Much quieter around Akrotiri today than it was when I visited on Tuesday, with a big clear out of waders especially. Still some good sightings though: two male Honey Buzzard over Phassouri Plantations being mobbed by Hooded Crows; two Eleonora’s Falcon putting up a flock of around one hundred marsh terns – mainly White-winged – over Akrotiri Salt Lake; good views of three White-winged, 14 Little and two Gull-billed Tern at the Zakaki outflow; and a European Roller behind Lady’s Mile.
On the Larnaca Sewage Works Pools there were twelve White-winged Tern and a Eurasian Spoonbill was on Spiros Pool where the numbers of waders has also decreased compared to the last few days.
White-winged Tern and Little Tern Akrotiri Salt Lake 16th May 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Eurasian Spoonbill Spiros Pool 16th May 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Photo below is of one of a pair of Laughing Dove near Agia Napa Sewage Works this morning. Wild birds are rare vagrants to Cyprus; this bird is from a small population established in the area by escapees from local collections. Others, again thought to be escapees, are now breeding in a couple of locations in Limassol.
Laughing Dove, Agia Napa Sewage Works May 9th 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
A day out around Paphos, and David and I started at Petra tou Romiou where at least three Eleonora’s Falcon flying around the area got the day off to a good start. Several Willow Warbler were flitting in a eucalyptus tree as was an Eastern Olivaceous Warbler. A Lesser Grey Shrike was on a distant bush – the first of many seen throughout the day.
Three of them were on the wires as we turned into the track to Kouklia Soakaways and we also saw several female Red-backed Shrike, a couple of Zitting Cisticola and heard several Cetti’s and Eurasian Reed Warbler. We heard European Bee-eater, and while we watched twelve of them flying above us we caught sight of seven Honey Buzzards thermalling up to the north of the area. Soon they were out of sight so we headed to Asprokremmos Dam. Yet more Lesser Grey and Red-backed Shrike (this time a couple of males as well) and two Masked Shrike were there. We also had two Eurasian Hoopoe, two Tawny Pipit, a Spectacled Warbler, around fifty Yellow Wagtail on a mown field, some Whinchat, Spotted Flycatcher, two Northern Wheatear and many Willow Warbler. Around the edge of the lake itself there was a single Grey Heron and Squacco Heron and four Little Egret.
A drive round Mandria added a juvenile Montagu’s Harrier, three European Roller, three Isabelline Wheatear and fifteen Greater Short-toed Lark to our growing list of species. The Short-toed Lark sat still in a field as we passed by and we were able to get really good views of them. We ate our lunch there watching a migrating flock of Grey Heron pass by as well as a couple of European Shag and Yellow-legged Gull on the offshore rocks.
In the fields of alfalfa at Paphos Sewage Work there must have been at least 200 Yellow Wagtail – many female and juvenile but we did see several male feldegg and flava among them. A female Western Marsh Harrier headed out to sea. Two Cattle Egret were enjoying the water from the irrigation system and the area was also full of shrikes, Whinchat and Willow Warbler. Two Glossy Ibis could be seen over the Ezousas river so we headed there next and checked the Soakaways. A Garganey flew up, we heard a Water Rail, and we also had good views of two Common Kingfisher, several Sedge Warbler and a Eurasian Reed Warbler.
Anarita Park was our last stop where we watched around ten Red-rumped Swallow flying around and found an autumn plumaged Cyprus Wheatear. Pleased to have found one of the Cyprus endemics, as the Cyprus Warbler had eluded us, we finished our day. An interesting variety of species.
Day’s total – 55 species
European Shag, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Glossy Ibis, Garganey, European Honey Buzzard, Western Marsh Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier, Common Kestrel, Eleonora’s Falcon, Chukar (h), Water Rail (h), Common Moorhen, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Common Kingfisher, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Tawny Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Whinchat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch