Our trip up to the Troodos mountains today ended in disappointment as there was dense low cloud and periods of heavy rain near the top. However, on the way up we came across a ringtail hen harrier being mobbed by a kestrel, whilst in one of the villages just before Troodos we found a flock of about 15 hawfinches. Hawfinches seem pretty common in Cyprus this winter, I'm not sure if this is a regular occurrence or a one off, but I think that we've seen more of them than chaffinches!
Star of the day though goes to a diminutive coal tit. The Cyprus race Periparus ater cypriotes is a potential future split and armchair tick!
We abandoned the Troodos without even walking 100m, it was too bad. We headed back to the coast, to Petra tou Romiou, where the weather was much better and we had spectacular views over Cape Aspro. There were lots of Sardinian warblers here, but not a sniff of a Cyprus warbler. However, calling in one of the bushes was a chiffchaff of the race brevirostris, with a "peep" call rather than the "huweet" of the British collybita. I've seen and heard lots of these chiffchaffs while I've been in Cyprus and it is deserving of it's own blog entry. See the blog entry dated 19th December for a full write up of this.
Whilst walking the dog this morning I could hear a black francolin calling not too far from the house. Hopefully I'll catch up with it before the end of the holiday (and before the hunters get it).
Poppy anemone Anemome coronaria at Aphrodite's Rock.