Record shots taken 29th April 2016 of the male Amur Falcon found at Anarita Park the day before by Matt Smith and now delighting both local and visiting birders. The second Cyprus first this year after a Brown-necked Raven found by Keith and Raija Howard at Cape Greco in March. A crashed laptop means I lost my (admittedly poor) photos of that bird.
The third day out with Ann and Peter didn’t develop as planned as we decided to twitch a Cyprus first. We started at Oroklini Marsh where we found Purple Heron, Cattle Egret, Black-winged Stilt, Ferruginous Duck, Eurasian Wigeon, Greater Flamingo, Spur-winged Lapwing and Black Francolin as well as the more common wintering ducks Eurasian Teal and Northern Shoveler and resident Mallard, Little Grebe, Common Moorhen and Eurasian Coot. We moved on to the drainage channel at the nearby JUMBO toyshop where our targets of Temminck’s Stint and male Citrine Wagtail were soon found. A Common and Green Sandpiper and a couple of Spur-winged Lapwing were also there.
The plan for the day had then been to head for Larnaca Salt Lake and other Larnaca birding sites but having been told that a Cyprus first – a Brown-necked Raven – had been found earlier in the morning at Cape Greco, Ann asked that we changed our plans and headed there. And we were certainly glad we did. On arrival we only just got out of the car when a male Pallid Harrier flew past us straight in off the sea. We turned around and into view then flew the Brown-necked Raven as if on cue. We watched it land on nearby rocks but were too excited to get our cameras to focus on it. We later rued the loss of a great photo opportunity. Several other birders including the raven’s finders, Keith and Raija Howard, then turned up and we spent some time discussing the bird and looking at Raija’s photos. A flock of migrating Northern Pintail flew E along the coast then turning and heading N over our heads. The first of many Northern and Isabelline Wheatear were around us.
After that the day couldn’t really go wrong and we found Ruppell’s Warbler, a female Pallid Harrier and male Western Marsh Harrier, Spectacled Warbler,Tawny Pipit, Greater Short-toed Lark, Cyprus Wheatear and Cyprus Warbler, Common Nightingale and Red-rumped Swallow. As the afternoon drew on we relocated the Brown-necked Raven near the restored rubbish dump and then finished the day with good views of a female Desert Wheatear. Probably we would have had a greater number of species if we had kept with our previous plan but getting a lifer made that irrelevant we decided!
Total species seen – 64
Little Grebe, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Purple Heron, Greater Flamingo, Eurasian Wigeon, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Ferruginous Duck, Western Marsh Harrier, Pallid Harrier, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Temminck’s Stint, Common Snipe, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Common Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Swift, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Tawny Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Citrine Wagtail, White Wagtail, Common Nightingale, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Desert Wheatear, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Ruppell’s Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Brown-necked Raven, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Corn Bunting.