Final full day of guiding for the Travelling Naturalist Cyprus group today which we spent in Paphos. We visited Paphos Sewage Works, Timi beach, Mandria, Asprokremmos Dam and Paphos Headland and throughout the day it got windier which hampered our birding. But even so we had great views of two Bimaculated Lark, Greater Short-toed Lark, a Eurasian Stone Curlew and Western Yellow Wagtail at Mandria; at least ten Spur-winged Lapwing at Paphos Sewage Works and a bush full of feeding and resting warblers at the Headland which included several Eastern Subalpine and Ruppell’s Warbler. As we left the Headland we saw a lovely male Whinchat – one of the first of spring.
Today the Travelling Naturalist group visited Akrotiri starting at Kensington Cliffs where we saw a Griffon Vulture and a male Cyprus Warbler. During the day we found many migrants in the area including Black-winged Stilt, Spur-winged Lapwing, Western Yellow Wagtail, Common Redstart, Ruppell’s and Subalpine Warbler, Little Ringed Plover, Eurasian Bittern, Common Hoopoe (photo). Black-eared Wheatear, Red-throated & Tree Pipit and ‘Steppe’ Buzzard.
Spent the last two days in the Limassol area. The highlight was a Masked Shrike already on breeding territory at Prastio Kellakiou and two Bimaculated Lark in with a flock of Greater Short-toed Lark and Meadow Pipit on the coastline of Akrotiri Gravel Pits. Other interesting sightings during the two days:
Saturday 10th March
Water Rail 1h
Little Crake 1m
Penduline Tit 2
Slender-billed Gull 2 ad and 1 imm
Heuglin’s Gull 1
Armenian Gull c30
Caspian Gull 2 imm
Isabelline Wheatear 1
Common Hoopoe 3 (See photo)
Lesser Whitethroat 1
Cyprus Wheatear 1
Akrotiri Salt Lake/Zakaki run off
Little Ringed Plover 20+
Common Ringed Plover 20+
Kentish Plover c100
Little Stint c30
Northern Shoveler c50
Greater Flamingo 800+
Western Marsh Harrier 1 ad male
Common Snipe 12
Black-headed Wagtail 1m
Akrotiri Gravel Pits
Kentish Plover 2
Isabelline Wheatear 1
Northern Wheatear 1m
Ruppell’s Warbler 1m
Greater Short-toed Lark 4
Subalpine Warbler 1f
Eurasian Reed Warbler 4+h
Red-throated Pipit 1h
Alpine Swift 14
Cyprus Warbler 2h
Sunday 11th March
Cyprus Warbler 3 singing males and 1f
Eurasian Reed Warbler 1h
Masked Shrike 1m
Cyprus Warbler 4 singing males
Common Buzzard 1
Great Spotted Cuckoo 1 flew over road
Akrotiri Gravel Pits coast
Bimaculated Lark 2 (Record shot below)
Greater Short-toed Lark 20+
Isabelline Wheatear 2
Black-eared Wheatear 1f
Two days out with Ashley who was in Cyprus with the single purpose of seeing the Cyprus Warbler, Cyprus Wheatear and Black Francolin and then some general birding.
Wednesday 29th March
We started on Wednesday morning in the Panagia Stazousa valley where we soon heard the strange buzzing of a male Cyprus Wheatear on territory and got some great views of it while at the same time two Cyprus Warbler were singing and competing for territory nearby. We had excellent views of them as well and were two thirds of the way through our target before our first hour was over. In the end we saw at least four singing male Cyprus Wheatear and at least twelve male and a female Cyprus Warbler in the area. Very satisfying to see so many of the warblers. A singing Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler in the same area was an added bonus. We also saw four Great Spotted Cuckoo -two of whom were seem copulating while the male fed the female a caterpillar taken from the nest of a processionary moth caterpillar. We watched him trying to extract another one but the female had lost interest by the time he was successful. A Long-legged Buzzard flew over, a Eurasian Scops Owl called and we found five Cretzschmar’s Bunting. Two Eurasian Hoopoe flew into a pine while we were watching a group of European Serin in the same tree.
Driving through the fields beneath the village of Kivisilli we stopped to admire another Eurasian Hoopoe and eight Lesser Kestrel hunting over the fields and dropping down to catch insects. A small group of Greater Short-toed Lark were in a ploughed field. We heard several Black Francolin calling at Petounta Point but only saw one briefly in flight. We had better views of another Long-legged Buzzard and several Northern and Isabelline Wheatear as well as a Common Redstart. But driving towards Pervolia we had more luck and finally had a singing male Black Francolin out in the open and not too far away so that our views were ruined by heat haze. In the fields near Pervolia village we had close up views of five Calandra Lark, around 60 Yellow Wagtail, 20 Red-throated Pipit and 50+ Greater Short-toed Lark.
After a picnic lunch by the seaside we moved to the hide overlooking Larnaca Sewage Works. There were not many waterfowl left there now although there were two Ruddy Shelduck which were a lovely surprise. Lesser Whitethroat were in the bushes in front of the hide – they were present at all the locations we visited over the two days. A Purple Heron flew over but didn’t stop while another Great Spotted Cuckoo rested briefly in front of the hide. Spur-winged Lapwing, Black-winged Stilt, Little Stint, Common Ringed Plover, Common and Green Sandpiper fed around the water’s edge. Before leaving the area we found more Black-winged Stilt, a lone Greater Flamingo and 13 Slender-billed Gull on Meneou Pool.
A quick stop to scan the main Salt Lake gave us a few more Greater Flamingo, two breeding plumage Black-necked Grebe and more Slender-billed Gull. In the north east corner our best birds were a female Little Crake and a Spotted Crake as well as Marsh Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover, Common Snipe, Ruff, Spur-winged Lapwing, Wood and Green Sandpiper, Bluethroat, Water Pipit, Yellow Wagtail and Eurasian Reed Warbler. We finished the day there with targets met and a total of 80 species seen.
Thursday 30th March
Our first stop today was Oroklini Marsh where we found a Glossy Ibis and a Black-tailed Godwit, Ruff, Black-winged Stilt and Spur-winged Lapwing, three winter plumage Black-necked Grebe, a Ferruginous Duck, two male and a female Red-crested Pochard, Garganey, plenty of Cattle Egret and two Little Egret and an overflying male Pallid Harrier and a hunting female Western Marsh Harrier. Several Eurasian Reed Warbler and a single Sedge Warbler were singing. We found another Pallid Harrier, this time a sub-adult male, sitting on Paralimni Lake and another male flew over. Also there were two Eurasian Golden Plover, many Ruff, many wheatear – mainly Northern but also Isabelline, Eastern Black-eared and Cyprus, a couple of Little Ringed Plover and a Common Greenshank.
We ate our lunch at the picnic site at Cape Greco after a short walk that had us thinking there was nothing around having just heard a Common Nightingale and seen a couple of Lesser Whitethroat and Eurasian Blackcap. Then a male Pallid Harrier flew by as did five Alpine Swift. We had good views of a dark-throated and pale throated Eastern Black-eared Wheatear and two male Cyprus Warbler at a distance. A drive around the rest of the area was then more productive and we saw two Water Pipit, 12 Greater Short-toed Lark, several Cyprus Wheatear including a pair with the female collecting nest material, a showy Eurasian Wryneck sitting on a rock in the sun, five Tawny Pipit, a male Masked Shrike in the same bush as three male Subalpine Warbler and a male Ruppell’s Warbler. A quick visit to the Larnaca area produced our final birds which were another male Masked Shrike and 18 Baltic Gull migrating off shore.
Two great days out with Ashley with a wide variety of species.
Total species and forms seen – 101
Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo, Ruddy Shelduck, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Red-crested Pochard, Ferruginous Duck, Western Marsh Harrier, Pallid Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Quail, Spotted Crake, Little Crake, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Eurasian Golden Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Ruff, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Slender-billed Gull, Baltic Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Scops Owl, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Eurasian Wryneck, Calandra Lark, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Common House Martin, Tawny Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Water Pipit, Blue-headed Wagtail (flava), Black-headed Wagtail (feldegg), superciliaris intergrade, White Wagtail, Common Nightingale h, Bluethroat, Common Redstart, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler h, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Ruppell’s Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, 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
Three days out with Alan and Marilyn gave a good opportunity to catch up with many different resident and migrant species. They wanted the chance to get as many photos as possible and although not all the birds we saw were photo-friendly we found a wide variety of species and ended up with a three day total of 107 different birds: 59 on 24th, 51 on 26th (when the afternoon was very quiet at the sites we visited) and 71 on 27th.
Highlights of each location were:
Tuesday 24th March:
Paphos Headland – Red-throated Pipit 10+, Common Nightingale 2h, Lesser Whitethroat 2, Common Whitethroat 4, Subalpine Warbler 4m, Rüppell’s Warbler 1f, Cretzschmar’s Bunting 6
Paphos Sewage Works – Spur-winged Lapwing 4, Sardinian Warbler, European Serin c50
Lower Ezousas River – Great Egret 2, Purple Heron 1, Green Sandpiper 1, Tree Pipit 1, Rüppell’s Warbler 2m, Black-headed Wagtail 3m
Mandria – Eurasian Hoopoe 3, Greater Short-toed Lark c20, Isabelline Wheatear 12, Northern Wheatear 16+, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear 2, Hawfinch 2
Asprokremmos Dam area – Common Quail 1h, Chukar 2, Little Owl 1, Common Cuckoo 1, Eurasian Hoopoe 4, Tawny Pipit 2, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear 2, Spectacled Warbler 1, Cyprus Warbler 1m and 1f, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler 2, Cretzschmar’s Bunting 2
Thursday 26th March:
Anarita Park – Bonelli’s Eagle 1 immature, Lesser Kestrel 4, Great Spotted Cuckoo 4, Little Owl 1, Wryneck 1, Red-rumped Swallow 1, Tawny Pipit 2, Common Stonechat 2, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush 1m, Cyprus Wheatear 2m, Cyprus Warbler 1m, Corn Bunting 12+
Tsada Hills – Hen Harrier 1m, Long-legged Buzzard 1, Spectacled Warbler 1, Cyprus Wheatear 2, Cretzschmar’s Bunting 1
Mavrokolympos Dam – Long-legged Buzzard 2, Chukar 3+, Cyprus Wheatear 3, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Common Whitethroat 1
Akoursos Valley – Eurasian Scops Owl 1h, Common Nightingale 1h, Cyprus Warbler 2m
Cape Drepanum – Great Cormorant 4, European Shag 3, Yellow-legged Gull 30+, Greater Short-toed Lark 4, Barn Swallow 30+ migrating N along coast, Subalpine Warbler 1m
Friday 27th March:
Zakaki Marsh – Little Egret 1, Little Crake 1m, Eurasian Reed Warbler 2+h, Sedge Warbler 1h
Phassouri Reed Beds – Squacco Heron 2, Cattle Egret 1, Purple Heron 3, Western Marsh Harrier 1, Common Crane 3 flying over heading N, Black Francolin 1+h, Common Quail 1h, Black-winged Stilt 1, Spur-winged Lapwing 1, Common Nightingale 1, European Blackcap 3
Flooded Phassouri old rabbit farm area – Great Egret 1, Black-winged Stilt 1, Little Ringed Plover c10, Kentish Plover 1, Ruff c50, Common Snipe 1, Marsh Sandpiper 2, Sand Martin 1, Yellow Wagtail inc Black and Blue headed and ‘dombrowski’ intergrade, Masked Shrike 2
Akrotiri Gravel Pits and coast – Great Egret 3 in from sea over area, ‘Baltic’ Gull 1 migrating with 10 Yellow-legged Gull offshore, Common Black-headed Gull c60 in bay, Eurasian Hoopoe 4, Common Redstart 1f, Desert Wheatear 1m, Cyprus Warbler 1h, Masked Shrike 1, Ortolan Bunting 1
Bishop’s Pool – Black-crowned Night Heron 3, Ferruginous Duck 2
Lady’s Mile – Black-winged Stilt 29, Kentish Plover, Greater Sand Plover 1+ flew with flock of Kentish Plover, Marsh Sandpiper 1, Common Greenshank 4, Slender-billed Gull 8
Anarita Park – Lesser Kestrel 6, Woodchat Shrike 1, Spanish Sparrow c30
List of all 107 birds seen:
Little Grebe, Great Cormorant, European Shag, Black-crowned Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Great Egret, Purple Heron, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Ferruginous Duck, Western Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Quail, Little Crake, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Common Crane, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Greater Sand Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruff, Common Snipe, Green Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Common Black-headed Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, ‘Baltic’ Gull (Lesser Black-backed Gull), Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Cuckoo, Eurasian Scops Owl h, Little Owl, Common Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Eurasian Wryneck, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Tawny Pipit, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Blue-headed Wagtail, Black-headed Wagtail, ‘dombrowski’ Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Common Nightingale, Western Black Redstart, Common Redstart, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Desert Wheatear, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler h, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Rüppell’s Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Hawfinch, Ortolan Bunting, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting
An hour’s bird watching at Cape Greco was short and sweet with a Bimaculated Lark and two male Pallid Harrier at Cape Greco and several male Subalpine and Ruppell’s Warbler around plus a male and female Eastern Orphean Warbler. At Larnaca later in the day the highlight was a Little Gull with a large flock of Ruff feeding on a newly harvested field at dusk.
Annoyed to dip on the Rock Sparrow today at Cape Greco but found some good migrants instead – both male Subalpine and Ruppell’s Warbler, a Black-headed Wagtail, a singing male Cyprus Wheatear, two Eurasian Hoopoe and at least six Isabelline Wheatear. A Common Quail was calling at Kermia Beach where I also saw two Audouin’s Gull and a Sandwich Gull.
At least thirty Slender-billed Gull were on Larnaca Airport Pools later and twenty six were flying east close to the sea off Spiros Beach. Thirteen Armenian Gull had flown over Cape Greco around midday.
For the second day out with Pauline and Michael we decided to concentrate on the area north of Paphos with which Pauline was already familiar. Driving to the Baths of Aphrodite we spotted a Wryneck on a roadside bush but it was frightened off by a speeding pick up driving near us. Walking around the Bath’s of Aphrodite Caravan Park we were treated to a brief glimpse of a Bonelli’s Eagle over the top of the ridge and found a female Subalpine Warbler, two Wood Warbler, many Blackcap and Lesser Whitethroat and a Masked and Woodchat Shrike in the bushes.
Around Smigies and Neo Chorio we found another Woodchat Shrike, more warblers, heard a couple of Common Nightingale and saw Cyprus Wheatear and Serin. A Common Buzzard seemed to be migrating over the area. Low cloud and a strong wind spoiled our visit to the gorge behind Arodes village and there were no raptors flying but we did find two pairs of Great Spotted Cuckoo and of course many Western Jackdaw breeding on the cliffs.
We headed to Akoursos where we heard several male Cyprus Warbler but had to wait over thirty minutes for one to finally brave the wind and sing out in the open. We finished the day at Kannaviou where we added the endemic sub-species of the Coal Tit to the day’s list and had great views of two Masked Shrike near the car while we had a late afternoon coffee.
The total number of species seen on 24th March and 7th April combined was 65 which was pleasing as we did not visit any wetland locations.
Species seen 7th April – 47
Common Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Eurasian Wryneck, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Tree Pipit, Yellow Wagtail – flava and feldegg, White Wagtail, Northern Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Common Nightingale, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Subalpine Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Wood Warbler, Chiffchaff, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting
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
Picking up Pauline and Michael for the first of two days out we headed from Polis to the Paphos Archaeological site which we explored for more than two hours. Our highlights were a male Collared Flycatcher, a couple of Hoopoe, one maybe two male Subalpine Warbler, a male Rüppell’s Warber, several Lesser Whitethroat, a Common Whitethroat, two Common Nightingale, three Purple Heron and two Red-throated Pipit. The usual Isabelline and Northern Wheatear were around the ruins and in with the Yellow Wagtail flock we found a superciliaris form. Three Purple Heron were seen flying over.
Pauline was able to get quite close to the Cattle Egret and Spur-winged Lapwing at the Sewage Works and take photos of two of her day’s target species. While we ate lunch at Mandria a Eurasian Hoopoe flew in off the sea and gave more photo opportunities. We also found more Northern and Isabelline Wheatear as well as five Greater Short-toed Lark, a couple of Eurasian Skylark, several Meadow Pipit and Black- and Blue-headed Wagtail. A calling Black Francolin kept itself well hidden.
A late afternoon visit to Anarita Park produced a distant flying Long-legged Buzzard, a male and female Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear and a Little Owl. There was a flock of at least fifty Corn Bunting as well as many single singing birds. As we left I heard Great Spotted Cuckoo and we found a mating pair. One flew off while the other stayed feeding in a flower filled field ignoring the car from which Pauline managed to take many photos.
Our next day out will be in April and it will be interesting to see what different/extra species we will come across two weeks later into the spring migration period.
Total birds seen – fifty two:
Cattle Egret, Purple Heron, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Spur-winged Lapwing, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Eurasian Hoopoe, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Eurasian Skylark, Barn Swallow, Common House Martin, Meadow Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Blue-headed Wagtail, Black-headed Wagtail, superciliaris Yellow Wagtail form, White Wagtail, Common Nightingale, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Subalpine Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Ruppell’s Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Collared Flycatcher, Great Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Corn Bunting.
Out with Carl, Riss, Tony and Orysia again and this time I decided to try and see what was around at sites north of Paphos. We started at Cape Drepanum where the tall crops at the moment mean that the flocks of Yellow Wagtail were mostly hidden from view although several bright male feldegg were seen. Two small flocks of Grey Heron were seen heading north over Yeronissos where there were many Yellow-legged Gull on the breeding colony. There were a few Northern and Isabelline Wheatear around and several singing male Sardinian Warbler caught our attention.
A larger sylvia warbler then flew by and after it landed it was identified as a female Ruppell’s. Nice but a male would have been better. After a few minutes we got our wish and a male also appeared. It is possible that there were actually two males around as it seemed to cover a lot of ground. A male Subalpine Warbler was then discovered in vegetation just a metre away from where we stood. We were able to watch it for ages and Carl get some close photos. A male Black Francolin was calling and we were able to watch him and some singing Corn Bunting through the ‘scope. There was no sign of the Blue Rock Thrush we had seen from the car as we drove into the area but as we left we found another male Subalpine Warbler near the car park.
On the edge of the Akamas we found a dark-throated male Eastern Black-eared Wheatear and then we headed inland on the road leading to the village of Akoursos. Here we had the chance to hear male Cyprus Warbler singing and appreciate the difference between its song and that of the Sardinian Warbler. We also had good views of at least three of them and again Carl was able to get some photos. A Long-legged Buzzard also flew over.
We headed further north stopping behind the village of Arodes where we spent some time watching a very flighty and noisy flock of European Serin. In the deserted churchyard there we found three Hoopoe. It was very quiet on the ridge outside the village of Droushia and the only birds of note were a Black Redstart, some Chukar, more singing Corn Bunting and of course the many Western Jackdaw that are always present there. As we left the village a low flying female Hen Harrier passed over the vines and out of view.
Another Hen Harrier was seen near Kathikas as we headed across country to Evretou Dam. Unfortunately a couple of families having a barbecue accompanied by music there probably reduced the species we came across. We did have more Serin, Corn Bunting and Isabelline and Northern Wheatear. On the Dam itself were two Yellow-legged Gull, a Northen Pintail drake and several Coot, and four Green Sandpiper were feeding on the opposite edge. We disturbed a Great Spotted Cuckoo as we walked near the deserted houses but we couldn’t relocate it. Two Long-legged Buzzard flew over as we returned to the car and headed back.
Thanks to everyone for a great day out and to Carl for allowing me to use his photos here.
Grey Heron, Northern Pintail, Hen Harrier, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Green Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Blue-headed Wagtail, Black-headed Wagtail, White Wagtail, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Subalpine Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Rüppell’s Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Corn Bunting