A very windy day at Akrotiri with limited raptor movement and those that were migrating keeping low over the Salt Lake. At least twenty Red-footed Falcons were roosting at Lady’s Mile with half of them hunkered down on the salt flats and rest on wires (see photo). Two Booted Eagles were seen – the long staying light morph is still around Phasouri (see photo). A small number of European Honey Buzzard braved the elements as did a couple of Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Black Kite, some Western Marsh Harrier and a juvenile Pallid Harrier. There is still a Whimbrel on Lady’s Mile (photo) and plenty of herons and egrets on Akrotiri Marsh together with the juvenile Black Stork, three Black-tailed Godwit, several Common Snipe, Common Teal, a single White Wagtail, three White-winged Tern and the usual migrating European Bee-eater, Barn Swallow and Sand Martin.
Plenty of Red-backed and Masked Shrike at Cape Greco this morning as well as many Whinchat and some migrating raptors. Full list of the more interesting sightings:
Northern Wheatear 3
Isabelline Wheatear 3
European Honey Buzzard 27
Cyprus Wheatear 9
Eastern Orphean Warbler 1 juv
Black-eared Wheatear 3
Cyprus Warbler 4
Red-backed Shrike 11 (see photo of juvenile)
Common Hoopoe 2
Greater Short-toed Lark 6+
Willow Warbler 12+
Spotted Flycatcher 2
Eleonora’s Falcon 2
Western Marsh Harrier 6
Montagu’s Harrier 1m
Eurasian Hobby 1
Eurasian Wryneck 1
European Bee-eatear many passing over heard only
Agia Napa Sewage Works
Masked Shrike 7ad and 1 juv (all within 1km of each other)
Red-backed Shrike 7
Ortolan Bunting 2
Lesser Whitethroat 2
Isabelline Wheatear 1
Woodchat Shrike 1
Agia Napa Football fields
Red-backed Shrike 3
Cattle Egret 11
Tree Pipit 2
Isabelline Wheatear 2
Lesser Grey Shrike 1
Isabelline Wheatear 1
Kentish Plover 2
Greater Sandplover 4
Change of scenery this morning with a trip to Cape Greco. Although it was really hot, a quick trip around the area produced a good selection of migrants including European Honey Buzzard, juvenile Pallid Harrier, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Spotted Flycatcher, Whinchat (see photo), Red-backed and Masked Shrike, Isabelline Wheatear, Willow Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat. Still several Cyprus Wheatear around. At Macronissos Beach there were two Greater Sandplover and a couple of Tawny Pipit.
Two photos from the White Stork extravaganza this morning at Akrotiri Salt Lake. One of just a few of the migrating group of c1000 and the other is of one White Stork heading to the left while one of the three European Honey Buzzard that was soaring with the storks heads right.
A good day around Akrotiri despite being in the wrong places at the time when three Short-toed Snake Eagles passed over. Anyhow saw nearly 70 migrating European Honey Buzzard as well as six Black Kite and several Montagu’s Harrier. Elenora’s Falcon were hunting over the area and hundreds of European Bee-eater were migrating through. Nearly two hundred Kentish Plover were on Lady’s Mile together with a few Little Stint and single Sanderling and Dunlin.
Photo below of a juvenile Kentish Plover in the midday sun on Lady’s Mile.
No sign today of the Black-winged Kite that was seen at Phasouri Reed-beds yesterday morning which was disappointing. Spent some time watching this female Common Kingfisher which cheered me up (See photo). Elsewhere around Akrotiri I found Spotted Crake, Water Rail, Little Bittern, Great Reed Warbler, Red-throated Pipit, Bluethroat, Common Crane, a Western Marsh and a Hen Harrier, two European Honey Buzzard, four Eleonora’s Falcon and a few Eurasian Sparrowhawk so I can’t really complain!
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.
Hundreds of European Honey Buzzard have migrated through the Akrotiri peninsula the last two days heading south.
Raptor counts at Cape Greco this autumn have been quiet so far but there was more activity this morning with several Black Kite (photo), European Honey Buzzard, Western Marsh, Pallid and Montagu’s Harrier and Peregrine Falcon migrating south over the area.
Spent an enjoyable day out with Tony and Greta at several of the Paphos birding locations. We started at Paphos Sewage Plant where there were several Spur-winged Lapwing, including a couple of juveniles, feeding in the fields. A male Red-backed Shrike and a European Turtle Dove were sitting on wires and at the same time as a large flock of migrating European Bee-eater starting migrating over the area we also saw a juvenile Montagu’s Harrier, a European Honey Buzzard and a Western Marsh Harrier gaining height and heading out over the sea. In the fields were a couple of Whinchat, a covey of Chukar and a large flock of Western Yellow Wagtail. After watching a flock of Spanish Sparrow we then found a Long-legged Buzzard perched on the top of a pylon which we then saw dive down into the dry river bed nearby – it didn’t fly up while we were there so we guessed it had caught something and was eating it out of sight.
More European Bee-eaters were in the Agia Varvara valley as were juvenile Red-backed Shrike, Willow, Sardinian and Cetti’s Warbler, Whinchat and a Northern Wheatear. The best birds here though were two European Golden Oriole which flew into the same eucalyptus trees under whose shade we were taking a quick coffee break! On to Mandria and down near the coast at Lark Corner we watched some Greater Short-toed Lark, Whinchat, Nothern Wheatear and also a Tawny Pipit feeding. Behind us were three juvenile Collared Pratincole feeding in another field close to the water sprinklers. In another area we found three European Roller, a Lesser Grey Shrike and yet more European Bee-eater passing over.
The area near Anarita Mast behind Asprokremmos Dam was full of European Bee-eater as well and we found several Whinchat, more Yellow Wagtail, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Northern Wheatear, a couple of Tawny Pipit and another Lesser Grey Shrike all perched on the perimeter fence there. As we turned to leave a juvenile Montagu’s Harrier flew into view and we spent some time watching it quartering the area and feeding on at least one lizard that it caught as we watched – probably the day’s highlight. A pair of Cyprus Warbler were not so obliging and although we had very brief views of a male and a female they were disappointing. A Black-eared Wheatear close by was much easier to see.
We finished the day in and inland from Kouklia Village. We had good views of several Laughing Dove that now breed there and found another Northern Wheatear. We then moved inland to see if we would have more luck with the other endemic – the Cyprus Wheatear. Things didn’t look promising even though we visited an area I had seen many a few weeks previously, until finally one flew across the road in front of us – another brief view but at least this time we could see it properly!
List of species seen –
Chukar, Common Woodpigeon, European Turtle Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, Laughing Dove, Great Cormorant, European Shag, Spur-winged Lapwing, Collared Pratincole, Yellow-legged Gull, European Honey Buzzard, Western Marsh Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Common Kingfisher, Common Kestrel, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Great Tit, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Zitting Cisticola, Barn Swallow, Sand Martin, Willow Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Black-eared Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Tawny Pipit, Western Yellow Wagtail, European Goldfinch
Migrating raptor numbers still seem to be low all over the island this autumn but at least I had a few at Cape Greco this morning. No where near what I would expect usually but good to get a European Honey Buzzard pass close over my observation point. Eleven others headed east further inland and I also spotted a male Western Marsh Harrier, a Peregrine Falcon, a Eurasian Sparrowhawk and an Eleonora’s Falcon. A European Roller headed southwards out to sea and a small number of Grey and Purple Heron migrated offshore.
A good day out again with Terry and Sarah around Akrotiri and then west to Mandria, Timi Beach and Asprokremmos Dam. Another very warm day with just a trickle of migrating raptors but we pieced together some good species and enjoyed ourselves in any case.
Highlights per location:
Phassouri Reed-beds – Black Francolin 1m and 1f, European Turtle Dove 20+, Pallid Swift 2, European Honey Buzzard 7, Western Marsh Harrier 3, Montagu’s Harrier 3 juv, Black Kite 2, European Bee-eater 200+, European Roller, Common Kingfisher, Lesser Kestrel, Red-backed, Lesser Grey and Masked Shrike, Red-rumped Swallow, Whinchat, Yellow Wagtail
Bishop’s Pool – Black-crowned Night Heron, Purple Heron, Black-winged Stilt, Western Marsh Harrier, Red-rumped Swallow, Sand Martin
Lady’s Mile – Dunlin 3, Kentish Plover, Little Stint
Zakaki Marsh – Common Kingfisher, Great Reed Warbler
Mandria – Chukar, Eleonora’s Falcon, European Roller, Lesser Grey Shrike, Greater Short-toed Lark, Northern & Isabelline Wheatear, Yellow Wagtail, European Shag
Timi Beach – Greater Short-toed Lark c30
Asprokremmos Dam – Spotted Flycatcher, Eleonora’s Falcon