Cyprus Bird Watching Tours - BIRD is the WORD - Tour - Akrotiri 26/01/2019
We started out at Zakaki where many Eurasian Penduline Tits were flitting around though proving hard to spot and a few Common Reed Bunting though sadly no close views. The reeds had vastly grown since my last visit which obstructed any possibility of seeing into the lake or the newly arrived Eurasian Reed Warbler which was singing for much of our duration. We had a few glimpses of Cetti's Warbler as well as hearing many. There was surprisingly little else here and so we moved on to Ladies Mile. A few Greater Flamingo were still feeding here as were many gulls. We went to approach my usual spot and unfortunately someone scared all the gulls off, and so we went to another spot ... and then the same thing happened with a fisherman. It looked like it was going to be one of those days. So third time lucky we checked behind the Oasis and managed good views of Caspian, Yellow-legged and Armenian Gull as well as mainly Black-headed Gulls. We were fortunate to have a Slender-billed gull bathing in a puddle and saw a few more on the salt flats as we scanned through after checking the strip. Crested Larks were showing very well and we also had a close encounter with a Black Francolin out in the open which was a bonus!
Our next destination was bishop's pool, which didn't hold any surprises aside a part leucistic female Shoveler. We managed some great views of Ferruginous duck here and even saw an early emerged Black Whip Snake. A few Marsh Harriers were patrolling the edges.
We stopped at the environmental center on the way back and saw a distant flock of Common Starling. After unsuccessfully checking some of the salt lake water pockets from here for Common Shelduck and other waterfowl we headed back to the car and suddenly two Juvenile Pelicans shot straight infront of us and landed in a plowed field. I had heard a pair of exhausted Pelicans had been rehabilitated and released recently by the game fund, though I had heard they left, obviously not. We got fantastic views of them but kept a healthy distance so as not to disturb them. A great addition to our day.
Our next stop was Kensington Cliffs where the Griffon Vultures were seen on arrival as was some Chukar. We got to watch the Vultures for the duration of our stay, they flew very low overhead at times and provided some good views of them landing too. Plenty of Rock Doves were flying around but no sign of the Peregrines today. As we walked back to the car we came across plenty of Sand Crocos (Romulea tempskyana) and also our endemic Veined Sainfoin. Also a Small Copper butterfly was feeding on our endemic Hyacinthella millingenii.
We stopped at the Paphos Sewage Plant on the way back to see the Spur-winged Lapwings. We also managed to see a young male Bluethroat for a lengthy amount of time foraging through the mud in close proximity to a Grey Wagtail. The Cattle Egret and Northern Lapwing were strangely no-where to be seen.
Great White Pelican
Western Marsh Harrier
Eurasian Penduline tit
(h) Eurasian Reed-warbler
Common Reed Bunting