater Flamingo 1, Temminck’s Stint 2, Broad-billed Sandpiper 1, Dunlin 1, European Bee-eater 30 in off sea,
Meneou Beach – Spotted Flycatcher 1, Little Tern 1
Seventeen White-winged Tern and six Whiskered Tern were feeding over Larnaca Sewage Pools this evening as was a Little Gull. There was a good selection of wader on Spiros Pool – many of them in breeding plumage which we don’t often get the chance to see. There were single Red-necked Phalarope and Broad-billed Sandpiper, three Black-winged Godwit, several Curlew Sandpiper, five Dunlin, many Ruff and Little Stint, some Common Ringed Plover and Wood Sandpiper.
Two Collared Pratincole were on the Desalination Plant fields where more Wood Sandpiper and Ruff were feeding. It was good to see a small group of European Bee-eater and there was also a Whinchat and a Woodchat 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.
Joined up with the BirdLife Cyprus field trip this morning at Akrotiri Salt Lake. The target species were Demoiselle Crane but there was no sign of these although a group of Greater Flamingo seen flying in the distance raised hopes for a few seconds. A couple of European Roller and a Lesser Grey Shrike were seen while scanning for the cranes. A good collection of birds were at Bishop’s Pool including a Black-tailed Godwit, some Ruff, several Wood and Green Sandpiper, Little Stint, some Yellow Wagtail and at least four Eleonora’s Falcon one of which perched in one of the eucalyptus trees for a while.
A Broad-billed Sandpiper was on Lady’s Mile with several Little Stint, three Common Ringed Plover and many Kentish Plover. A Eurasian Spoonbill was on the muddy mound at Zakaki where there was also a couple of Little Egret, a Squacco and a Purple Heron, a Ferruginous Duck and a Garganey, several Little Stint, a Green Sandpiper, two juvenile Collared Pratincole, some Black-winged Stilt and Spur-winged Lapwing. Several Eurasian Reed Warbler were in the reeds as was a Great Reed Warbler. A Common Kingfisher was fishing in the area.