Cyprus Birding Tours

Offering guided bird watching tours around Cyprus


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Agios Sozomenos, Nicosia this afternoon 6th February 2017

Only saw one Finsch’s Wheatear in the area this afternoon and he decided to keep an eye on me from behind a rock! A pair of Long-legged Buzzard were flying around the abandoned village calling and a female Hen Harrier was present. Lots of finches, Common Chiffchaff and Common Stonechat in the area.

Finsch's Wheatear, Agios Sozomenos, Nicosia 6th February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Finsch’s Wheatear, Agios Sozomenos, Nicosia 6th February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Chiffchaff, Agios Sozomenos 6th February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Chiffchaff, Agios Sozomenos 6th February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Day birding around Larnaca 3rd February 2017

Some good birds and some warmer weather today at Larnaca. The flocks of Greylag and Greater White-fronted Goose and Ruddy Shelduck were on the Sewage Works pools as was a first winter Great Black-headed (Pallas) Gull. Three Eurasian Curlew and thirty Eurasian Golden Plover were on Spiros Pool with twenty Eurasian Wigeon. In the fields at Pervolia there were large flocks of Eurasian Skylark and also seven more Eurasian Golden Plover. I stopped on the road from Kiti to Petounta, at an area where I have found Calandra Lark in the past, and soon heard and saw three in display flight over the area.

More Eurasian Skylark at Petounta where there was also a Grey Plover and three Kentish Plover. Returning to the Salt Lake there didn’t seem to be as many Greater Flamingo as in mid January but still plenty of Common Shelduck, Common Black-headed Gull and small waders. A roosting flock of larger gulls was mainly Caspian Gull but there were also a few Armenian and Yellow-legged Gulls as well as two Heuglin’s.

At the Kamares area I found a Green Sandpiper, two Common Snipe (see photo), two Water Pipit, two Cattle Egret, seven Spur-winged Lapwing, a Grey Wagtail, many Common Chiffchaff, two Moustached Warblers and a Bluethroat. As I was leaving a larger bird on the grassy area caught my eye and I was very pleased to find my first Great Spotted Cuckoo of the year.

Common Snipe, Larnaca Salt Lake 3rd February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Snipe, Larnaca Salt Lake 3rd February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Great Spotted Cuckoo, Larnaca Salt Lake 3rd February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Great Spotted Cuckoo, Larnaca Salt Lake 3rd February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Water Pipit (coutelli race), Larnaca Salt Lake, 3rd February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Water Pipit (coutelli race), Larnaca Salt Lake, 3rd February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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World Wetlands Day 2nd February 2017

A visit to Manglis Lake in the suburbs of Nicosia this morning showed the importance of this and other wetlands to wintering birds here in Cyprus. There were nearly 50 Greater Cormorant, four Grey Heron, a Great Egret, a Little Egret, more than 20 Eurasian Coot, three Moorhen and a Little Grebe all feeding and resting there.

Grey Heron, Manglis Lake 2nd February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Grey Heron, Manglis Lake 2nd February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Coot, Manglis Lake 2nd February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Coot, Manglis Lake 2nd February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Winter visitors 31st January 2017

A day out on Tuesday with many of the sightings reminiscent of a UK birding day out. After popping in quickly to Zakaki I got a quick view of the Red Knot there – a rare and irregular winter visitor and passage migrant to Cyprus – I headed to Paphos where many of the birds were familiar northern European birds wintering here. A Eurasian Griffon Vulture flying over the motorway and Black Francolin, Long-legged Buzzard and Finsch’s Wheatear were the best reminders that I was actually in Cyprus!

