While doing the waterbird count at Larnaca Sewage Works this morning, I remarked to another birder there that this time last year a Terek Sandpiper had been found at the Sewage Works. An hour later at Oroklini Marsh the first bird I saw from the hide was this Terek Sandpiper! Not annual here this would be the 15th Cyprus record of the species since 2000 if accepted. Sorry for the awful photos but it was just too far for anything decent.
The area is drying out but along with Larnaca Sewage Works, it is still probably the best birding location on the island at the moment. Plenty of Little Ringed Plover (see photo), Kentish Plover and Little Stint along with Glossy Ibis, Slender-billed Gull, a Broad-billed Sandpiper, a Spotted Redshank, Common Greenshank, Common Snipe, two Collared Pratincole, a Temminck’s Stint and a Gull-billed Tern. A female Western Marsh Harrier is putting the birds up frequently as she quarters the area and Elenora’s Falcon fly over from time to time.
Little Ringed Plover juv, Akrotiri 8th August 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
One of several juvenile Yellow-legged Gull currently to be found along Spiros Beach and Larnaca Sewage Works. Also in the area today were an Eleonora’s Falcon, Little and Gull-billed Tern, Temminck’s and Little Stint, Dunlin, Ruff, Little Ringed Plover and Greater Flamingo.
Yellow-legged Gull, Spiros Beach, 25th July 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
A good selection of birds including non-breeders and returning migrants today at Akrotiri. Breeding Black-winged Stilt and Kentish Plover with young of all ages as well as a Whiskered Tern, two Curlew Sandpiper, a Greater Sandplover, several Little Ringed Plover, a Wood Sandpiper, some Common Redshank, a Squacco Heron, several Black-headed Wagtail and three Common Greenshank.
Black-winged Stilt, ASL, 6th July 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Still some migrating waders around today with two Ruddy Turnstone and six Broad-billed Sandpipers the highlights. Plenty of Ruff, Little Stint, Wood Sandpiper, Common Ringed Plover and Black-winged Stilt. Also two Black-tailed Godwit and Marsh Sandpiper and a few Little Ringed Plover, a Curlew Sandpiper and a Common Greenshank. Still a large flock of Little Tern on Lady’s Mile so hopefully they will stay to breed. I also found two Woodchat Shrike and four Red-backed Shrike with a Black-eared Wheatear, a Whinchat, a female Common Redstart and several Spotted Flycatcher.
Little Ringed Plover, Akrotiri 7th May 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Ringed Plover, Akrotiri 7th May 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Ruddy Turnstone, Akrotiri 7th May 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Black-necked Grebe, Larnaca Sewage Works 15th March 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Morning around Larnaca doing the monthly waterbird count. Most wintering ducks have gone as have most of the Greater Flamingos. Highlights were a Greater Sandplover at Spiros Pool, a flock of more than 600 Slender-billed Gulls on the Salt Lake and my first Wood Sandpiper of the year.
Kentish Plover 6
Larnaca Airport Pools South
Eurasian Thick-knee 2
Greater Flamingo 178
Black Francolin 1h
Laughing Dove 1 (first time seen here)
Larnaca Sewage Works
Spur-winged Lapwing 6
Black-necked Grebe 13 (see photograph)
Northern Shoveler 247
Common Pochard 3f
Eurasian Wigeon 1m and 1f
Green Sandpiper 2
Common Teal 44
Common Hoopoe 1
Greater Sandplover 1 (later seen on Spiros Pool)
Kentish Plover 2
Little Stint 14
Kentish Plover 1
Larnaca Airport Pools North
Greater Flamingo 100
Larnaca Salt Lake
Greater Flamingo 17
Common Shelduck 2
Slender-billed Gull 657
Kentish Plover 14
Little Stint 56
Common Ringed Plover 28
Eurasian Reed Warbler 5+h
Reed Bunting 1h
Common Snipe 6+
Water Pipit 4
Common Redshank 1h
Spur-winged Lapwing 9
Little Egret 1
Wood Sandpiper 1
Little Ringed Plover 1
Yellow Wagtail 1 first winter/spring
Not very many Greater Flamingos on the Salt Lake – less than 100 in the whole area. Numbers of ducks reduced on the Sewage Works pools from November but still plenty of Northern Shoveler, Mallard and Common Teal. More than thirty Black-necked Grebe have arrived for the winter but only four Greater White-fronted Geese – the numbers of those wintering here get less every year. A male Tufted Duck was on the pools as were five Common Pochard, 21 Ferruginous Duck, nine Eurasian Wigeon and four Northern Pintail.
Good numbers of Dunlin (see photo), Common Redshank, Little Stint, Common Ringed Plover and Kentish Plover as well as four Common Snipe, a Green Sandpiper and two Little Ringed Plover. A large flock of Eurasian Golden Plover and two Eurasian Curlew were in fields near the coast. Two Hen Harrier and two Western Marsh Harrier were hunting over the area. Plenty of Eurasian Skylark were in the fields. Offshore were four Sandwich Tern. Four Heuglin’s, some Caspian and a couple of Armenian Gull were roosting with the large group of Black-headed Gull on the Salt Lake.
A quick visit to Oroklini afterwards and I found a first winter Mediterranean Gull in with the Black-headed Gull and more Northern Shoveler and Greater Flamingo on the main lake. Two Merlin flew over the area and it was depressing to see 19 Spur-winged Lapwing roosting on a newly constructed road, part of an area that looks as if it is to be drained for housing.
Dunlin, Meneou 13th December 2017 (d) Cyprus Birding Tours
Dunlin, Meneou 13th December 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Common Redshank, Larnaca Salt Lake, 13th December 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
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.
Greater Flamingo. Larnaca Sewage Works 15th August 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Black-winged Stilt, Larnaca Sewage Works 17th July 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Several juveniles were also present as well as a Slender-billed and Black-headed Gull, a few Little Tern and an adult and juv Whiskered Tern, seven Ferruginous Duck, a couple each of Ruff, Common Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover and at least twenty Spur-winged Lapwing.
Gull-billed Tern, Larnaca Sewage Works 11th July 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
A record photo of one of four Gull-billed Terns at the Sewage Pools this morning. Three other tern species also present – seven Little Tern, one Whiskered and one White-winged Tern. Black-winged Stilt and Spur-winged Lapwing had chicks of varying sizes. On the water there were five Ferruginous Ducks in with the Mallard and around the edge there was a Little Ringed Plover, a Common and Green Sandpiper and some Kentish Plover. I only saw the best bird as I drove up to the hide – a Osprey was being chased over the area by Hooded Crows and heading east. A juvenile had been reported there towards the end of June and I guess it may well be the same bird.
Just had 30 minutes to spare yesterday and today in the hide overlooking the Sewage Pools but managed a few decent birds there after a quiet couple of weeks. Two long staying Grey Heron and the breeding Spur-winged Lapwing, Mallard, Coot and Little Grebe have been joined at some stage by a White-winged Tern, up to seven fishing Little Tern, a Gull-billed Tern, an adult Slender-billed Gull, two Little Ringed Plover and up to six Black-winged Stilt. Feeding on caterpillars in the bushes along the fence line are an adult (photo) and a juvenile Great Spotted Cuckoo.
Great Spotted Cuckoo, Larnaca Sewage Works 30th June 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
The first of two day’s out with Barry and we spent our time around Cape Greco moving to Paralimni Lake later in the day. We started at Agia Trias beach where there were still two Greater Sand Plover on the beach together with a Grey Plover, Common Sandpiper and a Common Kingfisher. We spent several hours exploring Cape Greco on foot and by car and were pleased with the species we found which included three singing male Cyprus Warbler, Spectacled and Ruppell’s Warbler, Isabelline, Cyprus, Northern and Finsch’s Wheatear, Red-rumped Swallow, a Pallid Harrier, at least seven Eurasian Hoopoe, Blue Rock Thrush, Baltic Gull and Little Egret migrating offshore, Cretzschmar’s Bunting and Greater Short-toed Lark. Still plenty of Western Black Redstart and Common Stonechat around as well as several Chukar and lots of finches.
Although it was very windy when we finally got to Kermia Beach we were glad we made the effort as our target species for that location was there – two Audouin’s Gull. Although they were dozing when we arrived two Yellow-legged Gull flew in and woke them up for us. We went slightly inland to Agia Napa Sewage Works where we saw two male Blue Rock Thrush, more Cretzschmar’s Bunting and Isabelline Wheatear and a very smart male Masked Shrike. On the treated water pools there were Eurasian Coot and Little Grebe as well as two each of Spur-winged Lapwing, Common Sandpiper and Green Sandpiper. We did a detour to the Agia Napa Football fields where we found another Cretzschmar’s Bunting and two Laughing Doves.
Finishing the day at Paralimni Lake we set up the ‘scope and scanned the area. A Peregrine Falcon was sitting on a rock towards the middle and an adult Long-legged Buzzard was nearby in a low bush. We found a couple more Isabelline Wheatear and another Masked Shrike. There were several species of wader – Kentish Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Ringed Plover, Ruff, Eurasian Golden Plover and Dunlin. As we sat to go over our sightings and drink a final cup of tea late in the afternoon we watched a small flock of Common Starling coming into roost. A good day out hopefully with more species to come later in the week on our second day out.
Total species – 64
Little Grebe, Great Cormorant, Little Egret, Mallard, Pallid Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Greater Sand Plover, Eurasian Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Dunlin, Ruff, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Audouin’s Gull, Baltic Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Eurasian Collared Dove, Laughing Dove, Common Swift, Common Kingfisher, Eurasian Hoopoe, Greater Short-toed Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, European Robin, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Finsch’s Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Ruppell’s Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Masked Shrike, Hooded Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting
Audouin’s Gull, Kermia Beach, 13th March 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours