Spent the morning at Achna Dam where I was lucky to get some slightly closer photos of the Pied Kingfisher that has been around there for a couple of weeks now. Not as sharp or as close as I would have liked but never mind!! A good morning out overall with other sightings including an Osprey, Montagu’s Harrier, male Western Marsh Harrier, a Long-legged Buzzard, a Purple Heron, several Common Kingfisher, Wood, Green and Common Sandpipers, Common Snipe, Common Ringed Plover, European Bee-eater, Common Hoopoe, juvenile Masked and Red-backed Shrike, Spur-winged Lapwing, a few Western Yellow Wagtail and a lone White Wagtail.
Went to Achna for first time in several weeks to see if I could find the Pied Kingfisher that had been seen there on Thursday. Surprisingly it was the first bird I saw when I arrived – it called and flew in front of me as it headed to another part of the dam. Later on I saw two in that area – I assume one of those was the one I had seen earlier. No chance of anything other than a record flight shot as they were flying around the area and then disappearing! But it was a great morning’s birding with other birds seen including a Spotted Crake, Little Bittern, Great Crested Grebe, Western Marsh and Montagu’s Harrier, lots of Red-backed and Masked Shrike, many Common Hoopoe, Spur-winged Lapwing, Common Ringed Plover, Wood, Green and Common Sandpiper, Dunlin, Common Snipe, Purple and Squacco Heron, Olivaceous and Willow Warbler.
After our day out around Cape Greco on Monday, I took Barry today to Akhna Dam, Oroklini and Larnaca. A very windy day which affected the kind of species we saw but we had some excellent views of some great birds and took the total number of species seen over the two days to 103.
We started our day today at Akhna Dam. A Great White Pelican has been moving between Akhna and Larnaca since early November 2016 and today was at Akhna. We watched him preening for a while and also saw a Great Crested Grebe, a singing male Spectacled Warbler, several Grey Heron, a hunting Western Marsh Harrier, a small group of overflying Ruff and a lone Little Ringed Plover. We then headed towards Oroklini Marsh. On the spur of the moment I decided we should check out the beach first just in case there were any gulls there. There wasn’t a single gull present but hovering over the shallow water there we saw a Pied Kingfisher. It had been seen at the Marsh earlier in the week but not since Monday. We were really pleased and watched it for a while as it hovered and then flew to a wire near us calling. It returned to the sea and then flew east. The bird of the day and it wasn’t even lunch time.
At Oroklini we visited both hides and had great views of Greater Flamingo, Spur-winged Lapwing, Black-winged Stilt, Northern Pintail, Red-crested Pochard, a Black-necked Grebe, Lesser Whitethroat, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler and best of all a showy Bluethroat. Although we heard Eurasian Penduline Tit we couldn’t spot it in the reeds. A quick stop at the drainage channel further west along the coast added Common Kingfisher to our growing day list and as we drove through Livadia village we found three Laughing Doves near the church there.
It was very windy around Larnaca Salt Lake and the Sewage Pools area. Two Sandwich Tern were fishing offshore and from the hide we saw 18 Ruddy Shelduck, six Common Greenshank and two Eurasian Wigeon in with the Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Teal and Mallard there. A lone Audouin’s Gull sat on Spiros Pool and our only wheatears of the day were in that area – an Isabelline and a female Northern. We saw a migrating male Western Marsh Harrier and then moved to Meneou Pool where there were several Greater Flamingo, some Kentish Plover, a Common Ringed Plover, a few Little Stint, over forty Black-winged Stilt and some Ruff and Marsh Sandpiper. We visited nearby fields in the village of Pervolia and were pleased to see a singing male Black Francolin out in the open and then two migrating Pallid Harrier flying low over the fields fighting against the wind.
A quick scan of the main Salt Lake produced six Black-necked Grebe, around forty Slender-billed Gull and a couple of hundred Greater Flamingo. We finished the day in the north-east corner of the Salt Lake where we spent around an hour watching a female Little Crake feeding in a run off channel. Also there were Eurasian Reed and Cetti’s Warbler, a Water Pipit, Common Snipe, Grey Wagtail, several Red-rumped Swallows and a Water Rail. Some great birds to finish a great day out.
Total species seen – 82
Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Great Cormorant, Great White Pelican, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Greater Flamingo, Ruddy Shelduck, Eurasian Wigeon, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Red-crested Pochard, Western Marsh Harrier, Pallid Harrier, Common Kestrel, Black Francolin, Water Rail, Little Crake, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Kentish Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Ruff, Common Snipe, Common Redshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Common Black-headed Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Audouin’s Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Sandwich Tern, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Laughing Dove, Common Swift, Common Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Crested Lark, Eurasian Skylark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Meadow Pipit, Water Pipit, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, European Robin, Bluethroat, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian 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