Cyprus Birding Tours

Offering guided bird watching tours around Cyprus

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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Day’s Guiding around Larnaca 25th February 2016

Back from two weeks holiday in the UK and straight into the first day’s guiding of the season. Picking up Martin from his hotel in Larnaca, we decided to spend the day in the area catching up with as many Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus specialties likely to be found at this time of year.  Our first stop was at the somewhat unattractive drainage channel near the JUMBO toyshop at Oroklini which provided a good start to the day with Temminck’s Stint, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Ringed Plover, Water Pipit, Grey Wagtail and overflying Cattle Egret. Several Barn Swallow were flying around and we saw small numbers at all the locations we visited.

At Oroklini Marsh we were pleased to see two of the three female White-headed Duck that have been there since mid December, as well as a male and two female Red-crested Pochard, ten Black-winged Stilt, several Spur-winged Lapwing, a Black-tailed Godwit, several Northern Pintail and a tatty looking Western Marsh Harrier. There were just a few immature Greater Flamingo present, while numbers of Northern Shoveler and Eurasian Teal were reduced from earlier in the month.  There were just a couple of hundred Greater Flamingo on the main Larnaca Salt Lake with hundreds of Common Shelduck, many Common Black-headed Gull and at least twenty Slender-billed Gull, several with a lovely pinkish tinge. We found many singing Corn Bunting, a lone Kentish Plover, a few Spanish Sparrow, a singing Spectacled Warbler and in the north east corner heard a Eurasian Penduline Tit but were unable to find it in among the reeds.

Moving towards the coast there were several large gulls on the Airport Pools and we spent some time identifying Caspian and Armenian adult and immature birds as well as a Heuglin’s Gull and several Yellow-legged Gull. There was a small group of Greater Flamingo and Martin spotted three Eurasian Stone Curlew hidden in the vegetation near the edge. On the Sewage Pools we found two Spur-winged Lapwing, a Northern Lapwing and a Ruff and in among the Northern Shoveler and Eurasian Teal there were smaller numbers of Eurasian Wigeon and Gadwall.

Along the Airport Coast we found a Eurasian Hoopoe feeding which quickly flew inland. A small flock of Eurasian Skylark were also feeding. We found more in the fields near Pervolia but more interestingly we found a flock of at least twenty Calandra Lark, calling and flying in a ploughed field. An Isabelline Wheatear was in the same field and we had clear views of a calling male Black Francolin while two Chukar flew away as we approached.

Heading inland we drove through the Panagia Stazousa Valley where we had excellent views of at least three male Cyprus Warbler and one female and heard at least four others. There was a flock of Spanish Sparrow, some finches and several Corn Bunting and we could hear Chukar. A Long-legged Buzzard flew briefly into view before disappearing again over the hills. As we sat and drank a cup of tea to finish the day we heard both Little Owl and Eurasian Scops Owl calling. We headed into Nicosia so I could drop Martin off at a local hotel there – with an unscheduled stop in Marks and Spencer’s car park to watch a migrating flock of around 60 Greater Cormorant flying over!

Total number of species seen: 75

Little Grebe, Great Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Greater Flamingo, Common Shelduck, Eurasian Wigeon, Gadwall, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Red-crested Pochard, White-headed Duck, Western Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Northern Lapwing, Temminck’s Stint, Dunlin, Ruff, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Redshank, Common Black-headed Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Heuglin’s Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Caspian Gull, Armenian Gull, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Scops Owl h, Little Owl h, Eurasian Hoopoe, Calandra Lark, Crested Lark, Eurasian Skylark, Barn Swallow, Common House Martin, Meadow Pipit, Water Pipit, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, European Robin, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Eurasian Penduline Tit h, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Corn Bunting

Greater Flamingo, Larnaca 25th February 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Greater Flamingo, Larnaca 25th February 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

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Larnaca and Oroklini 14th November 2015

Did the waterbird count at Larnaca and late in the afternoon visited Oroklini. The Red-breasted Goose is still at the Sewage Works together with five Greater White-fronted Geese. A Pied Avocet was the best wader and the Red Knot is still present. A young Peregrine Falcon flew in and snatched up a Coot only to be forced to drop it by an adult Peregrine that came swooping in. Both Peregrines flew off calling and briefly grappling. The Coot was left there although it was gone when I revisited in the afternoon.

The Ruddy Shelduck is still at Oroklini and there were three Temminck’s Stint and six Common Snipe feeding as well as a Bluethroat and Water Pipit.

Full list of sightings:
Larnaca Sewage Works
Greater Flamingo 56 (only one adult)
Pied Avocet 1
Common Shelduck 1
Black-winged Stilt 8
Little Stint c50
Common Redshank 6
Dunlin 9+
Ruff 3
Common Ringed Plover 1
Baltic Gull 1 juv
Armenian Gull 11
Marsh Sandpiper 1
Greater White-fronted Goose 5
Red-breasted Goose 1
Black-necked Grebe 1
Northern Pintail 6
Red Knot 1
Peregrine Falcon 2

Larnaca Desalination Plant Fields
Eurasian Skylark 100+
Calandra Lark 5
Eurasian Golden Plover 4
Common Starling 11

Larnaca Salt Lake
Greater Flamingo 6
Eurasian Teal 13
Little Ringed Plover 5
Common Ringed Plover 25
Spur-winged Lapwing 2
Common Redshank 30
Dunlin c100
Kentish Plover c140
Little Stint 30+
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Water Pipit 2

Oroklini Marsh
Spur-winged Lapwing 35
Ruddy Shelduck 1
Cattle Egret 60
Common Snipe 6
Little Stint 2
Temminck’s Stint 3
Common Ringed Plover 5
Little Ringed Plover 2
Water Pipit 1
Water Rail h
Eurasian Penduline Tit h
Northern Pintail 2
Common Starling 40
Bluethroat 1
Corn Bunting 8

Oroklini Beach
Sandwich Tern 2
Common Black-headed Gull c150

Sandwich Tern Oroklini Beach 14th November 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Sandwich Tern Oroklini Beach 14th November 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

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A few interesting species in Larnaca this morning, 1st July 2015

Less wind than on previous days in the Larnaca area as summer takes hold. Had a quick look around Cape Kiti and Larnaca Sewage Works this morning. Was surprised to find a European Bee-eater on the wires near Meneou. Just one Calandra Lark was seen at Pervolia with none heard singing today. Single Little Terns were at Meneou Pool and Larnaca Sewage Works where there was also a scruffy looking Whiskered Tern. An Audouin’s Gull was with several Yellow-legged Gulls on Spiros Pool.

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Perivolia Fields, near Larnaca this evening 9th May 2014

Decided to visit Perivolia fields this evening to see what was around. No rarities as with the Steppe Grey Shrike earlier this year although there was a male Red-backed Shrike perched on the same bush I had seen it on. In the fields towards the village the sound of singing Calandra Lark was dominant. I saw at least eight either in display flight or chasing over the potato plants but there must have been more in among the crops. I was surprised to also hear a Black-headed Bunting and found a male singing from the top of an artichoke seed head. Not a usual site for them so am guessing it could be passing through.

There were many Barn Swallow as well as at least 12 Black-headed Wagtail and three Whinchat. As I returned to the car twenty European Bee-eater passed overhead.