An early rise and Dad and I were down at the Eastern Kalloni Saltpan track before dawn once again.
I could hear more waders on the first pan with the three
smaller Plovers, Little Stints and Shanks audible including the first Spotted
Redshank. Crested Larks were soon up too and Corn Buntings were jangling. We
positioned ourselves opposite the Pelican island and after the sun eventually
graced them with her first rays they ruffled their feathers and flexed those
preposterous bills and headed off to join the mass of nearly 200 Cormorants
that were getting the frenzied feeding proceedings off to a start.
|Cormorants on the move
|Spoonbills joining in
|Six stirring Dalmatian Pelicans
I am always amazed at how Dalmatian Pelicans somehow
mysteriously multiply before your eyes and the flock slowly crept up to 18
(Gina and Steve had 20 a while later). Fourteen Black Storks, 22 Spoonbills, 12
Great White Egrets and some of the 42 Little Egrets and 24 Grey Herons joined
in the melee. As ever it was a magical bird bun fight!
|Waiting for the Cormorants to come back...
A flock of 11 Mallard was the biggest group so far and two
Teal disappeared quickly while the Sandwich Tern flock noisily departed once
again for the Bay and the adjacent Polichnitos saltpans. We avoided the huge
sheep stampede once again as they headed off for the day and when the dust
settled heard three Zitting Cisticolas on the way back.
The bump back through the middle only offered a few
Red-backed Shrikes and Whinchats and a lone juvenile Turtle Dove.
|Red-backed Shrike coughing up a pellet
|Red-backed Shrike - the male in his usual spot
Breakfast was interrupted by Steve doing show and tell with
a fine Levant Hawkmoth which I then took on a tour of the Pela before hanging
it out of the way in a Fig tree.
|Levant Hawkmoth - about Elephant HM size
From here the day became something of a history tour with
the mighty Moria Roman Aqueduct (cracking Scarce Swallowtail there!) being
followed by the 3-4000 year old Bronze Age settlement at Thermi. Once
again we were the only visitors and the man on site was very pleased to see us!
Unlike last September there were no migrants in the grounds but a fine adult
Ant-lion made up for it.
|Moria Roman Aqueduct - there were House Sparrows up on top but I always think that Rock Sparrows should be here too
|Possibly a different Merodon sp - furrier and dark femurs
|Slender Green-winged Grasshopper (Aiolopus thalassinus) -thanks Fraser S
We continued up the spectacular coast past turquoise and
ultramarine bays with Sardinian Warblers easily heard from the car before a
wasp infested lunch at Skala Sykaminia and an almost bird free drive along the
North Track with just a few Eastern Black-eared Wheatears and a male Goshawk
low through the Oaks. It was hot and dusty.
The wind got up during the evening and a quiet night in was
had by all.