Cyprus Birding Tours

Offering guided bird watching tours around Cyprus


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Birding around Nicosia 3rd December 2016

A couple of hours birding close to Nicosia. Lots of the usual winter visitors around: Common Stonechat, Meadow Pipit, European Robin, Chiffchaff, Eurasian Blackcap. The more interesting sightings were:

Agios Sozomenos, Nicosia
Spanish Sparrow 22 + 25
Eurasian Skylark 16
Little Owl 1
Blue Rock Thrush 1f
Spectacled Warbler 7
Western Black Redstart 4
Finsch’s Wheatear 2m and 1f
Hen Harrier 1f
Corn Bunting 18
Red-throated Pipit 2h and 1 seen in breeding plumage (see photos)
Northern Lapwing 70+ flying

Vathi Gonia Water Treatment Plant, Nicosia
Ferruginous Duck 4

Red-throated Pipit, Agios Sozomenos, 3rd December 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-throated Pipit, Agios Sozomenos, 3rd December 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-throated Pipit, Agios Sozomenos, 3rd December 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-throated Pipit, Agios Sozomenos, 3rd December 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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East of the island, 29th November 2016

Headed east today and managed to avoid the rain and get the two birds I had hoped for – a Great Crested Grebe at Akhna Dam (a scarce winter visitor to Cyprus, and missing from my Cyprus 2016 list) and the Steppe Grey Shrike at Cape Greco.

Akhna Dam
Great Crested Grebe 1
Northern Lapwing 4
Common Redshank 5
Common Ringed Plover 4
Little Stint 3
Common Snipe 1
Little Bittern 1 juv
Common Starling c80
Water Pipit 8+
Hen Harrier 1f
Cattle Egret 1
Grey Heron 2
Eurasian Wigeon 2

Cape Greco Sea Caves area
Finsch’s Wheatear 1f
Steppe Grey Shrike 1
Blue Rock Thrush 1f

Agia Trias
Little Egret 1
Grey Plover 1
Greater Sand Plover 1
Common Sandpiper 1
Common Kingfisher 1


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Rock Sparrow, Famagusta 27th November 2016

Was lucky enough to go with three other local birders yesterday to see five Rock Sparrows that are currently just outside Famagusta. (Thanks to them for taking me!) A rare but probably regular winter visitor my only previous sighting of these birds was a brief glimpse of one at Cape Greco.


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Troodos 25th November 2016

A collection of photos taken yesterday at Troodos. The Coal Tit is a Cyprus endemic sub-species. Hawfinch is an almost annual winter visitor to Cyprus in variable numbers. A former winter visitor, Eurasian Blackbird now breed in Troodos although their numbers are swelled by winter visitors at this time of year. Mistle and Song Thrush are winter visitors in variable numbers each year.

Coal Tit, Troodos 25th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Coal Tit, Troodos 25th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Blackbird, Troodos 25th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Blackbird, Troodos 25th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Hawfinch, Troodos 25th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Hawfinch, Troodos 25th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Mistle Thrush, Troodos 25th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Mistle Thrush, Troodos 25th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Song Thrush, Troodos 25th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Song Thrush, Troodos 25th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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First Rustic Bunting for Cyprus 24th November 2016

Having taken a photo of what I assumed was one of the Common Reed Buntings that was at Paphos Sewage Works on the afternoon of 24th November, it was a  pleasant surprise when Dutch birder Arthur Geilvoet suggested via my Facebook page that the bird had many of the features of a Rustic Bunting. Closer examination showed that he was right. Rustic Bunting has not been recorded in Cyprus before and I still don’t have a good photo of a Common Reed Bunting.

Rustic Bunting, Paphos Sewage Works 24th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Rustic Bunting, Paphos Sewage Works 24th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Morning’s Guiding Paphos, 24th November 2016

 

A morning around a few Paphos sites with Stephen and Lorraine. The main target species was the wintering Finsch’s Wheatear but first we headed to Paphos Headland for a short walk to track down the Greater Sand Plover that winter there. They were not easy to find this morning but eventually we found three of them feeding close to the water’s edge. A fly-by first winter Mediterranean Gull was a surprise – never seen in Cyprus in large numbers it is rarely seen in the west of the island. Twenty ducks flew offshore heading SW which we decided were probably Northern Pintail. Other wintering waders were good Cyprus birds although familiar to British birders – around fifty Eurasian Golden Plover, a Whimbrel and two Ruddy Turnstone. Small flocks of Eurasian Skylark were flying around as were European Goldfinch and Common Linnet – and of course there were plenty of Common Stonechat.

