Last weekend I got to lead a field trip for BirdLife Cyprus in the Akrotiri area. The field trips usually have a late start at 9:30am and this was no different, with a relatively large attendance of I think about 20-25 people.
The designated meeting/starting spot was at Zakaki, where we were treated to close-up views of Coots and their chicks. The newbie birders enjoyed this quite a lot I think. There was also a Great White Pelican that was circling above us, which is a very unseasonal bird for this time in Cyprus. But it was almost certainly an escape, as it was trailing a cord or rope of some kind from its feet. Other notable birds at Zakaki included at least 6 Ferruginous Ducks, 2 Squacco Heron, 1 Little Egret, at least 1 Sand Martin, and an Eleonora’s Falcon.
We continued on to nearby Lady’s Mile, where there the primary attraction was a cluster of about 12 Little Egrets along with 2 Squacco Herons. There were at least 4 Kentish Plovers also.
At Bishop’s Pool, we noted one each of Squacco Heron and Night Heron, along with 4 Ferruginous Ducks and an Eleonora’s Falcon.
But the best site of the day in my opinion was at Phassouri, where we had 2 Glossy Ibises and 1 Little Bittern to see. There were also at least 5 Squacco Heron and 1 Cattle Egret. A late Yellow Wagtail flewover too, but the mystery was either a subadult Night Heron or a female Little Bittern, that was rather well-hidden in the reeds and difficult to see. It was a nice challenge that I wasn’t able to resolve.