Cyprus Birding Tours

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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Day’s Guiding Paphos 11th May 2016

A day out around Paphos with John and Madeleine. As we had been out together in both May 2014 and 2015, this year we were aiming for a general birdwatch in the Paphos area. We visited Anarita Park, Episokopi (Paphos), Minthis Hills, Kannaviou, Panagia, Evretou Dam and Kathikas. A good variety of habitats in which we saw mainly migrant breeders but also several late passage migrants including a male Eastern Black-eared Wheatear at Anarita Park. Unfortunately, that area was much quieter than it has been recently. The vagrant Amur Falcon and most of the other migrating falcons having moved on.

Highlights per location:

Anarita Park – Long-legged Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel 1m, Red-footed Falcon 1f, Great Spotted Cuckoo 5, European Roller 2, Little Owl, Red-rumped Swallow, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear 1m pale throated, Cyprus Warbler 1m

Anarita Park to Episkopi (Paphos) track -European Roller 6

Episkopi (Ezousas valley) – Bonelli’s Eagle, European Roller 2, European Turtle Dove, Red-rumped Swallow, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher

Episkopi Rocks – Peregrine Falcon 2

Minthis Hills – Cretzschmar’s Bunting 1m

Kannaviou area – European Turtle Dove, European Bee-eater, Red-rumped Swallow, Spotted Flycatcher,Coal Tit,  Masked Shrike, European Serin, Cretzschmar’s Bunting

Panagia area – Common House Martin 50+, Red-rumped Swallow c10, Masked Shrike 1, Coal Tit, Eurasian Jay, European Bee-eater

Evretou Dam – Purple Heron, Little Ringed Plover, Wood Sandpiper, Spanish Sparrow, Eurasian Hoopoe

Kathikas – Black-headed Bunting 2 singing males

Total species seen: 53

Purple Heron, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, Little Ringed Plover, Wood Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Turtle Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Jay, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Black-headed Bunting, Corn Bunting

Masked Shrike, Panagia 11th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Masked Shrike, Panagia 11th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Day’s Guiding Paphos 7th May 2016

I had previously taken Gareth out in April 2015 when we had visited Akrotiri and managed to see 90 species. We knew that we couldn’t reach that total today around Paphos but we had some great birding moments – quality rather than quantity being the order of the day. We started at Anarita Park where we saw seven species of raptor – Bonelli’s Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Western Marsh Harrier, Common Kestrel, Lesser Kestrel, Amur Falcon and Red-footed Falcon. We also found both the Cyprus endemics – Cyprus Wheatear and Cyprus Warbler, at least six Great Spotted Cuckoo, watched a displaying European Roller, enjoyed the feeding antics of many European Bee-eater and in return were watched by two Little Owls.

We spent several hours at Anarita Park and then moved on to Petra tou Romiou where we saw at least three Eleonora’s Falcon, an Alpine Swift and then – my birds of the day – a female Peregrine Falcon with two young birds flying out over the sea and near the cliff face. A great spectacle watching them trying out aerial manouvres  and chasing each other. A quick detour into the village of Kouklia meant we found two of Cyprus’ newest colonisers, Laughing Dove. Usually noted as a vagrant to Cyprus, a population of escapees has bred for several years in Agia Napa and Limassol and they are now spreading, although the exact origin of the Kouklia birds is unclear. While eating our lunch in the Agia Varvara valley we added Squacco Heron and Spotted Flycatcher to our day list and again were entertained by European Bee-eaters.

We then drove to the area around Kannaviou Dam. There was little on the dam itself – a single Purple Heron but in the nearby wooded area we found two of Cyprus’ endemic sub-species – Coal Tit and Eurasian Jay – as well as Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Masked Shrike, Cretzschmar’s Bunting and European Serin. There was no sign though of any Black-headed Buntings which have been seen near the Dam in previous years. So we headed towards Kathikas where we heard at least two singing males and got good views of one in the vineyards. A nearby soaring Long-legged Buzzard completed a great day’s birding.

Total species – 50

Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, Western Marsh Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Amur Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Laughing Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Jay, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Black-headed Bunting, Corn Bunting

Peregrine Falcon, Petra tou Romiou 7th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Peregrine Falcon, Petra tou Romiou 7th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-footed Falcon, Anarita Park 7th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-footed Falcon, Anarita Park 7th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-footed Falcon female, Anarita Park 7th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-footed Falcon female, Anarita Park 7th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Two mornings guiding, 3rd & 6th May 2016, around Paphos

Two mornings out with Jean, Ray and Mair were spent at different Paphos locations where we had good views of many migrant breeders and migrating herons, hirundines, waders, Lesser Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon and European Bee-eater. We also got excellent views of the vagrant Amur Falcon – looking rather cross as he dried out after a downpour – and a displaying European Roller.

Highlights per locations:

Tuesday 3rd May

Evretou Dam –  Purple Heron 1, Chukar, Little Ringed Plover, Little Stint, Ruff, Common Snipe, Curlew Sandpiper 3, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, European Bee-eater, Red-rumped Swallow, Cyprus Wheatear, Spotted Flycatcher, Eurasian Hoopoe

Androlikou – Eurasian Turtle Dove, Little Owl, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Cyprus Wheatear, Spotted Flycatcher

Neochorio – Smygies – European Bee-eatear, Red-rumped Swallow, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Cretzschmar’s Bunting

Friday 6th May

Anarita Park – Lesser Kestrel 2, Red-footed Falcon c20, Amur Falcon 1m, Eleonora’s Falcon 1, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, European Bee-eater, European Roller

Agia Varvara – Squacco Heron, European Bee-eater, Sand Martin

Paphos Sewage Works – Cattle Egret, Spur-winged Lapwing, Sand Martin 40+

Arodes (near village) – Golden Oriole 3, Black-headed Bunting 1 singing male

Two day list of species: 55 in total

Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Amur Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin, Little Ringed Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Ruff, Common Snipe, Curlew Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, 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, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Black-headed Bunting, Corn Bunting

Amur Falcon drying off in the rain, Anarita Park, 6th May 2016

Amur Falcon drying off in the sun, Anarita Park, 6th May 2016


Black-headed Bunting, Arodes, 6th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-headed Bunting, Arodes, 6th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Day’s Guiding 5th May 2016 Paphos, Omodos and Limassol

Neil and Christine had specific targets so the day was arranged to ensure we had the best chance to see them. The presence of a male Amur Falcon at Anarita Park changed the locations we had originally intended to visit but we still found all of them – although the Black Francolin refused to show from inside the cereal crop from which it was calling loudly – very frustrating!

The target species were Long-legged Buzzard, Spur-winged Lapwing, Chukar, Black Francolin, Cretzschmar’s Bunting and Cyprus Warbler, plus the Amur Falcon.

The Chukar turned out to be a roadside tick as one ran along the side of the road as we headed to Anarita Park from Neil and Christine’s Limassol base. Four then flew across the motorway. Flocks of swifts and hirundines were everywhere throughout the day – migrants probably bought down lower by the unsettled weather. We saw our first Alpine Swift in one of these flocks as we approached Anarita and we saw several more of these throughout the day plus good numbers of Sand and Common House Martin, Common Swift and Barn Swallow as well as one Red-rumped Swallow.

The Amur Falcon was the perfect bird – sitting on wires in front of us as we parked the car in Anarita Park where it was with several small falcons. In the area we found several male and female Red-footed Falcon and Lesser Kestrel. After watching them for a while we checked out the rest of the area and found a Cyprus Wheatear, three Little Owl, a Great Spotted Cuckoo and heard a Cyprus Warbler which remained deep in the hawthorn bush. More accommodating was a male Cretzschmar’s Bunting which we found busily collecting seeds. We watched it until it flew away towards the goat farm. Flocks of European Bee-eater flew over.

Moving on to Paphos Sewage Plant again we quickly found our target – the Spur-winged Lapwing. We counted at least six near the plant and in the nearby fields. Two Eurasian Turtle Dove were on the wires and again hirundines and swifts were everywhere. We had a couple of probably Pallid Swift but they were a little too distant for us to be 100 per cent sure. Mandria was quiet and little was seen apart from five Little Egret moving west along the coast. After a quick check of the area behind Asprokremmos Dam where we watched European Bee-eater on the wires we then headed back towards Limassol and inland to Omodos.

The weather was now cloudy, windy with scattered showers. However, we were pleased to see a Long-legged Buzzard flying over the area and find at least seven singing male Black-headed Bunting and one female. Several Cretzschmar’s Bunting were singing and European Serin, Cyprus Wheatear and Corn Bunting were reasonably common. We then decided to check Germasogeia Dam where we spent quite a while listening to a Black Francolin calling in a field of uncut cereal. He didn’t come out into the open however but at least Neil will recognize the call when he hears it again!

Our last stop was at Prastio Kellakiou. It was now very over cast but before the heavens opened we had brief views of a Cyprus Warbler family party, saw a fly-by Great Spotted Cuckoo, a male Masked Shrike, at least two singing male Black-headed Bunting and three Cretzschmar’s Bunting.

We headed back to Limassol in the rain- both the rain and the Black Francolin having defeated us but with the other targets met it didn’t seem important that the overall count for the day was low.

Full species list:

Little Egret, Long-legged Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Amur Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin h, Spur-winged Lapwing, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, European Bee-eater, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Black-headed Bunting, Corn Bunting

Cretzschmar's Bunting, Anarita Park 5th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Anarita Park 5th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Amur Falcon, Anarita Park 5th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Amur Falcon, Anarita Park 5th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Two Day’s Guiding Larnaca, Limassol and Paphos area 28th and 29th April 2016

Two days out with Benny and Ann-Marie who were based in Limassol. We visited most of the coastal Larnaca sites and a couple of inland ones, Zakaki, Phasouri and Kensington Cliffs in Limassol, Omodos, Agios Nikolaos and Tzelefos Bridge inland before finishing at Anarita Park where we had ended our two days out with great views of the first Amur Falcon to be found in Cyprus the day before by local birder Matt Smith.

Species highlights per locations:

28th April 2016

Oroklini Marsh – Cattle Egret, Spur-winged Lapwing, White-winged Tern, Glossy Ibis, Black-tailed Godwit, Greater Flamingo, Black-winged Stilt

Oroklini JUMBO Drainage Channel – Temminck’s Stint 2, Little Ringed Plover , Wood Sandpiper

Larnaca Salt Lake – Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Spectacled Warbler

Larnaca Sewage Works – Ruddy Shelduck, Garganey, Black Francolin, Ruff, Slender-billed Gull, Armenian Gull, Spotted Flycatcher, Spur-winged Lapwing, Black-winged Stilt, Wood Sandpiper, Little Stint

Spiros Pool – Kentish Plover, Black-headed Wagtail, Little Tern

Larnaca Airport Coast – Woodchat Shrike, Eurasian Turtle Dove

Meneou Pools – Greater Flamingo, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover

Pervolia – Black Francolin, Calandra Lark, Red-throated Pipit, Yellow Wagtail

Kivisilli – Lesser Kestrel, Montagu’s Harrier 2f

Panagia Stazousa – Long-legged Buzzard, Eurasian Roller, Cyprus Warbler, Cyprus Wheatear, Common Nightingale

29th April 2016

Zakaki Marsh – Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Water Rail, Wood Sandpiper, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler

Phasouri Reed-beds – Eleonora’s Falcon, Lesser Kestrel, Western Marsh Harrier, Glossy Ibis, Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, Ferruginous Duck

Kensington Cliffs – Eleonora’s Falcon, Cyprus Wheatear

Omodos, Agios Nikoloas, Mandria (Platres) – Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Cyprus Wheatear, Black-headed Bunting, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Red-rumped Swallow, Coal Tit, European Serin, Winter Wren, Masked Shirke, Eurasian Hoopoe, Long-legged Buzzard

Tzelefos Bridge – Winter Wren, Red-rumped Swallow, Black-crowned Night Heron, European Bee-eater

Nikokleia – Little Owl, European Roller

Agia Varvara – European Bee-eater, European Roller, Common Snipe, Wood Sandpiper, Ruff, Common Sandpiper, Squacco Heron, Purple Heron

Anarita Park – Montagu’s Harrier 1m, Lesser Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Amur Falcon, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Whinchat, Long-legged Buzzard

Total seen: 96

Little Grebe, Black-crowned Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo, Ruddy Shelduck, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Ferruginous Duck, Western Marsh Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Amur Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin, Water Rail, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Temminck’s Stint, Ruff, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Common Black-headed Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull,  Armenian Gull, Little Tern, White-winged Tern, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Calandra Lark, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Tree Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Blue-headed Wagtail (flava), Black-headed Wagtail (feldegg), Winter Wren, Common Nightingale, Whinchat, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Black-headed Bunting, Corn Bunting

Glossy Ibis, Zakaki Marsh 29th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Glossy Ibis, Zakaki Marsh 29th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-crowned Night Heron, Tzelefos Bridge, 29th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-crowned Night Heron, Tzelefos Bridge, 29th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Amur Falcon, Anarita Park, 29th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Amur Falcon, Anarita Park, 29th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Omodos 29th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Omodos 29th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Snipe, Agia Varvara 29th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Snipe, Agia Varvara 29th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cape Greco and Oroklini Marsh, 26th April 2016

A visit to Cape Greco in the morning to do some Common Bird transects and then a drive around the area plus a visit to Oroklini Marsh on the way home. Birds seen included:

Agia Napa Sewage Works
European Bee-eater 20+
Black-headed Bunting 2+ singing males
Cyprus Warbler 1 singing male
Cyprus Wheatear 1m and 1f

Cape Greco
Black-headed Bunting 1m
Cyprus Warbler 3 singing males
European Bee-eater 13+
Red-rumped Swallow 2
Cyprus Wheatear 3m
Eurasian Wryneck 1
Tawny Pipit 1
Northern Wheatear 1f
Tree Pipit 1

Oroklini Marsh
Glossy Ibis 1
Ruff 1
Red-crested Pochard 1m and 1f
Ferruginous Duck 2
Cattle Egret c100
Black-winged Stilt c30
Spur-winged Lapwing 5

European Bee-eater, Cape Greco 26th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

European Bee-eater, Cape Greco 26th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Spur-winged Lapwing, Oroklini Marsh 26th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Spur-winged Lapwing, Oroklini Marsh 26th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-winged Stilt, Oroklini Marsh 26th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-winged Stilt, Oroklini Marsh 26th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Coot, Oroklini Marsh 26th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Coot, Oroklini Marsh 26th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Mallard, Oroklini Marsh 26th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Mallard, Oroklini Marsh 26th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Akamas area this weekend, 23rd and 24th April 2016

 

Several male Black-headed Bunting were on territories at Arodes, Droushia and Pittokopos over the weekend. The female Black-headed Bunting in the photo below was being serenaded by two males! I also saw migrating Steppe Buzzard, Woodchat Shrike, Ortolan Bunting, European Bee-eater, Eurasian Hobby, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Cyprus Wheatear, Long-legged Buzzard and a female Eastern Black-eared Wheatear.

Black-headed Bunting, Pittokopos, 24th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-headed Bunting, Pittokopos, 24th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-headed Bunting female, Pittokopos, 24th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-headed Bunting female, Pittokopos, 24th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Omodos today 20th June 2015

Spent a few hours in the vineyards to the north west of Omodos where there were many singing Black-headed Bunting and Cyprus Wheatear. Had good views of Cyprus Warbler, Serin, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler and Long-legged Buzzard as well and there were many Common House Martin with a few Red-rumped and Barn Swallow overhead.

The best part of the time there was when I drove along the road to Agios Nikolaos and found a family party of four Black-headed Bunting juveniles flying from mosphilia bush to the vines and back. At one stage there were several young Corn Bunting, a couple of juvenile Spanish Sparrow, a young Common Linnet and Sardinian Warbler and two of the Black-headed Bunting in the same bush! Great birding moment! Light was really bad so the photo of one of the young Black-headed Bunting with a young Spanish Sparrow is the best of a very poor bunch.

Black-headed Bunting juvenile with Spanish Sparrow juvenile Omodos 20th June 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-headed Bunting juvenile with Spanish Sparrow juvenile Omodos 20th June 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 around Limassol, 12th May 2015

For our second day out this spring, I met John and Madeline at Avdimou and we headed for Kensington Cliffs. We stopped to watch a singing male Sardinian Warbler and then scanned the bay. We quickly found several Eleonora’s Falcon on the cliffs and then watched as others flew close to us and around the bay. On some rocks in the bay five Squacco Heron were resting. Both that species and strangely Common House Martin were present at most of the coastal sites we visited during the day. Spotted Flycatcher were also present in good numbers around the Akrotiri Peninsula and we found our first of the day at Phassouri Reed Beds where we also had at least five Squacco Heron, a Cattle Egret, several Little Egret, six Glossy Ibis , a juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron, up to sixteen Wood Sandpiper and a single Ruff. Five Eurasian Turtle Dove flew over as did a Western Marsh Harrier. In the reeds were several Eurasian Reed Warbler and also a Woodchat Shrike, while two female Black-headed Wagtail were feeding in the footsteps of one of the grazing cattle.

The Gravel Pits were quieter but we did find a Purple Heron, Kentish Plover, Whinchat and Spotted Flycatcher. In the gardens of Agios Georgios Church we found another Woodchat Shrike and at least five Spotted Flycatcher. Madeline located a yellowish warbler in one of the pines which then started singing. The ID was then obvious – an Icterine Warbler – the star bird of the day and a lifer for John and Madeline.  We could see around a hundred Greater Flamingo on the main Salt Lake and spotted a Great Egret feeding at the edge with several Little Egret. A female Montagu’s Harrier flew over the area. We had our lunch in the shade of the trees near Bishop’s Pool watching European Bee-eater and yet another Spotted Flycatcher. As we drove on a male Golden Oriole flew in front of us.