Zakaki area
Red Knot 1

Paramali
Eurasian Griffon Vulture 1

Kouklia Soakaways
Long-legged Buzzard 1
Black Francolin 1

Asprokremmos Dam area
Water Pipit 4
Woodlark 2
Long-legged Buzzard 1
Corn Bunting 1h

Mandria
Eurasian Golden Plover 2
Common Linnet c60

Paphos Sewage Works
Cattle Egret 1
Common Buzzard 1
Eurasian Teal 1 in flight
European Serin c80
Red-throated Pipit 3

Anarita Park
Finsch’s Wheatear 1m & 1f
Cyprus Warbler 1m
Woodlark 32
Corn Bunting 1 singing

Common Kestrel, Anarita Mast, 31st January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Kestrel, Anarita Mast, 31st January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Stonechat, Anarita Mast 31st January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Stonechat, Anarita Mast 31st January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Skylark, Mandria, 31st January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Skylark, Mandria, 31st January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red Knot, Zakaki, 31st January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red Knot, Zakaki, 31st January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

 


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Oroklini, Akhna and Panagia Stazousa today 28th January 2017

A leisurely bird watch around some locations outside Larnaca. Highlights were Great Crested Grebes at Akhna Dam, two Bluethroats at Oroklini Marsh, Temminck’s Stint at Leivadia, Laughing Dove at Aradippou and a Dunnock at Panagia Stazousa.

Oroklini Marsh
Northern Shoveler 160+
Eurasian Teal c180
Eurasian Coot 80+
Greater Flamingo 54
Spur-winged Lapwing 5
Western Marsh Harrier 2
Eurasian Skylark c60
Water Pipit 1
Barn Swallow 3
Bluethroat 2
Common Shelduck 1
Eurasian Wigeon 1m
Grey Heron 3
Cattle Egret 1
Green Sandpiper 1

Oroklini Beach
Caspian Gull 5
Armenian Gull 4

Ormidia Fishing Shelter
Common Sandpiper 2 (see photo)

Akhna Dam
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Great Crested Grebe 2
Grey Heron 2
Song Thrush 2
Great Cormorant 24
Long-legged Buzzard 1

JUMBO Drainage Channel, Leivadia
Temminck’s Stint 1 (see photo)
Common Ringed Plover 2
Eurasian Teal 3
Spur-winged Lapwing 1
Grey Wagtail 1

Aradippou
Laughing Dove 15 (see photo)

Panagia Stazousa
Common Linnet 20+
European Serin 12+
Common Chaffinch 32
Corn Bunting 33
Dunnock 1
Song Thrush 3

Laughing Dove, Aradippou, 28th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Laughing Dove, Aradippou, 28th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Sandpiper, Ormidia, 28th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Sandpiper, Ormidia, 28th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Temminck's Stint, Leivadia, 28th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Temminck’s Stint, Leivadia, 28th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Limassol area today 25th January 2017

Visited some of the Limassol sites today and although it was quite quiet (unless you like Common Black-headed Gulls!) I still saw some interesting birds, including a pair of Bonelli’s Eagle, and finished the afternoon watching seven Eurasian Griffon Vultures circling over Kensington Cliffs.

Germasogeia Dam
Bonelli’s Eagle 2ad over dam wall
Grey Wagtail 2
Water Rail 1h
Cyprus Warbler 1h in song

Akrounta Creek
Fox
Cyprus Warbler 1h

Zakaki Marsh
Little Egret 1
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Long-legged Buzzard 1

Lady’s Mile
Siberian Stonechat 1 poss
Common Black-headed Gull c700
Common Gull 3
Sandwich Tern 1

Kensington Cliffs
Eurasian Blackbird 1
Eurasian Griffon Vulture 7+ (seven seen in air at same time and then others flying in ones and twos which could have been same birds)
Yellow-legged Gull c20
Peregrine Falcon 2

Kourion Stadium
Cyprus Warbler 2m seen

Armenian Gull, Lady's Mile 25th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Armenian Gull, Lady’s Mile 25th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Yellow-legged Gull, Lady's Mile 25th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Yellow-legged Gull, Lady’s Mile 25th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Little Egret, Zakaki Marsh, 25th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Little Egret, Zakaki Marsh, 25th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: A Morning’s Guiding around Nicosia 17th January 2017

The first guided trip of 2017 was a morning around two of the Nicosia birding spots. Josh and Toni were hoping to see Finsch’s Wheatear and Blue Rock Thrush so we headed straight to Agios Sozomenos where we had a good chance of both. Entering the area we had good views of Zitting Cisticola and heard and saw a singing Corn Bunting in the distance. We stopped to scan the area for Finsch’s Wheatear and as we saw a flash of white wheatear rump fly off, a brown bird started singing on the top of a thorny bush. We were pleased to see that it was a Bluethroat which very obligingly sat out in the open for several minutes. A Spectacled Warbler and several Chiffchaffs flitted in and out of the bush at the same time. When the Bluethroat flew off we searched again for the Finsch’s Wheatear but no joy. We moved along the road and a grey-brown bird flew across the rocks – a female Finsch’s Wheatear. We stopped and watched her and then continued around the corner where we came across a male Finsch’s Wheatear. One of our two target species seen and well watched. We returned to the deserted village where two Long-legged Buzzard and a Peregrine Falcon treated us to fly-bys.

In the fields, we found plenty of Meadow Pipit, Zitting Cisticola, Common Stonechat and a large flock of noisy European Serin that sat obligingly in a small tree next to the track. We watched a male Spanish Sparrow feeding while others flitted unseen between the bushes. Large flocks of the resident Western Jackdaw flew over the area. As we had not managed to find the Blue Rock Thrush we decided to spend a little longer re checking the cliffs and rocks. Still no joy with that species although we found the male Finsch’s Wheatear we had missed earlier (minus the Bluethroat this ime) and then, best of all – a pair of adult Bonelli’s Eagle that treated us to an aerial display for at least ten minutes. The highlight of the morning.

Moving on to Athalassa Dam we found most of the expected waterfowl including a Ferruginous Duck and six Tufted Duck (scarce for Cyprus). Here the highlights were three adult and two immature Black-crowned Night Heron and the unseasonal Whiskered Tern that has been in the area for most of the winter. A great morning out with a good list of species for a January morning out away from the coast, and thanks to Josh and Toni for their company.

Total number of species: 45

Little Grebe, Great Cormorant, Black-crowned Night Heron, Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Ferruginous Duck, Tufted Duck, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Common Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Whiskered Tern, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, European Robin, Bluethroat, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Finsch’s Wheatear, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Corn Bunting.

Bonelli's Eagle, Agios Sozomenos 17th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Bonelli’s Eagle, Agios Sozomenos 17th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

 


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Waterbird Count Larnaca 14th January 2017

Out counting the waterbirds around Larnaca today was very enjoyable – not a lot of Greater Flamingos to count (last year there were 12000+ on this day!) – but lots of interesting birds including the largest flock of Greylag Geese in Cyprus for more than 30 years, five Pallas’ Gulls, two Common Quail, two Barn Swallow and plenty more. One of the Pallas’ Gulls was sitting at the north end of the Salt Lake with some Greater Flamingos (see record photo below).

Greater Flamingo and a Great Black-backed Gull, Larnaca Salt Lake, 14th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Greater Flamingo and a Great Black-backed Gull, Larnaca Salt Lake, 14th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Meneou Pool
Common Redshank 4
Greater Flamingo 97
Common Shelduck 43
Common Ringed Plover 2
Kentish Plover 2

Larnaca Airport Pools South
Eurasian Stone Curlew 5

Larnaca Sewage Works
Eurasian Curlew 17
Great Cormorant 24
Greater White-fronted Goose 8
Eurasian Wigeon 16
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Eurasian Teal 736
Northern Shoveler 16
Mallard 232
Great Black-headed Gull (Pallas Gull) 2 ad and 2 imm
Black-necked Grebe 3
Northern Pintail 4
Tufted Duck 1m
Caspian Gull 3
Meadow Pipit c30
Great White Pelican 1
Mediterranean Gull 1 imm

Spiros Pool
Greater Flamingo 37
Eurasian Wigeon 3
Eurasian Golden Plover 336

Larnaca Airport Coast
European Shag 2

Larnaca Airport Pools North
Greater Flamingo 37
Common Shelduck 26
Northern Shoveler 41
Kentish Plover 4
Common Redshank 3
Dunlin 12

Larnaca Salt Lake
Common Starling 50
Greater Flamingo 1028
Common Shelduck 576
Common Ringed Plover 8
Little Stint 39
Common Redshank 7
Common Black-headed Gull 261
Greylag Geese 57 (presumably same birds as those at Akrotiri during the week)
Dunlin 62+
Hen Harrier 1
Black-necked Grebe 12
Slender-billed Gull 1 ad
Caspian Gull 60+
Armenian Gull 24
Great Black-headed Gull 1 ad
Common Quail 2 flushed
Corn Bunting c60
Common Buzzard 2
Common Snipe 4
Spanish Sparrow 20+
Common Reed Bunting 1h
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Song Thrush 2
Eurasian Blackbird 1
Marsh Sandpiper 1
Common Greenshank 1

Kamares area
Spur-winged Lapwing 3
Common Chiffchaff 50+
Moustached Warbler 1
Yellow Wagtail 1 1st winter bird – same as seen there in mid Dec
Common Snipe 1
Green Sandpiper 1
Common Redshank 1
Common Ringed Plover 1
Western Jackdaw 15
Barn Swallow 2
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Water Pipit 2


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More gulls, Akrotiri 13th January 2017

Considering that I always say I don’t really like gulls I seem to be spending a lot of time watching them at the moment. Spent a while watching this Little Gull on Lady’s Mile – it appears to be dirty – possibly oiled – but was very active and able to fly well.  Also got another photo of one of the three Common Gulls present – this time in the sunshine, as opposed to the rain last weekend – and an adult Armenian Gull making fun of me its seemed.

Little Gull, Lady's Mile 13th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Little Gull, Lady’s Mile 13th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Gull, Lady's Mile 13th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Gull, Lady’s Mile 13th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Armenian Gull, Lady's Mile 13th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Armenian Gull, Lady’s Mile 13th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Eastern Cyprus today 11th January 2017

A break from the rain today and I started at Akhna Dam which now has almost double the amount of water than when I last visited. Plenty of Eurasian Coot and some Grey Heron but more interesting was the female Red-crested Pochard, two Great Crested Grebe and the immature Great White Pelican that has been in the area since mid November 2016. At the coast at Agia Trias I found three Grey Plover, two Greater Sand Plover and three Common Sandpiper (see photo). An immature Slender-billed Gull flew in for a few minutes and then flew off again south (see photo).

A quick look at Cape Greco with only a female Blue Rock Thrush, a female Hen Harrier and Cyprus Warbler of note. Single Little Egret were on Kermia Beach, Makronissos Beach and Dekeleia. Nearly twenty Armenian Gull, a big male Caspian Gull and an adult Mediterranean Gull were on Oroklini Beach and a large flock of Common Starling were flying around before roosting. There were four Temminck’s Stint and six Common Ringed Plover at the JUMBO drainage channel. I finished the day at the Larnaca Sewage Works hide. No sign of the Pallas’ Gull that have been there for a few days but there were seven Greater White-fronted Geese in the fields.

Chukar 11th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Chukar 11th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Sandpiper, Agia Trias, 11th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Sandpiper, Agia Trias, 11th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Slender-billed Gull, Agia Trias 11th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Slender-billed Gull, Agia Trias 11th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Over-wintering Gulls

Both Common Gull and Mediterranean Gull are uncommon winter visitors to Cyprus- the latter more frequent than the former.

The Common Gull below was photographed in the rain on 7th January 2017 in the sea off Lady’s Mile, Limassol and the Mediterranean Gulls on Oroklini Beach on 8th January 2017 in yet more rain.

Common Gull, Lady's Mile 8th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Gull, Lady’s Mile 8th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Mediterranean Gull, 1st winter, Oroklini Beach 8th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Mediterranean Gull, 1st winter, Oroklini Beach 8th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Mediterranean Gull, adult, Oroklini Beach 8th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Mediterranean Gull, adult, Oroklini Beach 8th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours