The three fem/juv White-headed Duck were still at Oroklini at dusk this evening. I also noticed a couple of Northern Pintail, over forty Northern Lapwing, at least fifty Spur-winged Lapwing, four Common Ringed Plover, an Armenian Gull as well as the usual Eurasian Teal, Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Coot, Little Grebe, Common Moorhen and more than 200 Cattle Egret coming into roost. On the nearby beach gull numbers were lower than I would expect in December. Three Armenian Gull were in the water with around 150 Common Black-headed Gull.
Did the waterbird count at Larnaca and late in the afternoon visited Oroklini. The Red-breasted Goose is still at the Sewage Works together with five Greater White-fronted Geese. A Pied Avocet was the best wader and the Red Knot is still present. A young Peregrine Falcon flew in and snatched up a Coot only to be forced to drop it by an adult Peregrine that came swooping in. Both Peregrines flew off calling and briefly grappling. The Coot was left there although it was gone when I revisited in the afternoon.
The Ruddy Shelduck is still at Oroklini and there were three Temminck’s Stint and six Common Snipe feeding as well as a Bluethroat and Water Pipit.
Full list of sightings:
Larnaca Sewage Works
Greater Flamingo 56 (only one adult)
Pied Avocet 1
Common Shelduck 1
Black-winged Stilt 8
Little Stint c50
Common Redshank 6
Common Ringed Plover 1
Baltic Gull 1 juv
Armenian Gull 11
Marsh Sandpiper 1
Greater White-fronted Goose 5
Red-breasted Goose 1
Black-necked Grebe 1
Northern Pintail 6
Red Knot 1
Peregrine Falcon 2
Larnaca Desalination Plant Fields
Eurasian Skylark 100+
Calandra Lark 5
Eurasian Golden Plover 4
Common Starling 11
Larnaca Salt Lake
Greater Flamingo 6
Eurasian Teal 13
Little Ringed Plover 5
Common Ringed Plover 25
Spur-winged Lapwing 2
Common Redshank 30
Kentish Plover c140
Little Stint 30+
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Water Pipit 2
Spur-winged Lapwing 35
Ruddy Shelduck 1
Cattle Egret 60
Common Snipe 6
Little Stint 2
Temminck’s Stint 3
Common Ringed Plover 5
Little Ringed Plover 2
Water Pipit 1
Water Rail h
Eurasian Penduline Tit h
Northern Pintail 2
Common Starling 40
Corn Bunting 8
Sandwich Tern 2
Common Black-headed Gull c150
An adult Spur-winged Lapwing was chasing all other birds away from where its four chicks were feeding at Oroklini today. It was even chasing away Little Stint which were smaller than the chicks! Also in the area was a juvenile Glossy Ibis, several adult and juvenile Little Tern and an unseasonal Common Black-headed Gull. Numbers of Ruff, Little Ringed Plover and Little Stint are increasing there.
At Larnaca Sewage Works I found nine Little Tern and five Green Sandpiper were on the coast nearby.
Some of the more interesting birds seen while I was out today around Larnaca and Oroklini
Larnaca Sewage Works area – Eurasian Curlew 6
Petounta Point – Northern Wheatear 1m, Kentish Plover 2 (pair)
Kivisili – Hoopoe 1, Isabelline Wheatear 1
Oroklini Beach – Armenian Gull 11, Caspian Gull 3, Mediterranean Gull 3 adult and 1 second year bird
Oroklini Marsh – Common Snipe 10, Black-winged Stilt 5, Black-tailed Godwit 1, Pied Avocet 1, Ruff c30, Red-crested Pochard 2m and 2f, Mediterranean Gull 1 adult, Armenian Gull 2, Common Redshank 2, Common Kingfisher 1, Northern Pintail 1m and 2f, Green Sandpiper 1, Cattle Egret 50+, Greater Flamingo c30, Western Marsh Harrier 1
Red-crested Pochard male and female Oroklini Marsh 4th March 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Due to road works I couldn’t get to my usual view point at Paralimni Lake today but despite that I managed to find the nine Ruddy Shelduck that have been there for several weeks now. A few Spur-winged Lapwing were flying around and there were at least two hundred Greater Flamingo on the Lake. A few Barn Swallow flew over and in Sotira village there were some Common Starling. The sea was very rough at the coastal sites I visited and at Agia Trias eight Grey Plover were together on the few rocks that were exposed together with a Greater Sand Plover. Three Sandwich Tern were fishing offshore and four Audouin’s Gull headed north – one a first winter bird.
I also found Audouin’s Gull at Kermia Beach (3) and Macronissos Beach (4) as well as one flying past Cape Greco. At least three male Cyprus Warbler were singing at Cape Greco. Stopping at Oroklini Marsh in the late afternoon it was good to see two male and four female Red-crested Pochard there as well as a Water Rail, three Northern Lapwing, 42 Spur-winged Lapwing, over 200 Cattle Egret coming to roost, a female Northern Pintail, a Common Redshank, several Barn Swallow and my first House Martin for the year.
Had a chance to check the gulls on Oroklini Beach this afternoon. Many Common Black-headed Gull as usual at this time of year but there were also at least four Mediterranean, five Armenian and one Caspian Gull as well. Two Sandwich Tern were also present. One Mediterranean Gull was also on Oroklini Marsh where there were two Western Marsh Harrier quartering the area putting up Northern and Spur-winged Lapwing, Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Teal and Mallard. More than fifty Greater Flamingo were there as were seven Cattle Egret.
Mediterranean Gull and Black-headed Gull Oroklini Beach 4th January 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Went to Agia Napa Sewage Works and Football Fields and then Oroklini and the Larnaca coast this morning. Really pleased to catch up with the male and female Cinereous Bunting that had been reported at the Agia Napa Sewage Works on Saturday. They don’t usually hang around but these birds are an exception to that. There were also several Ortolan and Cretzshmar’s in the area. I counted thirteen male Red-backed Shrike around there as well as nine females and one juvenile. There were many Willow Warbler and Lesser Whitehthroat and I also saw two Common Whitethroat, an Eastern Orphean Warbler and a couple of Eastern Olivaceous Warbler. European Bee-eater were flying over and there were two Eurasian Hoopoe, seven Spotted Flycatcher and a juvenile Common Cuckoo. All Masked Shrike seen were adult and there I only saw one Lesser Grey Shrike.
At Agia Napa Football Fields though there were at least twenty one Lesser Grey Shrike and just a few female Red-backed Shrike. Six Pallid Swift were flying over and there were also a couple of Whinchat. The water has nearly all gone from Oroklini Marsh but as I approached I saw a Great White Pelican flying over the motorway and it landed in the water as I parked. There were also over forty Spur-winged Lapwing on the mud together with several Common Ringed Plover, a Little Ringed Plover and some Little Stint.
On the fields next to the Larnaca Desalination Plant there was a flock of at least three hundred Yellow Wagtail feeding together with a Whinchat and an Isabelline Wheatear.
Spotted Flycatcher Agia Napa Sewage Works 3rd September 2014 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Three Spur-winged Lapwing chicks have be seen in front of the observation platform at Oroklini since early July. The parents are very protective and are always close by. They even chase away Little Stint and Little Ringed Plovers to ensure the youngsters can feed safely. So far all three have survived. Not the greatest photos I know but its good to record their progress
Found migrating waders at Akhna Dam and Larnaca sites this morning. Single Collared Pratincole were at Akhna and flying over the Larnaca Airport fields. Also at Akhna were a couple of Common Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, a Little Ringed Plover, a Common Redshank, four Green Sandpiper, a Ruff and several Black-winged Stilt and Spur-winged Lapwing. A quick visit to Oroklini produced a Slender-billed Gull and the chance to watch three young Spur-winged Lapwing feeding near the hide under the watchful eye of their parents. A Common Sandpiper was at Larnaca Sewage Works and on Spiros Beach nearly thirty Kentish Plover were roosting.
Collared Pratincole Akhna Dam 8th July 2014 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Was at Akhna and Oroklini this morning and it is obvious that wader return migration is underway. As well as a Wood Sandpiper at both locations and five Green Sandpiper at Akhna, there was a Spotted Redshank still in breeding plumage at Akhna and a single Black-tailed Godwit feeding close to it. At Oroklini there were four Black-tailed Godwit and three Common Redshank.
Also at Akhna were several Spur-winged Lapwing with juveniles, a Gull-billed Tern, a European Roller and hundreds of House Sparrows coming to the water’s edge to bathe and drink. At Oroklini there were around 100 Greater Flamingo, several Black-winged Stilt and there now seem to be more than thirty Cattle Egret nests with several young visible too.
Black-tailed Godwit Oroklini July 2nd 2014 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Thanks to all the work being done under the Life+ Project, Oroklini Marsh has become the first area in Cyprus that can be classed as a ‘nature reserve’ on a par with others in Europe. It was good therefore to see a new bird added to their list of breeders when I visited there this morning.
There are at least four Cattle Egret nests in some of the tamarisk bushes in the Lake area. Cattle Egret are added to the site’s breeding Spur-winged Lapwing, Black-winged Stilt and Red-crested Pochard as well as the commoner Little Grebe, Coot, Mallard and Moorhen. Cetti’s Warbler and Reed Warbler could be heard in the reeds so I imagine they are also nesting there. Two Little Tern were flying around so maybe they will try out the newly constructed shingle ‘islands’ in the drier area of the Marsh.