Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Cyprus - Birding around the villa...

After our morning of the second day at the Baths of Aphrodite, we spent the afternoon in and around our villa in Latchi, and the birding there was actually surprisingly good!

We'd noticed a scrubby area over the back fence and with a decent flock of sparrows we decided to check it out. One of the first birds we saw in the sparrow flock was a male Spanish Sparrow - a lifer we'd really hoped to get on the trip. We spent a while watching the group which in the end contained 5+ males and probably a similar number of females.

We moved to the next bushes and I saw a bird perched on the edge. Raising the bins we were pleased to see a female Masked Shrike, another new one for us. Other sightings in the area just over our back fence included a pair of Cyprus WheatearsSardinian Warblers, Fan-tailed Warblers, Crested Larks and a Hoopoe.

Later in the afternoon, a Black Francolin started calling from the field behind the villa, and we decided to check it out. We followed a small track up into the field and two Francolins were calling, one from just a few metres away, and despite the close range seemed impossible to get a view of. Eventually, my dad managed to pick it up in the field margin, although it quickly vanished again. He headed back inside, while I stayed on the track a bit longer. It reappeared and showed really well, without disappearing.

In the evening a steady passage of Swallows took place overhead, and a group of 40+ Red-rumped Swallows were great to see.

Black Francolin and recording below

Spanish Sparrows
Masked Shrike
Fan-tailed Warbler
Cyprus Wheatear
Sardinian Warbler
Starred Agama