Cyprus Birding Tours

Offering guided bird watching tours around Cyprus


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Red-breasted Merganser today Akrotiri Gravel Pits 5th December 2017

I hadn’t been sure where to go birding today until I heard last night that local birder John East had found a female Red-breasted Merganser at Akrotiri Gravel Pits. The last record was in 2014 so not to be missed. The bird was keeping close company with a Great Crested Grebe and a Black-necked Grebe who had been on the pool for several days and I was pleased to get a few photos. Also around Akrotiri today:

Akrotiri Gravel Pits
Eurasian Sparrowhawk 1
European Serin 7
Woodlark 8
Red-breasted Merganser 1f
Great Crested Grebe 1
Black-necked Grebe 1
Little Grebe 1
Western Marsh Harrier 1f and 1 sub-ad male

Phasouri Reed-beds
Bluethroat 1
Eurasian Skylark 1

Zakaki Marsh
Water Rail 1h

Lady’s Mile
Black-headed Gull 300+
Armenian Gull 6+
Caspian Gull 1+
Greater Flamingo 48 juvs
Pied Avocet 2
Common Buzzard 1

Akrotiri Salt Lake
Greater Flamingo c1200
Common Buzzard 1

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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s Guiding around Paphos 15th March 2017

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:

Timi Beach

European Shag, Caspian Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Chukar, Northern Wheatear, Red-rumped Swallow

Anarita Park

Lesser Kestrel 2m and 2f, Little Owl 1, Red-rumped Swallow, Blue Rock Thrush, Isabelline Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Finsch’s Wheatear 1m, Cyprus Warbler 3 singing males, Ruppell’s Warbler 1m, Spanish Sparrow, European Serin, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting, Common Nightingale h, Woodlark

Episkopi (Paphos)

Peregrine Falcon 2, Cyprus Wheatear 1, Sardinian Warbler, Red-rumped Swallow

Arodes

Bonelli’s Eagle, Cyprus Wheatear

Evretou Dam

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

Lesser Kestrel, Anarita Park 15th March 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

 


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Day birding around Larnaca 3rd February 2017

Some good birds and some warmer weather today at Larnaca. The flocks of Greylag and Greater White-fronted Goose and Ruddy Shelduck were on the Sewage Works pools as was a first winter Great Black-headed (Pallas) Gull. Three Eurasian Curlew and thirty Eurasian Golden Plover were on Spiros Pool with twenty Eurasian Wigeon. In the fields at Pervolia there were large flocks of Eurasian Skylark and also seven more Eurasian Golden Plover. I stopped on the road from Kiti to Petounta, at an area where I have found Calandra Lark in the past, and soon heard and saw three in display flight over the area.

More Eurasian Skylark at Petounta where there was also a Grey Plover and three Kentish Plover. Returning to the Salt Lake there didn’t seem to be as many Greater Flamingo as in mid January but still plenty of Common Shelduck, Common Black-headed Gull and small waders. A roosting flock of larger gulls was mainly Caspian Gull but there were also a few Armenian and Yellow-legged Gulls as well as two Heuglin’s.

At the Kamares area I found a Green Sandpiper, two Common Snipe (see photo), two Water Pipit, two Cattle Egret, seven Spur-winged Lapwing, a Grey Wagtail, many Common Chiffchaff, two Moustached Warblers and a Bluethroat. As I was leaving a larger bird on the grassy area caught my eye and I was very pleased to find my first Great Spotted Cuckoo of the year.

Common Snipe, Larnaca Salt Lake 3rd February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Snipe, Larnaca Salt Lake 3rd February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Great Spotted Cuckoo, Larnaca Salt Lake 3rd February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Great Spotted Cuckoo, Larnaca Salt Lake 3rd February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Water Pipit (coutelli race), Larnaca Salt Lake, 3rd February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Water Pipit (coutelli race), Larnaca Salt Lake, 3rd February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Oroklini, Akhna and Panagia Stazousa today 28th January 2017

A leisurely bird watch around some locations outside Larnaca. Highlights were Great Crested Grebes at Akhna Dam, two Bluethroats at Oroklini Marsh, Temminck’s Stint at Leivadia, Laughing Dove at Aradippou and a Dunnock at Panagia Stazousa.

Oroklini Marsh
Northern Shoveler 160+
Eurasian Teal c180
Eurasian Coot 80+
Greater Flamingo 54
Spur-winged Lapwing 5
Western Marsh Harrier 2
Eurasian Skylark c60
Water Pipit 1
Barn Swallow 3
Bluethroat 2
Common Shelduck 1
Eurasian Wigeon 1m
Grey Heron 3
Cattle Egret 1
Green Sandpiper 1

Oroklini Beach
Caspian Gull 5
Armenian Gull 4

Ormidia Fishing Shelter
Common Sandpiper 2 (see photo)

Akhna Dam
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Great Crested Grebe 2
Grey Heron 2
Song Thrush 2
Great Cormorant 24
Long-legged Buzzard 1

JUMBO Drainage Channel, Leivadia
Temminck’s Stint 1 (see photo)
Common Ringed Plover 2
Eurasian Teal 3
Spur-winged Lapwing 1
Grey Wagtail 1

Aradippou
Laughing Dove 15 (see photo)

Panagia Stazousa
Common Linnet 20+
European Serin 12+
Common Chaffinch 32
Corn Bunting 33
Dunnock 1
Song Thrush 3

Laughing Dove, Aradippou, 28th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Laughing Dove, Aradippou, 28th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Sandpiper, Ormidia, 28th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Sandpiper, Ormidia, 28th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Temminck's Stint, Leivadia, 28th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Temminck’s Stint, Leivadia, 28th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Waterbird Count Larnaca 14th January 2017

Out counting the waterbirds around Larnaca today was very enjoyable – not a lot of Greater Flamingos to count (last year there were 12000+ on this day!) – but lots of interesting birds including the largest flock of Greylag Geese in Cyprus for more than 30 years, five Pallas’ Gulls, two Common Quail, two Barn Swallow and plenty more. One of the Pallas’ Gulls was sitting at the north end of the Salt Lake with some Greater Flamingos (see record photo below).

Greater Flamingo and a Great Black-backed Gull, Larnaca Salt Lake, 14th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Greater Flamingo and a Great Black-backed Gull, Larnaca Salt Lake, 14th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Meneou Pool
Common Redshank 4
Greater Flamingo 97
Common Shelduck 43
Common Ringed Plover 2
Kentish Plover 2

Larnaca Airport Pools South
Eurasian Stone Curlew 5

Larnaca Sewage Works
Eurasian Curlew 17
Great Cormorant 24
Greater White-fronted Goose 8
Eurasian Wigeon 16
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Eurasian Teal 736
Northern Shoveler 16
Mallard 232
Great Black-headed Gull (Pallas Gull) 2 ad and 2 imm
Black-necked Grebe 3
Northern Pintail 4
Tufted Duck 1m
Caspian Gull 3
Meadow Pipit c30
Great White Pelican 1
Mediterranean Gull 1 imm

Spiros Pool
Greater Flamingo 37
Eurasian Wigeon 3
Eurasian Golden Plover 336

Larnaca Airport Coast
European Shag 2

Larnaca Airport Pools North
Greater Flamingo 37
Common Shelduck 26
Northern Shoveler 41
Kentish Plover 4
Common Redshank 3
Dunlin 12

Larnaca Salt Lake
Common Starling 50
Greater Flamingo 1028
Common Shelduck 576
Common Ringed Plover 8
Little Stint 39
Common Redshank 7
Common Black-headed Gull 261
Greylag Geese 57 (presumably same birds as those at Akrotiri during the week)
Dunlin 62+
Hen Harrier 1
Black-necked Grebe 12
Slender-billed Gull 1 ad
Caspian Gull 60+
Armenian Gull 24
Great Black-headed Gull 1 ad
Common Quail 2 flushed
Corn Bunting c60
Common Buzzard 2
Common Snipe 4
Spanish Sparrow 20+
Common Reed Bunting 1h
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Song Thrush 2
Eurasian Blackbird 1
Marsh Sandpiper 1
Common Greenshank 1

