Saturday, 3 December 2016

Larking around at Paphos

Following our enjoyable visit in December 2014, we're back in Cyprus for a couple of weeks, this time staying on the outskirts of Paphos, near to the town of Geroskipou. Today we just had a walk around Paphos town and on to the headland, not birding as such, really just getting our bearings and trying to wind down. The headland is always worth a visit from a birding perspective, and though today I dipped on greater sandplover, I still managed some exceptional views of woodlark and crested lark, and a few other species as well, including turnstone, which is apparently a bit of a Cyprus scarcity.


I've never managed such good photos of crested lark before!

Chiffchaff of the race brevirostris.This race breeds in Turkey and replaces the breeding collybita race in Cyprus in the winter. It has a 'peep' call very similar to Siberian Chiffchaff and this has led to a few misidentifications on the island in the past. Amazingly it was my recording of this race which I posted on xeno-canto (below) and on my blog (here) which first raised awareness that these peepers were in fact brevirostris. Prior to my visit in 2014 it was thought that brevirostris had never occured in Cyprus, but now we know that actually it's by far the commonest race of chiffchaff on the island in winter! I'm not going to repeat all of that again from 2014, but it's worth a read if you're interested. Just goes to show that even in this day and age and even on such a well birded island as Cyrpus, you can still make discoveries.

Hooded crow.

Turnstone, quite a scarcity in Cyprus apparently.

White wagtail.

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