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.
An unexpected visit to Larnaca this morning and good to see some water at the wetlands after the rain earlier in the week. Notable were an Osprey, a Pied Avocet and two Ruddy Shelduck at the Sewage Works and more than sixty Spur-winged Lapwing at Oroklini Marsh (see photo). Water levels at Oroklini were good and there was also a Black-necked Grebe there as well as many Eurasian Teal and Northern Shoveler. A Common Buzzard was chased away from the area by Hooded Crows.
With not much water anywhere on the island at the moment I spent a couple of hours at Akhna Dam today. There is still some water here. Highlight was a fly over Osprey but I also had:
Common Redshank 3
Common Greenshank 1
Curlew Sandpiper 1
Common Ringed Plover 3
Glossy Ibis 1
Ruff 2 juv
Common Quail 1
Common Snipe 1
Spur-winged Lapwing 6
Common Kingfisher 1
A day around the Paphos birding spots with Brenda and George today. We started at Petra tou Romiou where we had a dozen overhead Alpine Swift, singing male Cyprus Wheatear and Warbler as well as two distant Eleonora’s Falcon and close up views of a Peregrine Falcon. We then explored the area behind Asprokemmos Dam near the mast where we spent some time watching a family party of Spectacled Warbler, saw a male Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, a couple of Whinchat, a pair of Red-rumped Swallow and a migrating Purple Heron. On approaching the Dam itself we were pleased to see an Osprey flying over the area. In the trees of the amenities area near the Dam we found two male Collared Flycatcher, two Spotted Flycatcher and a Eurasian Hoopoe.
Moving to the Sewage Works we quickly found our target species – the Spur-winged Lapwing. There were at least seven birds around the Plant buildings and in fields. We watched at least 35 migrating Glossy Ibis and also found our only Yellow Wagtails of the day – two Black-headed around a small puddle of water. On arrival at the coast of Mandria we saw seventeen Northern Pintail flying E along the coast. In a field we found three Spur-winged Lapwing and a Ruff and a male Red-backed Shrike on a tree near the picnic site where we ate our lunch.
Moving inland we headed to the Ezousas Valley behind Agia Varvara village. A lone Garganey was on one of the pools there and we also found Spanish Sparrow, Eurasian Turtle Dove and Eurasian Reed Warbler. We finished the day in Anarita Park. There we found three pairs of Great Spotted Cuckoo, two Little Owl, a hunting female Pallid Harrier, around twenty Lesser Kestrel, a European Roller, a Woodchat Shrike, two Whinchat and a Long-legged Buzzard. As at our first stop we also had Cyprus Wheatear and Cyprus Warbler. A good end to a good day’s birding.
Total species seen – 54
Little Egret, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Northern Pintail, Garganey, Pallid Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Osprey, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruff, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Black-headed Wagtail, Whinchat, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Collared Flycatcher, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Corn Bunting
It was good to meet up with Carl and Riss again and enjoy some friendly birding around Paphos. We checked out several locations that were new to them so they could visit themselves later in their holiday and found some good species on the way. It was much quieter than it has been over the last two weeks and we especially noted a big reduction in the number of European Bee-eaters around.
The star turns of the day were a male Western Marsh Harrier we saw with prey (probably a female Black Francolin) in its talons even though it then disappeared into an alfalfa field and defied all our attempts to relocate it; an Osprey we watched fishing at Asprokremmos Dam; and a lone male Red-footed Falcon on wires near the small church at Mandria.
Long-legged Buzzard were seen at Agia Varvara, Mandria and Kouklia Soakaways. We found a Cyprus and Isabelline Wheatear at Agia Varvara and several Greater Short-toed Lark and Tawny Pipit in the fields of Mandria where there were also many Yellow Wagtail, Whinchat and Northern Wheatear. In the wetter areas at Agia Varvara there were three Common Snipe. There we also heard a Water Rail and managed to see rather than hear two Cetti’s Warbler.
A juvenile Eleonora’s Falcon was perched in a tree at Petra tou Romiou where two Hooded Crow and three other Eleonora’s joined it for a while – it got a bit crowded! Other good birds included at least two Whiskered Tern on Asprokremmos Dam, two European Roller at Mandria, four Spur-winged Lapwing at Paphos Sewage Works and a Grey Wagtail at Kouklia Soakaways.
European Shag, European Honey Buzzard, Western Marsh Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Osprey, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Chukar, Water Rail (h), Common Moorhen, Spur-winged Lapwing, Common Snipe, Whiskered Tern, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Tawny Pipit, Yellow Wagtail inc feldegg and flava races, Grey Wagtail, Whinchat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet
Good movement over Cape Greco from 8am to 12pm this morning. Flocks totaling 54 Purple Heron and 16 Grey Heron were heading south and there were unseen European Bee-eaters flying over as well as plenty of Barn Swallow, a few Sand Martin and a flock of around 40 Red-rumped Swallow. Four European Rollers were in the area.
The stars though were the raptors. It was interesting to see that the 230+ European Honey Buzzard that passed over or were seen gaining height in the distance approached from the north, north east or east and the Harriers from the north or north west. There were forty Western Marsh Harrier including ten males and a male and two ringtail Montagu’s Harriers throughout the morning. One of the early birds was an Osprey and a European Sparrowhawk over the view point as I arrived. I counted at least eight Black Kite – mainly in with the Honey Buzzard. On two occasions kettles of Honey Buzzard rose up over the ridge to the east of the observation point and over my head. Great views.
Spent the afternoon birding around Akrotiri. The best bird was seen last at 18.10 when an Osprey flew over Lady’s Mile and headed north. Other birds seen included Squacco Heron, Glossy Ibis, Cattle Egret, Spotted Redshank, Black-winged Stilt, Common Greenshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Woodchat Shrike, Red-backed Shrike and Yellow Wagtail.