Second day out guiding for Birdwatching Breaks and we visited the Akamas area. Highlights were a tree full of warblers including this Wood Warbler (photo), two adult Bonelli’s Eagles one of which flew right over our heads, a female Pallid Harrier, lots of Cyprus Wheatear setting up territories, at least two calling Cyprus Scops Owl, a small flock of Tree Pipit, more than 100 migrating Red-rumped Swallow, two Ortolan Bunting, Collared and Pied Flycatcher and a Eurasian Wryneck.
Wood Warbler, Androlikou 12th April 2019 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
A great half an hour this morning watching a pair of Bonelli’s Eagle being mobbed and generally harassed by a pair of Peregrine Falcon. It was also interesting to see the plumage differences of the two eagles and the size differential between the male and female Peregrine – the female being the larger.
Out around Nicosia again today visiting Manglis Lake, Athalassa Dam and Agios Sozomenos. Best birds were:
Great Egret 1
Little Egret 1
Black-necked Grebe 1
Grey Wagtail 1
Great Egret 2
Little Egret 1
Grey Heron 6
Black-crowned Night Heron 3ad and 1imm
Great Cormorant 60+
Black-necked Grebe 3
Ferruginous Duck 9
Eurasian Blackbird 1h
European Serin 2+
Plus plenty of Teal, Mallard, Shoveler, Coot, Moorhen and Little Grebe
Long-legged Buzzard 1
Hen Harrier 1 being chased away by Long-legged Buzzard
Spanish Sparrow 30+
Bonelli’s Eagle 1 ad and 1 imm
Finsch’s Wheatear 1m and 1f
Common Quail 1h calling from edge of field of alfalfa
Red-throated Pipit 2h
Black-crowned Night Heron (immature), Athalassa Dam 12th January 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
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
Best bird was an immature Bonelli’s Eagle (see photo) being mobbed by a Common Kestrel but also saw three Finsch’s Wheatear, a female Blue Rock Thrush and a singing male Spectacled Warbler. There were many Eurasian Skylark, Red-throated and Meadow Pipit in the fields as well as a large flock of more than 80 Northern Lapwing (see photo).
Bonelli’s Eagle, Nicosia 2nd December 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Spent much longer out birding than I had originally intended but it was worth it with the best birds being a sub adult Bonelli’s Eagle, two Long-legged Buzzard, three (maybe four) Finsch’s Wheatear, Red-throated Pipit, Spotted Crake, Water Pipit and a female Merlin which scattered the waders at Oroklini Marsh.
Interesting birds seen:
Bonelli’s Eagle 1 ad
Long-legged Buzzard 2 (see photo)
Peregrine Falcon 1
Finsch’s Wheatear 1m and 2f (prob 3f)
Red-throated Pipit 7+
Black Redstart 5
Spanish Sparrow 30+
Greater Flamingo 15
Spur-winged Lapwing 52+
Northern Lapwing 18
Black-headed Gull 13
Armenian Gull 1 ad
Northern Pintail 3
Little Stint 37
Common Ringed Plover 1
Common Redshank 8
Marsh Sandpiper 1
Common Snipe 2
Spotted Crake 1
Water Pipit 2
Grey Heron 1
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
A good morning around Agios Sozomenos to the south east of Nicosia. Still some migrant breeders and passage migrants around while several European Stonechat setting up territories showed that winter on the way. Two late European Roller, a flock of more than forty Red-throated Pipit, a late Lesser Grey Shrike (see photo) and a Bonelli’s Eagle perched on the cliffs were the highlights.
European Roller 2
Red-throated Pipit 45+
White Wagtail 20+
Yellow Wagtail 12
Bonelli’s Eagle 1 ad perched on cliffs
Red-backed Shrike 2 juv
Lesser Grey Shrike 1 juv
Cattle Egret 6
Spanish Sparrow 20+
Little Owl 1
European Stonechat 16+ (setting up territories all over area)
Cyprus Wheatear 3
Spotted Flycatcher 1
We were made to work hard for the birds we saw today but David, Ann and I managed in the end to get a good variety of species and excellent views of two of David’s main targets – Greater Sandplover and Red-footed Falcon. This time of year is often very quiet bird-wise and today was no exception. We saw no large migrating raptors although we did see resident Long-legged Buzzard and Bonelli’s Eagle.
