Cyprus Birding Tours

Offering guided bird watching tours around Cyprus

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Cape Greco again 2nd September 2015

Back again this morning at Cape Greco with an easterly wind, the birds arriving later than yesterday and only around 50 Barn Swallow migrating with no martins at all today. Raptors were a juvenile Montagu’s Harrier and another distant ring-tail, six Western Marsh Harrier, six European Honey Buzzard, a Black Kite and a Long-legged Buzzard which may be a local bird. Twenty Purple Heron left their roost in some eucalyptus trees and headed south around 10.00 am. Other birds seen included two Greater Short-toed Lark, two Tree Pipit, three Spotted Flycatcher, a Common Whitethroat, a Cyprus Wheatear and two male Red-backed Shrike with a single juvenile.

Ten Eurasian Hoopoe were feeding on the Agia Napa Football Fields were there was also a small flock of Yellow Wagtail, some Cattle Egret, a Northern Wheatear, two Lesser Grey Shrike and two Red-backed Shrike.

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Cape Greco Raptor watch this morning, 1st September 2015

Raptor watching at Cape Greco this morning to kick off the autumn migration survey there. For a location that can be very good but also very quiet, it was a reasonable first day with two juvenile Pallid Harrier, five Western Marsh Harrier, three Honey Buzzard and a Black Kite all by 10.00 am. Then the only other bird of prey was a Eurasian Hobby who heading south in the company of the many hirundines that were migrating over the area. There were more than 400 Barn Swallow, 180+ Sand Martin, nine Common House Martin and five Red-rumped Swallow moving S over my observation point.

Also in the area to keep me interested once the raptor movement slowed were six Cretzschmar’s and then one Ortolan Bunting, three juvenile Eastern Orphean Warbler, twelve Eurasian Turtle Dove, two Pallid Swift, an Isabelline Wheatear, at least one Tawny Pipit, two Spotted Flycatcher, Common and Lesser Whitethroat, two Eurasian Hoopoe, a male Blue Rock Thrush and the inevitable Masked, Red-backed and Lesser Grey Shrike.

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Cape Greco this afternoon, 28th February 2015

An afternoon walk around Cape Greco in spring sunshine until a large dust cloud approached from the west around 4.30pm. Found five Audouin’s Gull on Kermia Beach and an assortment of wheatears – four Isabelline Wheatear, a male Northern Wheatear and a male and female Finsch’s Wheatear. Surprise bird was an immature Black Kite flying over the army camp.

Audouin's Gull Kermia Beach February 28th 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Audouin’s Gull Kermia Beach February 28th 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s Guiding Akrotiri 20th October 2014

Meeting Carl and Riss outside Limassol we headed for Phassouri Reed Beds. I managed to catch sight of the only two European Bee-eaters we found all day and we also saw a Common Kingfisher, at least three Eurasian Sparrowhawk, a Water Rail, a lone Greater Short-toed Lark, several Red-backed Shrike and two Common Snipe. There were plenty of Common Stonechat as well as one Whinchat. We saw a flock of Greater Flamingo flying over the Gravel Pits where we also watched a single Honey Buzzard gaining height being mobbed by several Hooded Crows.

There were at least three hundred Greater Flamingo on the main Salt Lake which we saw in the haze as we headed for Bishop’s Pool. The water levels there have risen meaning that no waders were present but a few wintering Teal and Northern Shoveler had arrived and we had good views of two of the resident Ferruginous Duck. Two Grey Wagtails were flying around the area and as well as several Willow Warblers in the vegetation we found at least one Chiffchaff and a Lesser Whitethroat. A Western Marsh Harrier was quartering the reeds but being ignored by the waterbirds.

Driving down Lady’s Mile we picked out two Spectacled Warbler and another Red-backed Shrike. A few waders were on the mud – some Little Stint, Dunlin and Kentish Plover. From the hide at Zakaki we watched two Common Kingfisher, several fighting White Wagtail, a Red-throated Pipit, a couple of Yellow Wagtail, a Water Rail disappear quickly into the reeds and two Common Snipe. We had been searching the reeds for a Bluethroat which finally Carl found and we watched it hurry through the bottom of the reed stands in front of us. Just as we were about to leave two unusual looking doves flew in – two Stock Dove. Unfortunately they left as quickly as they flew in but we were able to get a good look at this uncommon bird for Cyprus.

We returned to Phassouri to eat our lunch and were treated to a fly past from a migrating Black Kite. We saw a migrating Common Buzzard as we headed for Kensington Cliffs as well as six Honey Buzzard that seemed to be searching for trees in which to roost. It was windy at Kensington Cliffs but we were treated to an aerial display by at least five Eleonora’s Falcon there. I then suggested we visit Germasogeia Dam but unfortunately the lack of water at the Finikaria end of the dam meant that we saw very little more bird life – a couple of Grey Herons were around, Sardinian Warbler were in the scrub and Spanish Sparrow were in the bushes.

We returned to Zakaki again and finished the day there.  We had seen nearly sixty species and had a very enjoyable day.

Species total – 59

Little Grebe, Squacco Heron, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Greater Flamingo, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Ferruginous Duck, European Honey Buzzard, Black Kite,  Western Marsh Harrier, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Eleonora’s Falcon, Water Rail, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Kentish Plover, Little Stint, Dunlin, Common Snipe, Common Redshank, Common Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Stock Dove, Common Kingfisher, European Bee-eater, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-throated Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, European Robin, Bluethroat, Whinchat, Common Stonechat, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet

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

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.