Week Ending 29 Jul 12
* A photo of the species is included please visit
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This week started very much as the last ended
Three Collared Pratincoles remained at Akhna Dam until the 24 Jul, although the juvenile had moved on suggesting that the three birds present this week are different to those that occurred earlier in the month.
Little-ringed Plover numbers peaked at 30 on 24 Jul and Little Stints* continued to vary in numbers between the high teens and single figures. Single Ruffs were at Akhna Dam*, however, they were largely outnumbered by the continued presence of varying good numbers of Wood and Common Sandpipers. A solitary Green Sandpiper and Greenshank also made appearances. An adult and a juvenile Black-winged Stilt have been present for two weeks now but are overshadowed by the growing numbers of Spur-winged Plovers that reached 22 recently having obviously had a successful breeding season. This currently appears to be the most common wader on the island.
A noticeable lull in migration occurred mid-week, with many waders departing and not being replaced with the new influx. Consequently numbers dropped to seven Little-ringed Plovers at Akhna Dam. Hoopoes* continued to be seen in ones and twos and having bred at the site Eastern Olivaceous Warblers flitted about the tamarisk in small family groups. The odd Roller is encountered infrequently at the site. An adult Whiskered Tern* was present on the evening of the 23 Jul, but left the site shortly before dusk to presumably continue its southward migration. Later in the week the Pratincoles reappeared, as did two Hoopoes and the single Squacco Heron was joined by a second. On the 26th a real surprise at the site with a dark phased Booted Eagle being mobbed by Spur-winged Plovers.
Cattle Egret numbers increased to fifty two by the 26th at Akhna Dam. The species now breeds at a lake near Famagusta in the (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus – TRNC) and frequents the cattle sheds to the south of Akhna Dam to feed.
On Sat 28th the first Snipe of the autumn was flushed at Akhna whilst a summer plumaged Sanderling caused some initial rather more challenging ID issues than I'd expected. Green Sandpiper numbers grew to eight, Common Sandpipers to 17 whilst Wood Sandpipers fell to just two. Four Temminck's Stint were present in the early evening.
Note to oneself: Must visit Famagusta for a Turkish bath and shave, take Deb shopping and VISIT THE LAKE! – Every cloud?
On the tanker rafts opposite Dhekelia Power Station at least nine Shags of the Mediterranean race were present on Thursday 26th.
Eventually, I located Ayia Napa Sewage Works and although not exactly heaving with birds (but not half as malodorous as Larnaca Sewage Works) the first Long-legged Buzzard was noted along with a couple of Spectacled and Eastern Olivaceous Warblers. A new Dragonfly was also seen in the form of male and female Keeled Skimmers*, with Violet Dropwings and Slender Skimmers also being present. Two Black Francolin were usual at Sotira Pools on the 27th but there was little else of interest. A return visit to Ayia Napa Sewage Works on Sunday 29th was incredible. Visible migration was taking place with 76 (2 flocks) of European Bee-eaters passing overhead with four Rollers and in the bushes and scrub, an Eastern Bonelli's Warbler*, at least two Eastern Orphean Warbler juveniles, a juvenile Barred Warbler and several Spectacled and juvenile Sardinian Warbler. A flock of migrating Common Swift and at least eighteen Eastern Olivaceous Warblers and a juv Masked Shrike added to the tally.
The weekly visit to the Sunday market at Levadia (only five minutes from Oroklini Marsh – there’s always a motive), produced yet further evidence of wader passage and the amount of breeding Black-winged Stilts was staggering. A count of 16 Little Terns was also impressive. The market visit invariably ends by continuing onto Larnaca Sewage Works (I know how to treat a lady), Larnaca Salt Lake and Spiro’s Pool. However, the site was a little disappointing on this occasion.
Yellow-legged Gull numbers have increased at Spiro’s Pool where 53 were seen recently; however, nothing more exotic was noted.
Other interesting finds
Akhna Dam: Dragonflies: Red-veined Darter, Small Skimmer, Violet Dropwing*, Scarlet Darter, Red-veined Dropwing and Black Percher in large numbers.
Look Forward: Next week I will mostly be looking for early autumn warblers and Pygmy Skipper.
If you are planning a visit or require more info please feel free to contact me at: email@example.com
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