We started with a walk around Paphos Headland specifically to see the Greater Sandplover that overwinter there and have been present now for a few months. We found three of them and with them were two Ruddy Turnstone, a Common Ringed Plover and a Dunlin. A Common Kingfisher was hovering and fishing close to the shore. We then headed to the Paphos Sewage Plant where we had great views of several Spur-winged Lapwing, Spanish Sparrow and many Willow Warbler. The latter were everywhere we went today feeding mainly in trackside weeds. In the distance we saw a Long-legged Buzzard being mobbed by Hooded Crows and a group of nearly 50 migrating Great Cormorant.
The area behind Agia Varvara village was quieter than on recent visits there but we did see another Common Kingfisher, Spanish Sparrow bathing in a large puddle, several Spotted Flycatcher and Whinchat as well as a juvenile Red-backed Shrike. The Red-footed Falcon feeding in a ploughed field at Mandria were real stars and it was also interesting to watch around half of those present suddenly take off and, gaining height, move south. The rest remained on the field, some hunting and others just sitting on the field. In other fields we found more than two hundred Western Yellow Wagtail, around twenty Greater Short-toed Lark, several Northern Wheatear, a male Black Francolin, a European Turtle Dove and then a lone European Bee-eater was spotted sitting on a wire – always a popular species.
Moving on to the area behind Asprokremmos Dam we found a juvenile Cyprus Wheatear as well as more Whinchat and Western Yellow Wagtail. The Dam itself was quiet but a Bonelli’s Eagle brightened things up as it flew over us near the Dam wall. We decided to head for Armou Hills as our final destination A ‘Steppe’ Grey Shrike had been found there in late September and re seen again at the end of last week. But there our luck run out. We didn’t find it and had to console ourselves with another Cyprus Wheatear, several Northern Wheatear, more Whinchat, a juvenile Red-backed Shrike and another fly past Long-legged Buzzard.
Total species seen: Black Francolin, Little Grebe, Common Woodpigeon, European Turtle Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, Grey Heron, European Shag, Great Cormorant, Common Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Greater Sandplover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruddy Turnstone, Common Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Bonelli’s Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, European Bee-eater, Common Kingfisher, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Red-backed Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Great Tit, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Zitting Cisticola, Barn Swallow, Willow Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Whinchat, European Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Western Yellow Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, European Greenfinch, Common Linnet, European Goldfinch.
European Turtle Dove, Paphos 10th October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
A day out around several Paphos sites with Rob who had the target species of Cyprus Warbler, Black Francolin and Ortolan Bunting. We had two good views of singing male Cyprus Warbler and briefer views of two Ortolan Bunting but although we heard several Black Francolin they all remained firmly out of sight. We did see some other good species though including a pair of Bonelli’s Eagle, eight female Lesser Kestrel, a stunning male Common Redstart, a Masked Shrike and two Woodchat Shrike, a male Ruppell’s Warbler, five Tawny Pipit, several Eastern Black-eared, Isabelline and Cyprus Wheatear, a couple of Great Spotted Cuckoo, Cretzschmar’s Bunting at several locations, male Semi-collared, Collared and Pied Flycatcher, singing Common Whitethroat, an Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, a Purple Heron and a Black-crowned Night Heron asleep in the pines of Asprokremmos Dam car park.
Highlights per location:
Agia Varvara – Purple Heron, Western Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, Tree Pipit, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Nightingale, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Masked Shrike, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, Collared Flycatcher, Cyprus Warbler
Anarita Park – Bonelli’s Eagle pair, Lesser Kestrel, Tawny Pipit, Common Redstart, Whinchat, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear and Warbler, Ruppell’s Warbler, Lesser and Common Whitethroat, Ortolan and Cretzschmar’s Bunting
Asprokremmos Dam – Black-crowned Night Heron, Black-headed Wagtail, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Semi-collared, Collared and Pied Flycatcher, Woodchat Shrike, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Kingfisher, Cretzschmar’s Bunting
Mandria – Red-throated Pipit, Yellow Wagtail
Paphos Sewage Works – Spur-winged Lapwing, Meadow Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Little Egret
Total species and forms seen – 67
Black-crowned Night Heron, Little Egret, Purple Heron, Western Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin h, Common Moorhen, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruff, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Kingfisher, Common Swift, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Common House Martin, Tawny Pipit, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Black-headed Wagtail (feldegg race), White Wagtail, European Robin, Common Nightingale, Common Redstart, Whinchat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbker, Cyprus Warbler, Ruppell’s Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Semi-collared Flycatcher, Collared Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Ortolan Bunting, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting
Little Owl, Anarita Park, 4th April 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Today I took Terry and Sarah out around Larnaca for the day for the first time, although we had been out together several times around Paphos. We started in the Panagia Stazousa valley where we watched singing Cyprus Warbler and found a male and female Collared Flycatcher, a pair of Great Spotted Cuckoo and several Cyprus Wheatear. We watched a Long-legged Buzzard perched in a tree being harassed by Eurasian Magpie and later saw a pair circling over the area. Several migrating Common Nightingale were heard ‘peeping’ and one managed a few bars of song as well. Two Tree Pipit were also heard and we saw several Spanish Sparrow.
Driving through Kivisili fields we were pleased to find at least ten Lesser Kestrel including a male that perched close to us on some electricity wires. Suddenly an immature Bonelli’s Eagle flew in from the north and the Lesser Kestrel were soon mobbing it until it left the area. Two female Western Marsh Harrier approached from the south and were watched gaining height to migrate northwards. Our next stop was Petounta Point where we saw a migrating male Western Marsh Harrier, two Baltic Gulls heading E offshore and several Northern and Isabelline Wheatear. In the small area of trees we could hear a couple of Common Nightingale and decided to have our lunch there and see what else we could find. A good decision as we had good views of both a male and female Ruppell’s Warbler, a couple of Lesser Whitethroat and finally a Common Nightingale. I also saw a male Subalpine Warbler and Common Redstart but unfortunately Terry and Sarah didn’t. We watched a Eurasian Hoopoe feeding and then a couple of Corn Bunting as we left the area.
A couple of Calandra Lark were singing over the fields near Pervolia and two Common Quail called near the road. In the distance, we could see a large flock of Yellow Wagtail feeding and three Eurasian Skylark flew in. We were greeted by large numbers of waders on the Airport Pools – plenty of Marsh Sandpiper, Ruff, Common Greenshank, Dunlin, Little Stint, Black-winged Stilt and a lone Red-necked Phalarope – a good bird for Cyprus. In with the Greater Flamingo was a single Slender-billed Gull, two Little Egret and two Gull-billed Tern. A couple of Kentish Plover were around the edge of the Pool.
It was very windy at the Sewage Works hide so we didn’t stay long and moved inland a bit to the north east corner of the main Salt Lake. We finished the day there and added Sedge and Eurasian Reed Warbler, Water Pipit, Common Kingfisher, Green Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover to the day list. A good day out with Terry and Sarah having the chance to see new birding locations on the island.
Total number of species seen – 74
Little Egret, Greater Flamingo, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Western Marsh Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Black Francolin, Common Quail, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Dunlin, Ruff, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Red-necked Phalarope, Common Black-headed Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Baltic Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Gull-billed Tern, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Swift, Common Kingfisher, Eurasian Hoopoe, Calandra Lark, Crested Lark, Eurasian Skylark, Barn Swallow, Common House Martin, Tree Pipit, Water Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Common Nightingale, Common Redstart, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Ruppell’s Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Collared Flycatcher, Great Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Corn Bunting
A day around Paphos with Ann and Peter – the third year running that we have been out together. We started at Timi Beach and Anarita Park and then went further inland to new sites for them – Episkopi (Paphos), Arodes and Evretou Dam. We had a total of 55 species with highlights from each location as follows:
Eurasian Hoopoe, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Chukar
Total species – 55
European Shag, Eurasian Teal, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Eurasian Coot, Yellow-legged Gull, Caspian Gull, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Little Owl, Common Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Woodlark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, Common Nightingale, European Robin, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Finsch’s Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Ruppell’s Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Eurasian Magpie, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Goldfinch, European Greenfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting
Lesser Kestrel, Anarita Park 15th March 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours