Spent most of the day sea watching in the Polis Chrysochou Bay. The bird of the day was this Whimbrel (photo) which flew in off the sea and started feeding on the beach in front me. Also migrating were some Grey and Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis and Garganey. Other waders seen were a flock of eight Common Sandpiper, four distant Pied Avocet flying west over the sea and two Grey Plover which flew into the bay as I was leaving and couldn’t see where they had landed.
Out around Larnaca counting the waterbirds today. The depth of the water on the Sewage Pools means they hold very few birds but the surrounding Salt Lake area still had Greater Flamingo as well as Black-winged Stilt (see photo), Spur-winged Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Ruff, Little Stint, Common and Little Ringed Plover, Garganey and single Mediterranean Gull. Whiskered Tern and Grey Plover.
Spent most of the day at Cape Greco looking for early migrants. Some putting in an appearance – see list below – but the best was a lovely male Common Redstart of the samamisicus race (see photos). Also visited Oroklini Marsh and a couple of Agia Napa beaches where there were ten Greater Sandplovers (see photos).
Did the waterbird count this morning around Larnaca. Most of the birds were at the Sewage Works – Greater Flamingo, Little and Cattle Egret, Grey and Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Kentish and Common Ringed Plover, Little Stint, Sanderling, Ruff, Marsh Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Black-winged Stilt, Spur-winged Lapwing, Common Redshank, Northern Shoveler, Common Teal, Garganey, Ferruginous Duck. Plus migrating Montagu’s and Pallid Harrier, lots of European Bee-eater, an Isabelline and Northern Wheatear, Red-backed (see photo), Masked and Lesser Grey Shrike. Good morning’s birding.
Sea watching at Polis Chrysochou this morning 6.30 – 8.30 am produced good numbers of migrating Glossy Ibis plus Purple, Grey and Squacco Heron, Cattle and Little Egret, Black-winged Stilt (see photo), Garganey, Gull-billed Tern, Common Sandpiper and Kingfisher and European Bee-eater.
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.
Picking David, Jan and Rachael from Polis our first stop of the day was behind the village of Neo Horio after which we moved on to the deserted village of Androlikou and then to the valley behind Arodes via Pittokopos. We briefly visited Kannaviou Dam which had very little bird life and then drove through the Sarama valley to finish at Evretou Dam. The call of European Bee-eater was the sound track of the day as they passed over heading south in large numbers – some of them passing low over us or perching on low trees by the side of tracks meaning we had plenty of opportunities to enjoy their vibrant colours. Other highlights included a couple of male Red-backed Shrike, at least two European Golden Oriole, a Common Hoopoe, several Cyprus Wheatear, a male and a female Black-eared Wheatear and a couple of Black Francolin. Two Long-legged Buzzard were the only identifiable large raptors although a probableBonelli’s Eagle was seen above Arodes before disappearing into the haze. Juvenile Red-backed Shrike and Spotted Flycatcher were everywhere we went as were many Willow Warbler.
Highlights per location:
Neo Horio – Smygies – Chukar, European Bee-eater, Common Hoopoe, Red-backed Shrike, Olivaceous Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Spotted Flycatcher, Whinchat, Cyprus Wheatear
Neo Horio – Androlikou – Red-backed Shrike, Cyprus Wheatear, European Bee-eater
Androlikou -Pittokopos – European Bee-eater, Red-backed Shrike, Whinchat, Cyprus Wheatear
Arodes – Long-legged Buzzard, Red-backed Shrike (male), Masked Shrike, Willow Warbler 30+, Spotted Flycatcher, Black-eared Wheatear 1m and 1f, Cyprus Wheatear, Whinchat,
Kathikas – Long-egged Buzzard
Kannaviou – Coal Tit h, Cyprus Warbler singing (odd location for that species)
Sarama valley – European Turtle Dove, European Bee-eater, European Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike, Spotted Flycatcher, Cyprus Wheatear
Evretou Dam – Chukar, Black Francolin, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Garganey, Little Stint, Common Snipe, Green Sandpiper, European Bee-eater, Western Yellow Wagtail, Corn Bunting, Cretzschmar’s Bunting
After visiting Akrotiri I spent the afternoon sea watching in Polis Chrysochou Bay. The photo is of two Whimbrel seen migrating W offshore. Other sightings included:
Polis Chrysochou Bay 12:00 – 19-:00
Common Ringed Plover 4 heading W along coast
Garganey three groups c300 in total
Purple Heron in off sea in two groups of 74 in total then seen heading inland 19:00
Audouin’s Gull 1 heading W
Glossy Ibis 52 in off from N and then inland
Eurasian Honey Buzzard 2 in off sea 14:40 and then lost to view
Whimbrel 2 heading W with another wader probably Ruff
Baltic Gull 1 heading W
Masked Shrike 1m
Some interesting waders on the Sewage Pools today although the Broad-billed Sandpipers that were there on Saturday seem to have moved on. Today I found an adult Ruddy Turnstone still in breeding plumage and a Eurasian Curlew – both of which are never common here. Also several Dunlin, Curlew Sandpiper, Common Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper and four Collared Pratincole (inc a juv). Still several Black-winged Stilt around as well as c30 Spur-winged Plover and at least 14 Kentish Plover.
In addition to four Greater Flamingo (photo) there were 11 Ferruginous Duck with Northern Shoveler numbers now up to 17. Six Garganey were preening and roosting as was at least one Common Teal.
Ten juvenile Yellow-legged Gull flew in and single juvenile White-winged Tern and Gull-billed Tern were feeding over the water. A Squacco Heron flew over heading east and two Pallid Swift flew over in with many Barn Swallow.
Back in Larnaca and out early to do the monthly waterbird count there. Good to find three Broad-billed Sandpiper and a Grey Plover on the Sewage Works pools but very dry elsewhere with just a small stream of water in the Kamares end of the main Salt Lake.
Larnaca Sewage Works
Ferruginous Duck 22
European Coot 40
Spur-winged Lapwing 29
Black-winged Stilt 11
Little Grebe 6
Yellow-legged Gull 22
Broad-billed Sandpiper 3
Little Stint 15
Kentish Plover 5
Green Sandpiper 2
Northern Shoveler 4
Common Teal 2
Grey Plover 1
Yellow Wagtail h
Common Sandpiper 6
Grey Heron 1
Temminck’s Stint 1
Yellow-legged Gull 17
Kentish Plover 26 inc several juvs
Larnaca Airport Coast
Yellow-legged Gull 36
Pallid Swift 2
Larnaca Salt Lake (Tekke area)
Masked Shrike 3 imm
Larnaca Salt Lake (Kamares area)
Spur-winged Lapwing 10 inc 1 juv
Common Redshank 1 (see photo).
Green Sandpiper 1
Common Kingfisher 1
Migrating duck, wader and heron spp usually start appearing offshore on the northern coast of Cyprus at this time of year. This morning between 7.00 and 8.30 am I had six Cattle Egret (see photo), around 20 Glossy Ibis, four Garganey and nine Common Sandpiper. Larger flocks would be expected from second week of August onwards until mid/late September.