Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Cyprus day 7 - Akrotiri

The usual pre-breakfast walk produced a similar range of birds to the last few days although I did get good views of stone curlew and finally good views of a pair of black francolin that have been calling near the villa.

After breakfast we headed east to the Akrotiri peninsula in search of wetland birds.
First stop was Akrotiri Marsh and a meet up with Melpo from Birdlife Cyprus to have a look at the habitat works I had been involved with a couple of years ago. The improvements were looking good, plenty of cattle grazing, new fencing, pools and a nice tower hide. Still lots of work to do but a great start.
The site was pretty quiet for birds though. A few ruff, a couple of squacco heron and a hunting marsh harrier. From the tower hide, 4 fudge ducks were sculking in the reed edge, hopefully the females were on nests...

The gravel pits area was completely dead apart from a yellow wag and a squacco heron and the small chapel was quiet too holding Woodchat, 2 pied and a spotted fly, ortolan and an olivaceous warbler.

Zakaki Marsh did add mallard for the trip but that was all. We did finally find some waders along Lady's Mile but they were all ruff apart from a smart summer plumage marsh sand. Further along was a small group of black winged stilt and 10 close greater flamingos, closer than the pink haze on the main lake.

Final stop of the day was the impressive view over Kensington Cliffs. We had good views of 4 displaying Eleanoras falcons but the Cyprus warblers were really tricky in the strong wind. There were at least 6 calling birds but I only got brief decent views of one.

Overall it was a slightly disappointing day with the lack of waders but good to look round Akrotiri Marsh at the work.

The day did add some new species and pushes us over 100 species to 104.

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