Parakilia was our first port of call today to see if any Olive Tree Warblers were in but all was quiet bar two grinding Masked Shrikes and a stupidly active poplar tree with a fledged brood of Middle Spotted Woodpeckers and a new active nest in a higher hole. It was woodpecker bedlam and some superb views were had as they played kiss-chase through the olives. Cirl Buntings trilled and down at the beach the first Thread Lacewing was fluttering amongst the Chamomile.
|Middle Spotted Woodpecker|
On to Makara which was quite disappointing with five Bee-eaters, a female Red-backed Shrike and three Turtle Doves being the only migrants. The river has been naturally re-sculptured and then mechanically improved leaving almost no cover for anything.
|female Red-backed Shrike|
A Squacco and single flava Wagtail fed at the mouth and several Alpine Swifts swooped down to drink from the stream.
Black-headed Buntings and Olivaceous Warblers sang and Jackdaws milled about. A Small Pincertail was the first for the year and Wall Browns were seen while Yelkouan Shearwaters passed offshore and a pod of Bottle-nosed Dolphins powered west.
Retracing our steps through the orange scented loveliness of Parakilia we wound our way up into the hills above Dafia to the mast and Agriosikos. Our pre-lunch walk was quite pleasant although the wind had got up and Eastern Bonelli's Warblers were proving problematical. Nine were heard singing but it took an age to actually see one. A Buzzard joined a Black Stork on a thermal and a male Goshawk with white undertail all fluffed out briefly joined them. Eastern Festoons and Scarce Swallowtails zoomed up and down and the first Red Admirals and Meadow Brown were on the wing as well as some interesting flies.
|A Conopid fly|
|A Conopid fly|
|Tachina fera or very similar|
|A Tachinid fly|
|The Mulberry grove|
|Put on a bit of growth...|
|...since the 21st|
Pan time approached and a group of 21 of the rainbow coloured insect munchers adorned a poplar as we started the track out of Skala Kallonis but a displaying Nightingale alongside the car was if anything even more special and a privilege to watch as he flirted with the female who was discreetly watching him.
Lotzaria held more Bee-eaters and a smart, if distant, Lesser Grey Shrike and the now expected Black-headed Buntings.
Down on the salt pans a happy 90 minutes was spent with the waders. There was no sign of the Broad-billed Sandpiper but a Collared Pratincole, two Dunlin, two Temminck's Stints and seven Marsh Sandpipers were seen along with commoner fair. One of each Stork waded around and four Squacco fed along the channel margins while 24 Glossy Ibis circled Alykes. A flock of terns drifted in with a three species marsh tern make up - two Whiskered, 13 White Winged Black Terns and rarest of all, three Black Terns.
|Black Tern- lower left with WWBTs|
The latter two species put on a magnificent show and rounded up thing nicely in a pre-dinner, pre-Ouzo sort of way...