There had been a clear out of waders on Lady’s Mile since I was last there although on the eastern end we found nearly twenty Common Ringed Plover, several Ruff, many Little Stint and some Wood Sandpiper. Another good find was a Little Gull and six Squacco Heron were migrating along the coast. At the Zakaki Marsh hide we watched more Wood Sandpiper and female Black-headed Wagtail. We also found another Squacco Heron together with six Little Egret and a Grey Heron. We then visited the east side of the Salt Lake to get better views of some of the waders we had seen there when watching the Greater Flamingo. The light and heat haze were against us but we did see four Little Tern, several Black-winged Stilt and more Ruff, Common Ringed Plover and Little Stint. In the distance we could see a hazy flock of terns feeding – it was impossible to ID them with any certainty but it is likely they included White-winged and Whiskered.

We then headed inland to our final location at Kellakiou. On the way a Collared Flycatcher was seen from the side of the road. At Kellakiou we found a couple of Cyprus Wheatear and a single Cyprus Warbler. Eastern Olivaceous Warbler were singing and European Bee-eater migrating over the area. Eurasian Turtle Dove, European Serin, Common Chaffinch, Spanish Sparrow and juvenile European Goldfinch were coming down to drink at a small pool of water. Four Red-rumped Swallow were also flying down to drink there. At least three male Black-headed Bunting were singing and we were able to get close views of two of them as well as of at least seven Cretzschmar’s Bunting. A lone Masked Shrike was seen flying across the valley. This great experience, both listening and watching both migrant and resident breeders setting up territories ended our day out.

Total species seen – 68

Little Grebe, Black-crowned Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Great Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo, Mallard, Western Marsh Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier, Common Kestrel, Eleonora’s Falcon, Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Little Stint, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Little Gull, Common Black-headed Gull, Tern spp, Little Tern, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Eurasian Scops Owl (h), Common Swift, European Bee-eater, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Black-headed Wagtail, Whinchat, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Icterine Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Collared Flycatcher, Great Tit, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Woodchat Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Goldfinch, European Greenfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Black-headed Bunting.DSCN1615


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Cape Greco this morning, 9th May 2015

Some good birds still around including an Icterine Warbler at Cape Greco this morning. Mixing Common Bird Monitoring transects with some birding afterwards!

Birds seen included:

Agia Napa Sewage Works – Black-headed Bunting 2m singing, Eurasian Turtle Dove 1, Cyprus Warbler 1m, Common Redstart 1f, Collared Flycatcher 2f, Laughing Dove 2

Cape Greco – Black-headed Bunting 1m singing, Cyprus Warbler 1m, Pallid Harrier 1f, Lesser Kestrel 2, Eurasian Turtle Dove 2, Woodchat Shrike 3, Red-backed Shrike 1m, Honey Buzzard 1, Cyprus Wheatear 6m, Spotted Flycatcher 1, Icterine Warbler 1, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler 3, Great Spotted Cuckoo 1, Common Redstart 1f, Lesser Whitethroat 3, Cyprus Wheatear 5+

Photo below is of one of a pair of Laughing Dove near Agia Napa Sewage Works this morning. Wild birds are rare vagrants to Cyprus; this bird is from a small population established in the area by escapees from local collections. Others, again thought to be escapees, are now breeding in a couple of locations in Limassol.

 Laughing Dove, Agia Napa Sewage Works May 9th 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Laughing Dove, Agia Napa Sewage Works May 9th 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Day’s Guiding around Paphos, 5th May 2015

A great day out with John and Madeleine for general bird watching around Paphos. We chose a different selection of sites than those visited together in May 2014. Migration is definitely slowing down but we still found some migrating waders and herons as well as many colourful migrant breeders setting up territories.

Highlights per location:

Agia Varvara: Squacco and Purple Heron, Spotted Redshank, European Roller, Red-backed Shrike

Minthis Hills: Long-legged Buzzard, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Spectacled Warbler, Corn Bunting

Kannaviou area – European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Red-rumped Swallow, Cyprus Wheatear, Coal Tit, Masked Shrike, Cretzschmar’s Bunting

Evretou Dam – Black-crowned Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, Bonelli’s Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Wood Sandpiper, Common Redstart

Androlikou – European Roller, Cyprus Wheatear

Arodes – European Bee-eater, Peregrine Falcon, Eurasian Turtle Dove, European Roller, Red-backed Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Black-headed Bunting

Total number of species seen: 55

Black-crowned Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Mallard, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Spotted Redshank, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Common Swift, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Common Redstart, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Black-headed Bunting, Corn Bunting