Cyprus Bird Watching Tours - BIRD is the WORD - Paphos & Episkopi 27/02/2018
We started out at the Headland for the Greater Sandplover, sure enough we came across two of them, one almost in Summer Plumage, and they were accompanied by two Dunlin and two European Golden Plover. We made use of the early morning light and snapped up some good close shots. We also managed to locate the Whimbrel and Ruddy Turnstones. We heard Red-throated Pipit but decided against searching for them as we would be visiting two more sites where they would be present and better for photography. Just as we left the site a small murmuration of European Starling darted across the Archaeological Park and a European Shag flew low over the sea.
Heading on to Agia Varvara for closer encounters with Zitting Cisticola didn't dissapoint, here we also managed good photo opportunities with Common Linnet and also European Stonechat perched close on vivid ripe Aloe Vera. The Resevoir held just a Green Sandpiper.
Whilst we were concentrating on the Warblers, two Eurasian Hoopoe flew towards the car and over. One chasing the other and calling in flight ... spring is definitely in the air.
We headed round the corner to try and track down some red-throated pipits. Sure enough we found one in stunning plumage, and managed to get incredibly close. Also a small group of Serin showed well, our second flock of the day and brief glimpseof two Spectacled warblers chasing each other. An unfortunate sight was seeing the many abandoned hunting dogs here ... sadly a common occurence here every year.
Then on to Secret Valley to see our only target species; the mighty Bonelli's Eagle. We stopped at Kouklia Soakaways on the way and managed to find two small flocks of Spanish Sparrow. We walked to the resevoir which must have only recently had water in as only coots and moorhen were on the water. Here we ate our lunch, and just before finishing, sure enough an adult Bonelli's Eagle flew in from the valley edge and proceeded to rise. After some good scoped views we was ready to leave and then heard the call of the Cyprus Scops Owl.
I asked Jessica and Liam what they wanted to do next, and we all ageed on seeing the Griffon Vultures, So we headed for Episkopi, seeing a newly arrived flock of House Martins on the way. 8 Griffon Vultures were seen on arrival and provided some close fly-by's ... not as close as seen
previously, but it was quite a windy day ... so much so that they had to attempt to land a few times before they got it right. Driving out of Episkopi we was even treated to another low fly-by.
European golden plover
Common Wood pigeon
Eurasian Collared dove
Cyprus Scops Owl (h)
Common house martin
Cetti's warbler (h)
Western Black redstart