We set out early and despite the weather forecast predicting clear sunny skies, it was relatively cloudy which really tampered with how I wanted to start the tour ...
so I changed the plan quickly and moved on. Our first stop was to be Asprokremnos Dam in search of the Cyprus Warbler. We visited 3 parts of the dam and were unfortunately
unsuccessful in finding a Cyprus Warbler, it was fairly quiet at the dam although there was quite a movement of Great Cormorants flying in and also a few Grey Herons present.
The highlight here was seeing a big female Peregrine Falcon on an aerial at the south-east side.
We then moved on around the back way to Anarita Park where a Little Owl was being very showy and settled on a large rock ... enabling good photo opportunities. A drive into the quarry did not produce much and moving further up to the farm we bagged one of the target species; Finsch's Wheatear. A lovely male bird showing well and surprisingly not moving a lot from this area. From here we moved closer to the Army base in hope of finding some Blue Rock thrush that were sadly not present, however we did find some Woodlark.
I decided to take Paul through Agia Varvara and up to the top area in hope of finding some good species along the way, there didn't seem to be much around aside Meadow Pipits and I suspect many species were startled by hunters running their dogs in the area.
We then headed to the Lower Ezousas Pools which has now turned into a few puddles. There we had fantastic views and photo opportunities of Moustached Warbler and Bluethroat.
We also saw a Siberian Chiffchaff next to a Common Chiffchaff, which was very good for comparison and both calls were heard. Both Chiffchaffs were bathing in a puddle and then spend a long time preening in the sun. Then a quick look up produced 18+ Common Kestrels approaching the area. Quite an unusual spectacle but has been noted year after year. It is suspected that these birds are coming down from the foothills and mountains to take advantage of the insects in the air and also to escape the much colder climate at higher elevation. We checked through each individual just incase there were other falcons among them.
We then had some lunch and headed to the Akamas in search of the Wallcreeper, on the way we came across a diversion in Lemba which funnily enough alerted us to a common kestrel running towards us in the road and taking something from the road. It then hopped onto an a churned up agricultural field next to the road allowing for some good close up feeding shots.
A 45 minute walk into the Gorge through rough terrain and a 10 minute wait and there they were, 2 birds, always worth the effort.
We spent the remainder of our time here and soaked in the beauty of these magnificent birds and managed a few good shots too. This is the second time Paul had seen Wallcreeper and despite having seen 2 lifers, he stated it was the highlight of the day, and I couldn't think of a better way of showing how truly amazing these birds are other than sharing that with you! Paul also managed to see 3 Blue Rock Thrush here and also a few Cyprus Wren.
Blue Rock thrush