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.
A very enjoyable day birding around Akrotiri even if I got a later start than intended. Highlight was definitely finding a female Semi-collared Flycatcher as I was checking the ID’s of several females near Bishop’s Pool – also a female Collared Flycatcher which was actually my first Collared for the year. In that area there were also Pied and Spotted Flycatcher, Wood Warbler, Blackcap and several beautiful male European Golden Oriole. Plenty of Woodchat Shrike around with a few Red-backed as well. A large group of more than twenty Little Tern were on Lady’s Mile in the morning as were nine Collared Pratincole and many Marsh Sandpiper and Common Greenshank (see photos).
Late in the afternoon I visited the eastern shore of the Salt Lake and the Zakaki run off. There I saw more than ten Temminck’s Stint, ten Black-tailed Godwit, a few Curlew Sandpiper, fishing Little Tern, feeding White-winged and Whiskered Tern and best of all – a resting flock of around 300 Collared Pratincoles (see photo). Lovely!
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.
Spent much longer out birding than I had originally intended but it was worth it with the best birds being a sub adult Bonelli’s Eagle, two Long-legged Buzzard, three (maybe four) Finsch’s Wheatear, Red-throated Pipit, Spotted Crake, Water Pipit and a female Merlin which scattered the waders at Oroklini Marsh.
Interesting birds seen:
Bonelli’s Eagle 1 ad
Long-legged Buzzard 2 (see photo)
Peregrine Falcon 1
Finsch’s Wheatear 1m and 2f (prob 3f)
Red-throated Pipit 7+
Black Redstart 5
Spanish Sparrow 30+
Greater Flamingo 15
Spur-winged Lapwing 52+
Northern Lapwing 18
Black-headed Gull 13
Armenian Gull 1 ad
Northern Pintail 3
Little Stint 37
Common Ringed Plover 1
Common Redshank 8
Marsh Sandpiper 1
Common Snipe 2
Spotted Crake 1
Water Pipit 2
Grey Heron 1
Eurasian Golden Plover 27
No rarities in with the usual autumn migrating waders at the Sewage Pools this morning after a Terek Sandpiper and Pacific Golden Plover had been reported there in the last few weeks. Plenty of Greater Flamingo feeding in the water there and numbers of Northern Shoveler and Common Teal already building up. Two Black-necked Grebe were in with the Little Grebe and two Sanderling were on the nearby beach.
Two Black Kite flew in and rested on the mud for a while and two juvenile Montagu’s Harrier were quartering nearby fields as they headed S to Cape Kiti.
Some of the more interesting species:
European Bee-eater 50+
Larnaca Airport Pools South
Eurasian Thick-knee 20
Montagu’s Harrier 1 juv
Larnaca Sewage Works
Black Kite 2 flew in and rested on mud
Greater Flamingo 549
Common Ringed Plover 28
Black-winged Stilt 5
Little Stint 61
Kentish Plover 95
Cattle Egret 2
Grey Heron 2
Little Ringed Plover 3
Marsh Sandpiper 6
Curlew Sandpiper 1 juv
Common Greenshank 2
Ferruginous Duck 10
Black-tailed Godwit 1
Eurasian Curlew 1
Northern Shoveler 352
Common Teal 119
Wood Sandpiper 3
Common Redshank 4
Eurasian Thick-knee 1 flew over
Black-necked Grebe 2
Northern Pintail 2
Spur-winged Lapwing 3
Montagu’s Harrier 1 juv
Northern Wheatear 2
Red-backed Shrike 1 juv
Larnaca Airport Coast
Yellow-legged Gull 21
Spotted Flycatcher 1
Sanderling 2 (see photo)
Larnaca Salt Lake
Red-backed Shrike 3 juv
Masked Shrike 1 juv
Lesser Grey Shrike 1
European Roller 1
Kamares area of Salt Lake
Laughing Dove 4
Little Egret 7
Squacco Heron 2 (see photo)
Common Redshank 1
Sedge Warbler 1
Spur-winged Lapwing 2
Good to see John and Madeleine again for another day’s birding. We visited a few Paphos locations in the morning before spending the rest of the day around Akrotiri. Eight species of raptor seen including Red-footed Falcon, Lesser Kestrel and Montagu’s Harrier at Anarita early morning and later on a Peregrine Falcon and two Eleonora’s Falcon hunting the waders on Akrotiri Salt Lake where we were surprised to find a female Hen Harrier as well. We saw many different waders including Broad-billed Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper and Temminck’s Stint plus great views of Collared Pratincole and White-winged Tern.
