Saturday, 12 May 2018

Cyprus - Day 5: Bird of the trip...

Me and my dad spent the morning of the fifth day of our early-April holiday birding in the south-west of the island, with the small town and river of Agia Varvara being our first stop. We had heard reports of a Baillon's Crake there over the previous few so we couldn't resist a look, despite thinking we didn't have much chance.

When we got there we were unable to find the bird, nor were we sure exactly where to look, but thanks to another very helpful birder, we were shown the way down to the tiny patch of the stream it had been favouring. A short wait later and the Baillon's Crake came out in the open and treated us to some great scope views. We were able to watch it for several minutes, and I took some video which can be seen below. With such unexpectedly good views of a really smart bird, this was our highlight of the trip.

Other sightings around Agia Varvara included Ortolan Bunting, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Great Reed Warbler and Purple Heron.

After this, we headed back to Mandria to try and improve on the views we had last time. We arrived to find a recently cut field, and this proved extremely attractive to wagtails with probably 50+, mostly Black-headed Wagtails, but also Blue-headed and one Grey-headed. There were also 20+ Red-throated Pipits which looked good in their summer plumage, and a single Isabelline Wheatear.

Moving to the cafe, a look here gave good views of the flock of Short-toed Larks with over 45 today, sharing the same area with 5 Northern Wheatears. Offshore, 4 Baltic Gulls moved west and 3 Shags and 3 Little Egret were on the rocks.

Baillon's Crake - please view video in HD at 1080p

Purple Heron 
Red-throated Pipit
Probable 'Dombrowski' Yellow Wagtail
Great Spotted Cuckoo
Mega distant Ortolan Bunting!

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