Went to Achna for first time in several weeks to see if I could find the Pied Kingfisher that had been seen there on Thursday. Surprisingly it was the first bird I saw when I arrived – it called and flew in front of me as it headed to another part of the dam. Later on I saw two in that area – I assume one of those was the one I had seen earlier. No chance of anything other than a record flight shot as they were flying around the area and then disappearing! But it was a great morning’s birding with other birds seen including a Spotted Crake, Little Bittern, Great Crested Grebe, Western Marsh and Montagu’s Harrier, lots of Red-backed and Masked Shrike, many Common Hoopoe, Spur-winged Lapwing, Common Ringed Plover, Wood, Green and Common Sandpiper, Dunlin, Common Snipe, Purple and Squacco Heron, Olivaceous and Willow Warbler.
Spent the day at Troodos which was full of breeding residents and summer visitors including Cyprus Wheatear, Masked Shrike, Spotted Flycatcher, Olivaceous Warbler, Common Hoopoe, Red Crossbill, Eurasian Blackbird, Coal Tit, Short-toed Treecreeper, Grey Wagtail, Northern Wren, Red-rumped Swallow, Eurasian Jay and Eurasian Crag Martin.
A few days in the Akamas area 6th – 8th August produced several adult and juvenile Masked Shrike, a male and a female Woodchat Shrike and among the first return migrating Lesser Grey Shrike and Red-backed Shrike. Sea watching was quiet with not much movement yet, although I had several Gull-billed and Whiskered Tern, a flock of 22 Common Sandpiper and an ‘in off’ European Roller as well as a Western Yellow Wagtail feeding in a coastal feed.
Back in Larnaca today I found a resting group of Grey Heron and Little Egret and saw a small group of Glossy Ibis flying over. Little Tern are still fishing offshore and a group of c80 Greater Flamingo are on the Salt Lake which still has some water. Another Lesser Grey Shrike was also there and while I was looking at an Olivaceous Warbler in a track side bush this juvenile Masked Shrike came to check me out.
A relaxing morning in the Troodos area. Several family parties seen – of Masked Shrike, Northern Wren, Olivaceous Warbler, Cyprus Wheatear, Eurasian Jay as well as several Spotted Flycatcher, Coal Tit, Common Chaffinches, European Goldfinch and Greenfinch. Also a couple of Eurasian Crag Martin, two Grey Wagtail and a Common Hoopoe. This Masked Shrike looked the worse for wear – after a tiring breeding season I’m guessing.
Managed to avoid most of the rain showers today and even had a good walk around Achna Dam – trying to find (and failing) the Pied Kingfisher that has been seen there on a couple of occasions over the last ten days. But despite that, at the three locations I visited I managed to see some good birds including Black-necked Grebe, Squacco Heron, Great Egret, Glossy Ibis, ‘Baltic’ Gull, Purple Heron, Marsh Sandpiper, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Black-winged Stilt, Temminck’s Stint, Garganey, Olivaceous Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Cyprus Wheatear and Warbler, Tawny Pipit, Black-eared Wheatear and Woodchat Shrike.
A lovely day out today visiting Paralimni Lake, Cape Greco, Agia Napa Sewage Works and Ormedeia. A few record photos of a Citrine Wagtail and Spotted Crake seen at Paralimni, a Greater Short-toed Lark at Cape Greco and a Masked Shrike at Agia Napa Sewage Works.
Other interesting species seen were Bimaculated Lark, Pallid Harrier, Woodchat Shrike, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, singing Olivaceous and Willow Warbler, Audouin’s Gull, migrating Garganey and two stunning male Common Redstart.
A morning’s birding with Anthony and Sarah around Akrotiri hoping to see a good variety of species. We started at Zakaki Marsh where many Grey Heron were flying down to feed behind the reeds. A juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron flew up from in front of the hide as we arrived and although we could hear many more we only got good views of one adult as it flew over the area. A Squacco Heron also flew across and a female Western Marsh Harrier quartered the reeds before swooping into the reeds where it presumably caught prey. An adult Water Rail was feeding in front of the hide and several Eurasian Reed Warbler were flitting in the reeds. Anthony and Sarah were especially pleased to see the Common Kingfisher that perched on a reed in front of the hide for several minutes.
Moving to the eastern edge of the Salt Lake we found an Isabelline Wheatear, a Lesser Grey Shrike and a female and a male Red-backed Shrike. An adult and a juvenile European Roller sat on the wires along Lady’s Mile and were very obliging. The Salt Lake itself had very little water but we spent some time watching the dozen or so Eleonora’s Falcon that were resting on the Salt flats and drinking and bathing in the water from the run off – a great spectacle.
There were several Kentish Plover feeding on Lady’s Mile itself as well as a couple of Little Stint and Dunlin which we saw as we drove to Bishop’s Pool. The first birds we saw there were a couple of Ferruginous Duck and then three Glossy Ibis feeding at the back of the pool. Two Black-winged Stilt were also there as were four Green Sandpiper and a Wood Sandpiper. A couple of Little Egret were feeding around the edge and some Northern Shoveler were resting in with the resident Mallard and Little Grebe. A couple of European Turtle Dove flew over. We could have spent longer there to be honest but we moved on the Akrotiri Gravel Pits adding Red-rumped Swallow and Sand Martin to the morning’s list as we went.
We had another Lesser Grey Shrike in the church yard as well as an Olivaceous Warbler, two Spotted Flycatcher and another two Isabelline Wheatear. It was now getting warmer and the birds were quieter although we did find a Common Greenshank and a Kentish Plover as we went through the area to our last stop at Phasouri Reed-beds. We heard and then saw a Yellow Wagtail and our last new bird of the morning was a Whinchat sitting on a fence. A good morning’s birding at the start of autumn migration although we were disappointed not to see any large raptors.
Total number of species – 45
Ferruginous Duck, Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Little Grebe, Greater Flamingo, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, European Turtle Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Swift, Western Water Rail, Common Moorhen, Common Coot, Glossy Ibis, Black-crowned Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Black-winged Stilt, Kentish Plover, Dunlin, Little Stint, Green Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Western Marsh Harrier, European Roller, Common Kingfisher, Common Kestrel, Eleonora’s Falcon, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Hooded Crow, Great Tit, Crested Lark, Olivaceous Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Red-rumped Swallow, Sand Martin, Spotted Flycatcher, Whinchat, Isabelline Wheatear, House Sparrow, Western Yellow Wagtail.
Well the first day of the raptor count at Cape Greco produced two hunting Common Kestrel and one Eleonora’s Falcon. Still a bit early for raptor migration so expecting better things over the next ten days.
A few other migrants around there and at Agia Napa Football Fields but overall quite quiet.
Cape Greco 8 – 12
Elenora’s Falcon 1 hunting
Red-backed Shrike 1
Lesser Whitethroat 2
Olivaceous Warbler 1
Pallid Swift 4
Greater Short-toed Lark 1 over
Agia Napa Football Fields
Yellow Wagtail 17
Isabelline Wheatear 1
Lesser Grey Shrike 2
Masked Shrike 1
European Bee-eater h
Spotted Flycatcher 1
Although I could only get distant photos of Lesser Grey Shrike and a female Red-backed Shrike this morning at Cape Greco there was plenty moving about in the bushes near Agia Napa Sewage Works:
Eastern Orphean Warbler 12+ (probably double that)
Barred Warbler 1 juv (and one possible other)
Lesser Whitethroat 4
Olivaceous Warbler 20+
Cyprus Warbler 1m, 1f and 2 juv
Spectacled Warbler 6 (inc 2 juvs)
European Bee-eater h high over
Little Grebe 19
Common Sandpiper 1
Spur-winged Lapwing 1
Common Hoopoe 1
Lesser Grey Shrike 1 (see photo)
Woodchat Shrike 1 (see photo)
Red-backed Shrike 1f
The morning out today around Akamas with Grahame and Susie was notable for the number of European Rollers, Masked Shrike and Lesser Grey Shrike. We were especially pleased to see six of the latter sitting on low trees close to each other outside Pittokopos and Grahame was pleased to see so many European Rollers – his target species for the morning,
Highlights per location:
Neo Horio to Androlikou – Masked Shrike, European Turtle Dove, Chukar, Cyprus Wheatear
Androlikou to Pittokopos – Lesser Grey Shrike 6, Masked Shrike, Woodchat Shrike 1m, European Roller 6+, European Turtle Dove, Common Kestrel 7+ hawking over area together, Corn Bunting
Arodes – Lesser Grey Shrike 2, Masked Shrike, European Roller 5+, Little Owl 2 juv, Olivaceous Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Cyprus Wheatear
Spent the day visiting several of the Troodos picnic sites which are usually a good area to find migrant and resident breeders and find some endemic sub-species. Some of the plumage of the breeding birds was looking very worn.
Spotted Flycatcher 1 ad and at least 4 juvs
Red-rumped Swallow 1
Eurasian Blackbird pair seen and 1 other male singing
Common Hoopoe 1
Masked Shrike 2m and 1f (1m having bath in stream)
Coal Tit 3 juvs
Northern Wren 1 having bath in stream
Livadi tou Pashia
Eurasian Blackbird 2m and 1f
European Serin 2+
Northern Wren 2
Eastern Olivaceous Warbler 4+
Masked Shrike 1 pair feeding unseen juvs and another feeding 3 fledged juvs
plus 3 other males
Eurasian Jay 3 juvs, one seen fighting with male Blackbird
Northern House Martin 100+
Masked Shrike 3m
Eurasian Blackbird 3 singing males
Red Crossbill 2
Eastern Olivaceous Warbler 2h
Platres Old Road and start of Caledonia Trail
Cyprus Wheatear 1m singing
Eurasian Blackbird 4m
Grey Wagtail 1 ad
Northern Wren 2
European Serin 1+
Troodos Botanical Gardens
Grey Wagtail 1ad
Cyprus Wheatear 1 ad
Red-rumped Swallow 2
Northern House Martin 30+
I picked up James and Lizzie from Kakopetria and we headed towards Troodos stopping at a few locations on the way to the Square. At Platania we found Red-rumped Swallow and at the Botanical Gardens at Amiantos we found our first of the Cyprus endemic sub-species – the Eurasian Jay as well as a large group of hirundines which although mainly Northern House Martin also included several more Red-rumped Swallow and two Eurasian Crag Martin. An Eastern Olivaceous Warbler sang out in the open on a small conifer so we spend some time watching it. A couple of male Cyprus Wheatear were also seen and at least one male Eurasian Blackbird was singing. As we left the area I spotted a large thrush on a rock and we were pleased to see a male Blue Rock Thrush as we got out of the car. I also heard a singing Cretzschmar’s Bunting but we couldn’t see it.
We then spent some time at the Livadi tou Pashia picnic site where we had good views of two other endemic sub-species – Coal Tit and Short-toed Treecreeper. Several Northern Wren and European Serin were heard and finally a male Masked Shrike flew into view. We then headed to Troodos Square seeing more Masked Shrike and Cyprus Wheatear on the way. At least eight Pallid Swift were in a large flock of swifts at the square.
The rest of the morning was spent in the Omodos area and especially on the road from there to Agios Nikolaos. The stars there were the singing male Black-headed Buntings but we also saw some Corn Bunting, more Masked Shrike and Cyprus Wheatear, a smart male Spanish Sparrow and finally a singing male Cyprus Warbler – strangely singing from some electricity wires. The last species for the day was Cretzschmar’s Bunting as we found two males near Agios Nikolaos.
A lovely way to spend a morning in the early summer catching up with the Cyprus endemics and migrant breeders.
Full species list:
Common Woodpigeon, European Collared Dove, Pallid Swift, Common Swift, Common Kestrel, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Jay, Eurasian Magpie, Hooded Crow, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Zitting Cisticola, Olivaceous Warbler, Northern House Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Barn Swallow, Eurasian Crag Martin, Cetti’s Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Short-toed Treecreeper, Northern Wren, Eurasian Blackbird, Blue Rock Thrush, Cyprus Wheatear, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, European Serin, Black-headed Bunting, Corn Bunting, Cretzschmar’s Bunting