Although at first it didn’t look very promising at Phasouri this morning, things picked up slowly and I managed to get a good list together including a nice surprise in the shape of a juvenile Lesser Spotted Eagle (see cropped record shot). Other birds seen include:
Eurasian Sparrowhawk 1
Common Crane 1 flew down behind reeds
Jack Snipe 1 in flight
Common Snipe 3
Western Marsh Harrier 2
Common Starling c40
Water Pipit 13
Black Redstart 1
Spur-winged Lapwing 10
Great White Egret 2
Western Water Rail 1h
Red-throated Pipit 1+h
Northern Lapwing 9
A good day around the Larnaca area doing the December waterbird count. Although one of the Sewage Pools is still empty the other one had some good birds including six Greater White-fronted Goose, a Ruddy Shelduck, an immature Great White Pelican, two Common Shelduck, five Black-necked Grebe, nine Eurasian Wigeon, four Common Pochard and two Northern Pintail. Twelve Eurasian Golden Plover were on Spiros Pool and six Eurasian Curlew were in the nearby fields which also had many Eurasian Skylark and Meadow Pipit feeding in them.
Nearly 700 Greater Flamingo were on the main Salt Lake as were around 140 Common Shelduck. An unexpected find were three Common Crane – maybe the same birds that were at Akrotiri Salt Lake recently (see record photo). Flocks of Kentish Plover, Dunlin and Little Stint were feeding on the edges of the water. Towards the north east corner there were more than 20 Common Snipe and a single Temminck’s Stint. Water and Meadow Pipit were around and were put up by hunting Western Marsh and Hen Harrier and two Common Buzzard. In the reeds I found three Moustached Warbler and two Bluethroat, a Water Rail and a Jack Snipe, as well as many Common Chiffchaff, two Grey Wagtail and a first winter Yellow Wagtail.
Common Crane, Larnaca Salt Lake 16th December 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Bluethroat, Larnaca Salt Lake 16th December 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Moustached Warbler, Larnaca Salt Lake 16th December 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Three days out with Peter who I had previously taken out this time last year. Although once again he was too late for Cyprus Wheatear we had some great birds and a good time with one of the highlights being a Peregrine Falcon roosting on Akrotiri Salt Lake for the second year running, photo friendly Eurasian Penduline Tits and Jack Snipe, an unexpected Cyprus Warbler at Phinikas, five Finsch’s Wheatear including a female for a change and good views of Eurasian Stone Curlew, Hen Harrier and Eurasian Griffon Vulture to name just three – oh and hundreds of Common Stonechat!
Monday 7th November – Day around Akrotiri Peninsula
Phasouri Reed-beds – Western Marsh Harrier 2, Eurasian Skylark h, Eurasian Penduline Tit 2, European Robin 6+
Akrotiri Gravel Pits – Western Marsh Harrier 1, Woodlark 2
Lady’s Mile – Western Marsh Harrier 1, Common Ringed Plover 2, Kentish Plover 100+, Little Stint c20, Dunlin c30, Armenian Gull 2 ad and 2 juv, Slender-billed Gull 4, Corn Bunting 4
Akrotiri Salt Lake – Grey Heron c60, Greater Flamingo c90, Peregrine Falcon 1 juv, Common Snipe 1, Water Pipit 2
Zakaki Marsh – Little Egret 2, Great Egret 1, Eurasian Teal 3, Water Rail 2+, Jack Snipe 1, Bluethroat 1, Song Thrush 1, Moustached Warbler 1, Common Starling 14, Common Reed Bunting 1
Kensington Cliffs – Eurasian Griffon Vulture 3
Friday 11th November – Day around Paphos
Mandria – European Shag 1, Hen Harrier 1 ringtail, Long-legged Buzzard 1, Eurasian Stone Curlew 25, European Golden Plover 1 flew over, Eurasian Skylark 40+, Meadow Pipit c60, Red-throated Pipit 20+, Western Black Redstart 1
Nata Ford – Eurasian Sparrowhawk 1, Bonelli’s Eagle 1 ad, Chukar 8, Song Thrush 4+, Eurasian Blackbird 1m, European Serin 6+, Corn Bunting 1
Phinikas (Asprokremmos Dam) – Great Cormorant 3, Eurasian Teal c90, Eurasian Sparrowhawk 1, Whiskered Tern 1, Little Owl 1, Common Kingfisher 1, Meadow Pipit 50+, Water Pipit 1, Western Black Redstart 4, Finsch’s Wheatear 3m, Blue Rock Thrush 1m, Cyprus Warbler 1m, European Serin 4, Common Linnet 3
Anarita Park – Long-legged Buzzard 1, Little Owl 1, Finsch’s Wheatear 1m and 1f, Spanish Sparrow 50+, Corn Bunting 3
Full species list – 80 species
Little Grebe, Great Cormorant, European Shag, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Great Egret, Grey Heron, Greater Flamingo, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Eurasian Griffon Vulture, Western Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Common Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Water Rail, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Eurasian Golden Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Dunlin, Jack Snipe, Common Snipe, Common Black-headed Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Armenian Gull, Whiskered Tern, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Little Owl, Common Kingfisher, Crested Lark, Woodlark, Eurasian Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Water Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, European Robin, Bluethroat, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Finsch’s Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Song Thrush, Eurasian Blackbird, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Moustached Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Great Tit, Eurasian Penduline Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Common Reed Bunting, Corn Bunting.
