Did a couple of Common Bird Monitoring Surveys in the Cape Greco area and then stopped off at Oroklini Marsh on the way home. Several Cyprus Warblers and a singing male Black-headed Bunting on territories at Cape Greco with Long-legged Buzzard, Peregrine Falcon and Eleonora’s Falcon fly overs. A Whiskered Tern was on Oroklini Marsh as were several Black-winged Stilt (see photo), plenty of Cattle Egret, a few Ruff and some Spur-winged Lapwing.
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
Three days out with Mark, Willem, Oscar and Sjors around Akrotiri, Larnaca and Paphos produced a total of 112 different species/forms with a wide variety of types of birds and a few surprises. The only down side was the real lack of passerine migrants which were much decreased from mid-April but we had good visible migration of larger species especially Glossy Ibis and other herons as well as a Black Stork and the unexpected sight of three Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters over our heads at Phasouri.
Wednesday 26th April
This was spent around the various sites of the Akrotiri peninsula. We started at the hide overlooking Zakaki Marsh where we saw Ferruginous Duck through the reeds but had better views of a Baillons Crake in front of the hide where it competed for our attention with a Water Rail and a male and female Little Bittern. There were plenty of Eurasian Reed Warbler as well as a couple of Squacco Heron, Little Egret and Glossy Ibis. A singing Black Francolin came into the open and was well seen. Two Pallid Swift flew over the area and a Wood Sandpiper fed in the mud. Moving to Lady’s Mile a good selection of migrating waders included many Ruff, Black-winged Stilt and Little Stint, a lone Temminck’s Stint, a couple of Marsh and Wood Sandpiper and Dunlin and some Curlew Sandpiper. Several pairs of Kentish Plover were present as was a greyish Little Egret. Closer to the Salt Lake itself at the Zakaki runoff we saw a Black Stork thermalling up to the north as well as a distant White-winged Tern and Collared Pratincole. A group of more than sixty Gull-billed Tern were on the shore with some Slender-billed Gull and at least six Little Tern. A few Yellow Wagtail including thunbergi and feldegg race males were in the vegetation and we also found a female Black-eared Wheatear.
There were still a couple of hundred Greater Flamingo on the Salt Lake. A quick visit to Bishops Pool was notable for better views of Ferruginous Duck than at Zakaki as well as a good number of migrating Sand Martin over the water and some late Common Teal. An Eleonora’s Falcon flew over close to Sylvana’s as did a couple of European Turtle Dove and we also found two European Roller on the wires there. There was little of note around Agios Georgios Church so we drove across the Gravel Pits to Phasouri Reed beds finding a Grey Plover and a Whinchat on the way. At the reed-beds we saw another pair of Little Bittern, a single Cattle Egret, a Common Snipe, five Ferruginous Duck, three Glossy Ibis (with another 12 seen migrating over the area, another Wood Sandpiper, more Ruff and plenty of Eurasian Reed Warblers. As we were leaving three Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters flew over us – their call slightly different from their European counterparts. They were heading back towards the Gravel Pits area and we decided to go back there in the hope of re finding them.
We didn’t find them again but the decision to go back to there was a good one as we then saw two Greater Spotted Cuckoo, a Common Cuckoo, a European Roller, and a female Red-footed Falcon. Where had they been earlier? We finished the day at Kensington Cliffs where although Griffon Vulture let us down we had a wonderful aerial display from at least six Eleonora’s Falcon and many Alpine Swift.
Thursday 27th April
We headed for the Larnaca area today and started at the fields just outside Kivisili village. There were at least twenty Red-footed Falcon feeding and resting there as well as around eight kestrels that we could ID as Lesser as well as several Common as well. In the distance a female ring-tailed Harrier was quartering the fields – from the brief views of the underwing I managed it was most likely a female Pallid. We had just brief views of a Greater Spotted Cuckoo and Little Owl and found two recently fledged Corn Bunting. More than thirty Greater Short-toed Lark were feeding at Petounta Point and we saw our first group of migrating Glossy Ibis of the day (a total of at least 250 birds seen during the day), three migrating Purple Heron and two groups of Little Egret. The wooded area near Kiti Dam wall was quieter than it had been when I had visited on Monday – another reminder of the fact that migrant warbler passage seems to be largely over. But we did have two Spur-winged Lapwing, a male Golden Oriole and a single Great Spotted Cuckoo.
A quick detour via a post box in Kiti village produced a pair of Laughing Dove obviously breeding nearby. They are spreading throughout Larnaca. Around Larnaca Sewage Works and its pools we found another European Turtle Dove, a Common Cuckoo, a family party of Spectacled Warbler, a Great Reed Warbler, several Blackcap and Spotted Flycatcher, a male Black-eared Wheatear and a Whinchat. More visible migration – this time Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis and large flocks of Spanish Sparrow. On the pools themselves we had two White-winged Tern and two Collared Pratincole flying around in front of the hide as well as several Spur-winged Lapwing, some Black-winged Stilt, Ruff and Little Stint and a single Baltic Gull.
We found at least three Calandra Lark on the fields outside Pervolia as well as a male Northern Wheatear, a couple of Yellow Wagtail, plenty of Zitting Cisitcola and two male Black Francolin disputing their territories. Two Common Cuckoo were on wires near Meneou Pool – one of them a ‘rufous’ female. Our last stop was for a look at the waders on the Airport Pools (North) where the highlight was three Red-necked Phalarope.
Friday 28th April
A completely different day for our last day out which after a brief check of the fields at Mandria was concentrating in the Akamas. At Mandria we watched a group of swifts, including several Alpine come in off the sea and also found some Yellow Wagtail, a few fly over Red-throated Pipit and a single Tawny Pipit. We then heading to the valley behind Arodes village where our main target was the Black-headed Bunting. In the end, we found three singing males but also had good views of several Cyprus Wheatear, a singing male Cyprus Warbler, a fly over Eleonora’s Falcon and at least three male and two female Golden Oriole wwith at least four European Roller were in the area. There were plenty of Spotted Flycatcher, two Great Spotted Cuckoo and Red-rumped Swallow around as well.
Driving on through Pittokopos to Androlikou we found two more singing male Black-headed Bunting, Chukar, a male Lesser Kestrel and two Red-throated Pipit obligingly sitting on telegraph wires. Androlikou village had at least four European Roller and a couple of Cyprus Wheatear. A Common Hoopoe was singing from the top of a carob tree and as usual for the day there were several Spotted Flycatcher and singing Olivaceous Warbler.
A walk around the caravan site at the Baths of Aphrodite gave us another pair of Eurasian Golden Oriole, several Blackcap and a stunning male Red-backed Shrike. We also heard a Scops Owl but it wasn’t roosting anywhere visible. Two more were heard towards the Smygies picnic site and although Mark saw a small owl fly off again we couldn’t locate one for a proper view. We added Masked Shrike, European Serin and Cretzschmar’s Bunting to our list and saw two more European Roller. There were many migrating swifts and swallows including Alpine Swift, Red-rumped Swallow and Northern House Martin. A walk around some fields and carob groves produced another male Red-backed Shrike, a Tree Pipit, Whinchat and a male black and white Flycatcher which was probably a Pied. We heard some European Bee-eater fly over but couldn’t locate them against a sunny sky.
Thanks to Mark, Willem, Sjors and Oscar for three good days birding and some great birds.
Total species/forms seen – 112
Chukar, Black Francolin, Ferruginous Duck, Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Common Teal, Little Grebe, Greater Flamingo, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, European Turtle Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, Laughing Dove, Alpine Swift, Pallid Swift, Common Swift, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Cuckoo, Western Water Rail, Baillons Crake, Common Moorhen, Common Coot, Black Stork, Glossy Ibis, Common Little Bittern, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Purple Heron, Little Egret, European Shag, Black-winged Stilt, Grey Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruff, Curlew Sandpiper, Temminck’s Stint, Little Stint, Common Snipe, Red-necked Phalarope, Common Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Collared Pratincole, Slender-billed Gull, Black-headed Gull, Baltic Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Little Tern, Gull-billed Tern, White-winged Tern, Little Owl, Scops Owl, Western Marsh Harrier, Ring-tailed Harrier probably female Pallid, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Hoopoe, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Great Tit, Calandra Lark, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Zitting Cisticola, Olivaceous Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Northern House Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Barn Swallow, Sand Martin, Cetti’s Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Cyprus Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher, Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Black-eared Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Tree Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Tawny Pipit, Western Yellow Wagtail inc thunbergi, flava and feldegg races, White Wagtail, European Greenfinch, Common Linnet, European Goldfinch, European Goldfinch, Black-headed Bunting, Corn Bunting, Cretzschmar’s Bunting
A good day’s birding around Limassol with Hlynur which ended outside Larnaca at Kivisili, adding several more target species to the day’s tally. We started at Kensington Cliffs where we found three Eurasian Griffon Vulture, three Eleonora’s Falcon, several Alpine Swift and a young Peregrine Falcon flying around the area. We heard a male Cyprus Wheatear singing and had distant views. We could hear several singing male Sardinian Warbler but luckily caught good views of a male Cyprus Warbler in a dead bush.
We then headed to Akrotiri Gravel Pits where we found very few migrant passerines which was the story of the day. We had just one Tawny Pipit and two Whinchat there although we did have a couple of Woodchat Shrike and a Eurasian Hoopoe. But the stars of that area were the ten Greater Sandplover in breeding plumage we found resting on the coast with a Grey Plover and several Kentish Plover nearby. Three Glossy Ibis were at Phasouri Reed-beds where we also had another 12 migrating over the area, another Woodchat Shrike, three Cattle Egret and good views of several Eurasian Reed Warbler.
There were around 500 Greater Flamingo still on the Salt Lake and we found some nearby shade to eat our lunch where we were surrounded by singing Sardinian and Olivaceous Warbler. A large flock of migrating Spanish Sparrow were in tall grasses near the road on the way to Lady’s Mile. Lady’s Mile had a good variety of waders which included Curlew Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, many Ruff, Marsh Sandpiper, Little Stint, two Dunlin, two Common Ringed Plover and at least thirty Black-winged Stilt. We then spent some time in the hide at Zakaki Marsh where a female Little Crake put in a brief appearance. There were three more Glossy Ibis there and a couple of Squacco Heron. As well as Cetti’s and Eurasian Reed Warbler in the reeds we also found a Sedge Warbler.
We then headed inland to Prastio Kellakiou where we had further chances to see Cyprus Wheatear and Warbler and also found two of the endemic sub-species – Eurasian Jay and Coal Tit. But our target birds there were Cretzschmar’s Bunting and Masked Shrike and we were pleased to find several males of the former singing on territories and both a male and female Masked Shrike. We also heard a European Turtle Dove ‘purring’ and a Eurasian Hoopoe calling in the distance.
Our final location were the fields behind Kivisili where we found two male Red-footed Falcon and a female as well as four Lesser Kestrel after spotting two Little Owl on an old building in the village of Alethriko on our way there. Two Great Spotted Cuckoo flew over the area and we heard a Eurasian Stone Curlew. As we left the area two Stone Curlew flew up so we were able to see them well and then finally, after hearing many all day, we saw a Black Francolin calling from a low branch of an olive tree. A great way to end a good day’s birding in which several species I would have expected to see were absent but others more than made up for that.
Total species: 76
Little Grebe, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo, Mallard, Eurasian Griffon Vulture, Western Marsh Harrier, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin, Little Crake, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Grey Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Greater Sandplover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ruff, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Turtle Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Common House Martin, Tawny Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Common Nightingale, Whinchat, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Jay, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting
Spent the day around Akrotiri – not lots of birds around – quality rather than quantity. Was pleased though to see European Honey Buzzard, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, juvenile Northern Goshawk, Western Marsh Harrier, Red-footed Falcon and Eleonora’s Falcon. Three White Stork were feeding in an alfalfa field. Flocks of European Bee-eater, Barn Swallow, Sand Martin and Red-rumped Swallow still passing through. Plenty of Whinchat, a couple of Northern Wheatear, two Lesser Grey Shrike and some juvenile Red-backed Shrikes. As far as waders were concerned still several Dunlin,plenty of Little Stint, Common Ringed Plover and lots of Kentish Plover – plus five Sanderling and two Spur-winged Lapwing.
Although raptors were thin on the ground this morning at Cape Greco – an Eleonora’s Falcon, four European Honey Buzzard and a Western Marsh Harrier to be precise – there was a noticeable movement of herons to the east of the area. As visibility was good it was possible to see flocks of herons heading southwards from the Karpasia area and then passing offshore to the east of Cape Greco and continuing out to sea. Between 8am and 11.30am more than 160 Grey Heron and 32 Purple Heron were counted. Plus a large flock of more than 140 individuals that were too far east of the observation point to be ID’d – seemed to be a mixture of Grey and Purple though.
After picking Paul and Eileen up from their hotel in Pissouri we headed straight to Akrotiri for a morning’s birding. Although it was possibly even windier than the day before this time we saw several migrating European Honey Buzzard and Western Marsh Harrier as well as a continual stream of European Bee-eater. A couple of Eleonora’s Falcon were hunting over the peninsula. Also found around the reed-beds area was a female Black Francolin – one of Paul’s targets – , a Lesser Grey Shrike, six Whinchat and a couple of European Turtle Dove. Moving onto Akrotiri Gravel Pits we saw at least one more Western Marsh Harrier and at least eleven more European Honey Buzzard. Waders in the area included a Bar-tailed Godwit (a scarce bird for Cyprus), Kentish Plover and Dunlin as well as an adult Greater Flamingo.
Another wader for the morning was the Black-winged Stilt at Bishop’s Pool. There we also added two to our Honey Buzzard total and saw two more Eleonora’s Falcon. On the approach road to the pool we were especially pleased to see two migrating Lesser Kestrel – another of Paul’s targets for the morning. At Lady’s Mile we found a photogenic juvenile Greater Flamingo and searched through the waders there to find more Kentish Plover and Dunlin, as well as a Sanderling, a couple of Common Redshank, Common Ringed Plover and Dunlin. Another two Honey Buzzard flew over us battling against the wind.
Our morning out drew to a close with a return to Phasouri Reed-beds to watch a small group of European Bee-eaters calling and swooping over the area as they hunted insects to provide them with energy to continue their migration.
Total species – 42
Little Grebe, Cattle Egret, Greater Flamingo, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, European Honey Buzzard, Western Marsh Harrier, Common Kestrel, Lesser Kestrel, Eleonora’s Falcon, Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Sanderling, Little Stint, Dunlin, Bar-tailed Godwit, Common Redshank, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Turtle Dove, Common Swift, European Bee-eater, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Whinchat, Cetti’s Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Willow Warbler, Great tit, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Common Chaffinch.
Migrating raptors refused to put in an appearance today at Akrotiri when I was out with Michael but we still managed a good spread and number of species with breeding raptors providing the main entertainment – Eleonora’s Falcon were seen hunting over the Salt Lake and then at Kensington Cliffs where a Peregrine Falcon was also present; two Long-legged Buzzard were watched hanging in the air above Agia Varvara valley where a Eurasian Hobby also flew by; a juvenile Bonelli’s Eagle flew above us at Paramali.
Highlights per location visited:
Phassouri Reed Beds – Cattle Egret 3, a juvenile Western Marsh Harrier feeding on unseen prey in a field, European Bee-eater, Red-rumped Swallow, Spotted Flycatcher, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Lesser Grey Shrike, Red-backed Shrike
Akrotiri Gravel Pits – Eleonora’s Falcon, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Dunlin, Common Greenshank, Bar-tailed Godwit, Spotted Flycatcher, Red-backed Shrike
Bishop’s Pool – Green Sandpiper, Rock Dove, Willow Warbler, Eurasian Turtle Dove
Lady’s Mile – Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Sanderling, Little Stint, Dunlin, Curlew Sandpiper, Common Redshank, Sand Martin, European Bee-eater, Yellow Wagtail, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike
Kensington Cliffs – Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon
Agia Varvara – Long-legged Buzzard, Eurasian Hobby, European Bee-eater, Northern Wheatear, Cretzschmar’s Bunting
Asprokremmos Dam – Eurasian Golden Oriole, Spotted Flycatcher
Paramali – Bonelli’s Eagle
Total species seen – 57
Little Grebe, Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Western Marsh Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Common Kestrel, Eurasian Hobby, Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Sanderling, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Bar-tailed Godwit, Common Greenshank, Common Redshank, Green Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Common Swift, Common Kingfisher, European Bee-eater, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Yellow Wagtail, Northern Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Cretzschmar’s Bunting.
It’s always good to spend some time out with Terry and Sarah and today was no exception. We headed straight to Akrotiri with the intention of trying to catch some of the raptor migration passing over the area. Most of the raptors we saw were European Honey Buzzard and Western Marsh Harrier but many of them were passing over quite low, meaning we had good views and we also watched a group of Grey Heron feeding at Zakaki Marsh chase off one of the Marsh Harrier over that location. Waders included the Cyprus rarity – a Bar-tailed Godwit, lots of Kentish Plover, a juvenile Ruff, a Sanderling and several each of Dunlin and Curlew Sandpiper. A single Greater Flamingo feeding on Lady’s Mile gave some photo opportunities and we found a couple of Ferruginous Duck on a quick visit to Bishop’s Pool.
Plenty of European Bee-eater were migrating over throughout the day, many of them very high and we saw a lot of Red-rumped Swallow, Sand Martin and Barn Swallow as well as several late Common Swift. Not so many shrikes around as in early September but we saw a couple of juvenile Red-backed Shrike and Lesser Grey Shrike.
