Monday, 25 April 2011

Clayheads on Tour in Cyprus - Monday 18th April

This holiday, as with most of my others is a family holiday, and so the majority of birding is done pre-breakfast. Its a punishing schedule of getting up at 05-30hrs daily, but you just get on and do it. This morning we were up and out of the hotel by 06-00hrs and we made our way to the pools below Aspro dam. To be honest it was very disappointing down there with just Fan-tailed, Cetti's and Sardinian Warblers on show, with a single Moorhen on the pool. We drove up to the dam, and immediately had a LONG-LEGGED BUZZARD being mobbed by corvids on the ridge to the left of the road. Our first tick safety in the bag. We parked up by the dam and started to walk across, finding a pair of CYPRUS PIED WHEATEARS on the overflow. We also had a Common Sandpiper and a Whiskered Tern.

Female Cyprus Pied Wheatear

Whiskered Tern

Second tick of the day and it was only 07-40hrs. Next stop was at nearby Paphos SW. As soon as we pulled up we had our first of six SPUR-WINGED PLOVERS showing well just inside the fence. We also had a Cattle Egret fly over and a Cyprus Pied Wheatear.

The main trip of the day was the drive up north to the Baths of Aphrodites, west of Polis. We had another four Cyprus Pied Wheatears, some showing well on the telegraph wires, several Blackcaps and our first Magpies of the trip. After hearing an unfamiliar Reed Warbler type song coming from a bush, we eventually tracked it down and had good views of a singing EASTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER. There were probably at least three singing birds in the area. We had 10+ Pallid Swifts overhead. In Latchi just down the road, we had two Black-headed Wagtails, one Blue-headed and a Grey-headed in a field by the beach. So with four lifers, it wasn't a bad at all.