Kamares area
Spur-winged Lapwing 3
Common Chiffchaff 50+
Moustached Warbler 1
Yellow Wagtail 1 1st winter bird – same as seen there in mid Dec
Common Snipe 1
Green Sandpiper 1
Common Redshank 1
Common Ringed Plover 1
Western Jackdaw 15
Barn Swallow 2
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Water Pipit 2


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Eastern Cyprus today 11th January 2017

A break from the rain today and I started at Akhna Dam which now has almost double the amount of water than when I last visited. Plenty of Eurasian Coot and some Grey Heron but more interesting was the female Red-crested Pochard, two Great Crested Grebe and the immature Great White Pelican that has been in the area since mid November 2016. At the coast at Agia Trias I found three Grey Plover, two Greater Sand Plover and three Common Sandpiper (see photo). An immature Slender-billed Gull flew in for a few minutes and then flew off again south (see photo).

A quick look at Cape Greco with only a female Blue Rock Thrush, a female Hen Harrier and Cyprus Warbler of note. Single Little Egret were on Kermia Beach, Makronissos Beach and Dekeleia. Nearly twenty Armenian Gull, a big male Caspian Gull and an adult Mediterranean Gull were on Oroklini Beach and a large flock of Common Starling were flying around before roosting. There were four Temminck’s Stint and six Common Ringed Plover at the JUMBO drainage channel. I finished the day at the Larnaca Sewage Works hide. No sign of the Pallas’ Gull that have been there for a few days but there were seven Greater White-fronted Geese in the fields.

Chukar 11th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Chukar 11th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Sandpiper, Agia Trias, 11th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Sandpiper, Agia Trias, 11th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Slender-billed Gull, Agia Trias 11th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Slender-billed Gull, Agia Trias 11th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Guiding Larnaca and Nicosia 17th & 18th December 2016

Real winter’s weather for our day and a half out birding. Picking up Richard and Brad from Larnaca Airport midday Saturday we headed for Oroklini Marsh.  We spent time in both hides there and were out of the rain at least. On the Paralimni coast at Agia Trias we weren’t so lucky and a biting wind there cut our birding short, while the gathering gloom and storm clouds as we reached Makronissos Beach meant we could have done with a torch to help us find the birds. A chilly, cloudy start on Sunday found us in the hide at Larnaca Sewage Works and although we got quite cold in the wind, the weather improved as we got to the Salt Lake and the sun finally came out. We even managed to eat our picnic lunch outside in the Panagia Stazousa valley and stayed out until the sun set at Agios Sozomenos outside Nicosia.

Birding highlights per location:

Saturday 17th December:

Oroklini Marsh – Cattle Egret, Greater Flamingo, Common Pochard, Western Marsh Harrier, Northern Lapwing, Spur-winged Lapwing

Xylofagou – Long-legged Buzzard perched on road side electricity pole.

Agia Trias – Grey Plover 3, Common Sandpiper 1, Yellow-legged Gull 4, Common Kingfisher 1

Cape Greco – Chukar 10+

Makronissos Beach – Eurasian Skylark c40, Kentish Plover 37

Sunday 18th December:

Larnaca Airport Pools South – Eurasian Stone Curlew 4, Common Starling 1, Black Francolin 5m and 2f, Eurasian Skylark, Common Shelduck 4

Larnaca Sewage Works – Greater White-fronted Goose 6, Ruddy Shelduck 2, Common Shelduck 3, Great White Pelican 1 imm, Eurasian Wigeon 4, Northern Pintail 10m and 2f, Grey Plover 1, Western Marsh Harrier 1,

