Sunday, 23 June 2013

Archaeology and Birding in Cyprus

Two days at the Paphos archaeological site gave me a brief glimpse of Greek and
Roman history interspersed with a little birding.
At the site a number of Zitting cisticolas zipped across the burnt grass, while a
hunting kestrel obliged.
First up the House of Theseus I was impressed with the quality of the mosaics as I
surveyed the site.

The detail of the mosaics and Theseus engaged with the Minotaur was a  nice piece of work.
At the House of Dionysos young swallows were being fed by adults.
As I walked towards Paphos light house I found the Agora and Odeon at it's rear.
Making my way back to the main gate I noted Sardinian warblers feeding young
as the temperature rose.
Another visit  on the 13th of June I returned catching more detail of the superb
mosaics. The first bath of Achilles

Cyprus birding 11TH OF jUNE 2013

Woke up early the light filtered through the room applied sun screen and prepared for
another hot sunny  morning in Cyprus.
Jane arrived 0700hrs and we headed north towards Polis pronounced Bolis in Greek.
A sign post to the Minthis Hills surrounding a golf club in Tsada produced up to 25
Corn bunting.
Also a pair of distant Black headed buntings,moving on towards Kannaviou a number
of Red rumped swallows obliged overhead.Good photographic opportunities of
Cyprus Pied Wheatears as we made our way to Aspogia.

Moving towards Kannaviou dam,passed the dam a picnic site amongst the pines above
Kannaviou where a well deserved cup of tea produced Hoopoe.
Masked shrikes along with Eastern Olivaceous warbler were feeding young nearby.
On route  to Polemi prior to Kannaviou I was lucky to see the elusive Black Francolin
in a field as we drove by.
Meanwhile back at the picnic site more Cretzschmars and Spanish sparrows,even the sub
species of Coal tit was close enough to hear well but not see.
Arodes our last call did yield a superb Black headed bunting and posing Rollers.
We ended our birding around 1155hrs returned to Paphos 1235 hrs said goodbye to
Jane, a  successful 2 mornings had produced  some good birds.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Birding Cypus early June 2013

10th of June Paphos got my gear together and met Jane in front of the hotel Annabelle around
0700hrs .We drove eastwards towards Aphrodite's rock towards Petra tou Romiou.
The cliffs here produced a couple of Eleonora's falcons, a superb adult sat on the
cliff face,then flew off ,also a few immatures were present.
Moving around the coast many Jackdaws and pure Rock doves was unusual.
Then below the Aphrodite hills  two Chukar called in flight and disappeared
over a ridge,while  overhead Alpine swifts obliged.

This area proved good for birds early morning,on leaving the cliffs a single Cyprus
Wheatear put in an appearance as did Yellow legged gulls along the coast.

We searched the scrub and eventually found  a few skulking  Cyprus  warblers.
Next up Kouklia soakaways which provided a number of Kestrels,driving under the
motorway Jane saw a Little owl, I missed it now driving along the old river bed to
the Lower Xeros pools we continued to struggle for Black Francolin,however around
a small expanse of water Grey and Squacco heron was nice.
Another good bird here skulking and not giving good views was a Night heron.
We had a brief view of Eastern Olivaceous warbler before leaving.
We returned to the main road and made our way to Asprokremnos dam where half way
up the road we heard Bee eater.
In a burnt out area  in rocky caverns we saw another Little owl keeping out of the sun.
On leaving a Roller in flight and green and goldfinches fed in thistles along the
Next up Paphos sewage farm where Spur wing plover  and Cattle Egret obliged as
did some ancient aircraft near the runway of the airport.
Just before leaving a Fan tailed warbler or Zitting cisticola showed with nest material.
Still no Black Francolin but I saw a Turtle dove on the wires with Hooded Crows.
Our last throw of the dice this morning was  Agia Varvara  here at another set of
soakaways we flushed Green Sandpiper and saw a superb Roller.
We continued to search orchard and scrub but only found more greenfinches ending
our day on the east coast.