Sunday, 15 April 2018

Cyprus - Baths of Aphrodite (part one)...

Last weekend we arrived back from a holiday in Cyprus, and I'm starting to be able to go through my photos from an awesome week. I'll probably do four or five blog posts over the next weeks detailing one or two days at a time...

The first one is about our first morning at the Baths of Aphrodite, not far from where we based ourselves in Latchi. My first lifer of the trip came almost immediately with an Eastern Olivaceous Warbler in the gully by the entrance to the caravan park. Also, we had become aware of the number of Blackcaps at the site - we estimated 50+ on this visit.

Moving along the dirt track, we had our first three of many Cyprus Wheatears, as well as a Northern sat up in a bush. The distinctive insect-like song of the male Cyprus Wheatear was a sound we would hear a lot during the week!

We also flushed a ringtail harrier, and with five primary 'fingers' and quite bulky features it was apparent that this was a female Hen Harrier. A phyllosc flitting around a bush proved to be an Eastern Bonelli's Warbler, and we got some stunning views in a clifftop bush at the east end of the caravan park.

When we reached this end, another ringtail harrier lifted off from the cliff side, and this time it was a female Pallid Harrier, providing a really good comparison to the earlier Hen. Walking back to the car park, a Wood Warbler was the best migrant we could find - in the trees above the 'bath', while a Long-legged Buzzard moved north over the ridge.

Back at the car park, a large group of hirundines had appeared, and comprised mainly Swallows, House Martins and Swifts, but also 5+ Red-rumped Swallows and our only Crag Martin of the trip. A great first morning birding!

The next blog post will be on the surprisingly good selection of birds around our villa in Latchi...

Male Cyprus Wheatear at the Baths of Aphrodite

Female Cyprus Wheatear

Eastern Bonelli's Warbler
Crag Martin

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