Did a couple of Common Bird Monitoring Surveys in the Cape Greco area and then stopped off at Oroklini Marsh on the way home. Several Cyprus Warblers and a singing male Black-headed Bunting on territories at Cape Greco with Long-legged Buzzard, Peregrine Falcon and Eleonora’s Falcon fly overs. A Whiskered Tern was on Oroklini Marsh as were several Black-winged Stilt (see photo), plenty of Cattle Egret, a few Ruff and some Spur-winged Lapwing.
A morning out at two very different locations with Mary, Rui and Maria. We visited Panagia Stazousa valley first where we were looking to get good views of the endemic Cyprus Warbler and Cyprus Wheatear. We were successful with the wheatear at our first stop but although we could hear a Cyprus Warbler male singing his heart out we could not spot where it was. A quick walk down the track led us to another singing male – this time well out in the open at the top of a pine. After that we heard many other singing males throughout the valley which was very pleasing. We heard both calling Common Quail and Black Francolin but had no joy trying to see them. A male Collared Flycatcher flew into a pine and several Olivaceous Warbler were singing.
At our next stop we found a large colony of Spanish Sparrow in a couple of large pines and moved on to watch two Great Spotted Cuckoo flying around calling and then listen to and watch a singing male Cretzschmar’s Bunting.
A complete change of scenery and birds at Oroklini Marsh where we visited both hides. There were good numbers of Cattle Egret, some already on nests, in the recently formed colony there. We also saw several Black-winged Stilt and Spur-winged Lapwing as well as Ruff and a couple of Wood Sandpiper. A Little Tern was resting on one of the shingle islands, two male Red-crested Pochard were seen as was a male Ferruginous Duck and three Garganey. Hopefully all of these will or are already breeding there. A single Glossy Ibis flew over and a few overstaying Northern Shoveler and Eurasian Teal were still around.
A brief taste of birding in Cyprus in a few hours gave us a total of 41 different and varied species.
Number of species seen: 42
Little Grebe, Cattle Egret, Glossy Ibis, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Ferruginous Duck, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Common Quail (h), Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Little Tern, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Swift, Barn Swallow, Common House Martin, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Collared Flycatcher, Great Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Serin (h), European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, 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
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
Some of the main sightings from my morning in the Larnaca area doing the monthly waterbird count. It was still windy but a fall of warblers all along the coast – mainly Chiffchaff but also Lesser Whitethroat, Ruppell’s and Subalpine. The only Ruppell’s that stayed in the open long enough for a photo (see below) didn’t chose the best backdrop before he dived into the shelter of the nearby bushes.
Black-winged Stilt 60
Greater Flamingo 190
Kentish Plover 22
Common Black-headed Gull 25
Little Stint 11
Common Ringed Plover 6
Marsh Sandpiper 6
Little Ringed Plover 1
Larnaca Airport Pools South
Baltic Gull ad and 2 imm over heading E
Eurasian Stone Curlew 10
Larnaca Sewage Works
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Ruppell’s Warbler 2m
Ruddy Shelduck 19
Black-headed Wagtail 3
Spur-winged Lapwing 3
Common Greenshank 6
Eurasian Wigeon 2m
Isabelline Wheatear 1
Eurasian Hoopoe 1
Song Thrush 3
Subalpine Warbler 1m
Corn Bunting 1
Black-winged Stilt 9
Common Chiffchaff 6+
Little Stint 3
Hen Harrier 1 ringtail
Larnaca Airport Coast
Lesser Whitethroat 1+
Common Chiffchaff 10+
Ruppell’s Warbler 1m
Subalpine Warbler 1m
Larnaca Airport Pools North
Greater Flamingo 210
Black-winged Stilt 30
Marsh Sandpiper 2
Common Redshank 1
Larnaca Salt Lake
Grey Heron 5
Great Egret 2
Slender-billed Gull 779
Greater Flamingo 35
Common Chiffchaff 10+
Common Shelduck 425
Black-necked Grebe 6
Ruppell’s Warbler 1m+
Western Marsh Harrier 2
Common Redshank 4
Spur-winged Lapwing 8
Little Crake 1
Eurasian Reed Warbler 6 (3 heard only)
Kentish Plover 15
Little Ringed Plover 4
Little Stint 10
Yellow Wagtail 1f (same bird as present all winter now acquiring ad plumage and seems to be flava female)
Water Pipit 2
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
Some interesting birds at Akhna Dam this morning where there is still a good level of water. The star was a juvenile Little Bittern but also there were a Grey Plover, a Black-tailed Godwit, four Dunlin, a juvenile Ruff, a Common Snipe, Common Redshank and Little Stint. Also a Little Egret, Grey Heron, six Eurasian Teal and three Northern Pintail. A Bluethroat, two Yellow Wagtail, nine Water Pipit and several Corn Bunting and White Wagtail were around the edges. A couple of Barn Swallow and a Sand Martin flew over.
At Macronissos Beach there were six Greater Sand Plover and around forty Kentish Plover. They were spooked by a Eurasian Sparrowhawk that flew along the coast and were very uneasy for a while afterwards.
Black-winged Stilt, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit and Spotted Redshank were among the migrating waders today at Lady’s Mile. Three Great Egret were on Zakaki Marsh.
Did the waterbird count around Larnaca Salt Lake today. Some interesting birds around despite the general lack of water. The Sewage Works pools had c750 Northern Shoveler, c490 Eurasian Teal, c130 Mallard, a Gadwall, 219 Greater Flamingo, a Ruff, two Ruddy Shelduck, a Common Shelduck, six Greater White-fronted Geese, a Tufted Duck, 11 Ferruginous Duck, 13 Black-necked Grebe, a Mediterranean and Armenian Gull and 11 Northern Lapwing. In the fields there were many Eurasian Skylark, some Red-throated Pipit, plenty of Spanish Sparrow and flocks of European Goldfinch, European Greenfinch and Common Linnet. On the Airport Pools South there was a flock of 330 Eurasian Golden Plover.
There is not a lot of water on the main Salt Lake and a lot of the birds mentioned below were seen in the north east corner where it is quite boggy: 9 Greater Flamingo , 2 Heuglin’s Gull , 1 Mediterranean Gull , 2 Armenian Gull , 1 Yellow-legged Gull, 39 Common Shelduck , c170 Kentish Plover, 4 Common Ringed Plover, 11 Corn Bunting, a Common Reed Bunting, 5 Common Snipe, 2 Water Pipit, 2 Spur-winged Lapwing, Water Rail (h), Eurasian Teal c175 and two Marsh Sandpiper.
A very different morning at Cape Greco today. Few birds around compared to yesterday, although I spent an hour checking out the football pitches at Agia Napa which were full of migrants feeding on the watered pitches:
Cape Greco 8.00am – 12.00pm
Black Kite 1
Montagu’s Harrier 1 ringtail
Marsh Harrier 6 (1 male)
European Honey Buzzard 9
European Hobby 1
European Bee-eater two flocks heard and another 17 seen
Ortolan Bunting 4
Ruff 15 migrating off shore
Lesser Whitethroat 1
Agia Napa Football Fields
European Bee-eater 17
Lesser Grey Shrike 2
Masked Shrike 3
Eurasian Hoopoe 6
Yellow Wagtail 50+
Isabelline Wheatear 3
Red-backed Shrike 4
Tawny Pipit 1
Cattle Egret 12
Spotted Flycatcher 1
Red-rumped Swallow 8
Alpine Swift 8
Meneou Beach 6.00am
Red-rumped Swallow 50+
Barn Swallow 30+
Sand Martin 3
Red-backed Shrike 1
European Bee-eater c60
Seventeen White-winged Tern and six Whiskered Tern were feeding over Larnaca Sewage Pools this evening as was a Little Gull. There was a good selection of wader on Spiros Pool – many of them in breeding plumage which we don’t often get the chance to see. There were single Red-necked Phalarope and Broad-billed Sandpiper, three Black-winged Godwit, several Curlew Sandpiper, five Dunlin, many Ruff and Little Stint, some Common Ringed Plover and Wood Sandpiper.
Two Collared Pratincole were on the Desalination Plant fields where more Wood Sandpiper and Ruff were feeding. It was good to see a small group of European Bee-eater and there was also a Whinchat and a Woodchat Shrike.