Cyprus Birding Tours

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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s guiding in Limassol area 17th March 2016

Second day out with Ann and Peter and we started at Zakaki Marsh. We quickly found two newly arrived Sedge Warbler and a couple of Eurasian Reed Warbler and heard a Spotted Crake. Unfortunately we couldn’t see it, although apparently it had been on view before our arrival. Two Spur-winged Lapwing flew over. In the nearby vegetation we found Spectacled and Willow Warbler and were treated to good views of a male Black Francolin. On Lady’s Mile we found Armenian and Caspian Gull as well as a couple of Little Egret, a juvenile Greater Flamingo, a Black-tailed Godwit, three Common Redshank, some Kentish Plover, three Dunlin and more than fifty Little Stint. In the scrub were several Isabelline Wheatear and a male Northern Wheatear as well as several large flocks of European Goldfinch, European Greenfinch and Common Linnet.

It was very windy in the Gravel Pits area and workmen in the church grounds prevented us from checking those but as we drove across the area we heard a familiar call – it was Eurasian Penduline Tit. We stopped to investigate and then spent some time watching at least ten of them – mainly males – feeding in tamarisk bushes and calling to each other as they flitted around. We also found three Eurasian Hoopoe, that looked as if they had just flown in from the sea, and watched three Western Marsh Harrier and a Common Buzzard patrol the area. A male Merlin flew quickly over the old rabbit sheds. A flock of Spanish Sparrow also caught our attention.

We decided to head to Germasogeia Dam and then return to Zakaki later in the afternoon. At the Finikaria end of the dam we came across a Long-legged Buzzard and flocks of Spanish Sparrow and several singing Corn Bunting. A single male Cretzschmar’s Bunting was sitting high on a hawthorn bush. Checking out the remaining pools in the shallows we had great views of two Common Snipe and a Jack Snipe and it was especially interesting to compare their size when they flew. A single Alpine Swift flew low over our heads and a Water Pipit came down to the water’s edge to drink. At least five Black-headed Wagtail were flying around.

As the sun started to go down we headed back to Zakaki for a final check for the Spotted Crake. No luck again but we found Cattle and Little Egret there as well as two Ferruginous Duck and a Spur-winged Lapwing that flew in front of the hide.

Despite the wind making it difficult to find migrant passerines during the day we were pleased with the species we did see – a good variety in our 65 day total.

Total species seen – 65

Little Grebe, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Greater Flamingo, Mallard, Ferruginous Duck, Western Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Merlin, Chukar h, Black Francolin, Spotted Crake h, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Kentish Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Jack Snipe, Common Snipe, Common Redshank, Common Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Caspian Gull, Armenian Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Water Pipit, Black-headed Wagtail (feldegg), White Wagtail, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Great Tit, Eurasian Penduline Tit, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting

Zakaki Marsh, late afternoon 17th March 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Zakaki Marsh, late afternoon 17th March 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Day’s Guiding around Larnaca 25th February 2016

Back from two weeks holiday in the UK and straight into the first day’s guiding of the season. Picking up Martin from his hotel in Larnaca, we decided to spend the day in the area catching up with as many Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus specialties likely to be found at this time of year.  Our first stop was at the somewhat unattractive drainage channel near the JUMBO toyshop at Oroklini which provided a good start to the day with Temminck’s Stint, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Ringed Plover, Water Pipit, Grey Wagtail and overflying Cattle Egret. Several Barn Swallow were flying around and we saw small numbers at all the locations we visited.

At Oroklini Marsh we were pleased to see two of the three female White-headed Duck that have been there since mid December, as well as a male and two female Red-crested Pochard, ten Black-winged Stilt, several Spur-winged Lapwing, a Black-tailed Godwit, several Northern Pintail and a tatty looking Western Marsh Harrier. There were just a few immature Greater Flamingo present, while numbers of Northern Shoveler and Eurasian Teal were reduced from earlier in the month.  There were just a couple of hundred Greater Flamingo on the main Larnaca Salt Lake with hundreds of Common Shelduck, many Common Black-headed Gull and at least twenty Slender-billed Gull, several with a lovely pinkish tinge. We found many singing Corn Bunting, a lone Kentish Plover, a few Spanish Sparrow, a singing Spectacled Warbler and in the north east corner heard a Eurasian Penduline Tit but were unable to find it in among the reeds.

Moving towards the coast there were several large gulls on the Airport Pools and we spent some time identifying Caspian and Armenian adult and immature birds as well as a Heuglin’s Gull and several Yellow-legged Gull. There was a small group of Greater Flamingo and Martin spotted three Eurasian Stone Curlew hidden in the vegetation near the edge. On the Sewage Pools we found two Spur-winged Lapwing, a Northern Lapwing and a Ruff and in among the Northern Shoveler and Eurasian Teal there were smaller numbers of Eurasian Wigeon and Gadwall.

Along the Airport Coast we found a Eurasian Hoopoe feeding which quickly flew inland. A small flock of Eurasian Skylark were also feeding. We found more in the fields near Pervolia but more interestingly we found a flock of at least twenty Calandra Lark, calling and flying in a ploughed field. An Isabelline Wheatear was in the same field and we had clear views of a calling male Black Francolin while two Chukar flew away as we approached.

Heading inland we drove through the Panagia Stazousa Valley where we had excellent views of at least three male Cyprus Warbler and one female and heard at least four others. There was a flock of Spanish Sparrow, some finches and several Corn Bunting and we could hear Chukar. A Long-legged Buzzard flew briefly into view before disappearing again over the hills. As we sat and drank a cup of tea to finish the day we heard both Little Owl and Eurasian Scops Owl calling. We headed into Nicosia so I could drop Martin off at a local hotel there – with an unscheduled stop in Marks and Spencer’s car park to watch a migrating flock of around 60 Greater Cormorant flying over!

Total number of species seen: 75

Little Grebe, Great Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Greater Flamingo, Common Shelduck, Eurasian Wigeon, Gadwall, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Red-crested Pochard, White-headed Duck, Western Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Northern Lapwing, Temminck’s Stint, Dunlin, Ruff, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Redshank, Common Black-headed Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Heuglin’s Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Caspian Gull, Armenian Gull, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Scops Owl h, Little Owl h, Eurasian Hoopoe, Calandra Lark, Crested Lark, Eurasian Skylark, Barn Swallow, Common House Martin, Meadow Pipit, Water Pipit, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, European Robin, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Eurasian Penduline Tit h, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Corn Bunting

Greater Flamingo, Larnaca 25th February 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Greater Flamingo, Larnaca 25th February 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Akrotiri Peninsula, 29th January 2016

Finally got to Akrotiri today for the first time in 2016. Made the wrong decision in going to Phasouri Reed-beds first as it meant I missed the Pied Kingfisher which was at Lady’s Mile at that time…by the time I got to Lady’s Mile it was nowhere to be seen.

Several Western Marsh Harrier around at both Phasouri and Zakaki as well as a couple of Common Buzzard and a female Hen Harrier at Zakaki. Bird of the day was the Pied Avocet at Lady’s Mile where there were also many Common Black-headed Gull and at least thirty Armenian Gull. At Zakaki Marsh I heard at least one Penduline Tit and a Water Rail and there were also Green Sandpiper and Common Reed Bunting in the area.

Pied Avocet Lady's Mile 29th January 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Pied Avocet Lady’s Mile 29th January 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Armenian Gull Lady's Mile 29th January 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Armenian Gull Lady’s Mile 29th January 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Green Sandpiper Zakaki Marsh 29th January 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Green Sandpiper Zakaki Marsh 29th January 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Redshank Lady's Mile 29th January 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Redshank Lady’s Mile 29th January 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

 


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Cape Greco area today 8th January 2016

For the first time in many years I was unable to get out birding during the first days of the year so my 2016 Cyprus year list started a week into the new year. I went around several sites on the east of the island and finished at Oroklini. No sign of the White-headed Ducks this evening but watching around 1000 White Wagtails come into roost as it got dark made up for it.

Highlights of the day were:

Agia Trias
Audouin’s Gull 2
Sandwich Tern 1
Greater Sand Plover 3
Grey Plover 5
Kentish Plover 2
Common Sandpiper 1

Cape Greco
Blue Rock Thrush 1m
Cyprus Warbler 1h
Long-legged Buzzard 1

Macronissos Beach
Eurasian Skylark 120+

Potamos Liopetriou
Common Kingfisher 1

Oroklini Beach
Armenian Gull 5

Oroklini Marsh
White Wagtail c1000 coming into roost in reeds at sunset
Black-winged Stilt 5
Northern Lapwing 6+
Cattle Egret c120
Northern Pintail 10
Common Starling 11

Grey Plover, Agia Trias 8th January 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Grey Plover, Agia Trias 8th January 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Greater Sand Plover, Agia Trias 8th January 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Greater Sand Plover, Agia Trias 8th January 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Stonechat, Cape Greco, 8th January 2016 (C) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Stonechat, Cape Greco, 8th January 2016 (C) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Oroklini Marsh, late afternoon 15th December 2015

 

The three fem/juv White-headed Duck were still at Oroklini at dusk this evening. I also noticed a couple of Northern Pintail, over forty Northern Lapwing, at least fifty Spur-winged Lapwing, four Common Ringed Plover, an Armenian Gull as well as the usual Eurasian Teal, Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Coot, Little Grebe, Common Moorhen and more than 200 Cattle Egret coming into roost. On the nearby beach gull numbers were lower than I would expect in December. Three Armenian Gull were in the water with around 150 Common Black-headed Gull.


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Larnaca area Waterbird count, Wednesday 15th December 2015

Did the waterbird count around Larnaca Salt Lake today. Some interesting birds around despite the general lack of water. The Sewage Works pools had c750 Northern Shoveler, c490 Eurasian Teal, c130 Mallard, a Gadwall, 219 Greater Flamingo, a Ruff, two Ruddy Shelduck, a Common Shelduck, six Greater White-fronted Geese, a Tufted Duck, 11 Ferruginous Duck, 13 Black-necked Grebe, a Mediterranean and Armenian Gull and 11 Northern Lapwing. In the fields there were many Eurasian Skylark, some Red-throated Pipit, plenty of Spanish Sparrow and flocks of European Goldfinch, European Greenfinch and Common Linnet. On the Airport Pools South there was a flock of 330 Eurasian Golden Plover.

There is not a lot of water on the main Salt Lake and a lot of the birds mentioned below were seen in the north east corner where it is quite boggy: 9 Greater Flamingo , 2 Heuglin’s Gull , 1 Mediterranean Gull , 2 Armenian Gull , 1 Yellow-legged Gull, 39 Common Shelduck , c170 Kentish Plover, 4 Common Ringed Plover, 11 Corn Bunting, a Common Reed Bunting, 5 Common Snipe, 2 Water Pipit, 2 Spur-winged Lapwing, Water Rail (h), Eurasian Teal c175 and two Marsh Sandpiper.

Common Redshank, Meneou Pool, 15th December 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Redshank, Meneou Pool, 15th December 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Female Sardinian Warbler keeping an eye on what's above her, Larnaca Sewage Works 15th December (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Female Sardinian Warbler keeping an eye on what’s above her, Larnaca Sewage Works 15th December (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Larnaca and Oroklini 14th November 2015

Did the waterbird count at Larnaca and late in the afternoon visited Oroklini. The Red-breasted Goose is still at the Sewage Works together with five Greater White-fronted Geese. A Pied Avocet was the best wader and the Red Knot is still present. A young Peregrine Falcon flew in and snatched up a Coot only to be forced to drop it by an adult Peregrine that came swooping in. Both Peregrines flew off calling and briefly grappling. The Coot was left there although it was gone when I revisited in the afternoon.

The Ruddy Shelduck is still at Oroklini and there were three Temminck’s Stint and six Common Snipe feeding as well as a Bluethroat and Water Pipit.

Full list of sightings:
Larnaca Sewage Works
Greater Flamingo 56 (only one adult)
Pied Avocet 1
Common Shelduck 1
Black-winged Stilt 8
Little Stint c50
Common Redshank 6
Dunlin 9+
Ruff 3
Common Ringed Plover 1
Baltic Gull 1 juv
Armenian Gull 11
Marsh Sandpiper 1
Greater White-fronted Goose 5
Red-breasted Goose 1
Black-necked Grebe 1
Northern Pintail 6
Red Knot 1
Peregrine Falcon 2

Larnaca Desalination Plant Fields
Eurasian Skylark 100+
Calandra Lark 5
Eurasian Golden Plover 4
Common Starling 11

Larnaca Salt Lake
Greater Flamingo 6
Eurasian Teal 13
Little Ringed Plover 5
Common Ringed Plover 25
Spur-winged Lapwing 2
Common Redshank 30
Dunlin c100
Kentish Plover c140
Little Stint 30+
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Water Pipit 2

Oroklini Marsh
Spur-winged Lapwing 35
Ruddy Shelduck 1
Cattle Egret 60
Common Snipe 6
Little Stint 2
Temminck’s Stint 3
Common Ringed Plover 5
Little Ringed Plover 2
Water Pipit 1
Water Rail h
Eurasian Penduline Tit h
Northern Pintail 2
Common Starling 40
Bluethroat 1
Corn Bunting 8

Oroklini Beach
Sandwich Tern 2
Common Black-headed Gull c150

Sandwich Tern Oroklini Beach 14th November 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Sandwich Tern Oroklini Beach 14th November 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Paphos and Akrotiri 6th and 11th November 2015

Highlights from the morning of 6th November around Paphos and a day at Akrotiri 11th November with Peter and Jean:

6th November

Paphos Headland – Greater Sand Plover 2, Eurasian Golden Plover 6, Common Sandpiper 2, Spanish Sparrow c20

Paphos Sewage Works – Spur-winged Lapwing 5, Red-throated Pipit h, Western Black Redstart 1, Zitting Cisticola 5

Mandria – Eurasian Shag 2, Chukar 5, Yellow-legged Gull c80 offshore, Eurasian Skylark c100, Red-throated Pipit 4, Yellow Wagtail 5 inc one male thunbergii race

11th November

Phassouri Reed-beds – Western Marsh Harrier 1, Common Buzzard 1, Common Snipe 1, Bluethroat 1

Akrotiri Gravel Pits – European Serin 5+, Song Thrush 1

Akrotiri Salt Lake – Grey Heron 210, Greater Flamingo c500, Common Shelduck 15, Peregrine Falcon 1 sitting on salt flats preening, Kentish Plover c10, Water Pipit 1, Spectacled Warbler 1

Lady’s Mile – Little Stint 39, Caspian Gull 3, Armenian Gull c10

Zakaki Marsh – Western Marsh Harrier 2, Water Rail 2, Little Crake 1 juv, Eurasian Penduline Tit 1m & 1f seen well + 2 others heard, Common Starling c200 at dusk

Full list of species seen – 61

Little Grebe, European Shag, Grey Heron, Greater Flamingo, Common Shelduck, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Western Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Water Rail, Little Crake, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Kentish Plover, Greater Sand Plover, Eurasian Golden Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Common Snipe, Common Sandpiper, Common Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Caspian Gull, Armenian Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Crested Lark, Eurasian Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Water Pipit, Yellow Wagtail inc Grey-headed Wagtail thunbergii, White Wagtail, European Robin, Bluethroat, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Eurasian Penduline Tit, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet

Greater Flamingo Akrotiri Salt Lake 11th November 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Greater Flamingo Akrotiri Salt Lake 11th November 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Larnaca Waterbird Count this morning 19th October 2015

Not a lot of water, even the Sewage Works Pools are emptying but some interesting birds with a Red-breasted Flycatcher (not a male though 😦 ) as a bonus!

Larnaca Sewage Works
Bluethroat 1
Spur-winged Lapwing 9
Greater Flamingo 66
Northern Shoveler c300
Eurasian Teal c150
Black-winged Stilt 13
Grey Heron 2
Great Egret 1 (flew off heading E)
Dunlin c60
Little Stint c40
Ruddy Shelduck 1
Ruff 5
Pintail 3
Northern Lapwing 1
Kentish Plover 16
Common Ringed Plover 17
Marsh Sandpiper 1
Eleonora’s Falcon 2 flew over fast heading W
Red-breasted Flycatcher 1

Spiros Pool
Spur-winged Lapwing 30
Common Crane 6 (in pm were on Sewage Pools)
Common Ringed Plover 25
Ruff 5
Water Rail 1h
Common Redshank 1
Common Snipe 1h
Yellow-legged Gull 27 flew over
Red-throated Pipit 2+h

Larnaca Desalination Fields
Spanish Sparrow 40+
Red-throated Pipit 1

Spiros Beach
Yellow-legged Gull 30+
Caspian Gull 1
Armenian Gull 1+

Common Crane Spiros Pool 19th October 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Crane Spiros Pool 19th October 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Ruddy Shelduck Larnaca Sewage Works 19th October 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Ruddy Shelduck Larnaca Sewage Works 19th October 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Stonechat Spiros Pool 19th October 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Stonechat Spiros Pool 19th October 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Spanish Sparrow Spiros Beach 19th October 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Spanish Sparrow Spiros Beach 19th October 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Armenian Gull Spiros Beach 19th October 2015  (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Armenian Gull Spiros Beach 19th October 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Yellow-legged Gull Spiros Beach 19th October 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Yellow-legged Gull Spiros Beach 19th October 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s Guiding Akrotiri, Omodos and Panagia Stazousa: 21st May 2015

Our first stop was at Kensington Cliffs as Stuart and Frances were keen to see as many raptors as possible. We found at least five Eleonora’s Falcon sitting on cliffside ledges as we first scanned the area but then two dark morph birds flew in front of us shortly followed by several light morph individuals. We were treated to their aerial display during our time there with several Alpine Swift also flying around. Checking the rocks at the bottom of the western cliff face we found six Eurasian Shags. A single Baltic Gull was a surprise find in the bay and then we were pleased to see two Griffon Vulture fly up from behind the cliffs, circle over Episkopi Garrison and then head inland.

Pleased with our start we moved to Akrotiri where we visited Phassouri Reed Beds, Akrotiri Gravel Pits, Lady’s Mile and Zakaki Marsh. Far fewer migrants were around than when I had visited the area at the weekend –especially waders – but we still managed to get good views of European Bee-eater, Temminck’s Stint, Glossy Ibis, Squacco Heron, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Woodchat Shrike, Ferruginous Duck, Armenian Gull, Spur-winged Lapwing and Kentish Plover.

We then headed inland and ate our lunch in a valley behind Omodos. There we watched at least four singing Black-headed Bunting, two singing Cretzschmar’s Bunting, at least one Long-legged Buzzard, several Cyprus Wheatear, a Corn Bunting, two Red-rumped Swallow and several European Serin. On the way back to Larnaca we visited the Panagia Stazousa valley where we added Chukar, Eurasian Turtle Dove, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe and (Stuart and Frances’ bird of the day), a Little Owl to our day’s list of species.

A good variety of birds even considering that migrating species at Akrotiri were much reduced now as we move to the end of May.

Species seen – 54

European Shag, Squacco Heron, Little Egret, Glossy Ibis, Mallard, Ferruginous Duck, Eurasian Griffon Vulture, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Eleonora’s Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin (h), Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Kentish Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Temminck’s Stint, Baltic Gull (Lesser Black-backed Gull), Armenian Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Little Owl, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Black-headed Bunting, Corn Bunting

Cyprus Wheatear, Omodos, May 21st 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Cyprus Wheatear, Omodos, May 21st 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Day’s Guiding Limassol and Anarita, 14th April 2015

As we left Paphos, seven Black-crowned Night Heron flew over the road outside Gareth’s hotel. On arrival at Phassouri we stopped to find several European Serin singing in the eucalyptus plantation and then a Black Francolin at the start of the reed beds. Two Squacco Heron, several Little Egret and a Purple Heron were feeding on the edge of the reeds where we could hear Eurasian Reed and Sedge Warbler singing. A large snipe flew out of the reeds and into some low vegetation near to us and we were delighted to realise it was a Great Snipe. To aid our ID a Common Snipe also flew over and the differences were obvious. In among the many Common Swift flying over we picked out at least three Pallid Swift and several Red-rumped Swallow were also seen. A male Common Redstart was in the plantations.

The pool near the deserted sheds was drying up and we found Little Stint, Little Ringed Plover, Wood Sandpiper, Ruff, Common Redshank and Dunlin feeding there. Two Woodchat Shrike were in the nearby tamarisks. On the Gravel Pits we found more than ten Whinchat and several Northern Wheatear as well as a singing Common Nightingale and a resting Common Buzzard. In the church gardens there were two Lesser Whitethroat, a Tree Pipit, an Ortolan Bunting, an Eastern Orphean Warbler, a couple of Willow Warbler and male and female Blackcap.

We could only find about fifteen Greater Flamingo on the Salt Lake and in the waterlogged area along the south side of the lake we saw a Black-tailed Godwit and several Glossy Ibis. A couple of Eastern Olivaceous Warbler could be heard singing. On Lady’s Mile we quickly found several Slender-billed Gull which had been one of Gareth’s targets. In the end we counted around 40 of these birds and also two Common Black-headed Gull, a couple of second calendar year Armenian Gull, a scruffy second calendar year Caspian Gull and several Yellow-legged Gull. A Spotted Redshank attaining its black breeding plumage was the star of the waders there which included Common Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Ruff and Kentish Plover.

We didn’t have to wait long in the Zakaki Marsh hide before we saw a male Little Crake and then a female also appeared to our right. Five Ferruginous Duck were on the water with two sleeping Northern Shoveler and a Green Sandpiper. Little Egret, Common Moorhen and Glossy Ibis were feeding on the mid between the reed stands where Sedge and Eurasian Reed Warbler were seen. Two Laughing Dove flew into the port area as we drove by but we couldn’t relocate them for better views.

We decided to make a quick visit to Kensington Cliffs on our way back to Paphos and Anarita Park. It proved to be a good decision as we found six Eleonora’s Falcon, newly arrived and flying around the area. Both Cyprus Wheatear and Cyprus Warbler were singing on bushes below us as was a Sardinian Warbler. After some searching we finally located at least two Alpine Swift. As we drove past Pissouri a Great Spotted Cuckoo flew across the motorway in front of us. We found another one on a rock at Anarita Park – our last location of the day. Here we found around ten Lesser Kestrel and a lone male Red-footed Falcon as well as three European Roller, a Common Whitethroat and two Tawny Pipit. Unfortunately only I managed to see a male Pallid Harrier flying low and then out of sight being followed by a couple of Hooded Crows. A good location at which to finish a great day’s birding.

Total number of species seen – 90

Black-crowned Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Ferruginous Duck, Pallid Harrier, Common Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin, Little Crake, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Little Stint, Dunlin, Ruff, Great Snipe, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Common Black-headed Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Baltic Gull,Yellow-legged Gull, Caspian Gull, Armenian Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Laughing Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Swift, Pallid Swift, Alpine Swift, European Roller, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Tawny Pipit, Tree Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Common Nightingale, Common Redstart, Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Eastern Orphean Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Ortolan Bunting, Corn Bunting

Red-footed Falcon  Anarita Park 14th April 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-footed Falcon Anarita Park 14th April 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Two day’s Guiding Akrotiri and Paphos 6th and 20th March 2015

Two days out with Pauline and Michael over again on holiday in Cyprus. Despite the two weeks difference between them, both days out were characterized by strong winds which affected the number of species seen. However, we managed a total of 53 on 6th March visiting Germasogeia Dam, the Akrotiri Peninsula, Petra tou Romiou and Kouklia Soakaways; and 54 on 20th March when we visited Cape Drepanum, Mavrokolympos Dam, Tsada Hills, Episkopi (Paphos), Mandria, Asprokremmos Dam and Anarita Masts. Over the two days we saw a total of 74 different species. The final bird we saw was a Eurasian Pied Flycatcher which surprised us as we said our goodbyes in the car park at Paphos Harbour!

Highlights were:

6th March

Germasogeia Dam – Common Quail

Akrotiri Gravel Pits – Kentish Plover, Isabelline Wheatear, Woodlark, Eurasian Hoopoe

Akrotiri Salt Lake – Greater Flamingo

Lady’s Mile – Armenian Gull, Caspian Gull

Kouklia Soakaways – Long-legged Buzzard, Hawfinch

Petra tou Romiou – Alpine Swift

20th March

Cape Drepanum – European Shag, Eurasian Skylark

Mavorkolympos Dam – Alpine Swift, Isabelline, Northern and Cyprus Wheatear, Common Whitethroat

Episkopi (Paphos) – Long-legged Buzzard

Mandria – Greater Short-toed Lark, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear (light throated form)

Asprokremmos Dam area – Little Owl, Eurasian Hoopoe, Red-throated Pipit, Yellow Wagtail – feldegg, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear (dark throated form), Cyprus Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Rüppell’s Warbler

Anartia Mast area – Montagu’s Harrier, Lesser Kestrel, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Tawny Pipit, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear (dark throated form), Blue Rock Thrush

Paphos Harbour carpark – Eurasian Pied Flycatcher

Total species seen – 74

Little Grebe, European Shag, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Greater Flamingo, Mallard, Western Marsh Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Quail, Common Moorhen, Kentish Plover, Common Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Caspian Gull, Armenian Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Woodlark, Eurasian Skylark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin,  Tawny Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Black-headed Wagtail, White Wagtail, European Robin, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Eurasian Blackbird, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Rüppell’s Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Eurasian Pied Flycatcher, Great Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Hawfinch, Corn Bunting

 Eastern Black-eared Wheatear Anarita Mast 20th March (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eastern Black-eared Wheatear Anarita Mast 20th March (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Tawny Pipit, Anarita Mast 20th March 2015  (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Tawny Pipit, Anarita Mast 20th March 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours