Cyprus Weekly

Birding Highlights for the Week Ending 24 Nov

Woodlark at Akhna Dam 20 Nov

Woodlark at Akhna Dam - 20 Nov 13

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

No birding on Monday but I did catch up with “Dusky Gate” episode.  Being a Devon birder, I can imagine the dilemma that was caused by the find and also the resulting anguish that it’s caused.  If you’re expecting anything as exciting, thought provoking or emotive, read no further.  Rest assured, if I find anything at Akhna Dam, there will be no suppression, so if you wish to twitch it – feel free.

On Tuesday, the hunt for the Buff-bellied Pipit commenced.  Well, having grilled at least 30 Water and Meadow Pipits, I’m now more than happy with their features, but no Buff-bellied, so another session tomorrow will have to take place.  In the process, 2 Great White Egrets, a Bluethroat, 11 Starlings, 6 Redshank and a male Sparrowhawk was seen as the latter flushed the birds I was observing.  A Little Owl was on the wires in Ay Nik as I returned home.

On Wednesday, I once again headed to Akhna Dam to search for the Buff-bellied Pipit – without luck.  However, as I arrived I photographed the presumed long staying Booted Eagle*.  I progressed around the site where at least 15 Water Pipits* were present.  A Great White Egret flew in and a Marsh Harrier and Buzzard were overhead.  A single Dunlin, couple of Redshanks and Greenshank were present but an adult Little Ringed Plover was unexpected.  A common Buzzard flew over and searching the reed beds, at least 7 Bluethroats and 4 Song Thrushes were seen.  Photographing a posing Wood Lark* was a bonus, as 4 were present as usual in the winter, a couple of Kingfishers made their presence felt but generally although the weather is still great for November and a good couple of hours was spent at the site, not that much was happening.

Silver lunch on Thursday – end of – nothing further to report and as a consequence Friday was also a write off with the mother of all hangovers.  I managed to raise my sorry self on Saturday and visited Akhna Dam.  The immature White Pelican was again present as were a pair of Great White Egrets.  Water Pipits and Meadow Pipits were again feeding in good numbers, although 3 Linnets was a good site record.  As an adult Little Ringed Plover and Little Stint crouched in the lagoons, a pair of pale phase Booted Eagles put on a fantastic display above me.  Later after visiting the barbers in the north, Clapsides Beach was quiet with a Grey Plover and Yellow-legged Gull being the only sightings. 

After attending the panto on Saturday night in Dhekelia, which was a great show – Oh no it wasn’t – don’t start that again, I stayed over and walked the local area on Sunday morning finding a male Blackbird, (unusual for lowland sites) and a male Cyprus Warbler.  I visited Oroklini next, which must have been flooded in the week as the water levels were high, having been bone dry for the last few months.  It’s amazing how the birds quickly re-colonise any piece of water.  At least 250 Teals were present with Shovelers, Mallards, Coots, Little Grebes and a pair of Pintails.  6 Lapwings, 2 Redshanks and 2 Dunlins were also feeding but were soon flushed by a quartering male Marsh Harrier.  Onward to Larnaca Sewage Works where 7 Lapwings were on the lagoons.  In the water, 5 Black-necked Grebes, a surprise Wigeon, 48 Shelduck, a couple of Armenian Gulls and eventually a lovely adult Mediterranean Gull amongst the commoner Black heads.  On Spiro’s Pool, Golden Plover numbers had increased to 119.  At Akhna Dam in the evening, a couple of Red-throated Pipits flew over, a Green Sandpiper flushed from a muddy pool and after grilling hundreds of Water and Meadow Pipits in the last week, I believe I found and photographed the Buff-bellied Pipit that was reported last week – the outcome awaits confirmation.  On the way home the Barn Owl was not present in Vrysoulles but a Little Owl was.

Highlight of the Week:  A pair of pale phase Booted Eagles was nice to see and again the potential Buff-bellied Pipit.

Look Forward:  Grilling some more Pipits and wintering species – all getting a bit samey at the moment

If you are planning a visit or require more info please feel free to contact me at:

Mark Easterbrook

Leave a Comment