Saturday, 25 April 2009

Cyprus Update II

Yesterday I travelled to a few wild places to search for Cypriot wildlife. The first destination was the village of Geçitköy, set inland from the Mediterranean Sea amongst the foothills of the Kyrenia Mountains. The village itself is small and like many others. I saw a small pond as we entered the city, and decided to stop to look for reptiles, amphibians and birds. As I walked to the pond with my mum (a very useful translator in these parts!), a local stopped us and asked what we were doing. Mum explained on my behalf that I was there to find animals and wild flowers to photograph. The lady then mentioned that she keeps and looks after injured animals, and invited us to take a look. She first of all showed me an injured buzzard (Buteo buteo) that was found locally and given to her, as she is renowned in the village for fostering injured animals. The buzzard looked very healthy to me and was flapping about in its cage. I got some wonderful shots of it, stay tuned for those. Also she keeps chickens and guineafowl in the next aviary. As I was watching them, she went into the aviary and took out a very small chick, not more than a day old I would have thought. The lady also kept quails, chukars (Alectoris chukar, a kind of partridge), ducks, cockatiels, hamsters, spur-thighed tortoises (Testudo graeca) and dogs. She refused to take any money as a donation; she said she does this purely for her love of the animals.

I travelled to Geçitköy to visit a large manmade reservoir which attracts much wildlife during times of drought. The lake is beautiful at this time of year, and it is easy to walk the 5 km circumference. I saw several frogs (not the marsh frogs, but I will try to ID them later), and heard two types of frog, these and another type I tended to hear coming from bushes, so I think it is a tree frog. I also travelled to the very northwest of the island.

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