Thursday, 5 June 2014

Cyprus: May 2014 Part 2.

When we able to tare ourselves away from the Akrotiri peninsula, we spent a couple of mornings in the Souni district North West of Limassol. Just outside of the town we found some wonderful areas of scrub on the edge of some abandoned housing developments, giving the area a somewhat post-apocalyptic feel. Despite this, we were treated to some wonderful birds here, including Bee-eater, singing Hoopoe, Golden Oriel, Masked Shrike and Cretzschmar's Bunting.

One of a pair of showy Cretzschmar's Buntings

Stunning Masked Shrike

Cyprus Wheatear, plenty seen everywhere
To round off a truly memorable week of festivities and birding, we thought we would try our luck at Kensington Cliffs, just to the West of Limassol. I'd read in various places that this site was inaccessible and potentially not very birder-friendly. However we arrived, parked up and walked a few hundred metres to the edge of the cliffs where we were treated to at least seven displaying Elenora's Falcon at eye level as Alpine Swift soared in the thermals alongside them. It was a spectacular location for a spectacular event.

Kensington Cliffs

Elenora's Falcon

Very blurry Alpine Swift

Our final trip was a tour of the Troodos mountains ending in Paphos for a lovely meal. In the mountains we saw singing Short-toed Treecreeper, the endemic races of Jay and Coal Tit and at Paphos Headland very confiding Crested Lark. A lovely country, with lovely people, lovely scenery and lovely birds.

Short-toed Treecreeper

Crested Lark having a dust bath

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