(6) Blog Posts Made in December 2012

Cyprus Weekly

Weekly Highlights for the Week Ending 30 Dec

Red-throated Pipit - Larnaca Airport Fields 27 Dec 12

On the 24th the Fresh Water Lake South in Famagusta held a Night Heron and 2 White Pelicans along with a lone Wigeon whilst Gulserin Marsh held 2 Black-necked Grebes and the six Black-winged Stilts.  Even I stop for Christmas Day, so no birding tomorrow.

On Boxing Day, Deb and I went to the coast for some fresh air.  At Potomos Liopetri 16 Kentish Plovers were present along with a good number of Corn Buntings, a Kingfisher (they appear to like it on the coast in the winter), a Common Sandpiper and a Black Redstart.  At Ayia Napa Football Pitches the only noteworthy birds were a pair of Serins.  Later at Akhna Dam a ringtail Hen Harrier was present with a Common Buzzard whilst a Moustached Warbler was in full song and the Great Crested Grebe continues its stay.

A visit to Larnaca Salt Lake on the 27th produced 43 Shelducks, c5500 Greater Flamingos and along the north-western edge 26 Redshanks, at least 40 Common Snipe and 5+ Jack Snipes.  A Moustached Warbler, 2 Ringed Plovers and 2 Green Sandpipers were seen whilst 2 Bluethroats were heard.  At the Sewage Works area, 6 Red-throated Pipits were unseasonal and ducks were much in eveidence with a male Tufted, 6 Pochard, Gadwalls, Pintails, a drake Ferruginous Duck and the Black-necked Grebes have increased to 17.  Of waders 23 Redshanks were accompanied by a very unusual Marsh Sandpiper and 3 unseasonal immature Black-winged Stilts.  As I left the area a Swallow was a noteable December record.

At Oroklini Marsh on 29th 3 Red-crested Pochards with one spanking looking male were present and less interesting were 4 Redshanks and 4 Snipe.  In the Larnaca area, the Shelducks on the salt lake had risen to 296 and a single Avocet was present.  Meanwhile at the Sewage Works a flock of c400 Golden Plovers was impressive and 15 Stone Curlews were on Larnaca Airport Pool South.  The sites in the North were fairly mundane but the 2 White Pelicans remained at the Fresh Water Lake South.

Sunday was a bit of a disaster, I looked for Wallcreeper and recently reported Pied Kingfishers and Bitterns - all without success.  The highlight of the day was a Griffon Vulture at Kensington Cliffs along with a male Blue Rock Thrush and at Spiro's Beach a Gull-billed Tern flying west.  I did manage to photograph some gulls* at Larnaca Sewage Works which weren't too bad.

For pictures of birds with * please click on the following Flickr links:

Other interesting finds: A late on the wing Eastern Willow Spreadwing.

Highlight of the Week:  At least 5 Jack Snipe at Larnaca Salt Lake and several very late Red-throated Pipits.

Look Forward: The New Year is looming and the list must begin again.

If you are planning a visit or require more info please feel free to contact me at:   birder639@yahoo.com

Mark Easterbrook


Cyprus Weekly

Birding Highlights for the Week Ending 23 Dec

Common Gull at Lady's Mile Limassol - 22 Dec

* indicates that a photo of the species is included please visit Flickr site to view.

Before returning home on Monday I went to a Dragonfly club meeting, as I am now a member.  The rain was continuous during the journey home but broke as I approached Larnaca so I visited the Sewage Works area.  Spiro’s Pool held 376 Golden Plovers, a male Black Francolin – the first of the month and I photographed a female Kestrel.  The fields adjacent to the sewage works had the 8 White-fronted Geese feeding and in the lagoons an adult Mediterranean Gull and breeding plumaged Slender-billed Gull looking very pink.  2 Gadwalls, a Black-necked Grebe, Ferruginous Duck, 2 ringtail Hen Harriers and 8 Common Shelduck were also seen.

It’s Wednesday, you may ask “What happened to Tuesday – well, RAIN, and lots of it.  It has now been raining for 2 days almost non stop.  Not what you expect in Cyprus, but it has meant that with Christmas festivities and the weather no birding has been done.  The longest period that I haven’t been able to get out for in just over 6 months.  With the year drawing to an end, it’s a disaster!  With the exchange drinks looming this afternoon, I don’t see much happening today either!

As an update, the year list stands at 221 (not bad), the Cyprus list has increased by 14 to 276 and the month list is now stalled on 108.

Thursday and more bloody Christmas!  However, I got to the North and covered the wetland sites in Famagusta.  The first stoppage of rain in 3 days.  5 Great White Egrets were present along with 21 Little Egrets, 359 Cattle Egrets coming to roost, 5 Grey Herons and 13 Night Herons including 5 immatures.  The trees held 14 roosting Cormorants, 2 Kingfisher chased each other and the immature White Pelican was once again in residence.  The fields behind the Lake saw a number of corvids chasing a female Merlin.  A spectacular site of c4700 Starlings coming to roost in several large flocks was impressive.  At Gulserin Marsh, the 6 Black-winged Stilts remained but little else was of much interest.  A Moustached Warbler sang from the reeds and 2 Penduline Tits called.

Travelling to Larnaca for some prep and food etc I did manage a brief stop at Oroklini Marsh, where there wasn't much of interest.  On Saturday I had arranged to meet the Recorder Colin Richardson at Bishop's Pool, Akrotiri.  Arriving at about 0830, 7 Ferruginous Ducks* became obvious and a Water Rail swam on the far side of the pool.  Chiffchaffs were everywhere and a couple of Grey Wagtails called and landed in front of us.  A flash of blue which confirmed that the White-throated Kingfisher was still present and looks set to winter.  A couple of Blackcaps sang and eventually Colin found the overwintering female Garganey.

We moved along to Lady's Mile to look for the Common Gull - a pretty rare gull in Cyprus.  The marsh held Black-headed Gulls, 3 Slender-billed Gulls and several Armenian Gulls*.  Eventually, on the sea by the taverna I picked out the only Common Gull* amongst the Black-headed Gulls.  We went to Akrotiri Salt Lake where c12000 Greater Flamingos are now in residence, with Little Stints, Kentish Plovers, Shelducks, Pintails and 232 Grey Herons.  Both Hen and Marsh Harriers were present and an immature Bonelli's Eagle soared in the distance.

I returned home via Larnaca Sewage Works.  I photographed a few Redshanks* and a female Hen Harrier quartered the fields where 8 Greater White-fronted Geese fed.  I scanned the lagoons and found 24 Shelduck, 5 Gadwall, 25 Wigeon, 3 Black-necked Grebes and then a real "shocker from the locker", A first winter Great Black-headed (Pallas') Gull*.  Having seen them in India, I picked it out immediately noting the dark smudge behind the ear coverts, streaked neck, grey mantle and long droopy, yellow bill with a black tip.  As it took off the black tail band was also very obvious.  A managed a couple of flight record shots (heavily cropped), which show the relevant ID features.  Result - species number 223 for the year.

On Sunday, we visited Oroklini once more having stopped at the market on route.  The highlight being a Penduline Tit and Marsh Harrier although circa 70 Lapwings was the highest count yet.  At the coast I photographed a Kingfisher* and on the mouring bouys 21 Shags loafed.  The regular Stone Curlew roost held 104 individuals and the surrounding fields c50 Corn Bunting and about 25 Skylarks.  Stopping briefly at Akhna Dam revealed a couple of Cormorants and 4 female type Tufted Ducks remained.  After dropping the shopping off we headed to Paralimni Lake.  Due to the excessive rain over the last week it is now completely flooded and the Egrets and Gulls have found it as did a Water Pipit.  Usually dry for most of the year and attracting Steppe type species in the spring, I have never known it flood - well at least during my last tour - very impressive!

For pictures of birds with a * please click on the following Flickr links:

Other Interesting Finds: 2 Migrant Hawkers at Lady's Mile and 4 late (2 in tandem), Red-veined Darters.

Highlight of the Week: The Common Gull at Lady's Mile and finding a 1st winter Great Black-headed Gull at Larnaca Sewage Works.

Look Forward: More of the same I think - RAIN and Gulls.

If you are planning a visit or require more info please feel free to contact me at:   birder639@yahoo.com

Mark Easterbrook


Cyprus Weekly

Birding Highlights for the Week Ending 16 Dec

Little Owl at White River Cliffs - Akamas

* indicates that a photo of the species is included please visit Flickr site to view.

The week started slowly with the year total on 219 and the month total on 105.  Numerous thunderstorms and heavy downpours have rendered many areas too muddy to explore and decidedly dodgy for vehicle access.  Nonetheless, I attempted Akhna Dam on Tuesday afternoon before going shopping at the Bratwurst and sauerkraut centre of Cyprus – Lidl.  The dam still held the 7 Tufted Ducks and a Great Crested Grebe accompanied by 8 Cormorants but there was little else apart from 2 Long-legged Buzzards.  An evening outing looking for Barn Owls was unproductive in Dhekelia. There are many disused ex-military storage buildings that are becoming derelict which are obviously to the Owls’ liking and whilst every non-birder on the unit sees them and enjoy “gripping me off”, I seem to be unable to – typical.

On Wednesday morning a Sparrowhawk flew past the kitchen window as I ate my banana and toast.  The first of the twice weekly visits to the North took place on Wednesday afternoon.  At Fresh Water Lake South the usual Herons, but a Kingfisher and a Grey Wagtail provide a flash of colour.  I was surprised by a summer plumaged adult Whiskered Tern which was very unseasonal as it perched on submerged twigs in the lake.  As I was leaving I saw a strange bird in flight but distant.  I got my bins on it and immediately thought Sandgrouse.  It was flying toward the area known as the Meseoria Plain in the North, and although in decline for sometime, that area is the most likely for the species.  More of a gut feeling that it was a Sandgrouse, I have not formally submitted the record as the question “Are you a 100% sure”, must be a no.  The small muddy fringe had a feeding Snipe and the first Common Sandpiper of the month.

Onward to Gulserin (Neopollis Pond).  Here, 14 Greater Flamingos, containing 4 immatures, 7 Dunlins, 6 Black-winged Stilts continue and the usual Redshanks and Spur-winged Plovers.  The small reed bed appeared to be very busy so I overlooked it for 10 minutes adding a male Bluethroat, cyanecula (white-spotted), a singing Moustached Warbler, an extravert Cetti’s Warbler and a real delight atop a reed head – a feeding Penduline Tit. With the light fading and no encounters with the local law enforcement agencies, I decided to quit whilst I was ahead and take Deb to buy some Christmas Tree decorations in an attempt to subdue her passion for the festive period – It was unsuccessful, although we now have additional “things” hanging from the tree. 

Thursday, Akhna Dam, not much doing; It was all about the numbers of birds roosting with 264 Cattle Egrets, 12 Cormorants, c50 White Wagtails and c170 Starlings being harassed by a Long-legged Buzzard.  The Great Crested Grebe remained, 2 Moustached Warblers were in the usual reed bed and later a female Reed Bunting paused briefly before roosting elsewhere.  A Little Owl was seen in Ay Nik and that concluded the day.

We travelled to Paphos for a long weekend to celebrate Deb’s birthday.  On Saturday I ventured to Paphos Headland seeing several Linnets – not easy in the East of the island, 4 Greater Sand Plovers and 16 Golden Plovers.  I then met Colin Richardson and at his house had my first 2 Siskins of the year.  We visited the hills above his house finding a male Finsch’s Wheatear, male Peregrine, 3 Long-legged Buzzard, a Little Owl and 24 Wood Lark.  On the way to Armou Hills and Village we saw a female Blue Rock Thrush. The Hills above Armou held little but a ringtail Hen Harrier did make an appearance.  We stopped in the village to see more Siskins and then a good number of Hawfinches appeared with at least 10 being present.  As we watched them atop a tree 8 large soaring birds came into view.  Obviously Pelicans but with a plain underwing, they could be nothing else apart from Dalmatians – a very rare bird in Cyprus.

On Sunday, we went to Avgas Gorge and White River Cliffs in an attempt to nail a Wallcreeper that proved unsuccessful.  In attempting to find one we saw a lovely Little Owl*, Common Buzzard, 2 Sparrowhawks, an immature White Pelican, 3 Blackcaps, numerous Sardinian Warblers and Chiffchaffs, 7 Golden Plovers and an out of place Cattle Egret.

For pictures of birds with a * please click on the following Flickr links:

Other Interesting Finds: 

Highlight of the Week:  A mountain Goat in Avgas Gorge*.

Look Forward:  With Xmas coming and a very busy period approaching, I don’t expect to be doing much birding but I have a Saturday trip to the Akrotiri area planned, to sweep up a few year ticks hopefully..

If you are planning a visit or require more info please feel free to contact me at:   birder639@yahoo.com

Mark Easterbrook


Ascension Frigatebird

AOS Expedition discovers first recorded nesting Frigatebirds since Charles Darwin

On Saturday 1 December a member of the AOS discoverd two nesting Ascension Frigatebirds on a remote part of the Island.  The AOS were on their 18th expedition to monitor seabirds on the Island.  This find spread like wildfire across the Island as this was the first recorded nesting Frigatebirds on the mainland since Charles Darwin visited in the early 19th Century.  A press release was prepared by the Ascension Island Government with the RSPB and was printed in the Observer today.  Unfortunately the role of the AOS in providing the data for conservation efforts and this momentus find was not mentioned by the paper.


Cyprus Weekly

Birding Highlights for the Week Ending 9 Dec

Great White Egret at Fresh Water Lake South Famagusta

* indicates that a photo of the species is included please visit Flickr site to view.

On Monday, I took a day’s leave to visit the areas in the east of the island and to take my car to the menders (sucking of teeth – this is going to be expensive).  No Greater Sand Plovers were present in their usual Ayia Thekla spot although 3 were present at Kermia Beach along with 37 Kentish Plovers and a solitary Redshank.  As I drove to Cape Greco numerous Stonechats were seen along the way.  At the Cape underneath the Army Camp, at least 11 Black Redstarts, several Sardininan Warblers and 2 male Blue Rock Thrushes.  As I scanned the area I eventually found my quarry a wintering male Finsch’s Wheatear*, looking resplendent.  I attempted to creep up on it and get some photos, but a very shy bird gave me the run around for about an hour and I only managed record shots.  I stumbled upon a Pygmy Skipper at Cape Greco, usually on the wing until November, so a good late record of a sometimes difficult to see species.

At Ayia Napa Sewage Works, 21 Little Grebes on the lagoons were overlooked by a couple of Chiffchaffs and a female Chaffinch.  As I scoured the hillsides a singing male Cyprus Warbler was a treat as it struggled to compete with the more strident songs on the Sardininian Warblers.  I returned via Sotira Pond which held a Water Rail, 6 Chiffchaffs and 4 Mallards.  I eventually saw a Cetti’s Warbler and 3 Snipe and a calling Green Sandpiper flew to a pond on the adjacent Paralimni Lake, which is beginning to flood a little.  As I scanned, I spotted a dark perched falcon that alighted and proved to be a female Merlin.

The car safely in the garage I returned home.  A visit to the garage revealed a cost of 210 Euros for a broken coil.  Actually, deep joy as I thought it might be more serious and conversely no joy as it will mean I will not be able to do any birding for the next 2 days.  The mechanic came up trumps and I picked up the car on Wednesday morning, (whilst cycling to the garage a Wood Lark flew up from the road side), meaning that the regular visit to the North could take place in the afternoon.

At Fresh Water Lake South it was heron-tastic, with 4 Great White Egrets*, 7 Little Egrets, 4 Cattle Egrets and 10 Grey Herons.  Cormorant numbers were back up to 4 and the immature White Pelican was again present having commuted across town from Gulserin where I headed for next.  At the seasonal lake, waders were evident once more with a lone Black-tailed Godwit continuing its stay, a Temminck’s Stint, 19 Little Stints, 8 Dunlins, 78 Redshanks, 2 Spotted Redshanks, 17 Spur-winged Plovers, 6 Little Ringed Plovers, 6 Black-winged Stilts, 3 Wood Sandpipers, a Ruff and a Water Rail.  I raced back across the border so that I was able to visit Akhna Dam before last light.  I was greeted by 2 Cormorants flying by, a Moustached Warbler in the reeds, a flushed Kingfisher, and a Great Crested Grebe on the water.  The sight of c700 Starlings coming to roost was equally as impressive as the 208 Cattle Egrets having the same idea.

Prior to a visit to the physio in Dhekelia, I visited the Stone Curlew roost which I have to drive past.  114 were present along with a feeding flock of c120 Serins.  The beginning of the crazy Christmas period was upon me with Deb’s works function so it only allowed me a little time in the afternoon so I headed for Akhna Dam.  Not much was going on, however the Great Crested Grebe, a bit of a scarcity was still in the middle of the water.  I flushed a very late immature Little Crake and a female Hen Harrier flew over me to roost, apart from that, it was generally quiet.

It was the Christmas run to JUMBO on Friday afternoon, so I visited a very boggy Oroklini Marsh, in an attempt to find a skulking Dunnock - which incientally ended in complete failure and me covered in mud.  The marsh did hold good numbers of Shovellers and Teals with a couple of Pintails.  The highlight was a flock of 69 Spur-winged Plovers accompanied by a flock of 58 Lapwings.  A couple of Cattle Egrets made an appearance and an immature Marsh Harrier drifted by overhead.

On Saturday I visited Akhna Dam and then went to meet a couple of visiting birders from the other end of the island at Larnaca Sewage Works. At Akhna a Bluethroat was the highlight of the svecica Ssp (red-spotted).  Before reaching the sewage works I stopped to view a good number of larger loafing gulls on the Larnaca Airport Pools South.  The group contained 17 Black-headed Gulls, a 1st Winter Mediterranean Gull, an adult and 15 immature Caspian Gulls, 4 Adult Armenian Gulls and the first 2 Siberian (heuglini) Gulls of the winter.  The group also contained a single Sandwich Tern.  At the sewage works, 2 Black-necked Grebes, a single drake Ferruginous Duck and single Ruddy Shelduck.  Numerous Shovellers, Teals, Mallards, 7 Pintails and 15 Wigeon.  A female Black Redstart was present with a couple of unseasonal female type Yellow Wagtails with 3 Cattle Egrets following the sheep in the nearby field.  One of the visiting birders picked out a pair of Slender-billed Gulls which was a surprise and a Common Buzzard flushed the 3 Green Sandpipers, 7 Redshanks and 14 Lapwings.  The 8 White-fronted Geese did a disappearing act and 3 Cormorants appeared from nowhere.

We stopped on the way to Akhna Dam and apart from a calling Moustached Warbler and a couple of Pintails the marsh was fairly unproductive.  I paused at the Dhekelia Stone Curlew roost where once again c120 birds were present and Serins also fed in the field.  At Akhna Dam, 19 Spur-winged Plovers, 7 Tufted Ducks, one being a drake, A Great Crested Grebe, another Common Buzzard mobbed by Hooded Crows and in the reed bed a couple of Stonechats another Bluethroat of undertermined sub species (only a flight view), 4 Chiffchaffs and a playing hard to get Moustached Warbler.  As we left the dam area a ringtail Hen Harrier cruised across the fields.

I had arranged to meet the visiting birders at 0800 at Cape Greco, however I left early in order to check Ayias Trias for gulls.  None were present although in Konnos Bay an Audouin's Gull circled, several Greenfinches flew over and many Sardininan Warblers called and showed.  Under the army camp 3 Blue Rock Thrushes, 2 males, many Black Redstarts and Stonechats with a couple each of Spectacled and Sardinian Warblers.  The Finsch's Wheatear was as elusive as ever and remained unseen.

After Cape Greco we visited the Ayia Napa Sewage Works area which was very quiet but another female Blue Rock Thrush showed well enough.  Concluding the area we departed for Ay Nik to drop a car off, pick up Deb for some retail therapy before heading across the border to the 2 wetland sites in the North.  First we stopped at the Fresh Water Lake South where the usual suspects were present including a Great White Egret but 7 immature Night Herons was a good record.

We dropped Deb off and went to Gulserin Marsh which was its usual interesting self.  No new waders were present but the Black-tailed Godwit looks set to over winter.  The Gulls were of most interest with a Siberian, 3 Armenian, 4 Yellow-legged and 2 Caspians being present before we were treated to an inquisition by the Turkish CID and several other agencies.  In any event after about half an hour, all ended well and we were not detained further and informed that we could continue to visit the site (opposite an Army camp) as long as we did not take any photographs.  This was a pity as when we resumed scanning the marsh 3 spanking adult Audouin's Gulls had flown in during our interrogation - so a good result eventually.  On the cessasion of birding we drove into the walled city of Famagusta for a bit of  culture and lunch, and to find Deb and described our near "Midnight Express" experience.  We headed back over the border, the guests departed for Paphos and that concluded the week.

For pictures of birds with a * please click on the following Flickr links:

Male Finsch’s Wheatear at Cape Greco – Record shots only.

Other Interesting Finds:  A Pygmy Skipper* photographed at Cape Greco on 3 Dec was a late record for the species and the first record this decade in the 5Km recording square.

Highlight of the Week:  Siberian and Audouin's Gulls.

Look Forward:  Next weekend in Paphos where I will hopefully see a Wallcreeper.

If you are planning a visit or require more info please feel free to contact me at:   birder639@yahoo.com

Mark Easterbrook


Cyprus Weekly

Birding Highlights for the Week Ending 2 Dec

Male Crossbill at Troodos Village

* indicates that a photo of the species is included please visit Flickr site to view.

On Tuesday, I needed to visit Troodos for an operational visit which allowed me a little time to look at Troodos Village and Prodromos Dam.  At the dam the usual mountain suspects were present; Coal Tits, Short-toed Treecreepers, Great Tits, Wren and Crossbills.  A pair of Goldcrests was a surprise but they are after all winter visitors.  In the village, more Crossbills* and a male Blackbird.  I then visited the Giant Juniper Picnic Site, where 4 Song Thrushes took to the wing, another Wren sang and a Jay made its way through the conifers.  Perhaps the biggest surprise was a Hawfinch in flight.

Wednesday afternoon saw me visiting the North once more for a spot of birding and a pizza – half the price of the South!  At the Fresh Water Lake in Famagusta the juvenile White Pelican looks settled.  A Snipe was digging around in the mud, a Cormorant fished and a Little Egret loafed but little else was present.  At Gulserin Marsh on the other side of town (for political reasons you may also find this referred to as Neopolis Pond), 121 Greater Flamingos had arrived.  The Black-tailed Godwit was back, the Wood Sandpipers have increased to 5 and the Spotted Redshanks 3 amongst the commoner Redshanks that numbered 88.  I flushed a Water Pipit from the water’s edge and located a Moustached Warbler by call eventually. A single Ruff and Snipe with 83 Black-headed Gulls and 2 Armenian Gulls completed the tally.

Akhna Dam on Thursday produced a couple of Bluethroats one of the cyanecula (white spot) form, 9 Cormorants and my first female Reed Bunting of the campaign.  A female Sparrowhawk chased the Chiffchaffs, a male Black Redstart caught flies and a Moustached Warbler called from the reeds and showed itself whilst the Reed Bunting looked on.  On the coast at Ormidia, I caught up with another year tick as a pair of Sandwhich Terns plunged dived and headed East.  A Kingfisher sat on the rocks and further out 3 Shags sat on the mooring platforms.

In the afternoon a drive around Ayia Napa Football Pitches saw 5 Meadow Pipits feeding on the grass and a large number of Stonechats but little else.  The Ayia Napa Sewage Works complex was a little more interesting with a Sardinian Wabler, Song Thrush, Blue Rock Thrush and Black Redstart.  Driving from the football pitches to the sewage works around the back tracks, I came across what must be a first winter male Finsch’s Wheatear.  Females do not normally winter on the island.  This bird has now been present since the 2nd week in October, so must be wintering although it can be elusive.  Described in many field guides as a shy and retiring species – it’s not surprising really is it?

The month ended with 532 records being submitted detailing 123 species.  The year list has increased to 215 and the Cyprus list to 277.

A field trip with Birdlife Cyprus to the Troodos area produced some interesting sightings on Saturday.  Deb and I stayed at the station overnight to avoid the very early start and drive to the mountains from Ay Nik.  At Giant Juniper Picnic Site numerous Blackbirds and Song Thrushes and 2 Hawfinches.  The mountains contained the usual mountain species but few of the expected winter specialities.  Crossbills were very vocal throughout the range and 2 Grey Wagtails* were at Prodomos Dam.

On Sunday we returned via Larnaca where the Sewage Works revealed an adult Mediterranean, Armenian and Caspian Gulls.  The White-fronted Gesse have increased to 8, Wigeon 19 and a surprise Greenshank.  On Spiro's Pool, the Golden Plover flock has increased to 149 and the usual Skylarks and Fan-tailed Warblers were present.  Retuning via Akhna Dam, I saw the 7 Fem/Juv Tufted Ducks that had been reported and a single Cormorant was also prsent.  Returning home to pick up the passports to visit the sites in the North, we passed a female Hen Harrier at Avgorou.

In the North the Famagusta Fresh Water Lake had 2 immature Night Herons, 2 Great White Egrets, 7 Cattle Egrets and 2 Little Egrets.  32 Spur-winged Plovers and a Cormorant were present but not a lot else.  At Gulserin Marsh on the other side of town, a different story.  The immature White Pelican* had relocated and was joined by 63 Greater Flamingos*.  The marsh held many waders including Temminck's Stints, Black-winged Stilts, Redshanks, Spur-winged Plovers and single Black-tailed Godwit, Spotted Redshank and Dunlin with 6 Snipe skulking in the undergrowth.

The week drew to a close with an Iskender Kebab at our newly found favourite Turkish restaurant.

For pictures of birds with a * please click on the following Flickr links:

Highlight of the Week:  A Hawfinch and Goldcrests in Troodos and remarkably the female Reed Bunting at Akhna Dam.

Look Forward:  Wallcreepers have been reported at the other end of the island so I’m going to try and catch up with one as it’s a new Cyprus bird.

If you are planning a visit or require more info please feel free to contact me at:   birder639@yahoo.com

Mark Easterbrook