An afternoon visit to Kensington Cliffs gave us the chance to enjoy the acrobatics of both adult and juvenile Eleonora’s Falcon, who in turn mobbed a migrating European Honey Buzzard and then two of the resident Eurasian Griffon Vulture returning from their inland feeding stations. On the way back to Paphos we stopped at Asprokremmos Dam where there was a European Golden Oriole feeding in a ficus tree – thanks to Alan and Lynn for showing us the location – and we also found a female European Pied Flycatcher.
Number of species seen – 60
Little Grebe, Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Greater Flamingo, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Ferruginous Duck, European Honey Buzzard, Eurasian Griffon Vulture, Western Marsh Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Eleonora’s Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin, Water Rail, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Sanderling, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ruff, Bar-tailed Godwit, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Turtle Dove, Common Swift, Common Kingfisher, European Bee-eater, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Yellow Wagtail, Whinchat, Cetti’s Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher, Great Tit, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch.
After the excitement of finding an Olive-tree Warbler in my garden yesterday (no photos – well I have lots of photos of out of focus bird and in focus branches..), I was hoping that the raptor count at Cape Greco would continue a good few days birding. No such luck. Very few raptors moving around and the interest was provided by three flocks of Greater Flamingo heading south along the east coast of the Cape. Main sightings of note:
Cape Greco 8.00am – 12.30pm
Western Marsh Harrier 2 (1m)
Eleonora’s Falcon 2
European Honey Buzzard 1
Greater Flamingo 48 + 68 + 30
Grey Heron 11
Black-crowned Night Heron 1 (with Grey Herons)
European Bee-eater 100+ (and others heard only)
Red-rumped Swallow 14
Barn Swallow 200+ over during the survey
Greater Short-toed Lark 1 over
Lesser Whitethroat 1
Yellow Wagtail 2 over W to E
Common House Martin 2
Isabelline Wheatear 1
Cyprus Wheatear 3
Spanish Sparrow 3
Tawny Pipit 2
Lesser Grey Shrike 1
Agia Napa Football Fields
Yellow Wagtail 12
Cattle Egret 11
Red-backed Shrike 1m and 3 juv
Lesser Grey Shrike 2
Eastern Black-eared Wheatear 1
Tawny Pipit 1
Eurasian Hoopoe 2
European Roller 1
Another four hours raptor count at Cape Greco this morning with more, mainly Western Marsh Harriers, passing over. Followed up with a visit to Agia Napa Football fields.
Cape Greco 7:45 – 11.45
Western Marsh Harrier 16 (3m)
Pallid Harrier 1m and 1 juv
Montagu’s Harrier 3 juv
Ring-tailed Harrier 1
Eleonora’s Falcon 3
Purple Heron 9
Grey Heron 4
European Bee-eater 39
European Honey Buzzard 9
Lesser Grey Shrike 3
Cyprus Wheatear 2
Tawny Pipit 3 straight out to sea
Isabelline Wheatear 1
Agia Napa Football Fields
Lesser Grey Shrike 19
European Roller 1
Yellow Wagtail 9
Cattle Egret 14
Red-backed Shrike 2m and 1f
Isabelline Wheatear 2
Spotted Flycatcher 2
Eurasian Hoopoe 2
My first count of the BirdLife Cyprus autumn raptor monitoring at Cape Greco is usually very quiet giving me a chance to renew my acquaintance with the local Common Kestrels. So although not very busy the steady stream of raptors around there this morning was a pleasant change. At least three Eleonora’s Falcon, a Perergine Falcon and a Eurasian Hobby flew over the Cava Viewpoint on several occasions and did not appear to be migrating. (Poor, hazy record shots below). A group of eight adult and two juvenile Greater Flamingo flew from west to east and then heading SE out to sea. A trickle of migrating Western Marsh Harrier were seen either circling up and gaining height or heading out S over the sea. At least 15 passed through as well as six European Honey Buzzard. A couple of other large raptors were too distant for a certain ID. Also migrating over were seven Red-rumped Swallows, a handful of Barn Swallows and some European Bee-eater.
On finishing I passed by the Agia Napa Football Fields which is a good location to visit at this time of year and as most years there were a good number of Lesser Grey Shrike (15+) and also a male Red-backed Shrike, a European Roller, two Isabelline Wheatear, two Spotted Flycatcher, seven Yellow Wagtail, a Whinchat, a European Roller and around thirty Cattle Egret.