Cyprus Birding Tours

Offering guided bird watching tours around Cyprus


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s Guiding Akrotiri and Paphos Plain 13th September 2017

A good day out again with Terry and Sarah around Akrotiri and then west to Mandria, Timi Beach and Asprokremmos Dam. Another very warm day with just a trickle of migrating raptors but we pieced together some good species and enjoyed ourselves in any case.

Highlights per location:

Phassouri Reed-beds – Black Francolin 1m and 1f, European Turtle Dove 20+, Pallid Swift 2, European Honey Buzzard 7, Western Marsh Harrier 3, Montagu’s Harrier 3 juv, Black Kite 2, European Bee-eater 200+, European Roller, Common Kingfisher, Lesser Kestrel, Red-backed, Lesser Grey and Masked Shrike, Red-rumped Swallow, Whinchat, Yellow Wagtail

Bishop’s Pool – Black-crowned Night Heron, Purple Heron, Black-winged Stilt, Western Marsh Harrier, Red-rumped Swallow, Sand Martin

Lady’s Mile – Dunlin 3, Kentish Plover, Little Stint

Zakaki Marsh – Common Kingfisher, Great Reed Warbler

Mandria – Chukar, Eleonora’s Falcon, European Roller, Lesser Grey Shrike, Greater Short-toed Lark, Northern & Isabelline Wheatear, Yellow Wagtail, European Shag

Timi Beach – Greater Short-toed Lark c30

Asprokremmos Dam – Spotted Flycatcher, Eleonora’s Falcon

European Honey Buzzard, Phasouri Reed Beds 13th September 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

European Honey Buzzard, Phasouri Reed Beds 13th September 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Kingfisher, Phasouri Reed Beds 13th September 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Kingfisher, Phasouri Reed Beds 13th September 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Western Marsh Harrier, Phasouri Reed Beds 13th September 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Western Marsh Harrier, Phasouri Reed Beds 13th September 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

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Migrating herons this morning off Cape Greco, 7th September 2017

Although I was at Cape Greco to do a raptor survey it was the flocks of herons that kept me busy counting this morning. Around 450 Purple Heron and 150 Grey Heron passed by off the east of the Cape in several flocks. A lone Black-crowned Night Heron, Little Egret and 11 Glossy Ibis also headed south off the coast and a surprise spot was a juvenile Greater Flamingo migrating in with a flock of Purple Herons.

Photo of a distant mixed flock of Grey and Purple Heron.

Migrating Herons, Cape Greco 7th September 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Migrating Herons, Cape Greco 7th September 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Morning’s Guiding Akrotiri 5th September 2017

A morning’s birding with Anthony and Sarah around Akrotiri hoping to see a good variety of species. We started at Zakaki Marsh where many Grey Heron were flying down to feed behind the reeds. A juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron flew up from in front of the hide as we arrived and although we could hear many more we only got good views of one adult as it flew over the area. A Squacco Heron also flew across and a female Western Marsh Harrier quartered the reeds before swooping into the reeds where it presumably caught prey. An adult Water Rail was feeding in front of the hide and several Eurasian Reed Warbler were flitting in the reeds. Anthony and Sarah were especially pleased to see the Common Kingfisher that perched on a reed in front of the hide for several minutes.

Moving to the eastern edge of the Salt Lake we found an Isabelline Wheatear, a Lesser Grey Shrike and a female and a male Red-backed Shrike. An adult and a juvenile European Roller sat on the wires along Lady’s Mile and were very obliging. The Salt Lake itself had very little water but we spent some time watching the dozen or so Eleonora’s Falcon that were resting on the Salt flats and drinking and bathing in the water from the run off – a great spectacle.

