Spent the morning doing survey work in the Larnaca area. Migrating waders were thin on the ground for the time of year but wherever there was some remaining water there were Ruff, Little Stint, Dunlin and Wood Sandpiper. There were several Kentish Plover on Meneou Pool and one pair had two small chicks. Black-winged Stilt were only on the Sewage Works Pools which also had a pair of Garganey as well as the resident Mallard, Little Grebe and Coot.
A flock of Little Egret with one Cattle Egret among them flew along the coast at Spiros Pool and there were six Sguacco Heron on the beach. Two Common Tern flew over and a Little Tern was fishing offshore. On the north shore of the main Salt Lake, there was a Spotted Crake and many singing Reed Warbler.
A couple of Eastern Olivaceous Warbler were heard during the morning and other birds of interest included a male Northern Wheatear, several male Black-headed Wagtail, a male Common Redstart, two Woodchat Shrike and a male Red-backed Shrike. Two Great Spotted Cuckoo and a couple of Turtle Dove were in the Meneou area and some European Bee-eater were heard passing over there. Other Bee-eaters were seen at Kiti Dam and Cape Kiti. A couple of Spotted Flycatcher and a female Collared Flycatcher were also at Kiti Dam.
After the windy stormy weather of the previous day I was concerned as I picked up Dick, Nancy, Al and Alice that we would also be affected by the weather on our day out. As it was we were lucky and the only rain we encountered was as we were driving to Prastio Kellakiou late in the afternoon. It was a great day out in interesting company, visited several sites around Limassol and found a total of 75 different species the most notable of which were:
Germasogeia Dam – Squacco Heron, Osprey, Spotted Crake, Little Crake, Stock Dove, Roller, Hoopoe, Cyprus Wheatear, Cyprus Warbler
Phassouri Reed Beds – Squacco Heron , Glossy Ibis, Water Rail (h), Turtle Dove, Great Reed Warbler
Two great days birding with Steve and Claire who were visiting Cyprus again. Last year we had visited many of the sites around Larnaca as well as spent an afternoon at Makhairas. This year we visited Cape Greco, Paralimni Lake, Panagia Stazousa, Germasogeia Dam and the Akrotiri Peninsula.
Day one – Thursday 3rd April
We visited Kermia Beach, Cape Greco, Paralimni Lake and Panagia Stazousa. We found many migrants at Cape Greco including Ruppell’s Warbler, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, an early Wood Warbler, Whinchat, Common Nightingale, Wryneck, Ortolan and Cretzschmar’s Bunting as well as one male and two female Pallid Harrier and were pleasantly surprised to see an overflying Osprey and light morph Booted Eagle. We found singing male Cyprus Warbler and Cyprus Wheatear and several Spectacled Warbler. We had several Isabelline, Northern and Eastern Black-eared Wheatear and three Woodchat Shrike. A quick visit to Paralimni Lake proved to be an obstacle course around road works but we were rewarded with a Glossy Ibis on arrival which soon flew off to join thirteen others that flew over.
Although it looked as if it may rain we then headed just west of Larnaca to the area know as Panagia Stazousa. Here we were treated to the sight of two pairs of Great Spotted Cuckoo trying to outwit several Magpies. There were also three Common Cuckoo (one a rufous morph) flying around the area near to Pyrga as well as two Eurasian Hoopoe. We also heard a calling Scops Owl.
Day two – Friday 4th April
On leaving Larnaca we stopped to check out some waders in a pool near the old airport buildings. There were many Ruff, a few Common Ringed Plover, some Black-winged Stilt, a Common Greenshank and a Black-tailed Godwit. There was a Common Greenshank at Germasogeia Dam and despite the fact we also found three (at least) singing male Cyprus Warbler there, the star of the location (and the day I think) was a Spotted Crake. Even though it preferred to stay in the reeds we still managed to get really good views of it. At Akrotiri Gravel Pits we spend most of our time around Agios Georgios Church where we found a female Subalpine Warbler, a couple of Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, a male and female Common Redstart, an Eastern Orphean Warbler and a male Cretzschmar’s Bunting. Lesser Whitethroat and Blackcap were everywhere.
At Phassouri Reed Beds we found a Squacco Heron, several Cattle and Little Egret and seven Glossy Ibis. Lady’s Mile was almost devoid of birds, so we braved a very windy Zakaki Marsh which held a Water Pipit, several Wood Sandpiper, at least ten Little Ringed Plover, several feldegg Yellow Wagtail and all too briefly a male Citrine Wagtail came out from the reeds but only Steve and I were able to see it clearly. We waited a while hoping it would return for Claire to see it but we were disappointed.
That finished our two days out and we headed back to Larnaca. Thanks to Steve and Claire for their company again this year.
Total species – 90
Little Grebe (h), Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Common Shelduck, Western Marsh Harrier, Pallid Harrier, Common Buzzard, Booted Eagle, Osprey, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Spotted Crake, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruff, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Scops Owl (heard), Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Cuckoo, Common Kingfisher, Common Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Eurasian Wryneck, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Tawny Pipit, Tree Pipit, Water Pipit, Yellow Wagtail – feldegg, Citrine Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Common Nightingale, Common Redstart, Whinchat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Ruppell’s Warbler, Eastern Orphean Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, Wood Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Ortolan Bunting, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting
Common Redstart Agios Georgios Church April 4th 2014 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours