Week Ending 12 Aug 12
* A photo of the species is included please visit Flickr site http://www.flickr.com/photos/birder639/ ... 727280178/
Migration really took off in the latter part of the week, with several good finds of sought after eastern Autumn migrants. The passage of waders continues to ebb and flow at Akhna Dam.
Monday’s ramble was enjoyable, although there was a significant dip in migration. Wader numbers were much reduced with only 3 Common, 1 Wood and 1 Green Sandpiper being present. The Cattle Egret roost has increased to 106 with three Night Herons joining them. Violet* and Scarlet Darters* were present with an increased number of Black Perchers*. Reduced numbers maybe due to disturbance as the dam is a well used fishing site and with the Cypriots taking their annual summer holidays, family activity had increased much to my annoyance.
An evening visit to Akhna Dam on the 7th saw a resumption of normal service with 6 Common, 4 Wood* and 3 Green Sandpipers being present. The lone Common Kingfisher was joined by another and a nice adult male Eurasian Cuckoo perched in the open. 3 migrant Common Swifts passed above, a juvenile Masked Shrike continued to be present and a lone Greenshank called as it flew above. Hoopoes were back as at least 3 individuals picked bugs from the ground. Finally, it was nice to pick out a Temminck’s Stint* at distance before departing for home.
The Long-eared Owls continue to call behind the house from about 2100 every night albeit only one could be heard in the distance.
Wednesday afternoon is the scheduled mid-week visit to Ayia Napa Sewage Works*. Wednesdays are a good day as the Cypriots still insist on half day Wednesday closing, which is a real pain when you’re trying to sort something out but on the flip side, there’s no traffic in Paralimni making progress to the Sewage works less painful (have you experienced Cypriot driving? Well if anyone has driven with Tim Cowley on a twitch, imagine that experience on steroids). In any event the area was fairly quiet save for an Eastern Orphean Warbler, an Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler* several migrating Common Swifts and a single Ruff and Common Sandpiper on the lagoons. As I departed, a distant Long-legged Buzzard hung on the wind. A Mallow Skipper was of interest at the site. As I returned home I stopped at Sotira Pools to find a Cetti’s Warbler, a solitary Glossy Ibis and the first 3 Eurasian Teal of the autumn (2 Ducks and an eclipse Drake). Numerous Lesser Emperors and Slender Skimmers hawked the ponds and drainage channels.
Missing more than two consecutive days at Akhna Dam is to be avoided at all costs! It’s the sort of site where anything can and does drop in. However, 2 Glossy Ibis, 2 Squacco Heron a number of what have become common waders, a Masked Shrike and a Hoopoe were expected. A highlight came as an adult Long-legged Buzzard spooked the Cattle Egrets and a female/juvenile, unidentifiable to race, Yellow Wagtail flushed. Back at home 2 Long-eared Owls continued to call.
Friday evening at Oroklini Marsh was well worth the trip. A couple of Marsh Sandpipers and a host of commoner waders were present along with a Teal and several Garganey. As I sat in the car next to a reed bed that I hadn’t visited before I noticed 3 warblers, whilst studying a Water Rail walked into view. Realising that the birds were not Reed Warblers, I photographed them and studied them, noting the relevant features – juvenile Marsh Warblers* x3. Underreported in Cyprus due to ID difficulties they were a good find. However, I now have to write a description!
Saturday is also Ayia Napa Sewage Works and Cape Greco day; it’s good to build up a picture of movements with regular twice weekly visits. Excellent migration was evident with 2 juvenile Masked Shrikes, the first Isabelline Wheatear of the autumn and several Eastern Orphean Warblers were still present. Whilst at Cape Greco Picnic Site, another 2 Red-backed Shrikes and my first singing male Cyprus Warbler. They are becoming scarce on the east of the island and appear to be in general decline island wide, due in part to the expansion of Sardinian Warblers. I also found another 2 Marsh Warblers at Akhna Dam in the evening which were also photographed – another description.
In a break with tradition I retuned to Ayia Napa Sewage Works and migration was in full swing with 2 Lesser Grey Shrikes*, 3 Red-backed Shrikes* including a stonking male, a Lesser Whitethroat and several Eastern Orphean Warblers. In the evening I photographed a Black-crowned Night Heron* at Akhna Dam and noted the Marsh Warblers still present.
So, the week ended with a flurry and bird of the week was Marsh Warbler.
Other interesting finds: Dragonfly activity appears to have reduced although there are still some good examples knocking around. Eventually, I managed to photograph a Swallowtail* at rest.
Look Forward: Apparently Palm Doves have bred near Ayia Napa, this would be a Cyprus tick so I’ll try to track them down and photograph them.
If you are planning a visit or require more info please feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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