It may have been going home day but there is always time for some last minute birding and so, for the first time in the entire stay we headed out for a pre-breakfast walk at the KSP. The sun was just coming up over the hills as we walked down the eastern track and was already illuminating the Flamingos before it got to us. One of the giant adults was ringed KAXJ and I am sure it will trace back to one of the Turkish colonies like before.
|KAXJ and friends|
We had no scopes and I was aware of a brown blob on the bank behind the 'mingos; Stone Curlews were calling all around and I assumed it was one of them but having now looked at my pics it was in fact the pesky normal Eurasian Curlew that had been eluding me all week!
|One sneaky Curlew|
There were no waders but the Common, Little and six immaculate White Winged Black Terns were circulating in the channel and at least six Black Storks were lazily flying towards the western side which is where we then headed.
|White Winged Black Tern|
|White Winged Black Tern|
|White Winged Black Tern, Common and Little too|
There was a full on frenzy happening in the channel with fry being picked off by a barrage of plunging terns, stabbing Little Egrets and lunging Storks. With no breeze you could hear every plop, snap and whoosh. This scene never ceases to amaze me.
|Black Stork, Little Egrets and Little Tern|
Kalloni Salt Pan feeding frenzy - watch in HD and with sound up
We trundled further along with a few Wood Sandpipers, Ruff, Little Stint and Black-winged Stilts with perfect reflections to feed our eyes before breakfast and the bumpy ride back through Lotzaria was full of the songs of Black-headed and Corn Buntings, melodious Crested Larks, cyclical Olivaceous Warblers and pruuking Bee-eaters.
What more could you ask for as a send off?
Final packing and then a fond farewell to Thekla and her Dad before the run to the airport via Mesa for a sneaky look at two Spoonbills to add to Mike and Len's burgeoning trip lists. A last laugh at the airport with Alison and a squint at a few Yelkouan Shearwaters and then it was time to go. It was a good flight bar a somewhat turbulent last fifteen minutes as we descended into a wet and wild Gatwick and a thumping landing that actually generated a slightly nervous but genuinely grateful round of applause. The loss of about twenty bags (seemingly left in the rain on the runway) for over an hour may have dampened proceedings but we were all among friends and it just meant a longer farewell than normal.
Till the next time...