Cyprus Birding Tours

Offering guided bird watching tours around Cyprus


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Akrotiri today 28th September 2016

 

Spent the day around Akrotiri – not lots of birds around – quality rather than quantity. Was pleased though to see European Honey Buzzard, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, juvenile Northern Goshawk, Western Marsh Harrier, Red-footed Falcon and Eleonora’s Falcon. Three White Stork were feeding in an alfalfa field. Flocks of European Bee-eater, Barn Swallow, Sand Martin and Red-rumped Swallow still passing through. Plenty of Whinchat, a couple of Northern Wheatear, two Lesser Grey Shrike and some juvenile Red-backed Shrikes. As far as waders were concerned still several Dunlin,plenty of Little Stint, Common Ringed Plover and lots of Kentish Plover – plus five Sanderling and two Spur-winged Lapwing.

White Stork, Akrotiri 28th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

White Stork, Akrotiri 28th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Spur-winged Lapwing, Akrotiri 28th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Spur-winged Lapwing, Akrotiri 28th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Akhna Dam, 27th September 2016

With not much water anywhere on the island at the moment I spent a couple of hours at Akhna Dam today. There is still some water here. Highlight was a fly over Osprey but I also had:

Common Redshank 3
Common Greenshank 1
Dunlin 3
Curlew Sandpiper 1
Common Ringed Plover 3
Glossy Ibis 1
Ruff 2 juv
Common Quail 1
Osprey 1
Common Snipe 1
Spur-winged Lapwing 6
Common Kingfisher 1

Glossy Ibis, Akhna Dam 27th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Glossy Ibis, Akhna Dam 27th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Osprey, Akhna Dam 27th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Osprey, Akhna Dam 27th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Visible heron migration off Cape Greco this morning, 26th September 2016

 

Although raptors were thin on the ground this morning at Cape Greco – an Eleonora’s Falcon, four European Honey Buzzard and a Western Marsh Harrier to be precise – there was a noticeable movement of herons to the east of the area. As visibility was good it was possible to see flocks of herons heading southwards from the Karpasia area and then passing offshore to the east of Cape Greco and continuing out to sea. Between 8am and 11.30am more than 160 Grey Heron and 32 Purple Heron were counted. Plus a large flock of more than 140 individuals that were too far east of the observation point to be ID’d – seemed to be a mixture of Grey and Purple though.

Boost post


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Larnaca this morning 25th September 2016

Had my first White Wagtail of the autumn and a few Sanderling and Ruddy Turnstone to liven up the waders on the mud of the Sewage Pools.
 
Larnaca Sewage Works
Ruddy Turnstone 3
Sanderling 3
Curlew Sandpiper 2
Dunlin 12
Little Stint c80
Common Ringed Plover 20+
Little Egret 1
Greater Flamingo 1 jug
Slender-billed Gull 1
Temminck’s Stint 1
Ruff 1 juv
Green Sandpiper 1
Eurasian Teal 20+
Northern Shoveler 15
 
Spiros Beach
Dunlin 4
Greater Flamingo 31 flew in from E circled over area and flew W
 
Meneou Beach
White Wagtail 1
Dunlin, Meneou 25th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Dunlin, Meneou 25th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Morning Guiding Akrotiri 23rd September 2016

After picking Paul and Eileen up from their hotel in Pissouri we headed straight to Akrotiri for a morning’s birding. Although it was possibly even windier than the day before this time we saw several migrating European Honey Buzzard and Western Marsh Harrier as well as a continual stream of European Bee-eater. A couple of Eleonora’s Falcon were hunting over the peninsula. Also found around the reed-beds area was a female Black Francolin – one of Paul’s targets – , a Lesser Grey Shrike, six Whinchat and a couple of European Turtle Dove. Moving onto Akrotiri Gravel Pits we saw at least one more Western Marsh Harrier and at least eleven more European Honey Buzzard. Waders in the area included a Bar-tailed Godwit (a scarce bird for Cyprus), Kentish Plover and Dunlin as well as an adult Greater Flamingo.

Another wader for the morning was the Black-winged Stilt at Bishop’s Pool. There we also added two to our Honey Buzzard total and saw two more Eleonora’s Falcon. On the approach road to the pool we were especially pleased to see two migrating Lesser Kestrel – another of Paul’s targets for the morning. At Lady’s Mile we found a photogenic juvenile Greater Flamingo and searched through the waders there to find more Kentish Plover and Dunlin, as well as a Sanderling, a couple of Common Redshank, Common Ringed Plover and Dunlin. Another two Honey Buzzard flew over us battling against the wind.

Our morning out drew to a close with a return to Phasouri Reed-beds to watch a small group of European Bee-eaters calling and swooping over the area as they hunted insects to provide them with energy to continue their migration.

Total species – 42

Little Grebe, Cattle Egret, Greater Flamingo, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, European Honey Buzzard, Western Marsh Harrier, Common Kestrel, Lesser Kestrel, Eleonora’s Falcon, Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Sanderling, Little Stint, Dunlin, Bar-tailed Godwit, Common Redshank, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Turtle Dove, Common Swift, European Bee-eater, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Whinchat, Cetti’s Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Willow Warbler, Great tit, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Common Chaffinch.

Kentish Plover, Akrotiri 23rd September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Kentish Plover, Akrotiri 23rd September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s Guiding Akrotiri and Paphos 22nd September 2016

Migrating raptors refused to put in an appearance today at Akrotiri when I was out with Michael but we still managed a good spread and number of species with breeding raptors providing the main entertainment – Eleonora’s Falcon were seen hunting over the Salt Lake and then at Kensington Cliffs where a Peregrine Falcon was also present; two Long-legged Buzzard were watched hanging in the air above Agia Varvara valley where a Eurasian Hobby also flew by; a juvenile Bonelli’s Eagle flew above us at Paramali.

Highlights per location visited:

Phassouri Reed Beds – Cattle Egret 3, a juvenile Western Marsh Harrier feeding on unseen prey in a field, European Bee-eater, Red-rumped Swallow, Spotted Flycatcher, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Lesser Grey Shrike, Red-backed Shrike

Akrotiri Gravel Pits – Eleonora’s Falcon, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Dunlin, Common Greenshank, Bar-tailed Godwit, Spotted Flycatcher, Red-backed Shrike

Bishop’s Pool – Green Sandpiper, Rock Dove, Willow Warbler, Eurasian Turtle Dove

Lady’s Mile – Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Sanderling, Little Stint, Dunlin, Curlew Sandpiper, Common Redshank, Sand Martin, European Bee-eater, Yellow Wagtail, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike

Kensington Cliffs – Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon

Agia Varvara – Long-legged Buzzard, Eurasian Hobby, European Bee-eater, Northern Wheatear, Cretzschmar’s Bunting

Asprokremmos Dam – Eurasian Golden Oriole, Spotted Flycatcher

Paramali – Bonelli’s Eagle

Total species seen – 57

Little Grebe, Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Western Marsh Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Common Kestrel, Eurasian Hobby, Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Sanderling, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Bar-tailed Godwit, Common Greenshank, Common Redshank, Green Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Common Swift, Common Kingfisher, European Bee-eater, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Yellow Wagtail, Northern Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Cretzschmar’s Bunting.

Kensington Cliffs, 22nd September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Kensington Cliffs, 22nd September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s Guiding Akrotiri area, 20th September 2016

It’s always good to spend some time out with Terry and Sarah and today was no exception. We headed straight to Akrotiri with the intention of trying to catch some of the raptor migration passing over the area. Most of the raptors we saw were European Honey Buzzard and Western Marsh Harrier but many of them were passing over quite low, meaning we had good views and we also watched a group of Grey Heron feeding at Zakaki Marsh chase off one of the Marsh Harrier over that location. Waders included the Cyprus rarity – a Bar-tailed Godwit, lots of Kentish Plover, a juvenile Ruff, a Sanderling and several each of Dunlin and Curlew Sandpiper. A single Greater Flamingo feeding on Lady’s Mile gave some photo opportunities and we found a couple of Ferruginous Duck on a quick visit to Bishop’s Pool.

Plenty of European Bee-eater were migrating over throughout the day, many of them very high and we saw a lot of Red-rumped Swallow, Sand Martin and Barn Swallow as well as several late Common Swift. Not so many shrikes around as in early September but we saw a couple of juvenile Red-backed Shrike and Lesser Grey Shrike.

An afternoon visit to Kensington Cliffs gave us the chance to enjoy the acrobatics of both adult and juvenile Eleonora’s Falcon, who in turn mobbed a migrating European Honey Buzzard and then two of the resident Eurasian Griffon Vulture returning from their inland feeding stations. On the way back to Paphos we stopped at Asprokremmos Dam where there was a European Golden Oriole feeding in a ficus tree – thanks to Alan and Lynn for showing us the location – and we also found a female European Pied Flycatcher.

Number of species seen – 60

Little Grebe, Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Greater Flamingo, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Ferruginous Duck, European Honey Buzzard, Eurasian Griffon Vulture, Western Marsh Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Eleonora’s Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin, Water Rail, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Sanderling, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ruff, Bar-tailed Godwit, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Turtle Dove, Common Swift, Common Kingfisher, European Bee-eater, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Yellow Wagtail, Whinchat, Cetti’s Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher, Great Tit, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch.

Bar-tailed Godwit, Akrotiri Gravel Pits, 20th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Bar-tailed Godwit, Akrotiri Gravel Pits, 20th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Greater Flamingo, Lady's Mile 20th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Greater Flamingo, Lady’s Mile 20th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Larnaca area this morning, 17th September 2016

Interesting birds seen during the monthly waterbird count around Larnaca this morning:
 
Meneou Pool
European Bee-eater 40
Red-backed Shrike 1 juv
Lesser Grey Shrike 1
Western Marsh Harrier 1 roosting in field
Ring-tailed Harrier 1 roosting in field
 
Larnaca Sewage Works (eastern pool now completely dry. Many small waders in mud which is very dry)
Greater Flamingo 1 (and 24 leaving area and heading out to sea on my arrival)
Eurasian Curlew 2 (flew over calling)
Kentish Plover 59
Dunlin 10
Ruddy Turnstone 2
Common Ringed Plover 27
Little Stint 116
Collared Pratincole 1
Ruff 3
Spur-winged Lapwing 2
Little Grebe 2
Mallard 227
Eurasian Teal 28
Northern Shoveler 8
Eurasian Coot 3
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Red-backed Shrike 2 juv
Lesser Grey Shrike 1
Common Kingfisher 1
Isabelline Wheatear 1
Whinchat 1
 
Spiros Pool
European Bee-eater 12
Whinchat 2
Spotted Flycatcher 1
Northern Wheatear 1
 
Larnaca Airport Coast
Noticeable passage of Barn Swallow and Sand Martin heading towards Cape Kiti along coast
Yellow Wagtail 2
Isabelline Wheatear 1
Northern Wheatear 1m
Common Sandpiper 1
Whinchat 1
 
Spiros Beach
Kentish Plover 6
Little Stint 1
Greater Flamingo 17 heading E
 
Larnaca Salt Lake
European Bee-eater 24
Red-backed Shrike 1f and 2 juv
Eurasian Hoopoe 1
Woodchat Shrike 1
European Roller 1
Greater Short-toed Lark 3
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Kentish Plover, Spiros Beach 17th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Kentish Plover, Spiros Beach 17th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Little Stint, Larnaca 17th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Little Stint, Larnaca 17th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Juvenile Red-backed Shrike - missing a tail, Larnaca 17th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Juvenile Red-backed Shrike – missing a tail, Larnaca 17th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Spotted Flycatcher, Larnaca 17th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Spotted Flycatcher, Larnaca 17th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s Guiding Paphos, 16th September 2016

Picking Bernie and Gill up in Latchi we headed for the Smygies/Agios Minas area behind Neochorio. We saw the first of many European Bee-eater there as well as two Cretzschmar’s Bunting, a Whinchat, a Cyprus Wheatear, a couple of Spotted Flycatcher and an adult Masked Shrike. A covey of ten Chukar kept us entertained especially as a juvenile tried to climb into an olive tree as we drove past.

At Arodes we found another Cyprus Wheatear and spent some time watching and checking the ID pointers of a female Eastern Black-eared Wheatear. We also saw a male Spanish Sparrow, several Sardinian and Willow Warbler and juvenile Red-backed and Masked Shrike. The sound and sight of more European Bee-eater dominated the area. Driving from Kathikas through Arkoudaleia and Miliou we saw a male Eastern Black-eared Wheatear and a Lesser Grey Shrike.

We spent some time at the shallow end of Evretou Dam. There were many Yellow Wagtail, Barn Swallow and a couple of Sand Martin, yet more European Bee-eater as well as one each of Black-winged Stilt, Dunlin, Little Stint, Ruff and Common Kingfisher. Here we also saw a Long-legged Buzzard and more unexpectedly a Common Kestrel noisily mobbing an adult Northern Goshawk. The latter spectacle interrupted our lunch as we sat and ate our sandwiches in a small olive grove. We weren’t complaining though!

On the south coast outside Paphos we visited the Sewage Works and Mandria. Here we enjoyed Spur-winged Lapwing, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Western Marsh Harrier, more than 300 Yellow Wagtail, three European Roller, three Tawny Pipit, at least thirty Greater Short-toed Lark, Isabelline and Northern Wheatear and a couple more Whinchat, Lesser Grey and Red-backed Shrike.

A good day out with a mixture of species seen. European Bee-eaters provided the soundtrack of the day with the Northern Goshawk and the European Rollers providing the birding moments of the day.

Full list of birds seen – European Shag, Western Marsh Harrier, Northern Goshawk, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black-winged Stilt, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Dunlin, Ruff, Common Sandpiper, Common Black-headed Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Turtle Dove, Common Kingfisher, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Tawny Pipit, Yellow Wagtail races – flava, feldegg, thunbergii, Whinchat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting.

mandria-16th-september-2016-1-of-1

Mandria, 16th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

 


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s Guiding Paphos 14th September 2016

The day out with Joan and Keith started with a walk around the Headland with the aim of finding the Greater Sand Plover that overwinter there. We found four of them after a bit of searching in the rocks where they were hunkered down. We also watched a Common Kingfisher hovering over the sea and saw a Whimbrel, Common Sandpiper, a Northern Wheatear and two Crested Lark. Several of the fields around Paphos Sewage Works were being watered and at least twelve Spur-winged Lapwing were feeding there, as were many Hooded Crow and Western Jackdaw. Other birds of note there were a couple of Whinchat and Eurasian Hoopoe, a Eurasian Stone Curlew, at least ten Yellow Wagail, a Green Sandpiper and the first of many Willow Warbler that were at all locations visited.

At Mandria we got good views of a flock of migrating European Bee-eater which came down close to us and then headed out to sea. We watched a flock of more than 150 Yellow Wagtails in a field of cut alfalfa and in the ploughed fields found two Isabelline and two Northern Wheatear, several Whinchat, a Tawny Pipit and a mobile flock of at least thirty Greater Short-toed Lark. In the west of the area there was a European Roller and two Lesser Grey Shrike on some wires. A Spur-winged Lapwing seen on the beach could have been a migrant. An unusual bird sitting on the offshore rocks with the European Shag was later identified as nothing more interesting than a Muscovy Duck….not sure how it got there!

We ate our lunch under the trees in the amenities area of the Asprokremmos Dam. European Bee-eater passed over head and European Goldfinch, Spotted Flycatcher, Sardinian Warbler and a Masked Shrike were all flying around and feeding in the conifers. We had a quick scan of the dam itself but saw nothing until we spotted a Peregrine Falcon sitting near the Dam head. Moving onto Agia Varvara we found some water in a couple of the ‘soakaways’. There we found a very smart male Red-backed Shrike, several Yellow Wagtail including a male Black-headed, more Willow Warbler, two Tree Pipit, a Spanish Sparrow, Chukar, Zitting Cisticola and some more European Bee-eaters.

The current development at Minthis Hills appears to have disturbed the birds although we did see some more European Bee-eater, a Masked Shrike and a fly-by Eurasian Hobby.
A good day out in fun company – odd not to have seen any large raptors, migrant or resident –  but we had a good mixture of species.

Total birds – 46
European Shag, Common Kestrel, Eurasian Hobby, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Greater Sand Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Whimbrel, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Turtle Dove, Common Kingfisher, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Tawny Pipit, Tree Pipit, Yellow Wagtail inc flava and feldegg, Whinchat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet.

Whimbrel, Paphos Headland 14th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Whimbrel, Paphos Headland 14th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-backed Shrike, Agia Varvara 14th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-backed Shrike, Agia Varvara 14th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cape Greco raptor watch 13th September 2016

After the excitement of finding an Olive-tree Warbler in my garden yesterday (no photos – well I have lots of photos of out of focus bird and in focus branches..), I was hoping that the raptor count at Cape Greco would continue a good few days birding. No such luck. Very few raptors moving around and the interest was provided by three flocks of Greater Flamingo heading south along the east coast of the Cape. Main sightings of note:

Cape Greco 8.00am – 12.30pm
Western Marsh Harrier 2 (1m)
Eleonora’s Falcon 2
European Honey Buzzard 1
Greater Flamingo 48 + 68 + 30
Grey Heron 11
Black-crowned Night Heron 1 (with Grey Herons)
European Bee-eater 100+ (and others heard only)
Red-rumped Swallow 14
Barn Swallow 200+ over during the survey
Greater Short-toed Lark 1 over
Lesser Whitethroat 1
Yellow Wagtail 2 over W to E
Common House Martin 2
Isabelline Wheatear 1
Cyprus Wheatear 3
Whinchat 1
Spanish Sparrow 3
Tawny Pipit 2
Lesser Grey Shrike 1

Agia Napa Football Fields
Whinchat 4
Yellow Wagtail 12
Cattle Egret 11
Red-backed Shrike 1m and 3 juv
Lesser Grey Shrike 2
Eastern Black-eared Wheatear 1
Tawny Pipit 1
Eurasian Hoopoe 2
European Roller 1


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Polis Chrysochou Bay 9th and 10th September 2016

A chance to see some migrating birds off the north west coast of the island and to join the BirdLife Cyprus annual boat trip from Latchi to Cape Arnaouti. Highlight of that for local birders was a Eurasian Oystercatcher seen flying E along the rocky shore – never common here it has been five years since I last saw one in Cyprus, although at least one has been seen on this coast so far this autumn. Also seen over the two days were Purple and Grey Heron, Baltic Gull, Little and Cattle Egret, Garganey, White-winged Tern, Common Redshank, Peregrine Falcon, Western Marsh Harrier, a ring-tailed Harrier – probably a juvenile Pallid, Yellow Wagtail, Little Ringed Plover, Eurasian Shag and migrating Common Black-headed Gull. Plus several flying fish!