Highlights per location visited:
Agia Varvara – Black Francolin 2, European Turtle Dove, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Lesser Kestrel, Eleonora’s Falcon, Spotted Flycatcher
Agia Varvara village reservoir- Ruff, Temminck’s Stint, Wood Sandpiper, European Roller, Red-rumped Swallow
Anarita Park – Montagu’s Harrier 1m, Long-legged Buzzard, European Bee-eater h, Lesser Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Cyprus Warbler, Corn Bunting
Kouklia village – Laughing Dove
Akrotiri Gravel Pits – Great Spotted Cuckoo 2, European Turtle Dove 4, Little Egret, Kentish Plover, Willow Warbler, European Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, Spotted Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher 1f
Phasouri Reed Beds – Ferruginous Duck, Glossy Ibis 6, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Ruff, Olivaceous Warbler, Black-headed Wagtail 1m, European Serin
Akrotiri Salt Lake – Greater Flamingo, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Cuckoo, Black-winged Stilt, Grey Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Ruff, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Collared Pratincole, Little Tern, White-winged Tern, Hen Harrier 1f, European Bee eater, Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon
Lady’s Mile – Little Egret, Common Ringed Plover, Ruff, Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Common Greenshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Little Tern
Zakaki Marsh – European Bee-eater, Squacco Heron
Total species seen – 75
Black Francolin, Ferruginous Duck, Mallard, Little Grebe, Greater Flamingo, Common Woodpigeon, European Turtle Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, Laughing Dove, Common Swift, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Cuckoo, Common Moorhen, Common Coot, Glossy Ibis, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Black-winged Stilt, Grey Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit, Ruff, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Temminck’s Stint, Little Stint, Common Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Collared Pratincole, Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Little Tern, White-winged Tern, Hen Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Eurasian Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Great Tit, Crested Lark, Zitting Cisticola, Olivaceous Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Northern House Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Willow Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, Cyprus Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher, Cyprus Wheatear, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Black-headed Wagtail, European Greenfinch, Common Linnet, European Goldfinch, European Serin, Corn Bunting
Three days out with Mark, Willem, Oscar and Sjors around Akrotiri, Larnaca and Paphos produced a total of 112 different species/forms with a wide variety of types of birds and a few surprises. The only down side was the real lack of passerine migrants which were much decreased from mid-April but we had good visible migration of larger species especially Glossy Ibis and other herons as well as a Black Stork and the unexpected sight of three Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters over our heads at Phasouri.
Wednesday 26th April
This was spent around the various sites of the Akrotiri peninsula. We started at the hide overlooking Zakaki Marsh where we saw Ferruginous Duck through the reeds but had better views of a Baillons Crake in front of the hide where it competed for our attention with a Water Rail and a male and female Little Bittern. There were plenty of Eurasian Reed Warbler as well as a couple of Squacco Heron, Little Egret and Glossy Ibis. A singing Black Francolin came into the open and was well seen. Two Pallid Swift flew over the area and a Wood Sandpiper fed in the mud. Moving to Lady’s Mile a good selection of migrating waders included many Ruff, Black-winged Stilt and Little Stint, a lone Temminck’s Stint, a couple of Marsh and Wood Sandpiper and Dunlin and some Curlew Sandpiper. Several pairs of Kentish Plover were present as was a greyish Little Egret. Closer to the Salt Lake itself at the Zakaki runoff we saw a Black Stork thermalling up to the north as well as a distant White-winged Tern and Collared Pratincole. A group of more than sixty Gull-billed Tern were on the shore with some Slender-billed Gull and at least six Little Tern. A few Yellow Wagtail including thunbergi and feldegg race males were in the vegetation and we also found a female Black-eared Wheatear.
There were still a couple of hundred Greater Flamingo on the Salt Lake. A quick visit to Bishops Pool was notable for better views of Ferruginous Duck than at Zakaki as well as a good number of migrating Sand Martin over the water and some late Common Teal. An Eleonora’s Falcon flew over close to Sylvana’s as did a couple of European Turtle Dove and we also found two European Roller on the wires there. There was little of note around Agios Georgios Church so we drove across the Gravel Pits to Phasouri Reed beds finding a Grey Plover and a Whinchat on the way. At the reed-beds we saw another pair of Little Bittern, a single Cattle Egret, a Common Snipe, five Ferruginous Duck, three Glossy Ibis (with another 12 seen migrating over the area, another Wood Sandpiper, more Ruff and plenty of Eurasian Reed Warblers. As we were leaving three Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters flew over us – their call slightly different from their European counterparts. They were heading back towards the Gravel Pits area and we decided to go back there in the hope of re finding them.
We didn’t find them again but the decision to go back to there was a good one as we then saw two Greater Spotted Cuckoo, a Common Cuckoo, a European Roller, and a female Red-footed Falcon. Where had they been earlier? We finished the day at Kensington Cliffs where although Griffon Vulture let us down we had a wonderful aerial display from at least six Eleonora’s Falcon and many Alpine Swift.
Thursday 27th April
We headed for the Larnaca area today and started at the fields just outside Kivisili village. There were at least twenty Red-footed Falcon feeding and resting there as well as around eight kestrels that we could ID as Lesser as well as several Common as well. In the distance a female ring-tailed Harrier was quartering the fields – from the brief views of the underwing I managed it was most likely a female Pallid. We had just brief views of a Greater Spotted Cuckoo and Little Owl and found two recently fledged Corn Bunting. More than thirty Greater Short-toed Lark were feeding at Petounta Point and we saw our first group of migrating Glossy Ibis of the day (a total of at least 250 birds seen during the day), three migrating Purple Heron and two groups of Little Egret. The wooded area near Kiti Dam wall was quieter than it had been when I had visited on Monday – another reminder of the fact that migrant warbler passage seems to be largely over. But we did have two Spur-winged Lapwing, a male Golden Oriole and a single Great Spotted Cuckoo.
A quick detour via a post box in Kiti village produced a pair of Laughing Dove obviously breeding nearby. They are spreading throughout Larnaca. Around Larnaca Sewage Works and its pools we found another European Turtle Dove, a Common Cuckoo, a family party of Spectacled Warbler, a Great Reed Warbler, several Blackcap and Spotted Flycatcher, a male Black-eared Wheatear and a Whinchat. More visible migration – this time Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis and large flocks of Spanish Sparrow. On the pools themselves we had two White-winged Tern and two Collared Pratincole flying around in front of the hide as well as several Spur-winged Lapwing, some Black-winged Stilt, Ruff and Little Stint and a single Baltic Gull.
We found at least three Calandra Lark on the fields outside Pervolia as well as a male Northern Wheatear, a couple of Yellow Wagtail, plenty of Zitting Cisitcola and two male Black Francolin disputing their territories. Two Common Cuckoo were on wires near Meneou Pool – one of them a ‘rufous’ female. Our last stop was for a look at the waders on the Airport Pools (North) where the highlight was three Red-necked Phalarope.
Friday 28th April
A completely different day for our last day out which after a brief check of the fields at Mandria was concentrating in the Akamas. At Mandria we watched a group of swifts, including several Alpine come in off the sea and also found some Yellow Wagtail, a few fly over Red-throated Pipit and a single Tawny Pipit. We then heading to the valley behind Arodes village where our main target was the Black-headed Bunting. In the end, we found three singing males but also had good views of several Cyprus Wheatear, a singing male Cyprus Warbler, a fly over Eleonora’s Falcon and at least three male and two female Golden Oriole wwith at least four European Roller were in the area. There were plenty of Spotted Flycatcher, two Great Spotted Cuckoo and Red-rumped Swallow around as well.
Driving on through Pittokopos to Androlikou we found two more singing male Black-headed Bunting, Chukar, a male Lesser Kestrel and two Red-throated Pipit obligingly sitting on telegraph wires. Androlikou village had at least four European Roller and a couple of Cyprus Wheatear. A Common Hoopoe was singing from the top of a carob tree and as usual for the day there were several Spotted Flycatcher and singing Olivaceous Warbler.
A walk around the caravan site at the Baths of Aphrodite gave us another pair of Eurasian Golden Oriole, several Blackcap and a stunning male Red-backed Shrike. We also heard a Scops Owl but it wasn’t roosting anywhere visible. Two more were heard towards the Smygies picnic site and although Mark saw a small owl fly off again we couldn’t locate one for a proper view. We added Masked Shrike, European Serin and Cretzschmar’s Bunting to our list and saw two more European Roller. There were many migrating swifts and swallows including Alpine Swift, Red-rumped Swallow and Northern House Martin. A walk around some fields and carob groves produced another male Red-backed Shrike, a Tree Pipit, Whinchat and a male black and white Flycatcher which was probably a Pied. We heard some European Bee-eater fly over but couldn’t locate them against a sunny sky.
Thanks to Mark, Willem, Sjors and Oscar for three good days birding and some great birds.
Total species/forms seen – 112
Chukar, Black Francolin, Ferruginous Duck, Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Common Teal, Little Grebe, Greater Flamingo, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, European Turtle Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, Laughing Dove, Alpine Swift, Pallid Swift, Common Swift, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Cuckoo, Western Water Rail, Baillons Crake, Common Moorhen, Common Coot, Black Stork, Glossy Ibis, Common Little Bittern, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Purple Heron, Little Egret, European Shag, Black-winged Stilt, Grey Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruff, Curlew Sandpiper, Temminck’s Stint, Little Stint, Common Snipe, Red-necked Phalarope, Common Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Collared Pratincole, Slender-billed Gull, Black-headed Gull, Baltic Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Little Tern, Gull-billed Tern, White-winged Tern, Little Owl, Scops Owl, Western Marsh Harrier, Ring-tailed Harrier probably female Pallid, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Hoopoe, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Great Tit, Calandra Lark, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Zitting Cisticola, Olivaceous Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Northern House Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Barn Swallow, Sand Martin, Cetti’s Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Cyprus Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher, Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Black-eared Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Tree Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Tawny Pipit, Western Yellow Wagtail inc thunbergi, flava and feldegg races, White Wagtail, European Greenfinch, Common Linnet, European Goldfinch, European Goldfinch, Black-headed Bunting, Corn Bunting, Cretzschmar’s Bunting
Another windy day out which again disrupted the planned itinerary and the birds we saw but nevertheless we did manage to find some interesting species which included great views of both Cyprus Warbler and Cyprus Wheatear, Cretzschmar’s Bunting and Masked Shrike.
Picking up Brian and Wendy from their hotel in Limassol we headed inland to Germasogeia Dam. The first bird we found was a Little Owl sitting in the open on the branch of a carob tree and then we watched some singing Corn Bunting. We stopped to listen for Cyprus Warbler and were quickly rewarded by at least two singing males and a secretive female. The males were very obliging and allowed Brian good views of the first of his targets. After looking at the ID pointers of on a female Eastern Black-eared Wheatear we moved to the stream. Here we spent some time looking at two Cretzschmar’s Bunting feeding on the track and then a singing Cyprus Wheatear on the slope above us. Leaving and heading back towards Akrotiri we saw another male Cyprus Warbler feeding on a fig tree.
As I had feared it was already windy around Akrotiri but we did the best we could! We saw a male Eastern Black-eared Wheatear and also an Isabelline and Northern. There were several Tree Pipit around and a single Ortolan Bunting was feeding on the ground near the church. Waders of interest were a Marsh Sandpiper, two Wood Sandpiper, some Ruff and two Little Ringed Plover. After watching a Squacco Heron feed on a very large lizard we checked out the new cleared areas of Phasouri Reed Beds and saw four Ferruginous Duck and another Wood Sandpiper as well as a group of 12 Ruff feeding in the grass.
Along Lady’s Mile we had close views of several Greater Flamingo, another Marsh Sandpiper, a Common Greenshank, plenty of Ruff, two Kentish Plover, three Yellow-legged Gull and two Armenian Gull. It was now even windier so we spent just ten minutes in the hide at Zakaki where a Squacco Heron flew in and three Ferruginous Duck were seen at the back of the pool.
We decided to head inland again and went to Prastio Kellakiou where we found three male Masked Shrike, a few more Cretzschmar’s Bunting, European Serin, another Cyprus Warbler, several Cyprus Wheatear, Common Chaffinch, two Red-rumped Swallow and heard the endemic Coal Tit.
Overall we were pleased with the species we had seen but disappointed that the wind had certainly limited the number that would have been expected for a day out in April during spring migration.
Species seen –
Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Greater Flamingo, Mallard, Ferruginous Duck, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Ruff, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Yellow-legged Gull, Armenian Gull, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Little Owl, Common Swift, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Tree Pipit, White Wagtail, Common Nightingale, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Ortolan Bunting, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting
Picking up Bob, John, Lesley and John from Pissouri we headed straight to Timi Beach to start our day. Thirteen Black-winged Stilt were flying along the coast while two Little Egret and a couple of Yellow-legged Gull sat on offshore rocks. On the grassy areas we found several Isabelline and Northern Wheatear as well as a single Cyprus Wheatear. Two Eurasian Stone Curlew were in the ploughed field and in the bushes we watched a Common Nightingale, a Common Whitethroat and an Eastern Olivaceous Warbler which was in song. Three female Black-headed Wagtail were also present.
We then headed inland to Anarita Park. As we arrived the wind started to blow and that was the story of the rest of the day out. There appeared to have been a clear out of birds compared to yesterday although we did have two male Lesser Kestrel in with several females, a couple of Alpine Swift, at least four Tree Pipit, a couple of Northern, Cyprus and Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, two Cretzschmar’s Bunting and a male Ruppell’s Warbler – not all bad!
A quick visit to Agia Varvara added two more Lesser Kestrel, a Green Sandpiper, two Whinchat, a fly over Red-throated Pipit, a Eurasian Hoopoe and a female Eastern Black-eared Wheatear. We then went to Asprokremmos Dam where the wind was still very strong but we managed to see a male Collared Flycatcher, a Little Owl and a Woodchat Shrike as well as the area’s usual European Goldfinch and vocal European Serin.
A change of plan to try and avoid the wind and we headed inland to the head of the dam to what was once Nata Ford and is now a bridge. On the way we found a large group of nearly 200 Spanish Sparrow and another Eurasian Hoopoe. On the Xeros river we watched a Marsh Sandpiper, a Little Ringed Plover, several Green Sandpiper, some Yellow Wagtail and both Barn Swallow and Red-rumped Swallow coming down to collect mud. A noisy Great Spotted Cuckoo flew into nearby trees and on the return drive we found a female Collared Flycatcher. Driving through Anarita Village we were pleased to see a male Pallid Harrier over an orchard although disappointed it was moving so quickly and was soon out of sight.
A quick visit to Paphos Sewage Works gave us good views of Spur-winged Lapwing and Cattle Egret and a Long-legged Buzzard high above us before we returned to Pissouri where a smart male Masked Shrike was perched on a hawthorn bush as we parked. A good bird on which to finish a day on which we had worked pretty hard in the wind for the birds we did find!
Total birds seen – 64
Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Pallid Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin h, Common Moorhen, Black-winged Stilt, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Little Ringed Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Marsh Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Slender-billed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Tree Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, flava, feldegg and supercilaris, White Wagtail, Common Nightingale, Whinchat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Ruppell’s Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Collared Flycatcher, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting
Today I took Terry and Sarah out around Larnaca for the day for the first time, although we had been out together several times around Paphos. We started in the Panagia Stazousa valley where we watched singing Cyprus Warbler and found a male and female Collared Flycatcher, a pair of Great Spotted Cuckoo and several Cyprus Wheatear. We watched a Long-legged Buzzard perched in a tree being harassed by Eurasian Magpie and later saw a pair circling over the area. Several migrating Common Nightingale were heard ‘peeping’ and one managed a few bars of song as well. Two Tree Pipit were also heard and we saw several Spanish Sparrow.
Driving through Kivisili fields we were pleased to find at least ten Lesser Kestrel including a male that perched close to us on some electricity wires. Suddenly an immature Bonelli’s Eagle flew in from the north and the Lesser Kestrel were soon mobbing it until it left the area. Two female Western Marsh Harrier approached from the south and were watched gaining height to migrate northwards. Our next stop was Petounta Point where we saw a migrating male Western Marsh Harrier, two Baltic Gulls heading E offshore and several Northern and Isabelline Wheatear. In the small area of trees we could hear a couple of Common Nightingale and decided to have our lunch there and see what else we could find. A good decision as we had good views of both a male and female Ruppell’s Warbler, a couple of Lesser Whitethroat and finally a Common Nightingale. I also saw a male Subalpine Warbler and Common Redstart but unfortunately Terry and Sarah didn’t. We watched a Eurasian Hoopoe feeding and then a couple of Corn Bunting as we left the area.
A couple of Calandra Lark were singing over the fields near Pervolia and two Common Quail called near the road. In the distance, we could see a large flock of Yellow Wagtail feeding and three Eurasian Skylark flew in. We were greeted by large numbers of waders on the Airport Pools – plenty of Marsh Sandpiper, Ruff, Common Greenshank, Dunlin, Little Stint, Black-winged Stilt and a lone Red-necked Phalarope – a good bird for Cyprus. In with the Greater Flamingo was a single Slender-billed Gull, two Little Egret and two Gull-billed Tern. A couple of Kentish Plover were around the edge of the Pool.
It was very windy at the Sewage Works hide so we didn’t stay long and moved inland a bit to the north east corner of the main Salt Lake. We finished the day there and added Sedge and Eurasian Reed Warbler, Water Pipit, Common Kingfisher, Green Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover to the day list. A good day out with Terry and Sarah having the chance to see new birding locations on the island.
Total number of species seen – 74
Little Egret, Greater Flamingo, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Western Marsh Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Black Francolin, Common Quail, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Dunlin, Ruff, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Red-necked Phalarope, Common Black-headed Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Baltic Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Gull-billed Tern, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Swift, Common Kingfisher, Eurasian Hoopoe, Calandra Lark, Crested Lark, Eurasian Skylark, Barn Swallow, Common House Martin, Tree Pipit, Water Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Common Nightingale, Common Redstart, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Ruppell’s Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Collared Flycatcher, Great Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Corn Bunting
Two days out with Ashley who was in Cyprus with the single purpose of seeing the Cyprus Warbler, Cyprus Wheatear and Black Francolin and then some general birding.
Wednesday 29th March
We started on Wednesday morning in the Panagia Stazousa valley where we soon heard the strange buzzing of a male Cyprus Wheatear on territory and got some great views of it while at the same time two Cyprus Warbler were singing and competing for territory nearby. We had excellent views of them as well and were two thirds of the way through our target before our first hour was over. In the end we saw at least four singing male Cyprus Wheatear and at least twelve male and a female Cyprus Warbler in the area. Very satisfying to see so many of the warblers. A singing Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler in the same area was an added bonus. We also saw four Great Spotted Cuckoo -two of whom were seem copulating while the male fed the female a caterpillar taken from the nest of a processionary moth caterpillar. We watched him trying to extract another one but the female had lost interest by the time he was successful. A Long-legged Buzzard flew over, a Eurasian Scops Owl called and we found five Cretzschmar’s Bunting. Two Eurasian Hoopoe flew into a pine while we were watching a group of European Serin in the same tree.
Driving through the fields beneath the village of Kivisilli we stopped to admire another Eurasian Hoopoe and eight Lesser Kestrel hunting over the fields and dropping down to catch insects. A small group of Greater Short-toed Lark were in a ploughed field. We heard several Black Francolin calling at Petounta Point but only saw one briefly in flight. We had better views of another Long-legged Buzzard and several Northern and Isabelline Wheatear as well as a Common Redstart. But driving towards Pervolia we had more luck and finally had a singing male Black Francolin out in the open and not too far away so that our views were ruined by heat haze. In the fields near Pervolia village we had close up views of five Calandra Lark, around 60 Yellow Wagtail, 20 Red-throated Pipit and 50+ Greater Short-toed Lark.
After a picnic lunch by the seaside we moved to the hide overlooking Larnaca Sewage Works. There were not many waterfowl left there now although there were two Ruddy Shelduck which were a lovely surprise. Lesser Whitethroat were in the bushes in front of the hide – they were present at all the locations we visited over the two days. A Purple Heron flew over but didn’t stop while another Great Spotted Cuckoo rested briefly in front of the hide. Spur-winged Lapwing, Black-winged Stilt, Little Stint, Common Ringed Plover, Common and Green Sandpiper fed around the water’s edge. Before leaving the area we found more Black-winged Stilt, a lone Greater Flamingo and 13 Slender-billed Gull on Meneou Pool.
A quick stop to scan the main Salt Lake gave us a few more Greater Flamingo, two breeding plumage Black-necked Grebe and more Slender-billed Gull. In the north east corner our best birds were a female Little Crake and a Spotted Crake as well as Marsh Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover, Common Snipe, Ruff, Spur-winged Lapwing, Wood and Green Sandpiper, Bluethroat, Water Pipit, Yellow Wagtail and Eurasian Reed Warbler. We finished the day there with targets met and a total of 80 species seen.
Thursday 30th March
Our first stop today was Oroklini Marsh where we found a Glossy Ibis and a Black-tailed Godwit, Ruff, Black-winged Stilt and Spur-winged Lapwing, three winter plumage Black-necked Grebe, a Ferruginous Duck, two male and a female Red-crested Pochard, Garganey, plenty of Cattle Egret and two Little Egret and an overflying male Pallid Harrier and a hunting female Western Marsh Harrier. Several Eurasian Reed Warbler and a single Sedge Warbler were singing. We found another Pallid Harrier, this time a sub-adult male, sitting on Paralimni Lake and another male flew over. Also there were two Eurasian Golden Plover, many Ruff, many wheatear – mainly Northern but also Isabelline, Eastern Black-eared and Cyprus, a couple of Little Ringed Plover and a Common Greenshank.
We ate our lunch at the picnic site at Cape Greco after a short walk that had us thinking there was nothing around having just heard a Common Nightingale and seen a couple of Lesser Whitethroat and Eurasian Blackcap. Then a male Pallid Harrier flew by as did five Alpine Swift. We had good views of a dark-throated and pale throated Eastern Black-eared Wheatear and two male Cyprus Warbler at a distance. A drive around the rest of the area was then more productive and we saw two Water Pipit, 12 Greater Short-toed Lark, several Cyprus Wheatear including a pair with the female collecting nest material, a showy Eurasian Wryneck sitting on a rock in the sun, five Tawny Pipit, a male Masked Shrike in the same bush as three male Subalpine Warbler and a male Ruppell’s Warbler. A quick visit to the Larnaca area produced our final birds which were another male Masked Shrike and 18 Baltic Gull migrating off shore.
Two great days out with Ashley with a wide variety of species.
Total species and forms seen – 101
Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo, Ruddy Shelduck, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Red-crested Pochard, Ferruginous Duck, Western Marsh Harrier, Pallid Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Quail, Spotted Crake, Little Crake, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Eurasian Golden Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Ruff, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Slender-billed Gull, Baltic Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Scops Owl, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Eurasian Wryneck, Calandra Lark, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Common House Martin, Tawny Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Water Pipit, Blue-headed Wagtail (flava), Black-headed Wagtail (feldegg), superciliaris intergrade, White Wagtail, Common Nightingale h, Bluethroat, Common Redstart, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler h, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Ruppell’s Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting
The second day out with Ann and Peter was spent in the Larnaca area although we did stop quickly at the hide at Zakaki Marsh but just missed the Baillon’s Crake that was there. Although we were told it had been out in the open just before we arrived it didn’t come out again while we waited. As we left the area we heard Eurasian Penduline Tit and saw a Purple Heron fly over.
Larnaca was very windy and we saw very few migrant warblers. Despite that we were pleased with our day total of 73 which took the total for the two days out to 94.
Highlights per location:
Alaminos – Chukar, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Cyprus Warbler h
Petounta Point – Long-legged Buzzard 1, Black Francolin 2, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Lesser Whitethroat
Petounta to Kiti Road – Eurasian Hoopoe 2, Western Marsh Harrier 1, Calandra Lark 3 in display flight
Pervolia – Eurasian Skylark, Yellow Wagtail inc feldegg and flava races and superciliaris intergrade, Red-throated Pipit, Corn Bunting
Meneou Pool – Greater Flamingo, Black-winged Stilt, Marsh Sandpiper
Larnaca Airport Pools South – Eurasian Stone Curlew 19
Larnaca Sewage Works – Ruddy Shelduck 7, Eurasian Wigeon 2m, Black-winged Stilt, Common Greenshank, Ruff, Common Redshank
Spiros Pool – Eurasian Golden Plover, Spectacled Warbler
Larnaca Airport Coast – Northern Wheatear 1m
Larnaca Salt Lake – Cattle Egret, Greater Flamingo, Common Shelduck, Black-winged Stilt, Ruff, Spur-winged Lapwing, Common Snipe, Slender-billed Gull, Water Pipit, Grey Wagtail
Oroklini South hide – Garganey 1m and 1f
Oroklini Beach – Slender-billed Gull 18 floating offshore.
73 types of birds:
Little Grebe, Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Greater Flamingo, Ruddy Shelduck, Common Shelduck, Eurasian Wigeon, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Western Marsh Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Eurasian Golden Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruff, Common Snipe, Common Redshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Common Black-headed Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Calandra Lark, Crested Lark, Eurasian Skylark, Barn Swallow, Common House Martin, Meadow Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Water Pipit, Yellow Wagtail – feldegg, Yellow Wagtail – flava, Yellow Wagtail -superciliaris, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, European Robin, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Eurasian Penduline Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Corn Bunting