Cyprus Weekly

Birding Highlights for the Week Ending 22 Dec

Ruddy Shelduck Larnaca Sewage Works on 21 Dec

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

So commenced another week of not much activity due to other commitments.  On Monday we returned from Istanbul late in the evening and went straight to bed when we got home.  On 17th, Tuesday I was waiting-on at the Juniors’ lunch and had no time to do anything.  On Wednesday, the dreaded man flu struck and I went to bed for the day and finally on Thursday, I managed to get to Akhna Dam.  Amongst the Meadow Pipits was the Asian Buff-bellied Pipit* again. A couple of Water Pipits were present and a Marsh Harrier was present with a pair of Wigeon making an appearance.  3 Great White Egrets were amongst good numbers of Grey Herons and a Blackbird was unusual.  At Ay Nik, 2 Little Owls called to each other and sat on top of the Christmas tree (nice)!  On Friday, I ventured over the north, and Gulserin Pond had some water in it attracting Shovellers, Little Stints and Dunlins.  5 Armenian Gulls were amongst the Black-headed Gulls.  At Clapsides Beach, a Grey Plover was the highlight whilst at Silver Beach, 5 Golden Plovers were present with a lonely drake Wigeon and a Cetti’s, Sardinian and Spectacled Warbler made appearances.  2 adult Night Herons were at the Fresh Water Lake South with 15 Cormorants and the usual 300 or so Cattle Egrets came to roost.

On Saturday, I rose early and headed to the Larnaca area.  On the airport pool south, 4 adult Armenian Gulls were harassed by female Hen Harrier and a male Black Francolin flew for the cover of the scrub as I drove by.  On the lagoons, a Ruddy Shelduck*, 13 Greater White-fronted Geese, a drake Gadwall, 8 Greater Flamingos, a Sanderling, 11 Black-necked Grebe and a 1st Winter Mediterranean Gull.  On Spiro’s pool 32 Golden Plovers and on the beach, a Grey Plover, Redshank and Ringed Plover were present.  Larnaca Salt Lake held at least 500 Shelduck and at the northern end, I was greeted by the sight of a Wryneck – which is unusual for December.  The marshy area held good numbers of Snipe, Teal, a single Temminck’s Stint and 4 female type Reed Buntings.  3 Marsh Harriers patrolled the area and good numbers of Dunlins and Little Stints were present on the salt lake.  Oroklini Marsh (which has a new hide), held little of interest but a Peregrine and a Common Buzzard flew over and 12 Greater Flamingos were new.  A little further along the coast at Dolphin Rocks, 4 Sandwich Tern, a Caspian Gull, and a 2nd Winter Med Gull was the highlights.  Wigeon had increased to 4 at Akhna Dam and a drake Pintail was also feeding actively.

On Sunday, Deb and I went for a drive to the Cape Greco area and had lunch.  A pair of migrant Common Buzzards headed out over the sea.  Sardinian Warblers were much in evidence and very vocal, a female Finsch’s Wheatear was below the Army Camp cliffs, a single Chukar looked pathetic and a male Black Redstart was at the Cape Greco Pines area.  3 Audouin’s Gulls and a Little Egret were at Kermia Beach and on the way home after some searching 2 Greater Sand Plovers, a Dunlin and a Common Sandpiper were found amongst the Kentish Plovers at Ayia Thekla.  Another adult Audouin’s Gull loafed on the rocks at Potomas Liopetri and a Sandwich Tern was nearby.

So ended a fairly uneventful week but it got me back into the swing of it after the holiday in Istanbul.

Highlight of the Week:  The Ruddy Shelduck and another sighting with photograph of the Buff-bellied Pipit.

Look Forward:  With Christmas upon us predictions are low so it’s case of getting out when I can and seeing what turns up.

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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