A good day around Akrotiri with highlights two Spotted Crake, a juvenile Common Crane and three Little Swift plus my first Bluethroats, Common Stonechat and Common Buzzard of the winter. Raptor migration has slowed to a trickle but I did see small numbers of Red-footed and Eleonora’s Falcon, Eurasian Hobby, European Honey Buzzard, Western Marsh Harrier and a single Osprey.
Raptor watching at Cape Greco this morning to kick off the autumn migration survey there. For a location that can be very good but also very quiet, it was a reasonable first day with two juvenile Pallid Harrier, five Western Marsh Harrier, three Honey Buzzard and a Black Kite all by 10.00 am. Then the only other bird of prey was a Eurasian Hobby who heading south in the company of the many hirundines that were migrating over the area. There were more than 400 Barn Swallow, 180+ Sand Martin, nine Common House Martin and five Red-rumped Swallow moving S over my observation point.
Also in the area to keep me interested once the raptor movement slowed were six Cretzschmar’s and then one Ortolan Bunting, three juvenile Eastern Orphean Warbler, twelve Eurasian Turtle Dove, two Pallid Swift, an Isabelline Wheatear, at least one Tawny Pipit, two Spotted Flycatcher, Common and Lesser Whitethroat, two Eurasian Hoopoe, a male Blue Rock Thrush and the inevitable Masked, Red-backed and Lesser Grey Shrike.
A relief to find the day seemed cooler than last week as Paul and I set off for Asprokremmos Dam early this morning. A Common Kingfisher was the first bird of note sitting by the canal as we then headed to the area behind the dam. There we had good views of a male Cyprus Warbler (and heard another), several Spectacled and Sardinian Warbler, a Little Owl, around ten Chukar, a couple of Northern Wheatear and a Cyprus Wheatear. We were pleased to find the Cyprus Wheatear as they are moving off island now and getting harder to locate. As has been the case the last week island-wide, there were several Lesser Grey, Red-backed (mainly female) and Masked Shrike around. A Spotted Flycatcher was found in the pines of the utility area.
A single Glossy Ibis was a strange bird to find in one of the alfalfa fields near the Paphos Sewage Plant. With it were eight Spur-winged Lapwing – including a couple of juvenile. Three Cattle Egret were nearby and in total around 100 Yellow Wagtail were flying around and feeding in the fields. There were yet more shrikes and we had good views of a couple of Zitting Cisticola, Willow Warbler and three Whinchat. Sitting on hay bales near to the Ezousas Soakaways was a European Roller and yet more Lesser Grey Shrike on the wires and bales.
Finding the water filled Soakaways we disturbed a juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron and a Garganey, and a Eurasian Hoopoe also flew up. Several Eurasian Reed Warbler were flitting around at the base of the reeds together with a Sedge Warbler and we heard a Water Rail. A Eurasian Turtle Dove was on the wires above the area. More Yellow Wagtail could be heard flying around.
We finished the morning driving over Minthis Hills where we had good views of an adult Bonelli’s Eagle and two European Hobby. A few Sardinian Warbler were flying around but we could not find much else there – well there were obviously some Lesser Grey Shrike!! A good variety of species in just a few hours and Paul was especially pleased to have had good views of both the Cyprus endemics.
Forty two species seen:
Black-crowned Night Heron, Cattle Egret, Glossy Ibis, Garganey, Bonelli’s Eagle, Common Kestrel, Eurasian Hobby, Chukar, Water Rail (heard), Common Moorhen, Spur-winged Lapwing, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Little Owl, Common Kingfisher, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Common House Martin, Yellow Wagtail, Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, European Goldfinch