Cyprus Bird Watching Tours - BIRD is the WORD Tour Paphos and Akrotiri 19/03/2018
We started out in the usual closest spot, the sewage works. Here we managed to see Zitting Cisticola and Spur-winged Lapwing also managing a few Ruff in the field and a Cattle Egret. Some European Serin were still around but in much smaller numbers and here we also had our first (of many) Isabelline Wheatear. A flock of Grey Heron flew over head very high making them quite difficult to identify as the heads were not visible and a young male Hen Harrier flew past.
Next stop was Anarita Park where we was treated to a Hoopoe and two Cyprus Wheatear plus three Cyprus Warblers singing on territory with one quite close by. We had distant views of a Male Pallid Harrier here and many Northern and Isabelline Wheatears. A Spectacled Warbler was a surprise sighting at a section I hadn't explored before, a little owl posed nicely and entertained and lastly an Eastern Subalpine Warbler provided mouth watering views.
Coming out of the area we saw a Hen Harrier fly over and a small party of Spanish and House Sparrows mixed, nest building.
We also witnessed a scrap between a Northern and Isabelline Wheatear, with the Northern surprisingly coming off the better.
At Larks corner we had a small group of Yellow Wagtail in flight but landing in the flora and also Shags on the rocks accompanied by a Little Egret. A Gull-billed Tern flying around the Potato pickers was an incredible sight, flying right up to the car and then out to sea. The large group of Greenfinch seemed a bit less but an impressive flock none-the-less and a Eurasian Hoopoe was foraging on the ground extremely close to the car.
We stopped for ice-cream on the way out. Just as we left Mandria I noticed a large raptor over the canal and so went in for a close view. A Common Buzzard ... which was then joined by another swooping for it ending up very low down. Another bit of action for the day.
We made a quick stop at Anarita masts seeing the Little Owls on the way and some Alpine Swift above. The Red-throated Pipits were there but a lorry was dumping cow dung at the time making the pipits a bit nervy, not providing the best views ... until we went a bit further down the road and was treated to two close by on the ground.
Then we headed to Akrotiri.
At the Gravel Pits we saw a Short-eared Owl fly in off the sea shortly followed by another. A scarce bird in Cyprus providing incredible views both in flight and on the ground. There was an abundance of Wheatears here, mainly Northern and Isabelline but with a pale throated Eastern Black-eared Wheatear among them. Greater Short-toed Larks were foraging but sadly no sign of the Bimaculated Lark that i'm told is still around. We checked through the Larks twice over and then moved on. A flock of garganey were moving across the sea, around 60 of them.
As Sue is a botanist I thought it best to show her some of the orchids and a few endemic plants of Cyprus on the way to Bishop's Pool and so we ventured into an orchid patch that had many Orchis Fragrans, Ophrys Umbilicata and our Endemic Ophrys Kotschyi. Ophrys Iricolor and Himantoglossum Robertinum were quite withered here. After checking out the Persian Buttercups and Cyprus Chamomile we headed to Bishop's Pool, checking the Greater Flamingos on the way.
Here we ate our lunch whilst looking into the lake. There wasn't much life here aside some Ferruginous Ducks and Teal.
Black francolin (h)
Western Marsh harrier
Common buzzard (Playing)
Little ringed plover
Common Wood pigeon
Eurasian Collared dove
Greater short-toed lark
Common house martin
Cetti's warbler (h)
Eastern Subalpine warbler
Eastern Black-eared wheatear