The Flamingos are Back

November 21, 2007

The, belated, autumn rains have finally started. We mentioned a little rain in October but apart from that it has been pretty much dry since long before the start of the summer. Reservoirs are worryingly empty and talk of water rationing is common.

Over the last week or so there has been speculation that the rain was due and in the early hours of Monday morning it finally arrived, with a vengeance!

We were woken by a lightning storm around 3am and for about 90 minutes we were treated to a fantastic display of thunder and lightning to the north and east. Part way through we popped the final flyscreen from the upstairs windows as, with the windows opening outwards, we were in danger of having a flooded room.

In the early hours of Tuesday morning we had a repeat performance – without the flooding risk – but again with a fantastic electrical storm.

Later on Tuesday we popped into town to run some errands. On the way home we were speculating how much rain had fallen and if the Salt Lakes might have moved from ‘bone dry’ to at least a little damp. In the wet months the lakes are home to up to 12 thousand greater flamingos who arrive as soon as the lakes are wet and leave as the very last moisture disappears. Quite how they know that the Larnaca salt lakes are damp and it is time to make a move from their summer home is another question entirely.

Anyway, hoping to see water but not expecting flamingos yet we drove back via the salt lakes and were amazed to see dozens of flamingos. This was less than 36 hours since the first real rains and already they were back, and looking absolutely wonderful!

The flock spot us … some stay (bottom right corner) but a group fly directly overhead

In flight and heading for the lake next to the airport


One comment

  1. […] and, instead, the lakes are a haven for local and visiting birdlife. Most well known are the flamingos, who arrive with the first rainfall and leave as the last of the water disappears, but other birds […]

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