Had a great couple of hours this afternoon walking around the archaeological site at Paphos Headland where I found: Richard’s Pipit, Eastern Subalpine Warbler 1m, Ruppell’s Warbler 1m, Common Quail (h), Isabelline Wheatear, Little Egret (one flew over), Greater Short-toed Lark, Blue Rock Thrush, Eurasian Hoopoe and Western Black Redstart and Eurasian Blackcap 2m and 1f.
It was good to meet up with Ann and Peter again for the first of our four trips out this month. Today we spent four hours around Agia Varvara, Anarita Park and Mandria to give them a feel for what was around at the start of their holiday here.
Highlights per location:
Agia Varvara – Long-legged Buzzard, Black Francolin 2h, Green Sandpiper 3, Great Spotted Cuckoo 1, European Serin 20+, Corn Bunting c40
Anarita Park – Common Quail 1h, Little Owl 1, Cyprus Wheatear 1m and 1f, Blue Rock Thrush 2m and 1f, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Cretzschmar’s Bunting 2+, Corn Bunting 20+
Mandria – European Shag 2, Isabelline Wheatear 1
Total species seen – 43
Little Grebe, European Shag, Mallard, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Quail, Green Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting.
It was quite windy at Cape Greco so there was little chance of finding any early sylvia warblers – the reason for my trip. But I was very pleased with what I did manage to see, especially as I finally found the Trumpeter Finches that had been avoiding me on all other recent visits there.
Apart from them, other birds around included two Tawny Pipit, 27 Isabelline Wheatear, four Northern Wheatear, a male Eastern ‘Siberian’ Stonechat, three singing male Cyprus Warbler, four Northern Wheatear, a male Desert Wheatear, two male Cretzschmar’s Bunting, a Eurasian Hoopoe, a male Blue Rock Thrush and a group of c40 Great Cormorant migrating E.
At Kermia Beach I found three Audouin’s Gull, two Yellow-legged Gull and a Caspian Gull.
No joy finding the Trumpeter Finches that had been found here on Saturday but did have a great walk and the pleasure of sitting eating sandwiches with a female Finsch’s Wheatear to my left and a male Blue Rock Thrush to my right – so not all bad!
Interesting birds around included: Blue Rock Thrush 2m and 1f, Finsch’s Wheatear 1m and 2f (both dark throated) and Cyprus Warbler 1f.
Visited several of my favourite locations today around the east of the island. Several Greater Sand Plover on a couple of rocky coasts and the three White-headed Duck are still at Oroklini Marsh. More interesting sightings included:
A quick ‘spur of the moment’ visit to the Cape Greco area this morning produced four Grey Plover and three Common Kingfisher at Agia Trias; two over flying Great Black-headed Gull at Cape Greco where there was also a Blue Rock Thrush, six Woodlark and a female Cyprus Warbler; and thirteen Eurasian Stone Curlew roosting on the beach at Kermia Beach.
The third day out with Peter and Jean was spent around Paphos. We stopped at Achelia Dam on our way to Anarita Park. There we found the lone Ferruginous Duck that has been there for at least a week as well as fourteen Great Cormorant – one of which we watched struggle with a large fish it had caught. Onto Anarita Park, where it took us longer than expected to find a Finsch’s Wheatear, but with a little help from another birder we finally had some good views of a male. We also spent time watching two Little Owls and then were treated to the spectacle of two adult Bonelli’s Eagle flying to the east of the area being mobbed by a Long-legged Buzzard. Three Woodlark were also seen as well as a couple of Western Black Redstart and the ubiquitous Common Stonechat.
Some Yellow-legged Gulls, two Grey Heron and two Great Cormorant were the only water birds on Asprokremmos Dam so we headed to the mast area to the west of the water where we had brief views of a male and female Cyprus Warbler and a couple of Spectacled Warbler. A late Northern Wheatear was a surprise but the best bird of the area was a male Merlin we saw speeding over the scrub and fields putting the large flocks of European Goldfinch and Greenfinch, Spanish Sparrow, Meadow Pipit and Corn Bunting into a panic. Down by the water’s edge we also found large flocks of European Serin. A Long-legged Buzzard was also flying over the area.
We finished our day at Lower Ezousas, a site that has been very busy over the last few days since a pair of Cyprus rarities, the Bearded Reedling, had been seen on Saturday. We saw the female as soon as we arrived and the male as we left. We also had close up views of at least one Moustached Warbler, a Grey Wagtail, two Water Rail and a Bluethroat as well as several Cetti’s Warbler and Chiffchaff. As we left the light was fading – some good birds to round off the day.
The new species that we saw today brought the total seen over the three trips to 77.
Today’s species – 52
Little Grebe, Great Cormorant, Grey Heron, Mallard, Ferruginous Duck, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Common Kestrel, Merlin, Chukar, Water Rail, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Little Owl, Crested Lark, Woodlark, Eurasian Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, European Robin, Bluethroat, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Finsch’s Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Moustached Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Bearded Reedling, Eurasian Magpie, Hooded Crow, Western Jackdaw, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Corn Bunting
The first of two days out with Mark and Sally around the Paphos area; today we visited Acheleia Dam, Anarita Park, Minthis Hills, Kannaviou Dam and surrounds, and Evretou Dam.
A good surprise on the small Acheleia or Pianina Dam was a Ferruginous Duck – one of Mark’s targets that I had not expected to find around Paphos. Pleased with our start we headed to Anarita Park where we found a couple of Woodlark, flocks of European Goldfinch and plenty of Common Stonechat on our arrival. Scanning the rocks for wintering Finsch’s Wheatear we found two males that appeared to be fighting over territory and a female to the left of them. To the north we found another male (although we weren’t sure it wasn’t one of the two earlier seen arguing) and another female. We then spent some time watching a male Blue Rock Thrush who was showing better than a female we had seen earlier. A Little Owl was on its usual rock and we spotted another roosting in an olive tree.
We had no joy finding a Cyprus Wheatear there, nor at Minthis Hills our next stop, with all seeming to have moved on. We found several flocks of wintering birds there – European Serin, Common Linnet and Meadow Pipit. At Polemi we saw a Common Buzzard and moving on to Kannaviou we stopped and scanned the Dam first. A Great Egret was the best of the water birds there which also included two Grey Heron, many Eurasian Coot, some Mallard, Little Grebe and a single Great Cormorant. Two male Western Black Redstart were flying around and arguing near the dam wall in front of us. Eating our lunch in the nearby forest we were surrounded by flocks of Common Chaffinch, plenty of European Robin, some European Serin and Sardinian Warbler. We explored the area and finally managed to get views of around six Coal Tit – an endemic Cyprus sub-species.
Another Great Egret was on Evretou Dam and a Common Snipe was feeding around the edge. We were treated to fly pasts from both a Long-legged Buzzard and a Peregrine Falcon and spent some time watching the flocks of Corn Bunting. Two Common Starling were a good bird for that area of Cyprus. Large flocks of both Common Woodpigeon and Western Jackdaw were flying around. As the sunset we watched eight Great Cormorant coming into roost on water side trees.
Total species seen – 44
Little Grebe, Great Cormorant, Great Egret, Grey Heron, Mallard, Ferruginous Duck, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Common Snipe, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Little Owl, Crested Lark, Woodlark, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, European Robin, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Finsch’s Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Corn Bunting
A day out around the south east of Cyprus today with Neil. At Cape Greco we found a late Cyprus Wheatear and a male Cyprus Warbler gave us good views. We had not joy finding any Finsch’s Wheatear which don’t seem to have arrived on their winter territories in this part of the island yet. We had good views of a male Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Great Egret, a female and juvenile male Blue Rock Thrush and Chukar, and were very pleased to find two Greater Sand Plover at Agia Trias. Twenty migrating Slender-billed Gulls were seen off Kermia Beach and we found two late migrating juvenile Red-backed Shrike and Northern Wheatear.
Highlights per location:
Akhna Dam – Great Egret, Eurasian Wigeon 1f, Common Quail 1h, Spur-winged Lapwing, Zitting Cisticola, Spanish Sparrow
Agia Thekla – Little Egret, Red-throated Pipit
Kermia Beach – Northern Shoveler 2 on sea, Slender-billed Gull 20 E to W off shore, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear 1m
Cape Greco – Northern Wheatear 2, Cyprus Wheatear 1, Blue Rock Thrush 2, Spectacled Warbler, Cyprus Warbler 1m, Red-backed Shrike 2 juv
Agia Trias – Yellow-legged Gull 3, Greater Sand Plover 2, Common Sandpiper 1, Common Kingfisher 1
Agia Napa Football Fields – Cattle Egret 11
Paralimni Lake – Little Egret 10, Water Rail h, Spur-winged Lapwing
Total species seen – 47
Little Grebe, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Great Egret, Grey Heron, Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Wigeon, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Water Rail, Common Moorhen, Common Quail, Eurasian Coot, Greater Sand Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Common Sandpiper, Slender-billed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Kingfisher, Crested Lark, Eurasian Skylark, Barn Swallow, Red-throated Pipit, White Wagtail, European Robin, Common Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet
A day out with Pat and Chris looking for regional specialties and migrants stared at Geroskippou where we found Isabelline Wheatear , Red-rumped Swallow and Eurasian Hoopoe. Moving on to Paphos Sewage Works, we quickly found our target species with at least eight Spur-winged Lapwing visible from the road. Offshore we found five Armenian Gull floating in the bay and a the first of the day’s many Corn Bunting were found when a large flock flew out of the reeds there. European Serin were plentiful flying around the area and we saw one, maybe two, Hawfinch flying with some Chaffinch while four Cattle Egret were feeding in the fields. Another Hawfinch was with a finch flock on the approach road to Asprokremmos Dam. In the area behind the dam we found two male Cyprus Warbler, several Sardinian and Spectacled Warbler, two Red-throated Pipit, at least two Eurasian Hoopoe, two Little Owl, four Eastern Black-eared Wheatear and some Chukar. Up to eight Alpine Swift were flying overhead with a group of hirundines which included many Barn Swallow and Common House Martin. A flock of ten migrating Grey Heron flew over the dam heading north.
Heading towards the sea at Mandria we stopped to look at a group of at least ten Red-rumped Swallow mixed with other hirundines and then found three more Hawfinch near an olive grove. Close to the beach we saw three Isabelline Wheatear and at least six Northern Wheatear. Two small flocks totalling around thirty Greater Short-toed Lark were feeding in the area as were Serin, Linnet, Goldfinch and Spanish Sparrow and a lone Little Ringed Plover. We spent some time trying to locate a calling Black Francolin but only saw it fly away from us together with a flock of nearly a hundred Corn Bunting.
As we headed to the last stop of the day at Anarita Park, we stopped just before Agia Varvara when a Great Spotted Cuckoo flew by. We were able to relocate it and watch it through the ‘scope before it flew out of sight. We rounded off a good day’s birding with some new species at Anarita Park – Ruppell’s Warbler, Cyprus Wheatear, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Blue Rock Thrush, Lesser Whitethroat and Cretzschmar’s Bunting – as well as yet more Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, many more Corn Bunting and a great view of a Cetti’s Warbler unusually out in the open. As the sun set I returned Pat and Chris to their hotel after an enjoyable day’s birding.
Total number of species seen – 59
Great Cormorant, European Shag, Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Ringed Plover, Yellow-legged 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, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Meadow Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, White Wagtail, European Robin, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Blue Rock Thrush, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Ruppell’s Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Hawfinch, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting
Taking a break from paperwork this afternoon, I visited Agios Sozomenos outside Nicosia and ended up seeing five different species of bird of prey as well as three male Finsch’s Wheatear and a male Blue Rock Thrush. A juvenile Peregrine Falcon was perched near the road side and a male Hen Harrier was quartering the area. But at least seven Common Kestrel were causing a commotion and mobbing a large raptor. Knowing that Long-legged Buzzard are usually around I looked up expecting to see one of those. I was surprised to see that it was an immature Bonelli’s Eagle instead, which I hadn’t seen on any previous visits there. The Bonelli’s flew away for a while but when it returned, much to the annoyance of the Common Kestrel again, a Long-legged Buzzard also flew close by and attracted the attention of the Kestrels. A good spectacle.
Also seen were Western Black Redstart, Eurasian Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Common Starling, Corn Bunting, Spectacled Warbler, Common Stonechat, European Robin