Plenty of the usual wintering ducks around – Northern Shoveler, Common Teal for example. Interesting birds seen during the count included: Greater White-fronted Goose (see photo), Black-necked Grebe, Ferruginous Duck, Tufted Duck, Northern Pintail, Eurasian Wigeon, Common Redshank (see photo), young Baltic Gull and Slender-billed Gull, adult Citrine Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Water Pipit, Bluethroat (see photo), Common Snipe, Northern Lapwing, Spur-winged Lapwing, Water Rail, Reed Bunting and a feeding male Penduline Tit (see photo).
Some of the more interesting sightings:
Larnaca Sewage Works
A lovely day out today visiting Paralimni Lake, Cape Greco, Agia Napa Sewage Works and Ormedeia. A few record photos of a Citrine Wagtail and Spotted Crake seen at Paralimni, a Greater Short-toed Lark at Cape Greco and a Masked Shrike at Agia Napa Sewage Works.
Other interesting species seen were Bimaculated Lark, Pallid Harrier, Woodchat Shrike, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, singing Olivaceous and Willow Warbler, Audouin’s Gull, migrating Garganey and two stunning male Common Redstart.
The third day out with Ann and Peter didn’t develop as planned as we decided to twitch a Cyprus first. We started at Oroklini Marsh where we found Purple Heron, Cattle Egret, Black-winged Stilt, Ferruginous Duck, Eurasian Wigeon, Greater Flamingo, Spur-winged Lapwing and Black Francolin as well as the more common wintering ducks Eurasian Teal and Northern Shoveler and resident Mallard, Little Grebe, Common Moorhen and Eurasian Coot. We moved on to the drainage channel at the nearby JUMBO toyshop where our targets of Temminck’s Stint and male Citrine Wagtail were soon found. A Common and Green Sandpiper and a couple of Spur-winged Lapwing were also there.
The plan for the day had then been to head for Larnaca Salt Lake and other Larnaca birding sites but having been told that a Cyprus first – a Brown-necked Raven – had been found earlier in the morning at Cape Greco, Ann asked that we changed our plans and headed there. And we were certainly glad we did. On arrival we only just got out of the car when a male Pallid Harrier flew past us straight in off the sea. We turned around and into view then flew the Brown-necked Raven as if on cue. We watched it land on nearby rocks but were too excited to get our cameras to focus on it. We later rued the loss of a great photo opportunity. Several other birders including the raven’s finders, Keith and Raija Howard, then turned up and we spent some time discussing the bird and looking at Raija’s photos. A flock of migrating Northern Pintail flew E along the coast then turning and heading N over our heads. The first of many Northern and Isabelline Wheatear were around us.
After that the day couldn’t really go wrong and we found Ruppell’s Warbler, a female Pallid Harrier and male Western Marsh Harrier, Spectacled Warbler,Tawny Pipit, Greater Short-toed Lark, Cyprus Wheatear and Cyprus Warbler, Common Nightingale and Red-rumped Swallow. As the afternoon drew on we relocated the Brown-necked Raven near the restored rubbish dump and then finished the day with good views of a female Desert Wheatear. Probably we would have had a greater number of species if we had kept with our previous plan but getting a lifer made that irrelevant we decided!
Total species seen – 64
Little Grebe, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Purple Heron, Greater Flamingo, Eurasian Wigeon, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Ferruginous Duck, Western Marsh Harrier, Pallid Harrier, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Temminck’s Stint, Common Snipe, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Common Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Swift, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Tawny Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Citrine Wagtail, White Wagtail, Common Nightingale, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Desert Wheatear, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Ruppell’s Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Brown-necked Raven, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Corn Bunting.
An unusual finding today was a Ruddy Shelduck on Zakaki Marsh – although the height of the reeds there now made it hard to see. Apparently it has been present for a few days now and is probably the first summer record for this species in Cyprus. It’s usually seen between November to April as a winter visitor, although three were reported in September in 1995.
Also had a juvenile Citrine Wagtail at Phassouri Reed Beds where there was a Lesser Grey Shrike and a Eurasian Hoopoe as well as several juvenile Yellow Wagtail and plenty of fledged Eurasian Reed Warblers. On Lady’s Mile there were around 150 Kentish Plover, several Little Stint, a Dunlin and one, maybe two, Sanderling. A juvenile Glossy Ibis was also there with several Black-winged Stilt.
As well as the Ruddy Shelduck at Zakaki I heard a Common Kingfisher and saw a Garganey.
Picking Bob up in Limassol for a day’s birding in Larnaca we decided to check out Lady’s Mile and Zakaki Marsh before heading east. We found a Squacco Heron on the marsh together with at least six Little Egret, three Ferruginous Duck and a male Garganey. We could hear several Eurasian Reed Warbler singing in the reeds while at least two Sedge Warbler could be seen. On Lady’s Mile we found a selection of waders including Kentish Plover, Black-winged Stilt, Common Greenshank, Marsh Sandpiper and Little Stint.
On arrival at Oroklini we were pleased to receive a fly pass from a very pale Long-legged Buzzard. There were many Black-winged Stilt here as well, plus several Spur-winged Lapwing, a Common Snipe, some Little Stint, nearly fifty Ruff and a Wood Sandpiper. A male and female Northern Pintail were also present. The water was very deep on the main lake where we found a lone Greater Flamingo and some late Eurasian Teal and Northern Shoveler. A European Coot already had several quite large young.
The water level was also very high on the main Larnaca Salt Lake but in the north east corner we found nearly three hundred Greater Flamingo, at least eighteen Purple Heron, two Cattle Egret, around thirty Black-winged Stilt and three Spur-winged Lapwing. A flash of yellow moving between the mud and the reeds caught our eye and we were really pleased to find a male Citrine Wagtail. A Water Pipit and Woodchat Shrike were also seen and a Western Marsh Harrier quartered the area.
The other side of the airport close to the sea we found more Greater Flamingo and Black-winged Stilt as well as four Common Greenshank. Near to the coast a Gull-billed Tern was flying along the shore as were several migrating Barn Swallow. We found another Woodchat Shrike and plenty of Northern and Isabelline Wheatear on a ploughed field together with a small flock of Yellow Wagtail – both flava and feldegg races. As we were leaving the area we caught site of a Little Gull on the Airport Pool South and we spent some time watching it flying over the water – almost tern like.
We had had enough of the wind so headed inland to Kiti Dam. The trees there were quite quiet although we did manage to find at least three Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler and a Blackcap. A Little Egret also flew out of the trees much to our surprise and two Eurasian Hoopoe were feeding on the track as we drove up. Our final stop was Kivisilli fields where we were pleased to find at least three Lesser Kestrel (and a couple of Common) as well as the usual Isabelline and Northern Wheatear plus eight Tawny Pipit.
On our return to Limassol in failing light we made for the Zakaki Marsh hide again where we were treated to great views of one of the male Little Crake currently there. We may not have seen great numbers of birds but we had seen some quality species.
Number of different birds seen – 65
Little Grebe, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Greater Flamingo, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Ferruginous Duck, Western Marsh Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Black Francolin h, Little Crake, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Kentish Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Ruff, Common Snipe, Common Redshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Little Gull, Gull-billed Tern, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Tawny Pipit, Water Pipit, Blue-headed Wagtail (flava), Black-headed Wagtail (feldegg), Citrine Wagtail, White Wagtail, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Goldfinch, Corn Bunting
After the windy stormy weather of the previous day I was concerned as I picked up Dick, Nancy, Al and Alice that we would also be affected by the weather on our day out. As it was we were lucky and the only rain we encountered was as we were driving to Prastio Kellakiou late in the afternoon. It was a great day out in interesting company, visited several sites around Limassol and found a total of 75 different species the most notable of which were:
Germasogeia Dam – Squacco Heron, Osprey, Spotted Crake, Little Crake, Stock Dove, Roller, Hoopoe, Cyprus Wheatear, Cyprus Warbler
Phassouri Reed Beds – Squacco Heron , Glossy Ibis, Water Rail (h), Turtle Dove, Great Reed Warbler
Akrotiri Gravel Pits – Hen Harrier, Tawny Pipit, Common Redstart, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Cyprus Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Collared Flycatcher, Woodchat Shrike
Zakaki Marsh – Black-winged Stilt, Citrine Wagtail
Prastio Kellakiou – Cyprus Warbler, Masked Shrike, Cretzschmar’s Bunting
Two great days birding with Steve and Claire who were visiting Cyprus again. Last year we had visited many of the sites around Larnaca as well as spent an afternoon at Makhairas. This year we visited Cape Greco, Paralimni Lake, Panagia Stazousa, Germasogeia Dam and the Akrotiri Peninsula.
Day one – Thursday 3rd April
We visited Kermia Beach, Cape Greco, Paralimni Lake and Panagia Stazousa. We found many migrants at Cape Greco including Ruppell’s Warbler, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, an early Wood Warbler, Whinchat, Common Nightingale, Wryneck, Ortolan and Cretzschmar’s Bunting as well as one male and two female Pallid Harrier and were pleasantly surprised to see an overflying Osprey and light morph Booted Eagle. We found singing male Cyprus Warbler and Cyprus Wheatear and several Spectacled Warbler. We had several Isabelline, Northern and Eastern Black-eared Wheatear and three Woodchat Shrike. A quick visit to Paralimni Lake proved to be an obstacle course around road works but we were rewarded with a Glossy Ibis on arrival which soon flew off to join thirteen others that flew over.
Although it looked as if it may rain we then headed just west of Larnaca to the area know as Panagia Stazousa. Here we were treated to the sight of two pairs of Great Spotted Cuckoo trying to outwit several Magpies. There were also three Common Cuckoo (one a rufous morph) flying around the area near to Pyrga as well as two Eurasian Hoopoe. We also heard a calling Scops Owl.
Day two – Friday 4th April
On leaving Larnaca we stopped to check out some waders in a pool near the old airport buildings. There were many Ruff, a few Common Ringed Plover, some Black-winged Stilt, a Common Greenshank and a Black-tailed Godwit. There was a Common Greenshank at Germasogeia Dam and despite the fact we also found three (at least) singing male Cyprus Warbler there, the star of the location (and the day I think) was a Spotted Crake. Even though it preferred to stay in the reeds we still managed to get really good views of it. At Akrotiri Gravel Pits we spend most of our time around Agios Georgios Church where we found a female Subalpine Warbler, a couple of Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, a male and female Common Redstart, an Eastern Orphean Warbler and a male Cretzschmar’s Bunting. Lesser Whitethroat and Blackcap were everywhere.
At Phassouri Reed Beds we found a Squacco Heron, several Cattle and Little Egret and seven Glossy Ibis. Lady’s Mile was almost devoid of birds, so we braved a very windy Zakaki Marsh which held a Water Pipit, several Wood Sandpiper, at least ten Little Ringed Plover, several feldegg Yellow Wagtail and all too briefly a male Citrine Wagtail came out from the reeds but only Steve and I were able to see it clearly. We waited a while hoping it would return for Claire to see it but we were disappointed.
That finished our two days out and we headed back to Larnaca. Thanks to Steve and Claire for their company again this year.
Total species – 90
Little Grebe (h), Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Common Shelduck, Western Marsh Harrier, Pallid Harrier, Common Buzzard, Booted Eagle, Osprey, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Spotted Crake, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruff, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Scops Owl (heard), Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Cuckoo, Common Kingfisher, Common Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Eurasian Wryneck, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Tawny Pipit, Tree Pipit, Water Pipit, Yellow Wagtail – feldegg, Citrine Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Common Nightingale, Common Redstart, Whinchat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Ruppell’s Warbler, Eastern Orphean Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, Wood Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Ortolan Bunting, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting
A quick visit to Limassol this afternoon with quality birds seen rather than a large quantity! Got excellent views of the White-throated Kingfisher in a garden behind the channel opposite the port. Although not close enough for a photo it sat for at least twenty minutes while I watched through binoculars.
