A little trip with Paula primarily for relaxing, water sports and a tiny bit of sight seeing without being too touristy. I chose the destination and inevitably saw a couple of new birds. We stayed at Coral Bay which just so happened to be near a good birding location....strange that.
Saturday was a beach day and in between being thrown about on a raft, paragliding, snorkelling and sun bathing, I was allowed two hours in the heat of the day to go birding around Mavrokolympus Dam seeing the following:
CYPRUS WARBLER - 2
Sardinian Warbler - 6
Great Tit - 1
CYPRUS WHEATEAR - 5
CHUKAR - 1
Kestrel - 1
Long-legged Buzzard - 1
- ca. 10 incl several advanced juveniles.
adult male Cyprus Warbler
looking towards Coral Bay from the mountains
On Sunday we drove into the mountains around Troodos to Mt Olympus, again seeing a few sites but also targeting several endemic races. Afterwards we visited some waterfalls seeing some superb Dragonflies, as well as jumping from a 30m cliff into the plunge pool below........scary stuff. A great day, especially bird wise with the highlight by far being a BONELLI'S EAGLE (details below). Other bits included:
Masked Shrike - 5
Red-backed Shrike - 1
Eleonora's Falcon - 2
Cyprus Wheatear - ca. 20
Pallid Swift - 3 around Troodos village
Red-rumped Swallow - 4
Eastern Olivaceous Warbler - 3
Hoopoe - 1
immature Bonelli's Eagle near Paphos - before I went I had heard this species was a possibility, but I was never expecting to see one, especially after dipping in three countries beforehand. Whilst driving along the motorway east of Paphos, I noticed this large raptor so I pulled over and was amazed to see it was a Bonelli's Eagle, despite staring directly into the strong sunlight. There are no obvious closely related species on the island but the HB like head, Booted Eagle like tail, bulging secondaries but the most reliable feature is the dark diagonal line seperating the coverts from the primaries and secondaries. Adults would show a solid black line.
Short-toed (Dorothy's) Treecreeper
Endemic races seen around Troodos were:
Jay - 20
Coal Tit - 1
Short-toed (Dorothy's) Treecreeper - 5
Crossbill - 1 juv
Plenty of Butterflies over the two days which included:
Also a Large Whip Snake
was flushed on a hillside just after seeing my only Chukar of the trip.
paragliding in Coral Bay :-)