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Old Thursday 20th April 2017, 21:55   #1
KenM
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The Headland that just keeps giving!

After arriving at Luton Airport's new multi-storey car park, Sunday 9th April, c5.45 am (no bay numbers, and with no signage to...or at the lifts, we passed the initiative test, and duly took off at 7.45. My 4th consecutive (yearly) one week Easter break to Paphos (c4.25 hrs), was to yield a diverse array of migrants every day, with some heart pounding jaw-droppers en-route. Our first half day produced Red-throated Pipit, Cattle Egret (an Island 1st for me), Whinchat, Crested Lark, Swift, House Martin, Swallow and a spectrum of Yellow Wags to include sumptious Motacilla feldegg! A stroll along the promenade before dinner, and an early night beckoned for the start of my week of early rises, aiming for a couple of hours on the headland running on endorphs. before returning famished for my breakfast of fruit, tea and croissants.

Monday 10th was truly awesome, a great mix of old favourites, plus 3 more Island ticks! Alpine Swift was my 2nd ''Island'' tick, I'd almost forgotten how fast they can accelerate, certainly appearing to leave the rest of the hirundines in their wake at the drop of a wing beat. This was soon followed by a flyover mix of Purple/Night Herons that were looking for a place to land, several of the former landing in the tree-tops, also a slowly moving carpet of Yellow Wagtails (perhaps c100) with mixed in Crested Lark, Red-throated and Tree Pipits...and a single Tawny Pipit.

Looking beyond this ensemble I picked out several Woodchat Shrike perched up like sentinels awaiting providence as they scanned all before, when my first ''string'' occurred (honest it was the only one....really . A female Kestrel streaked by, only to arrest her carriage on a lowly weed stem, a quick raising of the bins !!!....a lifer! and what a startlingly superb bird it was too, particularly the long...rich rust orange white tipped tail! Camera raised, I managed a short film clip before ''she'' did the off...and disappeared over the dry-stone walls of the weedy field...hepatic Cuckoo!

I thought that's enough excitement for one day, I'll call a halt to proceedings with a caffeine injection, thus called my wife for ''a meet'' at our regular café stop, perhaps 30 minutes away. With increased pace I moved off along the path with another dry-stone field to my left, out of the corner of my eye I espied (2nd string) what I thought was one of those bright metal yellow foil party balloons...nestled c15' up in a hedgerow (Ash type) tree....but then it moved!!! my 4th Island tick...and once more totally unexpected, an adult male Golden Oriole!....my shots were somewhat better than the Cuckoo's, perhaps down to c25m as opposed to c40m, and obligingly he remained in situ for about 10 minutes. I thought how does one follow that, with great difficulty I thought...little did I know.

To be continued......
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Old Friday 21st April 2017, 10:25   #2
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Love that Cuckoo Ken.
I must concur with the heading of this thread, there was something new every day, so much so that I didn't bother birding any other location in the 10 days I was there! I'll just have to go back and do them next spring.
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Old Friday 21st April 2017, 11:34   #3
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Great report and lovely photos Ken, the Cuckoo is a stunner! Alpine swifts are magnificent birds aren't they, my most recent garden tick (until yesterday's Spanish Sparrow!) as last week a small group passed over heading North! They weren't feeding so their flight was quite lazy but you still got a sense of the latent power 'under the bonnet'!
I look forward to the next installment!

All the best,

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Old Friday 21st April 2017, 17:54   #4
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Cheers Guys

Tuesday 11th April

An Increase in Nightingales (c7), seem to be singing extensively over the headland, also Common Redstarts (c4), Whinchats (c7), Collared (c4), Pied Flys (at least 2), 4 Tree Pipits, 4+Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Common Whitethroat, a flock of 20+Greenfinch, now 3 Woodchat Shrike, and not forgetting the many shades of Yellow Wags...still in the 70-80's....all before breakfast!

During the late morning we took a 20 minute bus ride (1.5 Euro each), West along the coast to Coral Bay, not so much for the bay, but there at the Western end of the hotel there are several narrow freshwater outlets, one running alongside the ''tallest'' Phragmites c12' that I've ever seen during previous visits I'd encountered Cetti's Warbler and Water Rail (once), and on the day another Cyprus tick...Moorhen my 4th of the trip! Moving along c150m, another freshwater scrub outlet, yielding fem.Black-eared Wheatear, Yellow/White Wags, Pied Fly, Nightingale, Blackcap, Goldfinch, Greenfinch and Linnet. It was time to return to the headland for last orders before dinner. Back in situ. some 45 mins. later, I strolled West along the beach, Crested Lark, RTPips. and more Yellow Wags, not to mention the ubiquitous Sardinian Warbler...how could one ever tire of this stunning Warbler?....Perhaps only when brief views of a female Subalpine Warbler were obtained, with the sudden appearance of the male ''eclipsing'' the former, in my opinion by some margin...what a stunner!

Wednesday 12th April

The morning's ''before breakfast foray'', yielded only my 2nd ever Olivaceous Warbler! unfortunately I failed dismally to capture a perfect pose. However I think ''record shots'' might just be more applicable on this occasion, a distant Tawny Pipit was added before yielding to my empty stomach and heading back towards the hotel.
Replete with sustenance we decided to head East to the end of the hotel strip (30 min.walk) where we entered on to a ''protected area'' of open public grassland and beach. It was here that I made a complete hash of imaging (light was too bright, looking almost into the sun), an almost confiding...until I raised my camera, Kingfisher on the rocks! before zapping off!..like a sapphire bullet over the grassland and trees...''Dang it'' another photo opportunity missed. ...my luck was soon to change.

That afternoon on the headland, I bumped into four Dutch birders that had just arrived, I casually mentioned their (relatively) recent Hawk Owl and Siberian Rubythroat to which they had all seen, whereby I complimented them on their good fortune with a smile...that masked my gritted teeth . We then headed West along the beach into the sun, when I called Pratincole! (Collared), my 5th Island tick. There was much bazooka shutter release ''rat-a-tat-tatting'' as it flew over, before landing at the tides edge, where it became almost confiding before flying off in a Westerly direction, big smiles all round ended another great day.

To be continued
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Last edited by KenM : Friday 21st April 2017 at 20:17. Reason: edit
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Old Friday 21st April 2017, 18:22   #5
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Very jealous Ken, I love the Headland when it delivers!!

Nice photos too.

Looking forward to the next episode.
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Old Friday 21st April 2017, 22:35   #6
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Thursday 13th.

The morning started quite dull, at 7am I was slowly making my way West along the coastal strip, when a Hoodie suddenly took off from the beach making an agitated ''krrr-krrr'' call, as it launched into an oncoming similar sized bulk, coming in off the sea. Certainly not on my radar!...a Short-eared Owl!! The Owl banked, then flew anti-clockwise off the headland back out to sea, before executing another turn coming in low, and flying inland over the long grassy area within the perimeter fence of the Architectural Ruin, before dropping down. Island tick no.6!, a good time to cut and run for the hotel breakfast I mused, and to see If I could salvage any decent SEO shots from ''under grey skies?''. After breakfast another circuit, but this time the sun was out, no excuses for not getting better shots now and the opportunities beckoned. The first circuit within the Architectural Ruin (4.50 Euro admission for a days pass: 8.30-5pm...the ticket allows you to leave and return within the stated time scale)...although some ''naughty boys'' stay in longer ''for afters''....and let themselves out through the one way turnstile....as late as 7pm!

A previously expected (brevity of views and distant), morphed into view as an Isabelline Wheatear presenting itself for a few half decent images, before being disturbed by joggers, one that I was to catch up with again during the day, also a pair of Tawny Pipits flew in to the ruin opposite the toilet block albeit at the back, and consorted briefly with the Wheatears (all Northern apart from a single male and female Black-eared), plus Yellow Wags. that were present. During the circuit either the same, or a different male Golden Oriole, appeared in the open, atop a weedy stem in the centre of an equally weedy field...quite bizarre! Up to four Turtle Doves were seen flying over, as were two Stone Curlew and several Red-rumped Swallows, a few more Common Redstarts, Pied and Collared Flys. kept the pot boiling. What else might be en-route to this magical headland I thought, when...a warbler sp shot up from my foot (narrow scrub path) and dropped down perhaps 3m away, being mostly obscured by a leafy overhang. Both frozen with fear!...am I going to be ''eaten by this bi-ped'' (bird), or am I going to lose it before ''framing it'' (me). There comes a time ''when every hunter has to ''man-up''. Pre-focusing on the half obscured quarry, I manfully revealed myself at the same time as firing a ''shutter-burst'' of course the bird had flown!....but did I frame it?....I had...and it was Island tick no.7...drum roll...for Image no.5

To be continued....
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Old Saturday 22nd April 2017, 06:22   #7
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Lovely evocative narrative as always Ken! Some great photos of some lovely birds, I'm particularly jealous of your Sardinian and Sub-alpine Warblers!
Keep it coming Mate!

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Old Saturday 22nd April 2017, 08:26   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenM View Post
Thursday 13th.

The morning started quite dull, at 7am I was slowly making my way West along the coastal strip, when a Hoodie suddenly took off from the beach making an agitated ''krrr-krrr'' call, as it launched into an oncoming similar sized bulk, coming in off the sea. Certainly not on my radar!...a Short-eared Owl!! The Owl banked, then flew anti-clockwise off the headland back out to sea, before executing another turn coming in low, and flying inland over the long grassy area within the perimeter fence of the Architectural Ruin, before dropping down. Island tick no.6!, a good time to cut and run for the hotel breakfast I mused, and to see If I could salvage any decent SEO shots from ''under grey skies?''. After breakfast another circuit, but this time the sun was out, no excuses for not getting better shots now and the opportunities beckoned. The first circuit within the Architectural Ruin (4.50 Euro admission for a days pass: 8.30-5pm...the ticket allows you to leave and return within the stated time scale)...although some ''naughty boys'' stay in longer ''for afters''....and let themselves out through the one way turnstile....as late as 7pm!

A previously expected (brevity of views and distant), morphed into view as an Isabelline Wheatear presenting itself for a few half decent images, before being disturbed by joggers, one that I was to catch up with again during the day, also a pair of Tawny Pipits flew in to the ruin opposite the toilet block albeit at the back, and consorted briefly with the Wheatears (all Northern apart from a single male and female Black-eared), plus Yellow Wags. that were present. During the circuit either the same, or a different male Golden Oriole, appeared in the open, atop a weedy stem in the centre of an equally weedy field...quite bizarre! Up to four Turtle Doves were seen flying over, as were two Stone Curlew and several Red-rumped Swallows, a few more Common Redstarts, Pied and Collared Flys. kept the pot boiling. What else might be en-route to this magical headland I thought, when...a warbler sp shot up from my foot (narrow scrub path) and dropped down perhaps 3m away, being mostly obscured by a leafy overhang. Both frozen with fear!...am I going to be ''eaten by this bi-ped'' (bird), or am I going to lose it before ''framing it'' (me). There comes a time ''when every hunter has to ''man-up''. Pre-focusing on the half obscured quarry, I manfully revealed myself at the same time as firing a ''shutter-burst'' of course the bird had flown!....but did I frame it?....I had...and it was Island tick no.7...drum roll...for Image no.5

To be continued....
Nice write up Ken, and a good plug for paphos, but come on put me out of my misery is photo 5 what I think it is...Aquatic warbler ?

Mark
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Old Saturday 22nd April 2017, 08:59   #9
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Nice write up Ken, and a good plug for paphos, but come on put me out of my misery is photo 5 what I think it is...Aquatic warbler ?

Mark
Certainly looks like one Mark....twas the only image If memory serves.
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Old Saturday 22nd April 2017, 12:51   #10
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Not a Sedge Warbler?? I would have expected to be able to see the mantle stripes on an Aquatic.

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Old Saturday 22nd April 2017, 19:23   #11
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Not a Sedge Warbler?? I would have expected to be able to see the mantle stripes on an Aquatic.

Steve
Might be difficult at that angle, the default streaked Acro would be Sedge...but how do you rule out a very unlikely Aquatic?
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Old Saturday 22nd April 2017, 21:22   #12
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Cheers Nick

Friday 14th.

Another grey start at 7am heading straight to the point, I joined forces with MikeN another Brit. and a like mind...being a Photo/Birder. We combed the point in a Westerly orientation seeing RTP's, Yellow Wags, Tawny Pipit, Northern Wheatear plus a single Isabelline....when overhead a Spur-Winged Plover morphed into view, eventually dropping down at the waters edge c60-70m away. As we edged up to the shelter/bench for cover, we noted a migrant Nightingale under the bench!!! A few shots of the latter followed up by more shutter release on the Spur-Winged was a good start to the day. Heading back into the 'Architectural Ruin' we noted an increase in Lesser Whitethroats and Whinchats before we headed up towards the Lighthouse, where on the path, we encountered 3-4 Ortolan Buntings, getting good shots on the way, before Mike headed back for a lunch appointment with his wife. I then proceeded South toward the toilet block picking up Collared Fly and Com.Redstart en-route, It was here whilst watching a bigger than normal Northern Wheatear (a very grey, black and white individual), that I found a Wryneck!! certainly kept my shutter release going! To be continued.......
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Old Sunday 23rd April 2017, 05:09   #13
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Might be difficult at that angle, the default streaked Acro would be Sedge...but how do you rule out a very unlikely Aquatic?
Sorry Ken, it's a Sedge Warbler!


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Old Sunday 23rd April 2017, 06:18   #14
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Especially loving the Plover and the Wryneck Ken! Keep it coming Mate!

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Old Sunday 23rd April 2017, 07:51   #15
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Sorry Ken, it's a Sedge Warbler!


Shane
Shane Hi, I'm impartial as to whether this is a Sedge or an Aquatic, as either would be an "Island tick", separating the two is a straightforward excercise, contrasting pale crown stripe and braces for the latter, when seen at the correct angle is a "surefire". What is it about this image that gives you that degree of certainty.

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Old Sunday 23rd April 2017, 10:01   #16
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Shane Hi, I'm impartial as to whether this is a Sedge or an Aquatic, as either would be an "Island tick", separating the two is a straightforward excercise, contrasting pale crown stripe and braces for the latter, when seen at the correct angle is a "surefire". What is it about this image that gives you that degree of certainty.

Cheers
2 reasons! Firstly, the angle clearly shows there is no yellow-buff band along the mantle side & secondly, AW has never been recorded in Cyprus. Not doubting your prowess at birding Ken but if an AW was around it would be headline news & every man & his dog would be heading down to see it!


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Old Sunday 23rd April 2017, 10:28   #17
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What is it about this image that gives you that degree of certainty.
That you named it "...Sedge Warbler"...?
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Old Sunday 23rd April 2017, 13:04   #18
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2 reasons! Firstly, the angle clearly shows there is no yellow-buff band along the mantle side & secondly, AW has never been recorded in Cyprus. Not doubting your prowess at birding Ken but if an AW was around it would be headline news & every man & his dog would be heading down to see it!
Shane
Shane If you trawl Aquatic Warbler you will find plenty of images where the ''braces'' are obscured partially or totally by the scaps/mantle, that's the only reason that you've given....as far as the second reason is concerned...It's not one in my book, and experience has taught me that anything is possible, however I'm playing Devil's advocate on this one.

Cheers Happy birding.


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That you named it "...Sedge Warbler"...?
I didn't name it!....I ''inferred'' that it was...one or the other.


Anyway April 14th...back to my last 3/4 day on Shane's fantastic Island! Where I've previously seen White-Throated Robin, Hooded Wheatear and Olive-backed Pipit.

The usual early 7am start meeting up with Mike on the headland, found us encountering the ''usual suspects'' Red-throated Pipit, Tree Pipit, Northern and a single Isabelline Wheatear, also a single Tawny Pipit. It was thus decided that we should visit the Architectural Ruin before meeting our respective spouses at lunch time. Three Red-rumped Swallows preening on the wire greeted us on arrival, followed by Woodchat Shrike and an increase in Common Whitethroat, plus several Collared Flycatchers and only my 2nd Wood Warbler of the visit...so far so good! We eventually found another ambiguous Acro (unstreaked this time), spending most of it's time hidden in a hedge of thick cover, however with patience we eventually got some shots, my jury is still out on this one...being of the Marsh/Reed type (one for Shane perhaps ). We then decided to do alternative circuits meeting up later. En-route I got some reasonable Flycatcher and Common Redstart shots before my attention was arrested by a Warbler sp with blue grey uppers feeding low down, on some weedy stems, adjacent to an overhang bush. It was a real bugger to see, however I fired off some shots....hoping to get something before it disappeared into said bush. I deleted most, as they were of no consequence, albeit one showed a white moustachial stripe! (viewed on screen in bright light)....I thought, one for Mike! as he had been hoping for a Subalpine to image. I then decided to seek some shade, to determine better views on the camera screen.
As I viewed the images again (3rd string at least!) I discovered that the moustachial stripe belonged to a male Ruppell's Warbler!!!...not Subalpine! Adult Male Ruppell's was a ''Lifer'' for me, certainly one that I needed better images of! Eventually Mike arrived at site with his c10 kilos of kit over his shoulder, to say that we were both staking out the bush, with a degree of apprehension would be an understatement. After what seemed like an eternity of ''false dawn quivering stems'', 15 minutes later..out popped a stunning male Ruppell's....and he performed, what a fitting end to a ''non-stop'' birding week.

Although my week ended on the day, Mike's was to continue for another 3 days, during which on the Sunday, he inadvertently flushed, and firing from the hip with 10 kilos image 5!! (4th and 5th images by courtesy of Mike Nesbitt) Certainly a passage migrant that I've not seen....another great bird to add to the list. Overall this being my 4th consecutive visit within the same time window, I found myself short of a few species as seen on previous visits : Bonelli's Warbler, Red-backed and Masked Shrike, Zitting Cisticola and fuscus LBBGull. My 4 visit total so far (hoping to return next year) is circa 95 species to date include several Yellow Wagtail ssp's.


Cheers to all.
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Old Sunday 23rd April 2017, 13:09   #19
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I didn't name it!....I ''inferred'' that it was...one or the other.
I think Mark is referring to your image, which you named as "P1480106.jpeg Sedge Warbler 1..jpg"
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Old Sunday 23rd April 2017, 15:30   #20
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Originally Posted by Jos Stratford View Post
I think Mark is referring to your image, which you named as "P1480106.jpeg Sedge Warbler 1..jpg"
During the c150 image downloads late at night, it was either a streaked Acro sp or Sedge Warbler perhaps I was tired after the flight and getting home late in the early hours, probably the easiest of two alternatives at the time. I hope you are not suggesting that I was deliberately attempting to mislead? As that's the only image that I have, having explained in the article, how I was extremely lucky to get just the one credible image from the shutter burst and I for one wouldn't put my house on either!....ok flyweight clouseau
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Old Sunday 23rd April 2017, 15:55   #21
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I hope you are not suggesting that I was deliberately attempting to mislead?
No, just pointing out where Mark saw that you had named it. For what its worth, Sedge Warbler for me. Cracking Ruppells picture though.
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Old Sunday 23rd April 2017, 16:27   #22
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Cracking find there with the Ruppells Ken, thanks for putting me on to it.
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Old Sunday 23rd April 2017, 16:40   #23
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What a wonderful end to what sounds like a great visit! That Ruppell's is simply stunning, congratulations on a great find and a super Lifer Ken! I look forward to your next trip immensely!

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Old Sunday 23rd April 2017, 16:52   #24
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See, I was thinking this was Lanzarote, by day two I was thinking what an awesome trip list this was ... !

Still not bad going though

(You have to expect the unexpected/think rare etc but of course given two options, one being a lot commoner (even if you haven't personally encountered it) and one an area first ... still think rare until proven otherwise lol)
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Old Sunday 23rd April 2017, 18:18   #25
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Originally Posted by Jos Stratford View Post
No, just pointing out where Mark saw that you had named it. For what its worth, Sedge Warbler for me. Cracking Ruppells picture though.
Correct Jos...and that suggested to me at least that Ken had decided on that species...
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