Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Cyprus - Neo Chorio - 16th November 2016

A rather windy forecast had us travelling further than usual to Agias Mhinas, Neo Chorio, a site some distance from the coast where we hoped to have more sheltered rides. The site looked very different from when we last visited, major renovations to the church, a concrete road, an outside toilet and the terrain had been tidied with much less vegetation between trees.  We have been noticing new fields, many looking thoroughly unpromising, either due to stoniness or steep gradient, for crop production. The fields seem to have been ploughed and left - a friend from Cyprus puts this down to EU regulations that pay grants for ploughed agricultural land. Taking a cynical view, many of these 'fields' are little more than one or two tractor widths and will probably never be sown. In the meantime, there is no ground cover, with many wild plants lost, for small animals, birds and insects - even worse than that, the areas are now most vulnerable to soil erosion.

So, we arrived and tried to find some of the long standing rides used by another ringer who visits Cyprus. We were setting up with the sound of shotguns from all around and the jingling of bells on the hunting dogs' collars from quite close by. We left it at just four nets - in spite of this being a designated reserve for wildlife, the hunting still goes on here. We had hoped that the presence of the church may promote some respect for the local area - but sadly not.

We did rather well! It is difficult to say very much of meaning while not knowing the usual species or numbers at any given time of year, but there appeared to be a movement of Robins - over 40 new with a few recaptures too.
Robin, aged 3
We also got some Black Redstarts.

3M Black Redstart

4M Serin

Greenfinch 4M

4F Blackbird

4M Black Redstart

A collection of cartridge cases collected in the local area.

Totals: 64 (8)

Robin - 41 (8)
Black Redstart - 4
Stonechat - 1
Blackbird - 1
Cetti's Warbler - 1
Sardinian Warbler - 4
Blackcap - 6
Chiffchaff - 2
Chaffinch - 1
Greenfinch -1
Serin - 2