Thursday, 24 November 2016

Cyprus - Eastwards then home - 19th November 2016 (and 20th unexpectedly)

We had an early evening flight from Larnaka and packed and finished up at the house before taking a drive eastwards for some final birding. There was a new bird for us both at Akahna dam so we headed there first. The route near to the dam took us close to the abandoned town of Akahna, observation towers and the border with Northern Turkey. One year we really will have to explore the north.

At the dam there was plenty of water and several people fishing, this being a Saturday. We spotted the target bird, a young Great White Pelican, at the far end of the dam.

Great White Pelican

We had really good views of the bird and noticed an unusual pipit, with the Meadow Pipits, Water Pipits and White Wagtails along the shoreline. It was identified as a Buff-bellied Pipit but was distant and difficult to photograph. We were glad to hear later that Alan and Lyn Crane were able to find the bird the following day.

Asian Buff-bellied Pipit

Meadow Pipit

Jack Snipe and Snipe

We had good views of Jack Snipe and Snipe as we left the dam before having a look around the wet and marshy areas of Oroklini, then looking at the pools along the coast behind the Sewage works and the actual sewage pools at Larnaca. There were some Curlew in the field, a new species for the visit.

As the light failed we thought this to be the end of our Cyprus trip as we stopped off to eat then headed to the find that our flight was delayed until the following day. We were transported to the Palm Beach hotel where they arranged a free evening meal and breakfast as well as a room until our departure, for the airport, at 7am.

Now, under normal circumstances I wouldn't go in to detail about the transfer to the airport, but there were too many passengers to fit on one bus and while we waited for the second coach we both heard the call of a Yellow-browed Warbler from the trees along the access route to the hotel. We followed the call, pinned it down and got brief views - just as coach number two turned up, so no chance to photograph the bird and we're hoping that someone else manages to relocate the bird, last seen by the church next to the tennis courts.