Had earlier visited the Debenhams area of the town for another look at the Laughing Dove there so felt a bit cheated when one flew out of the Port in front of me while I was looking at the kingfisher! They seem to be getting well established in Limassol now.
There were two male and a female Citrine Wagtail on Zakaki Marsh. There were also several Wood Sandpiper, Common Snipe and Yellow Wagtail. A brief visitor was an adult Baltic Gull which flew in for a few minutes.
Starting from Nicosia this morning for a day out with David,who was in Cyprus for business and looking to see some new birds, we headed first to Agios Sozomenos. No sign of the over wintering Finsch’s Wheatear and they seem to have left but we did find a singing male Spectacled Warbler, some Spanish Sparrows, a Little Owl, some late Song Thrush and a Blackbird, Blackcap and Zitting Cisticola. We could hear at least four Black Francolin and managed to locate one on a rocky outcrop. A calling Common Quail though could not be located.
Heading to Limassol we saw a Long-legged Buzzard over the motorway near Mari and then another over the Amathus Archaeological Site. Around Amathus we found both the Cyprus endemics – a single male Cyprus Wheatear and several singing Cyprus Warbler. A couple of Sardinian Warbler were also singing and we had the first of the day’s Isabelline Wheatear there.
At Germasogeia Dam we found several waders – Common Snipe, Green and Common Sandpiper and a Water Pipit which was almost in full breeding plumage. A few Black-headed Wagtail were also at the water’s edge and a Blue-headed flew over. I found one of David’s target species in the reeds – a male Bluethroat but unfortunately it disappeared before David could find it. We spent a while trying to relocate it but luck wasn’t on our side.
We headed to Akrotiri with our first stop around the small church. Driving towards the church we found many interesting migrants in a small area – a Masked Shirke, four male Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, a female Cyprus Wheatear, some Isabelline Wheatear and a Tawny Pipit. Several Red-rumped Swallow were flying around with the many Barn Swallow and we could hear a Cyprus Warbler singing. A female Blue Rock Thrush perched for a few moments on a juniper bush and a Serin flew in to the area. Around the church itself we found a male and a female Common Redstart, several Lesser Whitethroat, a Hoopoe and many Chiffchaff. Driving over the Gravel Pits we saw a Great Spotted Cuckoo and a hunting ring-tail Hen Harrier.
At Phassouri Reed Beds we found the resident Cattle Egret and two Little Egret. A female Garganey flew in to one of the shallow pools where Wood and Green Sandpiper and Ruff were feeding. A Water Rail called and more Red-rumped Swallow flew over. On the Salt Lake itself there were around 100 Greater Flamingo and a couple of Common Shelduck which we looked at through the telescope despite the haze. More than forty Ruff were feeding on Lady’s Mile and we also found some Little Stint, Kentish Plover and a single Common Ringed Plover.
The rather unattractive looking Zakaki Marsh produced better birds than we expected. There were four Little Ringed Plover, a Green Sandpiper and a Common Snipe as well as a couple of Black-headed Wagtail. A Western Marsh Harrier flew over and then we saw the star birds there – a beautiful male Citrine Wagtail and a Eurasian Spoonbill. This meant we stayed there longer than intended and the sun was setting as we reached Kensington Cliffs. We didn’t see any Griffon Vulture but we did see at least ten Alpine Swift and another Long-legged Buzzard which was mobbed by Common Kestrel and Western Jackdaw as it flew across the Bay. A quick visit to the Stadium close by added European Robin to our day list.
Thanks to David for a great day out with a real variety of species.
Birds seen – eighty six:
European Shag, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Eurasian Spoonbill. Greater Flamingo, Common Shelduck, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Garganey, Western Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Quail, Water Rail, Eurasian Coot, Little Ringed Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Little Stint, Ruff, Common Snipe, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, Common Kingfisher, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Eurasian Skylark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Water Pipit, Tawny Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Blue-headed Wagtail, Black-headed Wagtail, Citrine Wagtail, White Wagtail, European Robin, Bluethroat, Western Black Redstart, Common Redstart, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Eurasian Blackbird, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Masked Shirke, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Corn Bunting