Jack Snipe, Zakaki Marsh, 7th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Blue Rock Thrush, Phinikas, 11th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Whiskered Tern, Phinikas, 11th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Second day out with Ann and Peter and we started at Zakaki Marsh. We quickly found two newly arrived Sedge Warbler and a couple of Eurasian Reed Warbler and heard a Spotted Crake. Unfortunately we couldn’t see it, although apparently it had been on view before our arrival. Two Spur-winged Lapwing flew over. In the nearby vegetation we found Spectacled and Willow Warbler and were treated to good views of a male Black Francolin. On Lady’s Mile we found Armenian and Caspian Gull as well as a couple of Little Egret, a juvenile Greater Flamingo, a Black-tailed Godwit, three Common Redshank, some Kentish Plover, three Dunlin and more than fifty Little Stint. In the scrub were several Isabelline Wheatear and a male Northern Wheatear as well as several large flocks of European Goldfinch, European Greenfinch and Common Linnet.
It was very windy in the Gravel Pits area and workmen in the church grounds prevented us from checking those but as we drove across the area we heard a familiar call – it was Eurasian Penduline Tit. We stopped to investigate and then spent some time watching at least ten of them – mainly males – feeding in tamarisk bushes and calling to each other as they flitted around. We also found three Eurasian Hoopoe, that looked as if they had just flown in from the sea, and watched three Western Marsh Harrier and a Common Buzzard patrol the area. A male Merlin flew quickly over the old rabbit sheds. A flock of Spanish Sparrow also caught our attention.
We decided to head to Germasogeia Dam and then return to Zakaki later in the afternoon. At the Finikaria end of the dam we came across a Long-legged Buzzard and flocks of Spanish Sparrow and several singing Corn Bunting. A single male Cretzschmar’s Bunting was sitting high on a hawthorn bush. Checking out the remaining pools in the shallows we had great views of two Common Snipe and a Jack Snipe and it was especially interesting to compare their size when they flew. A single Alpine Swift flew low over our heads and a Water Pipit came down to the water’s edge to drink. At least five Black-headed Wagtail were flying around.
As the sun started to go down we headed back to Zakaki for a final check for the Spotted Crake. No luck again but we found Cattle and Little Egret there as well as two Ferruginous Duck and a Spur-winged Lapwing that flew in front of the hide.
Despite the wind making it difficult to find migrant passerines during the day we were pleased with the species we did see – a good variety in our 65 day total.
Total species seen – 65
Little Grebe, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Greater Flamingo, Mallard, Ferruginous Duck, Western Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Merlin, Chukar h, Black Francolin, Spotted Crake h, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Kentish Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Jack Snipe, Common Snipe, Common Redshank, Common Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Caspian Gull, Armenian Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Water Pipit, Black-headed Wagtail (feldegg), White Wagtail, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Great Tit, Eurasian Penduline Tit, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting
Zakaki Marsh, late afternoon 17th March 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Jack Snipe, Germasogeia Dam 9th January 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Was pleased to find that a couple of Jack Snipe were still at Germasogeia Dam today together with at least one Common Snipe, a Bluethroat, several Water Pipit and two Grey Wagtail. There were also flocks of European Goldfinch, European Serin, and Spanish Sparrow as well as several European Robin, lots of Common Stonechat and a European Blackbird. On the water there were some Great Cormorant, Eurasian Teal, Little Grebe, Eurasian Coot, Common Moorhen and a Grey Heron.
White Wagtail Germasogeia Dam January 9th 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Jack Snipe Germasogeia Dam 9th January 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Was too late getting to Zakaki Marsh this morning to catch sight of the three Little Swift that had been feeding there earlier. Although I also returned there later in the day, there was no further sign of them. I did see a Jack Snipe, several Water Pipit, Common Kingfisher and hear a Water Rail though. The Eurasian Bittern at Phassouri Reed Beds came out from the reeds briefly, but more interesting there were the Hawfinch that were flying in the area together with large flocks of Common Chaffinch and European Serin. I saw at least four but other birders had found up to ten. At least three Western Marsh Harrier and four Common Buzzard were around and a Eurasian Curlew was near the coast.
At Lady’s Mile there was at least one Mediterranean Gull in with all the Common Black-headed Gull, about ten Armenian Gull and six first winter Caspian Gull. Along the port road two Laughing Dove were sitting on the wires and a Eurasian Sparrowhawk was flying over being mobbed by two Hooded Crow. Great to get out birding again!!