We then headed inland to check out Anarita Park which is a well-known wintering site for Finsch’s Wheatear. We quickly found a female flitting between rocks and plant stalks and after some perseverance we had good views of a male in another area. We also saw three Little Owl and several Woodlark. Our last stop was at the Paphos Sewage Plant where the fields were full of Meadow Pipit. Eighteen Northern Lapwing were feeding in a recently harvested field and two Spur-winged Lapwing also found. Large flocks of Common Woodpigeon were flying around. We found a Western Black Redstart in the olive trees as well as wintering European Robin and Common Chiffchaff.

Although most of the species seen on a Cyprus winter’s day were well known to Steven and Lorraine, our great views of Greater Sand Plover, Finsch’s Wheatear and Spur-winged Lapwing made up for that.

Full list of species:

Great Cormorant, Common Kestrel, Northern Pintail, Greater Sand Plover, Eurasian Golden Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Northern Lapwing, Whimbrel, Ruddy Turnstone, Mediterranean Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Little Owl, Woodlark, Eurasian Skylark, Meadow Pipit,  White Wagtail, European Robin, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Finsch’s Wheatear, Sardinian Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet


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Akhna Dam, Cape Greco and east of the island today 22nd November 2016

Went over to the east of the island again today to try my luck with the Asian Buff-bellied Pipit found at Akhna on Saturday. This is the 5th record of the species in Cyprus. Was lucky enough to find it, take a record photo before it flew off and see some other good birds.

Akhna Dam
Asian Buff-bellied Pipit 1
Water Pipit 20+
Meadow Pipit 40+
Eurasian Wigeon 1m and 1f
Common Shelduck 1 imm
Peregrine Falcon 1
Grey Plover 1
Common Ringed Plover 4
Great Cormorant 3
Common Chaffinch 6
Eurasian Blackbird 1
Song Thrush 10+
Common Linnet 3
European Serin 2+

Cape Greco
Finsch’s Wheatear 2m and 1f
Blue Rock Thrush 3m and 1f
Western Black Redstart 11
Great Cormorant 20 heading SW

Agias Trias
Little Egret

Oroklini Marsh
Greater Flamingo c60
Water Rail 1
Spotted Crake 1
Bluethroat 1
Cattle Egret c100
Song Thrush 1
Common Starling 16
Northern Lapwing 3

Asian Buff-bellied Pipit, Akhna Dam 22nd November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Asian Buff-bellied Pipit, Akhna Dam 22nd November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Stonechat, Cape Greco 22nd November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Stonechat, Cape Greco 22nd November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Little Egret, Agia Trias, 22nd November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Little Egret, Agia Trias, 22nd November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Larnaca, Akhna and Oroklini today 18th November 2016

Most of my time out today was spent doing the Waterbird count around Larnaca. After the rain a few weeks ago there is still some water in parts of the Salt Lake and isolated patches of water contained some good birds. Best birds were a Common Crane flying over the Sewage Works, a Gadwall and three Black-necked Grebe on the Sewage Pools, eight Eurasian Stone Curlew and eight Eurasian Curlew, hunting Western Marsh and female Hen Harrier, flocks of Eurasian Skylark, two Bluethroat (see photo), six Temminck’s Stint, a Water Rail and around thirty Common Snipe in the north east corner of the Salt Lake.

Akhna Dam had less birds than when I visited a month ago although there was a Great White Pelican there and some recently arrived thrushes including Song and Mistle Thrush and Fieldfare. More than sixty Spur-winged Lapwing were at Oroklini together with twenty four Northern Lapwing, around fifty Greater Flamingo and a Great Egret.

Bluethroat, Larnaca Salt Lake 18th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Bluethroat, Larnaca Salt Lake 18th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Athalassa Dam, Nicosia 16th November 2016

Spent a few hours at Athalassa Dam and saw the following:

Great Egret 3
Little Egret 2
Grey Heron 6
Great Cormorant 50+
Eurasian Spoonbill 1 juv
Cattle Egret 1
Black-crowned Night Heron 1 ad
Common Kingfisher 2
Grey Wagtail 2
Ferruginous Duck 2
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Black-winged Stilt 2
Common Snipe 1
Northern Shoveler 8
Eurasian Teal 30+
Mallard c30
Little Grebe, Eurasian Coot and Common Moorhen
Common Chaffinch, European Robin, Common Chiffchaff and White Wagtail.
Hooded Crow and Common Woodpigeon

Black-winged Stilt, Athalassa Dam 16th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-winged Stilt, Athalassa Dam 16th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Spoonbill, Athalassa Dam 16th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Spoonbill, Athalassa Dam 16th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Great Cormorant, Athalassa Dam 16th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Great Cormorant, Athalassa Dam 16th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Great Egret Athalassa Dam 16th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Great Egret Athalassa Dam 16th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Grey Heron, Athalassa Dam 16th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Grey Heron, Athalassa Dam 16th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Little Grebe 4, Athalassa Dam 16th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Little Grebe 4, Athalassa Dam 16th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Mallard, Athalassa Dam 16th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Mallard, Athalassa Dam 16th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Morning’s Guiding Akrotiri and Germasogeia Dam 14th November 2016

A morning out with Rob and Payel started at the hide overlooking Zakaki Marsh. We had excellent views of Bluethroat and Moustached Warbler which kept us entertained for a long time. Only I caught a brief glimpse of a Spotted Crake but we all saw two Water Rail run in front of the hide. We also saw Water and Meadow Pipit, Common Reed Bunting, Western Black Redstart, Common Starling, Northern Pintail, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot and Eurasian Teal. The short drive from there to Lady’s Mile gave us the chance to look closely at a Zitting Cisticola and of course several Common Stonechat. Common Linnet, White Wagtail and a Common Kingfisher were also in the area.

Five Kentish Plover flew over us and a lone Dunlin fed on the marshy area of Lady’s Mile. We spent some time looking at the gulls on the water and picked out an adult Caspian and an adult Armenian Gull in with the many Common Black-headed Gull. We headed into the area behind Lady’s Mile hoping to find the ‘Steppe’ Grey Shrike that had been there recently. We quickly found a shrike – but not the right one! A late migrating juvenile Red-backed Shrike was sitting on the bushes recently occupied by the Cyprus rarity which was nowhere to be seen.

Nothing of interest was to be seen at Phasouri Reed-beds so we headed inland to Germasogeia Dam. Our main target there was the endemic Cyprus Warbler. We soon heard Chukar on the hillsides and in the trees and bushes found European Serin, Eurasian Blackcap, Corn Bunting and Spanish Sparrow. We heard European Robin and saw several Zitting Cisticola but although we could hear the scolding of a Cyprus Warbler we had to wait a while for one to appear. Finally, we saw one and it sang briefly in front of us. Another was also in the area but not seen well. There was only a little water in the dam and the only wetland species we saw were Great Cormorant.

A good morning out with the highlight the showing Bluethroat at the hide.

Total species seen: 45

Great Cormorant, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Water Rail, Spotted Crake, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Kentish Plover, Dunlin, Common Black-headed Gull, Caspian Gull, Armenian Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Kingfisher, Crested Lark, Meadow Pipit, Water Pipit, White Wagtail, European Robin, Bluethroat, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Moustached Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Common Reed Bunting, Corn Bunting

Bluethroat, Zakaki Marsh, 14th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Bluethroat, Zakaki Marsh, 14th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Troodos today 12th November 2016

Spent several hours at a few Troodos picnic sites. As well as the usual enedemic sub-species Coal Tit, Eurasian Jay and Short-toed Tree Creeper there was a good selection of winter visitors around including this Yellowhammer (see record shot photo). Until recently Yellowhammers were vagrants but small numbers are recorded most years now.
A male and two female Hawfinch spent at least an hour hiding behind branches and leaves at Troodos today, finally coming down the drink as the light faded!

Platania Picnic Site
Eurasian Siskin c12
Goldcrest 2
Hawfinch 3
Grey Wagtail 1

Almyrolivado
Mistle Thrush c20
Fieldfare 1 flew over
Brambling 1m
Winter Wren 2
Eurasian Jay 2

Livadi tou Pashia
Eurasian Blackbird 5
Mistle Thrush 2
Yellowhammer 1
Hawfinch 1m and 2f

Yellowhammer, Livadi tou Pashia 12th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Yellowhammer, Livadi tou Pashia 12th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Blackbird, Livadi tou Pashia 12th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Blackbird, Livadi tou Pashia 12th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours