Lovely day around Cape Greco today – dodging some very heavy rain at times. Great birds including this male Masked Shrike (photo).
Other sightings included:
Isabelline Wheatear 28+
Northern Wheatear 12+
Common Hoopoe 20 incl a group of five in off sea together
Cyprus Wheatear 4
Common Crane 1 heading E 09:45
Black Redstart 10
Lesser Whitethroat 8+
Common Whitethroat 2
Song Thrush 7
Black-eared Wheatear 2 pale throated and 5 dark throated
Ruppell’s Warbler 3m
Masked Shrike 1m
Blue Rock Thrush 3 (incl a pair with singing male)
Cyprus Warbler 3m
Common Nightingale 1
Great Spotted Cuckoo 1
Hen Harrier 1f
Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler 2
Common Redstart 1m and 1f
‘Ehrenberg’s’ Redstart 1f
Desert Wheatear 1m
Red-rumped Swallow 7
Black-headed Wagtail 30
Blue-headed Wagtail 2
Desert Wheatear, Mandria 10th March 2020 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Pleased to find one at Avakas coast this morning and then this individual on the beach at Mandria late in the afternoon. Light rubbish but never mind – always a great bird even if the photo doesn’t do it justice.
Visited the Headland, Timi Beach, Agia Varvara and Anarita Park. Disappointed to miss the Blue-cheeked Bee-eater at the Headland which seemed to have moved on (30 minutes before I arrived to be precise!) but I still had a good day with some good birds including Short-eared Owl, Desert Wheatear, a Eurasian Wryneck, three Pallas’s Gulls and surprisingly a Green Sandpiper at Anarita Park.
Green Sandpiper, Anarita Park 21st March 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
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.
Citrine Wagtail, Leivadia, 24th March 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Immature Greater Flamingo Meneou Pool 13th March 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Much quieter than it had been at Cape Greco yesterday. There was a female Desert Wheatear and a Cyprus Wheatear near the Sewage Pools plus two Eurasian Hoopoe. On the Sewage Pools there was a Ruddy Shelduck, five Ferruginous Duck and two male and a female Red-crested Pochard in with the usual Northern Shoveler etc. Six Black-winged Stilt around the edge and still fourteen of those on Meneou Pools. A few immature Greater Flamingo were still on the pools of the area as were tens of Slender-billed Gull.
It was quite windy at Cape Greco so there was little chance of finding any early sylvia warblers – the reason for my trip. But I was very pleased with what I did manage to see, especially as I finally found the Trumpeter Finches that had been avoiding me on all other recent visits there.
Apart from them, other birds around included two Tawny Pipit, 27 Isabelline Wheatear, four Northern Wheatear, a male Eastern ‘Siberian’ Stonechat, three singing male Cyprus Warbler, four Northern Wheatear, a male Desert Wheatear, two male Cretzschmar’s Bunting, a Eurasian Hoopoe, a male Blue Rock Thrush and a group of c40 Great Cormorant migrating E.
At Kermia Beach I found three Audouin’s Gull, two Yellow-legged Gull and a Caspian Gull.
Was really pleased to find a male Desert Wheatear at Petounta yesterday afternoon. Others had been seen at Paphos Headland and Akrotiri Gravel Pits over the last few days. There was also a single Greater Short-toed Lark there as well as two Isabelline Wheatear, four Little Ringed Plover, two Water Pipit, a Hoopoe and a male Black-headed Wagtail. Earlier, near the Desalination Plant at Larnaca there were four Hoopoe feeding together and on Spiros Pool there were two Greater Sand Plover and more than twenty Ruff. Three Sandwich Tern were fishing offshore and a Calandra Lark was in display flight.
Today I was at Cape Greco for my first raptor survey of the spring. No migrating raptors to count but the local Common Kestrel pair were very active and the House Sparrows around the shelter on the top of the view point were happily mating and ignoring me. If it hadn’t been for some migrating Black-headed Gulls and Great Cormorant I could have thought it was a waste of a morning.
Luckily I decided to drive around the area when I finished and was then really pleased to see a male Ruppell’s Warbler and locate a calling Cretzschmar’s Bunting that looked as if it had just come in off the sea. There was a dark-throated female Finsch’s Wheatear nearby and three Greater Short-toed Lark. Plenty of Isabelline Wheatear as well and a single male Northern Wheatear. Another warbler disappearing into a bush could have been a Subalpine Warbler but I didn’t get a good enough view to be certain. I later heard that one had been seen at Mandria today.
On Oroklini Beach on the way home there were two Mediterreanean Gull, three Sandwich Tern and an adult Armenian Gull in with the Black-headed Gull. No Little Gull on the Marsh but there was a Black-tailed Godwit, a Common Redshank, some Spur-winged Lapwing and three Black-winged Stilt.