Cyprus Birding Tours

Offering guided bird watching tours around Cyprus


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Agios Sozomenos, 14th October 2017

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

Lesser Grey Shrike, Agios Sozomenos 14th October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Lesser Grey Shrike, Agios Sozomenos 14th October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Morning’s Guiding 12th October Achna Dam, Oroklini Marsh & Panagia Stazousa

Peter, Pat, Paul and Janet were staying in Nicosia so we had a bit of a drive before we could start our morning’s birding. We headed to Achna Dam where water levels are still good and where I had seen some good birds on a trip there last week. We spent some time there getting good views of three Great White Egret, an immature Whiskered Tern, a Common Kingfisher and two Northern Pintail. A group of five Glossy Ibis feeding on the far shore left the area after a while – probably continuing their migration south. Ten newly arrived Northern Lapwing flew into the area from the north. Several Cattle and Little Egret and Grey Heron were also present and a couple of Willow Warbler were feeding in the shorter reeds. As we returned to the car we spotted two Dunlin, a Little Stint and a Little Ringed Plover feeding in a muddy area. A juvenile Western Marsh Harrier was quartering the area and we saw it fly up from the ground with something in its talons. Unfortunately although we heard several European Bee-eater flying over the area they were too high for us to see.

We searched the rocky beach at Ormedeia for a Greater Sandplover but had no joy so we had to make do with a single Kentish Plover and three more Northern Lapwing. A quick stop at Oroklini Marsh enabled us to see a large group of almost forty Spur-winged Lapwing as well as a couple of Common Redshank, a Little Ringed Plover and a Ruff.

We finished our morning driving through the valley of Panagia Stazousa as we headed back to Nicosia. We were hoping that there would still be some Cyprus Wheatear around and we were not disappointed. At least four were still present and dutifully obliged by sitting out in the open on the top of low bushes. While watching one of them we spotted a juvenile Red-backed Shrike and when it flew further away we were pleased to also see a juvenile Masked Shrike in another bush. Several Whinchat were seen resting as they migrated through the island. We also had brief views of a Spotted Flycatcher and a female Eurasian Blackcap but a female Common Redstart was more co-operative and sat low in a shrub enabling us to watch her through the telescope. An unexpected bird to finish the morning on. A morning on which we managed to see a good variety of species – a few more than I had anticipated.

Total species – 40

Northern Pintail, Little Grebe, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Coot, Glossy Ibis, Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Great White Egret, Little Egret, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Northern Lapwing, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruff, Dunlin, Little Stint, Common Redshank, Whiskered Tern, Western Marsh Harrier, European Bee-eater (h), Common Kingfisher, Common Kestrel, Red-backed Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Hooded Crow, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Willow Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Sardinian Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Common Redstart, Whinchat, Cyprus Wheatear, House Sparrow, White Wagtail, European GoldfinchGreat Egret, Achna Dam 12th October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

 


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Birding around Larnaca 7th & 8th October 2017

Some early morning birding around Larnaca this weekend.  Autumn migration definitely winding down and winter visitors just starting to show.

Some of the more interesting sightings were:

Larnaca Desalination Fields
Northern Wheatear 1
Yellow Wagtail 9
Red-backed Shrike 1 juv
Black Francolin 2

Larnaca Sewage Works
Northern Pintail 6
Ruff c40
Greater Flamingo 17
Spur-winged Lapwing c30
Ferruginous Duck 7
Great Cormorant 1
Collared Pratincole 5
Whiskered Tern 1
Eurasian Golden Plover 1
Black-winged Stilt 2
Black-necked Grebe 1
Dunlin, Little Stint, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Common Teal, Little Grebe, Mallard

Meneou Pool
Eurasian Thick-knee 19
European Bee-eater 3

Pervolia fields
Red-backed Shrike 2 juv
Dunlin 1 on beach
Red-rumped Swallow 4
European Bee-eater 26
Sand Martin 1
Whinchat 1
Cattle Egret 7
Whiskered Tern 1 imm perched on watering equipment
Greater Short-toed Lark 3
Yellow Wagtail 5
Common Buzzard 1 flew SW

Panagia Stazousa
Cyprus Wheatear 6
European Stonechat 1m
Northern Wheatear 1
Cyprus Warbler 1 singing male plus one other

Kamares area of Salt Lake
Laughing Dove 1
Common Kingfisher 2
Common Snipe 1
Spur-winged Lapwing 4
Little Egret 4

 

Whiskered Tern, Pervolia, 8th October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cattle Egret migrating offshore at Polis Chrysochou 2nd August 2017

Migrating duck, wader and heron spp usually start appearing offshore on the northern coast of Cyprus at this time of year. This morning between 7.00 and 8.30 am I had six Cattle Egret (see photo), around 20 Glossy Ibis, four Garganey and nine Common Sandpiper. Larger flocks would be expected from second week of August onwards until mid/late September.

Cattle Egret, Polils Chrysochou Bay 2nd August 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cape Greco and Oroklini Marsh today, 31st May 2017

Did a couple of Common Bird Monitoring Surveys in the Cape Greco area and then stopped off at Oroklini Marsh on the way home. Several Cyprus Warblers and a singing male Black-headed Bunting on territories at Cape Greco with Long-legged Buzzard, Peregrine Falcon and Eleonora’s Falcon fly overs. A Whiskered Tern was on Oroklini Marsh as were several Black-winged Stilt (see photo), plenty of Cattle Egret, a few Ruff and some Spur-winged Lapwing.

Black-winged Stilt, Oroklini Marsh 31st May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-winged Stilt, Oroklini Marsh 31st May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Mornings Guiding Panagia Stazousa and Oroklini Marsh 21st April 2017

A morning out at two very different locations with Mary, Rui and Maria. We visited Panagia Stazousa valley first where we were looking to get good views of the endemic Cyprus Warbler and Cyprus Wheatear. We were successful with the wheatear at our first stop but although we could hear a Cyprus Warbler male singing his heart out we could not spot where it was. A quick walk down the track led us to another singing male – this time well out in the open at the top of a pine. After that we heard many other singing males throughout the valley which was very pleasing. We heard both calling Common Quail and Black Francolin but had no joy trying to see them. A male Collared Flycatcher flew into a pine and several Olivaceous Warbler were singing.

At our next stop we found a large colony of Spanish Sparrow in a couple of large pines and moved on to watch two Great Spotted Cuckoo flying around calling and then listen to and watch a singing male Cretzschmar’s Bunting.

A complete change of scenery and birds at Oroklini Marsh where we visited both hides. There were good numbers of Cattle Egret, some already on nests, in the recently formed colony there. We also saw several Black-winged Stilt and Spur-winged Lapwing as well as Ruff and a couple of Wood Sandpiper. A Little Tern was resting on one of the shingle islands, two male Red-crested Pochard were seen as was a male Ferruginous Duck and three Garganey. Hopefully all of these will or are already breeding there. A single Glossy Ibis flew over and a few overstaying Northern Shoveler and Eurasian Teal were still around.

A brief taste of birding in Cyprus in a few hours gave us a total of 41 different and varied species.

Number of species seen: 42

Little Grebe, Cattle Egret, Glossy Ibis, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Ferruginous Duck, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Common Quail (h), Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Little Tern, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Swift, Barn Swallow, Common House Martin, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Collared Flycatcher, Great Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Serin (h), European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Cretzschmar’s Bunting

Black-winged Stilt, Oroklini Marsh 21st April 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-winged Stilt, Oroklini Marsh 21st April 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Athalassa Dam, Nicosia this morning 6th January 2017

Once again some good birds in Nicosia; this time at Athalassa Dam where highlights were ten Tufted Duck, a Black-necked Grebe and two fishing Whiskered Terns (unusual for January, they are usually passage migrants through Cyprus).

Main birds seen:

Black-crowned Night Heron 2 ad
Cattle Egret 1
Little Egret 2
Grey Heron 3
Great Cormorant 2
Black-necked Grebe 1
Common Pochard 1m
Ferruginous Duck 3
Tufted Duck 10 (inc 4 males)
Grey Wagtail 2
Eurasian Blackbird 2m
Whiskered Tern 2
Northern Shoveler c80
Eurasian Teal c50
Mallard c40
Common Chiffchaff 20+

Athalassa Dam, Nicosia this morning 6th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-crowned Night Heron, Athalassa Dam, Nicosia, 6th 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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Athalassa Dam, Nicosia 16th November 2016

Spent a few hours at Athalassa Dam and saw the following:

Great Egret 3
Little Egret 2
Grey Heron 6
Great Cormorant 50+
Eurasian Spoonbill 1 juv
Cattle Egret 1
Black-crowned Night Heron 1 ad
Common Kingfisher 2
Grey Wagtail 2
Ferruginous Duck 2
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Black-winged Stilt 2
Common Snipe 1
Northern Shoveler 8
Eurasian Teal 30+
Mallard c30
Little Grebe, Eurasian Coot and Common Moorhen
Common Chaffinch, European Robin, Common Chiffchaff and White Wagtail.
Hooded Crow and Common Woodpigeon

Black-winged Stilt, Athalassa Dam 16th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-winged Stilt, Athalassa Dam 16th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Spoonbill, Athalassa Dam 16th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Spoonbill, Athalassa Dam 16th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Great Cormorant, Athalassa Dam 16th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Great Cormorant, Athalassa Dam 16th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Great Egret Athalassa Dam 16th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Great Egret Athalassa Dam 16th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Grey Heron, Athalassa Dam 16th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Grey Heron, Athalassa Dam 16th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Little Grebe 4, Athalassa Dam 16th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Little Grebe 4, Athalassa Dam 16th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Mallard, Athalassa Dam 16th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Mallard, Athalassa Dam 16th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Agios Sozomenos this morning 20th October 2016

A quick visit to Agios Sozomenos, outside Nicosia, this morning mainly to see if any wintering Finsch’s Wheatear had arrived. No luck but I did find a late European Roller, two Red-backed Shrike, a Long-legged Buzzard, a Cyprus Wheatear, some Cattle Egret and Red-throated Pipit. There were also plenty of Common Stonechat setting up territories. The photo below is of one of the many juveniles present.

Common Stonechat, Agios Sozomenos 20th October 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Stonechat, Agios Sozomenos 20th October 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Polis Chrysochou Bay 9th and 10th September 2016

A chance to see some migrating birds off the north west coast of the island and to join the BirdLife Cyprus annual boat trip from Latchi to Cape Arnaouti. Highlight of that for local birders was a Eurasian Oystercatcher seen flying E along the rocky shore – never common here it has been five years since I last saw one in Cyprus, although at least one has been seen on this coast so far this autumn. Also seen over the two days were Purple and Grey Heron, Baltic Gull, Little and Cattle Egret, Garganey, White-winged Tern, Common Redshank, Peregrine Falcon, Western Marsh Harrier, a ring-tailed Harrier – probably a juvenile Pallid, Yellow Wagtail, Little Ringed Plover, Eurasian Shag and migrating Common Black-headed Gull. Plus several flying fish!


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Agia Napa this morning 12th August 2016

A quick visit to Agia Napa this morning to check for migrant warblers. Plenty of Eastern Olivaceous Warblers still around and there were a couple of Lesser Whitethroat. I was especially pleased to see at least five Eastern Orphean Warbler flying around the area and perching in the open and good views of one juvenile Barred Warbler in an olive tree plus poor views of a possible other. An Eleonora’s Falcon flew over the pools and was chased off by two Spur-winged Lapwing. I also saw a female Cyprus Warbler, several Spectacled Warbler and a Masked and a Woodchat Shrike. At the football fields there was a Lesser Grey Shrike and at least twenty five Cattle Egret taking advantage of the freshly watered pitches.
Cattle Egret, Agia Napa Football Fields 12th August 2016 (1 of 1)

Cattle Egret, Agia Napa Football Fields 12th August 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours