so i went to cyprus last week. a 'non birding' holiday, but i don't think such a thing exists. i always make time. coincidently we were staying near paphos lighthouse in peak migration time. i took my bins and camera and was allowed out in the mornings to cover the headland before breakfast. the weather was sunny with light winds throughout, not good for migration but i was still impressed by what i saw, can't imagine what it would be like to experience a fall here. wading through flocks of yellow wags and red-throated pipits, mixed flocks of wheatears, mixed flocks of lots of things, i love mixed flocks. ticks were black-headed wagtail, cretzchmar's bunting, black francolin, ruppell's warbler, eastern bonelli's warbler, masked shrike and spur-winged plover. best birds were ruppell's warbler (best sylvia??), spanish sparrow and black-eared wheatear. i didn't see the warbler or the wheatear. butterflies were disappointing and no dragons were seen, and yet again i couldn't find a praying mantis, becoming a big bogey bird for me. loads of cool looking agamas but otherwise i hoped for more on the reptile front, they've got some mega snakes in cyprus. highlight was actually going for a snorkel. i've always wanted to do this but never got round to it, the water was warm enough (18c), shallow, amazingly clear and current-less, safe as. cyprus is so english and about the most stress free foreign holiday you could have and i wouldn't mind going back, hiring a car to cover more of the place, and going into the sea again.
black francolin makes a funny noise. there was only one way i was gonna see this one