There were several Kentish Plover feeding on Lady’s Mile itself as well as a couple of Little Stint and Dunlin which we saw as we drove to Bishop’s Pool. The first birds we saw there were a couple of Ferruginous Duck and then three Glossy Ibis feeding at the back of the pool. Two Black-winged Stilt were also there as were four Green Sandpiper and a Wood Sandpiper. A couple of Little Egret were feeding around the edge and some Northern Shoveler were resting in with the resident Mallard and Little Grebe. A couple of European Turtle Dove flew over. We could have spent longer there to be honest but we moved on the Akrotiri Gravel Pits adding Red-rumped Swallow and Sand Martin to the morning’s list as we went.

We had another Lesser Grey Shrike in the church yard as well as an Olivaceous Warbler, two Spotted Flycatcher and another two Isabelline Wheatear. It was now getting warmer and the birds were quieter although we did find a Common Greenshank and a Kentish Plover as we went through the area to our last stop at Phasouri Reed-beds. We heard and then saw a Yellow Wagtail and our last new bird of the morning was a Whinchat sitting on a fence. A good morning’s birding at the start of autumn migration although we were disappointed not to see any large raptors.

Total number of species – 45

Ferruginous Duck, Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Little Grebe, Greater Flamingo, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, European Turtle Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Swift, Western Water Rail, Common Moorhen, Common Coot, Glossy Ibis, Black-crowned Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Black-winged Stilt, Kentish Plover, Dunlin, Little Stint, Green Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Western Marsh Harrier, European Roller, Common Kingfisher, Common Kestrel, Eleonora’s Falcon, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Hooded Crow, Great Tit, Crested Lark, Olivaceous Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Red-rumped Swallow, Sand Martin, Spotted Flycatcher, Whinchat, Isabelline Wheatear, House Sparrow, Western Yellow Wagtail.

Red-backed Shrike, Akrotiri Salt Lake, 5th September 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-backed Shrike, Akrotiri Salt Lake, 5th September 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Waterbird Count Larnaca 18th May 2017

There seemed to have been a clear out of birds overnight and there were less around than yesterday but still some migrants around including a Broad-billed Sandpiper on the Salt Lake. Other birds included:

Larnaca Sewage Works
Grey Heron 2
Little Tern 7
Yellow-legged Gull 1
Black-crowned Night Heron 1 along coast being mobbed by Hooded Crow
Ruff 5
Little Stint 3
Common Sandpiper 1
Mallard 18 plus 1 female with 10 ducklings
Little Grebe 6
Common Coot 11
Sand Martin 20+
Barn Swallow 200+
Common Swift 50+
Northern House Martin 10+

Spiros Pool
Red-backed Shrike 1m
Greater Short-toed Lark 2

Larnaca Salt Lake
Little Owl 1
Eurasian Thick-knees (Stone Curlew) 1 h
Spur-winged Lapwing 16
Wood Sandpiper 5
Broad-billed Sandpiper 1
Little Stint 22
Temminck’s Stint 1
Glossy Ibis 8
Curlew Sandpiper 2
Ruff 9
Squacco Heron 1 (see photos)
Black-crowned Night Heron 2 over road near Airport


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Akrotiri 2nd May 2017

A great day’s birding around Akrotiri with some good birds at Zakaki, Lady’s Mile, the Salt Lake and Phasouri.

Sightings included:

Zakaki Marsh 8.45am
Little Bittern 1f seen at least one other heard
Black-crowned Night Heron 1 juv and 1 ad
Water Rail 1 seen
European Bee-eater 40+ heading N at 17.30

Lady’s Mile
Curlew Sandpiper 12
Little Ringed Plover 2
Litttle Tern 4
Common Greenshank 1
Common Cuckoo 1
Ruff 90+
Little Stint 30+
Red-footed Falcon 1m (in morning)
Bar-tailed Godwit 1 (in afternoon)
Black-winged Stilt 2
Great White Egret 2 over
Akrotiri Salt Lake and Zakaki run off
Ruff c300+
Kentish Plover c25
Little Stint 50+
Common Ringed Plover 4
Black-winged Stilt 30+
Little Tern 3
White-winged Tern 17
Broad-billed Sandpiper 5
Greater Flamingo 200+
Red-throated Pipit h
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Bar-tailed Godwit 1 flying over am

Akrotiri Gravel Pits
Spotted Flycatcher 1
European Turtle Dove 1h
Eurasian Pied Flycatcher 1m and 1f
Common Whitethroat 1
Common Redstart 1m
Wood Sandpiper 1

Phasouri Reed Beds
Squacco Heron 1
Ruff 20+
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Glossy Ibis 9
Woodchat Shrike 1
Wood Sandpiper 5

Phasouri Bee-hives area
Eurasian Bittern 1 walking by side of road and creeping in vegetation feeding.

Entrance to Bishops Pool pm
European Bee-eatear 20+


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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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Athalassa Dam, Nicosia this morning 6th January 2017

Once again some good birds in Nicosia; this time at Athalassa Dam where highlights were ten Tufted Duck, a Black-necked Grebe and two fishing Whiskered Terns (unusual for January, they are usually passage migrants through Cyprus).

Main birds seen:

Black-crowned Night Heron 2 ad
Cattle Egret 1
Little Egret 2
Grey Heron 3
Great Cormorant 2
Black-necked Grebe 1
Common Pochard 1m
Ferruginous Duck 3
Tufted Duck 10 (inc 4 males)
Grey Wagtail 2
Eurasian Blackbird 2m
Whiskered Tern 2
Northern Shoveler c80
Eurasian Teal c50
Mallard c40
Common Chiffchaff 20+

Athalassa Dam, Nicosia this morning 6th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-crowned Night Heron, Athalassa Dam, Nicosia, 6th January 2017 (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 – Day’s Guiding Akrotiri and Larnaca 31st August 2016

A good day out birding with Byron started at Akrotiri Salt Lake where we scanned the area for roosting Demoiselle Cranes. None were present but although we were unlucky with that species we had a successful day  enabling Byron to get many of his target species which included – Chukar, Black Francolin, Cyprus Warbler, Cyprus Wheatear, Spur-winged Lapwing, Kentish Plover, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Long-legged Buzzard, Eleonora’s Falcon, Slender-billed Gull, Spectacled Warbler, Pallid Swift and Masked Shrike.

Highlights per location visited:

Akrotiri Salt Lake – Lesser Grey Shrike, European Bee-eater, Red-backed Shrike

Akrotiri Gravel Pits – Greater Flamingo c20 along coast, European Honey Buzzard 3 gaining height over area 9.30 am, Black Francolin, Common Ringed Plover, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Broad-billed Sandpiper (thanks to local birder Tony who told us where the bird had moved to when it was absent from Lady’s Mile), Common Kingfisher, Tawny Pipit, Common Whitethroat, Northern Wheatear, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Cretzschmar’s Bunting 2h and seen briefly

Lady’s Mile – Dunlin, Curlew Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Eleonora’s Falcon (one over high up)

Phasouri Reed-beds – Western Marsh Harrier, Pallid Swift, Alpine Swift, European Roller, Eurasian Roller, Yellow Wagtail inc feldegg and thunbergii, Cattle Egret, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Masked Shrike

Panagia Stazousa – Montagu’s Harrier 2m, Long-legged Buzzard, Peregrine Falcon, Whinchat, Cyprus Wheatear 3, Cyprus Warbler 2m, Lesser Whitethroat, Spotted Flycatcher, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Masked Shrike

Larnaca Airport Pools South – European Bee-eater, Eurasian Stone Curlew

Larnaca Sewage Works – Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo, Montagu’s Harrier 1 juv, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, Black-winged Stilt, Ruddy Turnstone, Slender-billed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Whiskered Tern, White-winged Tern, Spur-winged Lapwing

Spiros Beach – Ruddy Turnstone 5

Petounta – Long-legged Buzzard

Agios Theodoros – Little Owl 2, Eurasian Scops Owl 1 h and seen, Black-crowned Night Heron 16 heading S

Total species – 79

Little Grebe, Black-crowned Night Heron, Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, European Honey Buzzard, Western Marsh Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Greenshank, Ruddy Turnstone, Slender-billed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Whiskered Tern, White-winged Tern, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Scops Owl, Little Owl, Common Swift, Pallid Swift, Alpine Swift, Common Kingfisher, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Tawny Pipit, Blue-headed, Black-headed and Grey-headed Wagtail, Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting

Broad-billed Sandpiper, Akrotiri, 31st August 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Broad-billed Sandpiper, Akrotiri, 31st August 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

 


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Athalassa Dam, Nicosia this morning 9th June 2016

A walk around the dam at Athalassa today which still has plenty of water. A couple of pairs of Black-winged Stilt were present as were four Ferruginous Duck, an adult Little Bittern, two Squacco Heron, two Black-crowned Night Heron, four Little Egret and several European Turtle Dove. Eastern Olivaceous and Eurasian Reed Warbler could be heard and seen flitting in the trees and reeds and there were several Cetti’s Warbler. Several Mallard had large duckling with them and Eurasian Coot were feeding young – ranging from recently hatched to larger birds. Plenty of Common Moorhen and Little Grebe but no young seen of either species. As usual the area was full of Common Woodpigeon and Hooded Crow.

Black-winged Stilt, Athalassa 9th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-winged Stilt, Athalassa 9th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

European Turtle Dove, Athalassa Dam, 9th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

European Turtle Dove, Athalassa Dam, 9th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Coot with young, Athalassa 9th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Coot with young, Athalassa 9th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Woodpigeon, Athalassa 9th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Woodpigeon, Athalassa 9th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Larnaca Waterbird count this morning, 16th May 2016

Out in the Larnaca area for the waterbird count with interesting species found listed below:

Meneou Pool
Little Tern 2
Greater Flamingo 3
Kentish Plover 3 ad

Larnaca Sewage Works pools and surrounds
Black Francolin 1 m and 1f
Black Tern 1
White-winged Tern 2
Curlew Sandpiper 5,
Black-winged Stilt 8
Ruff 17
Ferruginous Duck 1
Little Stint 5
Common Ringed Plover 1
Spur-winged Lapwing 15
Common Black-headed Gull 1
Ruddy Shelduck 1
Sand Martin 4

Spiros Pool
Kentish Plover 2
Spur-winged Lapwing 1

Larnaca Salt Lake
Kentish Plover 23
Black-winged Stilt 1f
Ruff 42
Glossy Ibis 6
Black-crowned Night Heron 5
Grey Heron 1
Little Bittern 1m.
Squacco Heron 2
Spur-winged Lapwing 3
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Yellow Wagtail feldegg 1h
Common Redstart 1f
Eastern Olivaceous Warbler 2
Eurasian Reed Warbler c10

Ruddy Shelduck , Larnaca Sewage Works 16th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Ruddy Shelduck , Larnaca Sewage Works 16th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Squacco Heron Larnaca Salt Lake 16th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Ruddy Shelduck , Larnaca Sewage Works 16th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Oroklini Marsh this morning 14th May 2016

A brief visit to Oroklini Marsh where there was a Little Tern fishing, a Little Bittern, an adult and immature Black-crowned Night Heron and two Garganey as well as the usual Black-winged Stilt and Spur-winged Lapwing. On the coast of Larnaca south of the airport there was a Whimbrel flying west and two Little Tern on Meneou Pool with a Great Spotted Cuckoo nearby.

Two record shots from Oroklini as I attempt to master getting decent flight photos…..

Little Tern, Oroklini Marsh, 14th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Little Tern, Oroklini Marsh, 14th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Spur-winged Lapwing, Oroklini Marsh, 14th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Spur-winged Lapwing, Oroklini Marsh, 14th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours