Today’s birdwatching outing was a productive one, with 10 new year birds added to the list. However, there was one big negative: finding limesticks (sticky glue on sticks for trapping birds, which are later served as an illegal delicacy called ambelopoulia).
Stavros and I found four limesticks set, two with birds already caught. We freed the birds – one each of two species of warbler, a Whitethroat (Sylvia communis) and a Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus) – and destroyed the limesticks. The trouble was, there were likely hundreds of such limesticks, and we were very fortunate to see these four; they’re very well camouflaged amidst the very trees and bushes that warblers find cover in. We’d never find the all of the limesticks, but the warblers sure would (to their misfortune).
We were fortunate enough though to pass by a guy who looked like he wasn’t there for birdwatching or collecting wild herbs (surprisingly common thing to do), but plausibly to set limestick traps. We kept an eye out for him, and later saw him setting limesticks, and got his license plate number. With that, we called an official in the Cyprus Game Fund (the respective government regulatory body, with power to make arrests) with the info, and left the area.
Hopefully they were able to send someone to catch him in the act, arrest him, and press charges. But they very likely may not have. And if not, license plates or not, he would get away with the act (just as most poachers do in Cyprus).