Met Colin at Asprokremnos Dam and , almost immediately, had terrific views of a Cyprus Warbler adjacent to where we were parked . A lucky start! Nearby we had a single Green Sandpiper, a falcon flew over ( probably a Peregrine ) , and local Red rumped Swallows put on a show as well as a Collared Flycatcher revealing itself in the plantation.
Off to the Timni Beach area to view the flooded area which has been so productive this Spring. The Forestry Department appear to be operating a bewildering policy of habitat destruction here around the picnic site by felling the mature trees. All was brought to a close when the area was then flooded by the excessive winter rains. Sadly it's beginning to dry out ! A small group of Wood Warbler, with one even in song, gave tremendous views, better than I sometimes get back on the breeding grounds in the UK. Following this , Common Redstart, Lesser Whitethroat, lots of flava wagtails, a Spotted Crake, a Black tailed Godwit, Ruff, Marsh Sandpiper , 3 Baltic Gull flew west and a variety of supporting species was present and time simply flew by ! A chat with Anders Grey wherein we discovered a mutual friend ( Phil Saunders ) who himself had been out in Cyprus not that long ago studying Rollers.....what a small , but wonderful , world that of birdwatching actually is !!
Onwards and upwards to Anarita Park where a local Little Owl showed well . Sadly little else appeared , so we moved on and toured a bewildering panoply of what might best be described as "the real Cyprus countryside " ! A river valley provided a glimpse of a Kingfisher, singing Golden Oriole. and various singing Olivaceous Warblers. We checked a peregrine site just as an adult brought in prey and enjoyed the cacophony which resulted ! A privileged look at a Cyprus Scops Owl left me speechless ( not something I'm known to be afflicted with ! ). As with quite a few experiences of the last few days I was also quietly furious at my camera having seized up , but I guess I'm not the first.
On to a hillside area of open scrubby vegetation where we soon found singing Cretzschmar's Buntings ( at least three I suspect ). A memorable and distinct call too.
It all had to end of course as , by this time it was actually late afternoon. A day with fast moving memories appearing in sequence. Thanks Colin. But another highlight of the day was the absolutely delicious Armenian Easter Cake kindly provided by Mrs Sylvia Richardson which sustained the birding troops through these exciting times. A confection which contained almond and cinnamon and something I guess not many have the privilege of tasting more than once ( there were several slabs for everyone ! ). Thanks Sylvia, much appreciated !
I need to offer a correction to some information I provided previously about Crossbills in Cyprus and about which I'd been misled . There are coloured male birds which have been seen, orange-gy I'm told, as opposed to the brick red types most of us see back home. Apologies for the confusion.