Cyprus Birding Tours

Offering guided bird watching tours around Cyprus

Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s Guiding Paphos and Phassouri 23rd September 2014

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Arriving at Paphos Sewage Works with Rick, who was holidaying in Paphos, we found a flock of nearly thirty European Turtle Dove feeding on the ground and flying into the conifers. We moved on to the plant buildings where several Spur-winged Lapwing could be seen. The area was full of European Bee-eater and Barn Swallow as well as plenty of resident Common Woodpigeon and Hooded Crow – they were seen at all the locations we visited. A Lesser Grey Shrike was on the overhead wires and a couple of juvenile Red-backed Shrike were also seen. A single Cattle Egret was in the alfalfa fields and as we were watching feeding Yellow Wagtail, the first wave of migrating European Honey Buzzard appeared in a ‘kettle’ thermalling up to our east. Once they had gone the next group were more obliging moving southwards over our heads allowing us good views of their varied plumages and enabling us to sort juveniles from adults. At least thirty birds passed over and a minimum of another twenty passed over as we moved on to the nearby Ezousas river bed.

There was still some water in the Soakaways but not as many birds as earlier in the month. We did however see Grey Heron, a Squacco Heron, a couple of Eurasian Hoopoe, many Willow Warbler, some Whinchat, yet more European Bee-eater and two European Roller. Four Red-rumped Swallow flew down in front of us feeding over the water and a Common Kingfisher flew out of the reeds. Two Western Marsh Harrier migrated over and the nearby fields held more Yellow Wagtail. Among the many females and juvenile we found a male Grey-headed (thunbergii) and a couple of male Blue-headed (flava).

At Mandria a single Honey Buzzard flew low over us as we drank our coffee. Seven Eurasian Stone Curlew were in the fields and checking through the Yellow Wagtail flocks in the Mandria fields we found nine Greater Short-toed Lark and a single Tawny Pipit. A Northern Wheatear was in the fields and as elsewhere many European Bee-eater and Barn Swallow were moving over the area. The roadside vegetation held several Willow Warbler.

We only had the briefest glimpse of a Cyprus Warbler behind Asprokremmos Dam but we were luckier with both Spectacled and Sardinian Warbler. We found more Northern Wheatear, several Spotted Flycatcher, another Lesser Grey Shrike and a couple of Red-backed Shrike. We decided to make a short early afternoon visit to Phassouri Reed Beds in the hope of catching some other raptor species.

On first arrival there at about 14.30pm it looked that all we would be seeing were yet more European Bee-eater, Whinchat and hirundines – a few Sand Martin, House Martin and Red-rumped Swallow in with the many Barn Swallow. But after a fifteen minute wait the first group of Honey Buzzard appeared over the eucalyptus trees to the east of the area and during the next hour and a half we had five plus Western Marsh Harrier, one, maybe two, Black Kite, a juvenile Montagu’s Harrier and juvenile Pallid Harrier and more than fifty Honey Buzzard passing over us. We explored the area near to the reeds finding a couple of Black-headed Wagtail (feldegg) and two Common Kingfisher, a few Turtle Dove, three Common Snipe and a European Roller. Returning to check for migrating raptors before finishing our day we were pleased to see an ELeonora’s Falcon heading southwards and then two female Red-footed Falcon and second calendar year male. A good day’s birding, with each location we visited giving us something different to enjoy.

Total species seen – 53

Little Grebe (h), European Shag, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Glossy Ibis, European Honey Buzzard, Black Kite, Western Marsh Harrier, Pallid Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Spur-winged Lapwing, Common Snipe, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Common Kingfisher, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Tawny Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch.

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