Tuesday, April 16, 2019

In Cyprus

Arrived yesterday evening in Cyprus. Actually my first visit to this island, so close to Israel. We're staying in a lovely villa up in the mountains above Polis on the west coast. Avifauna and flora are similar to northern Israel, but distinctly different. Magpies and Woodpigeons remind me I'm not in the Galilee. Cetti's Warblers sing differently here. There are some migrants around, but densities are low and birds are super shy here, especially when I raise my camera and point it at them. The ugly effect of intensive shooting and trapping.
This morning I went with Robin down to Polis campsite that was decent, with Collared Flycatchers, Orioles and Crag Martins (eBird checklist here). Cyprus Wheatears are pleasantly common. They are scarce migrants in Israel (check this one in Tel Aviv last week) - fun to see them on their breeding grounds. Most are skittish; only by our accommodation we have a rather tame pair - the female more so. Great birds.

Cyprus Wheatear - female. This was taken out of the balcony

This was taken by the swimming pool

And this by the carpark

Note the short primary projection, small bill and limited, squared-off white rump.
Sadly the male hasn't played ball yet. I have a feeling I will improve my results with him in the next days I'm here.

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