On the first of the month we worked our usual spot along the dry stream bed at Kouklia, then did the drinking pool for a spell in the early afternoon before moving closer to the coast for a try at finches, thrushes and warblers using the reedbed as a roost. Figures have not been separated out but all Thrushes came from the roost, with 45 Song Thrush being seen to come into the orchard, and most Chiffchaffs were caught in the two panel net when coming down to bathe or drink.
One of many Chiffchaffs on site
4M Spanish Sparrow (SPASP)
Two panel net by the drinking pool
Song Thrush - 3
Robin - 1
Sardinian Warbler - 6 (2)
Blackcap - 10
Chiffchaff - 46
Spanish Sparrow - 2
Goldfinch - 1
Chaffinch - 1
In between the two sessions at Kouklia, we took a drive around the fields at Mandria, which apart from a large flock of around 350 Sky Lark, we saw the female Hen Harrier again and not too much else.
In the morning we drove up to Arminou dam to a pool and fields that has been good for Chiffchaff and finches. On arrival we found that the elevation and high sided valley had caused the temperature to drop significantly to what we had been experiencing down on the coast. There was a heavy frost, rock solid ground and iced over puddles. It seemed that the area was devoid of all life except a mule and there were no attempts to capture birds as it would be some time before the sun warmed the valley.
Frost on the ground in sunny Cyprus
The bridge while we still had the place to ourselves.
Total: 89 (4)
Song Thrush - 1
Robin - 1
Sardinian Warbler - 2
Blackcap - 8
Chiffchaff - 63 (4)
Spanish Sparrow - 1
Serin - 3
Goldfinch - 10
The text below is produced by the BTO.
Growths on legs and feet
A number of different agents may cause swellings on the legs and feet of wild birds. Some of these are caused by mites of the genus Knemidocoptes and result in scaly legs. The 'scales' themselves are dry encrustations made up of material produced by the bird in response to the irritation caused by the mites, together with skin debris thrown up by the mites as they burrow into the tissues. As well as forming on the legs, the 'scales' may also form around the beak. These mites are members of a wider family of mites that cause mange in domestic animals and scabies in humans.
Another cause of warty growths is the Fringilla papillomavirus which affects Chaffinches and Bramblings. These growths may vary in size from small nodules to larger warts that engulf the whole leg. The warts develop slowly over a long period and affected individuals may otherwise appear quite healthy. Some individuals may become lame or lose affected digits.