A flamingo that is nearly all black was spotted over two days last week at the Salt Lakes, Larnaca.
We don't believe that this is the same rare flamingo that caused a media storm all over the world when it first arrived at the Akrotiri Salt Lakes in 2015 and returned in subsequent years. That bird was almost entirely black except for a tuft of white feathers on its rear and was spotted by environmentalists during an annual count of the island's flamingos.
The bird’s distinctive colour is thought to be the result of a genetic condition that causes it to generate more pigment melanin than usual, turning it dark brown or black rather than its usual pink colour.
These photos were taken last week by contributing photographer Phil Parker - click the images below to enlarge. Due to the lighting and distance Phil said they are not as clear as he would like and he had hoped for a sunnier day. We still think they are amazing photos worth sharing regardless.
Please note that these photos, as with all photos, were taken from a safe distance so as not to disturb the flamingos. The Larnaca Tourism Board regularly issues reminders calling for people not to enter the water or use any other method/device to create a disturbance. The tourism board fully understands that visitors want to see this unique wetland close up but they also call on people to respect the ecosystem and behave in a responsible manner. The Larnaca tourism board calls on all those who witness actions that disturb birds to immediately contact the game fund who are on patrol day and night on 99 542774 or 99 634325.
Besides its undoubted beauty, the Larnaca Salt Lake is the temporary home to 85 species of water-birds with estimated populations of between 20,000–38,000. It is one of the important migratory passages through Cyprus with 2,000–12,000 flamingos spending the winter months there feeding off the brine shrimp. The salt lake, located west of Larnaca, is considered one of the most important wetlands in Cyprus, covering an area of 2.2 square kilometres.
Phil Parker describes himself as an amateur photographer and has been uploading photos to the Cyprus Eastern Forum for many years. He used a Nikon P900 camera with a zoom lens to take these shots and says "the pleasure I get from my photos is knowing that people are enjoying them". We certainly do love them!
Read more about Phil Parker