Lovely day around Cape Greco today – dodging some very heavy rain at times. Great birds including this male Masked Shrike (photo).
Other sightings included:
Isabelline Wheatear 28+
Northern Wheatear 12+
Common Hoopoe 20 incl a group of five in off sea together
Cyprus Wheatear 4
Common Crane 1 heading E 09:45
Black Redstart 10
Lesser Whitethroat 8+
Common Whitethroat 2
Song Thrush 7
Black-eared Wheatear 2 pale throated and 5 dark throated
Ruppell’s Warbler 3m
Masked Shrike 1m
Blue Rock Thrush 3 (incl a pair with singing male)
Cyprus Warbler 3m
Common Nightingale 1
Great Spotted Cuckoo 1
Hen Harrier 1f
Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler 2
Common Redstart 1m and 1f
‘Ehrenberg’s’ Redstart 1f
Desert Wheatear 1m
Red-rumped Swallow 7
Black-headed Wagtail 30
Blue-headed Wagtail 2
Although at first it didn’t look very promising at Phasouri this morning, things picked up slowly and I managed to get a good list together including a nice surprise in the shape of a juvenile Lesser Spotted Eagle (see cropped record shot). Other birds seen include:
Eurasian Sparrowhawk 1
Common Crane 1 flew down behind reeds
Jack Snipe 1 in flight
Common Snipe 3
Western Marsh Harrier 2
Common Starling c40
Water Pipit 13
Black Redstart 1
Spur-winged Lapwing 10
Great White Egret 2
Western Water Rail 1h
Red-throated Pipit 1+h
Northern Lapwing 9
Back in Cyprus after a few weeks away and time to get the 2018 year list under way. Visiting Manglis Lake and Agios Sozomenos in Nicosia with the Black-necked Grebe I found at the former in mid December still present and good views of Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Little Owl and Finsch’s Wheatear at the latter.
Black-necked Grebe 1
Northern Shoveler 13
Common Teal 1m
Little Egret 1
Great Cormorant 1
Cattle Egret 1
Red-throated Pipit 6
European Serin 2
Spectacled Warbler 3 singing males
Long-legged Buzzard 1
Bonelli’s Eagle 2
Little Owl 1 (see photo)
Northern Lapwing c50
Common Buzzard 2
Finsch’s Wheatear 1m and 1f
Corn Bunting 2 singing
Little Owl, Agios Sozomenos 8th January 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
A sunny but cool winter’s day around some of the Paphos birding sites with Martin and Beverley produced a variety of species and showed that most of our regular winter visitors have arrived. Unfortunately for Martin and Beverly a lot of those are common in the UK but even so we picked up several new species for them and they were also pleased to see three female Hen Harriers which are not easy to see in England any longer.
We started at Paphos Sewage Plant where six Spur-winged Lapwing were feeding in a recently mown field along with four Northern Lapwing, plenty of Meadow Pipit, just two Red-throated Pipits and some Eurasian Skylark. Of course we saw many European Stonechat as well as the first of many of the day’s Black Redstart. In the valley behind Agia Varvara village we found a small group of Woodlark and then European Serin. Here we saw the first of our female Hen Harrier as well as a distant Long-legged Buzzard and Eurasian Sparrowhawk. Two Common Snipe were feeding in a small area of water. Also in the area was a very late Willow Warbler as well as several Common Chiffchaff, Sardinian Warbler and Spanish Sparrow.
Our next stop was Anarita Park where our target species was the Finsch’s Wheatear. A male was waiting for us – or so it seemed – as we arrived on one of the usual territories and then proceeded to keep us entertained for almost half an hour as it fed, flying from rocks down to the grass and back again. Another male was seen on a large boulder in the distance. A couple of flocks of Woodlark and Meadow Pipit were flying around. We then drove down to the coast and around the fields at the coast of Mandria. We had reasonable views of two Red-throated Pipits and watched several Eurasian Skylark in the fields. A Black Redstart entertained us while we ate our picnic lunch and several Yellow-legged Gull flew over. We decided to make a short stop near Kouklia Fish Farm where a pair of Slavonian Grebe had been offshore since late last week. Unfortunately we couldn’t find them but we did get great views of five Chukar that we had not managed at other locations.
We took the opportunity to visit Kouklia village where at least five Laughing Dove were found near the archaeological site there and then we moved to our last location of the day – Asprokremmos Dam. We spent some time on the dam wall where we watched another female Hen Harrier fly up stream and a lovely male Blue Rock Thrush feeding on the boulders. Driving up to the mast we found many Corn Bunting as well as more Woodlark, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch and a large flock of Common Linnet. On the water was a large group of Great Cormorant – another winter visitor – as well as some Common Teal and a single Northern Shoveler. Now the sun was setting the temperature started to drop and we called it a day and I drove Martin and Beverley back to their Paphos hotel.
Species seen – Chukar, Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Common Teal, Little Grebe, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Laughing Dove, Common Coot, Grey Heron, Great Cormorant, Northern Lapwing, Spur-winged Lapwing, Common Snipe, Yellow-legged Gull, Hen Harrier, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Eurasian Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Great Tit, Woodlark, Eurasian Skylark, Crested Lark, Zitting Cisticola, Willow Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Cetti’s Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, European Robin, Black Redstart, Blue Rock Thrush, European Stonechat, Finsch’s Wheatear, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Red-throated Pipit, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, Common Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, Common Linnet, European Goldfinch, European Serin, Corn Bunting
Blue Rock Thrush, Asprokremmos Dam 23rd November 2017 (C) Cyprus Birding Tours
For their second day out I took Peter and Jean to Paphos Sewage Plant, Timi Beach and Mandria and then inland to Kidasi. We finished the day at Kouklia village and then watching hundreds of Eurasian Jackdaw and Hooded Crow come into roost at Secret Valley where thirty plus Greater Cormorant also flew in and added to the spectacle.
Although we failed to see the Bimaculated Lark at Mandria despite checking through a lot of Eurasian Skylark we did find a lone Calandra Lark there as well as seeing a flyby Audouin’s Gull, a very late male Pallid Harrier and both a male and female Hen Harrier. We also enjoyed a male Finsch’s Wheatear at Kidasi.
Highlights per locations:
Paphos Sewage Plant – Spur-winged Lapwing 4, Eurasian Sparrowhawk 2, Common Buzzard, Red-throated Pipit 2+, Black Redstart
Timi Beach – Common Kingfisher
Mandria – Yellow-legged Gull c200, Audouin’s Gull 1, Hen Harrier 1m and 1f, Pallid Harrier 1m, Eurasian Skylark 100+, Calandra Lark 1, Black Redstart, Spanish Sparrow, White Wagtail
Kidasi – Finsch’s Wheatear 1m
Mamonia – Corn Bunting
Kouklia Village – Laughing Dove 5+
Secret Valley – Chukar, Great Cormorant 35+, Eurasian Jackdaw 300+, Common Kingfisher
Pallid Harrier, Mandria 14th November 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
This was the third year that I had taken Peter and Jean out and we started the first of two days out this autumn at Mavrokolympos Dam, continued through Akoursos to Kathikas, spent a couple of hours in the valley behind Arodes before driving to Kannaviou Dam. We finished the day as light was fading at Evretou Dam after a drive through the Saramas Valley.
Highlights per location:
Mavrokolympos Dam – Chukar h, Rock Dove, Grey Heron, Woodlark, Cyprus Warbler 1m and 1f, Blue Rock Thrush 1f, Meadow Pipit 37 over in one group
Kathikas – Long-legged Buzzard
Arodes – Common Quail 1 flushed from under our feet, Great Cormorant c30 seen migrating in a flock heading S, Hen Harrier 1f, Bonelli’s Eagle 2 ad (pair), Northern Goshawk 1 (prob this species), Woodlark, Black Redstart, Corn Bunting
Kannaviou – Chukar, Coal Tit (Cyprus endemic sub-species), Common Chaffinch, European Serin
Saramas Valley – Song Thrush, Black Redstart, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chiffchaff c20, Corn Bunting 30+, White Wagtail
Evretou Dam – Western Marsh Harrier 1f hunting, Long-legged Buzzard 1 perched in tree overlooking village, Black Redstart
Bonelli’s Eagle, 10th November 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Did the waterbird count around the Larnaca area this morning. A good variety of wintering wildfowl at the Sewage Works although not any great numbers – Greater White-fronted Geese, Northern Shoveler, Common Pochard, Gadwall, Northern Pintail, Eurasian Wigeon, Black-necked Grebe, Northern Shoveler and Eurasian Wigeon. There are still two Black-winged Stilt there that look as if they may be going to over winter. The fields around have plenty of Eurasian Skylark and Meadow Pipit and there were hunting Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Hen Harrier and Western Marsh Harrier. Over a hundred Golden Plover were roosting on Spiros Pool.
On the main Salt Lake there were over nine hundred Greater Flamingo, plenty of Common Black-headed Gull and fifteen Common Shelduck. Flocks of waders around the edge included Dunlin, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Little Stint and Common Redshank. A few Eurasian Stone Curlew were roosting in the Airport Pools and in the reeds on the eastern edge there were at least three Penduline Tit.
Western Black Redstart, Larnaca Sewage Works 22nd November 2014 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours