Cyprus Weekly

Birding Highlights for the Week Ending 10 May 15

Broad-billed Sandpiper at Lady’s Mile on 6 May

Another week and I was unable to get out on 4th May so on Tuesday, I visited the Cape Greco area.  Not much on the Cape except for a female Red-backed Shrike but the pines were very busy.  A late Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler with 2 Willow Warblers was a surprise as was a Wryneck.  As I continued to walk a pair of Red-backed Shrikes were confiding and a pair of Common Redstarts, less so.  2 Lesser Whitethroats were with a Common Whitethroat and as I walked, Spotted Flycatchers became obvious.  Turtle Doves flushed regularly and the place was alive with large groups of Greenfinch and Goldfinch.  3 male Black-headed Buntings sang from wires in the open as I headed towards the sewage works.  Here more Turtle Doves and 2 Black-headed Buntings with a male Cyprus Warbler also obligingly singing in the open.  As I drove via the football pitches on the way home, I flushed a female Northern Wheatear.

On Wednesday, I had to take Deb to the polyclinic in Limassol.  I dropped her off at about 0900 and picked her up at 1100 which allowed me 2 hours around the Limassol area.  The first stop was Lady’s Mile.  A good decision as between the Little Stints and Kentish Plovers were 2 Broad-billed Sandpipers*, sometimes not an easy wader to catch up with.  Also in the area were a Greenshank, Marsh Sandpiper and several Ruffs. A female Red-backed Shrike perched on the scrub as did a Linnet and a Spectacled Warbler.  As I drove to the salt lake a male Sardinian Warbler flew close to the car.  The salt lake was alive with birds and I quickly spotted 5 Gull-billed Terns with 4 White-winged Black Terns and at least 8 Little Terns.  The 2 1st winter Little Gulls were a bit of a surprise and at c40 Greater Flamingos remained along the east side of the lake.

On Thursday Fresh Water Lake South was fairly quiet but the Cattle Egret colony continues to thrive and 13 Yellow-legged Gulls were of interest.  Later at Akhna Dam at least 45 Wood Sandpipers were present.  A Roller provided a flash of colour and a single female type Yellow Wagtail was with 2 Temminck’s and a Little Stint.  As I returned home via Vrysoulles, a pair of Little Owls were in the usual site and I flushed 3 Golden Orioles, 2 males from the nearby orange grove.

On Friday before the Spanish Night at my house, I managed to get to Cape Greco whilst doing some last minute shopping.  On the way to the cape, near to the Ayia Napa Football Pitch complex, a pair of Laughing Doves perched on telegraph wires – my first for sometime.  Stopping at the Pines was a good decision as there’d obviously been a late mini fall of migrants.  3 male Collared Flycatchers were present with at least 2 females and 3 female Pied Flycatchers.  A couple of Willow Warblers flitted about and a male and female Blackcap was obvious as were a pair of Common Redstarts.  2 Woodchat Shrikes were a bit late and I flushed at least 10 Turtle Doves as I walked around with a flyover Ortolan Bunting.

On the 9th in the evening, I visited Akhna Dam, where a Roller greeted me and a Purple Heron flushed.  A pair of Whinchats were new arrivals and 2 Collared Pratincoles rested with Ruffs, Wood Sandpipers, Little Stints and at least 10 Temminck’s Stints (a good count).  A couple of Beeaters perched on wires before I drove home around the back of camp, finding 3 Rollers, 9 Beeeaters and a pair of Spanish Sparrows.

On the way to Cape Greco early on the 10th, 3 Beeaters were on the wires at Limnara Valley and 2 male Black-headed Buntings sang from the wires near to the pines.  The pines were once more productive, with a male and female Collared Flycatcher* being present with a couple of Whinchats and a pair of Redstarts. A Squacco Heron flew over the sea at the cape and a couple of Cyprus Wheatears sang from wires.  A Common Whitethroat was perched on a bush as I left the are on route to Ayia Napa Sewage Works.  A couple of Spotted Flycatchers were seen first and then a female Northern Wheatear.  As I walked the area I heard 3 Black-headed Buntings* and saw 2 with Spotted Flycatchers being present in good numbers along with a single female Pied Flycatcher.  4 Night Herons came in off the sea, a Beeeater perched on a wire and a Red-throated Pipit flew over calling. As I drove towards the football pitches a male Red-backed Shrike was in the open with a female Whinchat nearby.  At Koprulu in the afternoon after visiting the barbers for a haircut and a shave (Owwch, the threading of my cheek hair smarted a bit after an absence of a month), a few interesting birds were present.  4 Spoonbills remained with 52 Greater Flamingos and 34 Glossy Ibises.  A good count of 23 White-winged Black Terns was impressive and 6 Collared Pratincoles also hawked the water.  A few Marsh Harriers continually flushed the c200 Ruffs and as I walked the embankment, 2 Ferruginous Ducks flushed and a male Red-crested Pochard was with a drake Garganey and a pair of Teal.  A pair of Calandra Larks sang in the field nearby and a Great Spotted Cuckoo flushed from the reeds.  As I left the area a Little Owl was perched on wires near the housing estate.

Highlights of the Week:  Golden Orioles were a year tick recovery and Broad-billed Sandpipers are always a good find.  Late Collared Flycatchers were good to see and photograph.

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

Mark Easterbrook


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