Larnaca Airport Coast – Eurasian Curlew 2, Western Black Redstart

Pervolia – Corn Bunting 11

Larnaca Salt Lake – Greater Flamingo c600, Common Shelduck c150, Western Marsh Harrier 1, Common Crane 3, Spur-winged Lapwing 4, Common Snipe c15, Green Sandpiper 1, Heuglin’s Gull 2, Caspian Gull, Water Pipit 4, Grey Wagtail, Bluethroat, European Goldfinch 50+

Panagia Stazousa – Hen Harrier 1f, Long-legged Buzzard 1, Common Buzzard 1, Spanish Sparrow, European Serin

Agios Sozomenos – Northern Lapwing, Bluethroat 2, Finsch’s Wheatear 1m and 1f, Blue Rock Thrush 1m

 

Total species seen: 77

Little Grebe, Great Cormorant, European Shag, Great White Pelican, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Greater Flamingo, Greater White-fronted Goose, Ruddy Shelduck, Common Shelduck, Eurasian Wigeon, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Common Pochard, Western Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Common Crane, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Kentish Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Northern Lapwing, Little Stint, Common Snipe, Eurasian Curlew, Common Redshank, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Common Black-headed Gull, Heuglin’s Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Caspian Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Kingfisher, Crested Lark, Eurasian Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Water Pipit, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, European Robin, Bluethroat, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Finsch’s Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Eurasian Blackbird, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Corn Bunting

Great White Pelican, Larnaca, 18th December 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Great White Pelican, Larnaca, 18th December 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

 

 

 


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Morning’s Guiding Akrotiri and Germasogeia Dam 14th November 2016

A morning out with Rob and Payel started at the hide overlooking Zakaki Marsh. We had excellent views of Bluethroat and Moustached Warbler which kept us entertained for a long time. Only I caught a brief glimpse of a Spotted Crake but we all saw two Water Rail run in front of the hide. We also saw Water and Meadow Pipit, Common Reed Bunting, Western Black Redstart, Common Starling, Northern Pintail, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot and Eurasian Teal. The short drive from there to Lady’s Mile gave us the chance to look closely at a Zitting Cisticola and of course several Common Stonechat. Common Linnet, White Wagtail and a Common Kingfisher were also in the area.

Five Kentish Plover flew over us and a lone Dunlin fed on the marshy area of Lady’s Mile. We spent some time looking at the gulls on the water and picked out an adult Caspian and an adult Armenian Gull in with the many Common Black-headed Gull. We headed into the area behind Lady’s Mile hoping to find the ‘Steppe’ Grey Shrike that had been there recently. We quickly found a shrike – but not the right one! A late migrating juvenile Red-backed Shrike was sitting on the bushes recently occupied by the Cyprus rarity which was nowhere to be seen.

Nothing of interest was to be seen at Phasouri Reed-beds so we headed inland to Germasogeia Dam. Our main target there was the endemic Cyprus Warbler. We soon heard Chukar on the hillsides and in the trees and bushes found European Serin, Eurasian Blackcap, Corn Bunting and Spanish Sparrow. We heard European Robin and saw several Zitting Cisticola but although we could hear the scolding of a Cyprus Warbler we had to wait a while for one to appear. Finally, we saw one and it sang briefly in front of us. Another was also in the area but not seen well. There was only a little water in the dam and the only wetland species we saw were Great Cormorant.

A good morning out with the highlight the showing Bluethroat at the hide.

Total species seen: 45

Great Cormorant, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Water Rail, Spotted Crake, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Kentish Plover, Dunlin, Common Black-headed Gull, Caspian Gull, Armenian Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Kingfisher, Crested Lark, Meadow Pipit, Water Pipit, White Wagtail, European Robin, Bluethroat, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Moustached Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Common Reed Bunting, Corn Bunting

Bluethroat, Zakaki Marsh, 14th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Bluethroat, Zakaki Marsh, 14th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s guiding in Limassol area 17th March 2016

Second day out with Ann and Peter and we started at Zakaki Marsh. We quickly found two newly arrived Sedge Warbler and a couple of Eurasian Reed Warbler and heard a Spotted Crake. Unfortunately we couldn’t see it, although apparently it had been on view before our arrival. Two Spur-winged Lapwing flew over. In the nearby vegetation we found Spectacled and Willow Warbler and were treated to good views of a male Black Francolin. On Lady’s Mile we found Armenian and Caspian Gull as well as a couple of Little Egret, a juvenile Greater Flamingo, a Black-tailed Godwit, three Common Redshank, some Kentish Plover, three Dunlin and more than fifty Little Stint. In the scrub were several Isabelline Wheatear and a male Northern Wheatear as well as several large flocks of European Goldfinch, European Greenfinch and Common Linnet.

It was very windy in the Gravel Pits area and workmen in the church grounds prevented us from checking those but as we drove across the area we heard a familiar call – it was Eurasian Penduline Tit. We stopped to investigate and then spent some time watching at least ten of them – mainly males – feeding in tamarisk bushes and calling to each other as they flitted around. We also found three Eurasian Hoopoe, that looked as if they had just flown in from the sea, and watched three Western Marsh Harrier and a Common Buzzard patrol the area. A male Merlin flew quickly over the old rabbit sheds. A flock of Spanish Sparrow also caught our attention.

We decided to head to Germasogeia Dam and then return to Zakaki later in the afternoon. At the Finikaria end of the dam we came across a Long-legged Buzzard and flocks of Spanish Sparrow and several singing Corn Bunting. A single male Cretzschmar’s Bunting was sitting high on a hawthorn bush. Checking out the remaining pools in the shallows we had great views of two Common Snipe and a Jack Snipe and it was especially interesting to compare their size when they flew. A single Alpine Swift flew low over our heads and a Water Pipit came down to the water’s edge to drink. At least five Black-headed Wagtail were flying around.

As the sun started to go down we headed back to Zakaki for a final check for the Spotted Crake. No luck again but we found Cattle and Little Egret there as well as two Ferruginous Duck and a Spur-winged Lapwing that flew in front of the hide.

Despite the wind making it difficult to find migrant passerines during the day we were pleased with the species we did see – a good variety in our 65 day total.

Total species seen – 65

Little Grebe, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Greater Flamingo, Mallard, Ferruginous Duck, Western Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Merlin, Chukar h, Black Francolin, Spotted Crake h, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Kentish Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Jack Snipe, Common Snipe, Common Redshank, Common Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Caspian Gull, Armenian Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Water Pipit, Black-headed Wagtail (feldegg), White Wagtail, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Great Tit, Eurasian Penduline Tit, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting

Zakaki Marsh, late afternoon 17th March 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Zakaki Marsh, late afternoon 17th March 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Migrants at Cape Greco today, 4th March 2016

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.

Desert Wheatear Cape Greco 4th March 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Desert Wheatear Cape Greco 4th March 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Trumpeter Finch Cape Greco 4th March 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Trumpeter Finch Cape Greco 4th March 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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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 area this morning, 7th February 2016

A couple of hours around the Sewage Works area with Ruddy Shelduck, Pied Avocet, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Caspian Gull, Baltic and Heuglin’s Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Ferruginous Duck, Black-necked Grebe, Gadwall, Common Shelduck, Sandwich Tern, Lesser Short-toed Lark, Eurasian Curlew and Barn Swallow.

Plus the sight of a Western Marsh Harrier trying hard to put the flock of Eurasian Coot to flight so it could catch one – it had no joy while I was watching it, gave up and flew away. But I had the feeling it would go back and keep trying until it was successful.

Western Marsh Harrier over Eurasian Coot Larnaca Sewage Works 7th February 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Western Marsh Harrier over Eurasian Coot Larnaca Sewage Works 7th February 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Stone Curlew Larnaca Airport Pools South 7th February 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Stone Curlew Larnaca Airport Pools South 7th February 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours