First stop today was a walk along the Christou (West) River, a short walk from the hotel. The first bird seen was a Great White Egret fishing in the sea, followed closely by Whiskered, Common and Gull-billed Tern (3). A Mediterranean Gull (a young bird), was along the shore and several Black-headed Gulls were feeding in the river mouth. Along the saltmarsh and road were Whinchat, 2 Sedge Warbler, a male COLLARED FLYCATCHER, singing Corn Bunting, a pair of Kentish Plover, Great Tit and a Great Reed Warbler.
On the river itself were 3 Squacco Herons, 3 Black Storks along with dozens of Wood Sandpipers, 2 Greenshank, 1 Little-ringed Plover and a hunting Marsh Harrier.
After a spot of breakfast Jayne and I went for a walk around the hotel grounds where we found and photographed this amazing Spanish Sparrow.
Next stop on the birding tour was the Kalloni Saltpans. Driving down the west side we had a LONG-LEGGED BUZZARD hovering over the fields. A Black Stork flew in and landed in the fields as did our first Purple Heron of the holiday. Waders on “the moat” were Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Little Stint, Ruff, Kentish Plover and Black-tailed Godwit. Black-headed Yellow Wagtail and Whinchat were seen on the bushes as was the ubiquitous Corn Bunting.
New additions were RUDDY SHELDUCK (20+), 2 Little Tern, a Hobby and a distant kestrel species which could have been either Common or Lesser! A flock of 20+ Glossy Ibis were feeding in the flooded fields, and Little Egret,Great White Egret and Greater Flamingo were also present. On the drive back up a TAWNY PIPIT was spotted on the road with the Crested Larks.
A short drive from the saltpans and we arrived at Achlederi Forest, the
KRUPER’S NUTHATCH site, found “the tree” where they breed and got a view straight away.
We watched the bird return to this same site repeatedly over the next half anhour and even managed to see some display behaviour as the bird sat on the wire with wings quivering!
Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Blackbird and Pied Wagtail were also spotted here as was a beautiful male Black-eared Wheatear (black throated form), an Eastern Olivaceous Warbler and another male Collared Flycatcher.
What a birthday!