Cyprus Birding Tours

Offering guided bird watching tours around Cyprus


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s Guiding North of Paphos 10th November 2017

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

Bonelli’s Eagle, 10th November 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Morning’s Guiding Kouklia, Orietes, Archimandrita, Agios Nikolaos & Omodos 8th August 2017

Start of the autumn season with a morning’s guiding with Jonathan, looking for Cyprus endemics in particular and anything we could find in general, bearing in mind the time of year and the heat! In the end, we had no luck with the Cyprus Warbler – apart of one possible flying out of and then disappearing into bushes at Petra tou Romiou but found plenty of Cyprus Wheatear – both adults, juveniles and newly fledged and had good views of the Coal Tit and Short-toed Treecreeper – both endemic sub-species.

Starting in the village of Kouklia where we checked out the small Laughing Dove population now doing well there and were surprised to also see a European Turtle Dove in the village. Late or migrating Common Swift were heard overhead. Moving inland from the village towards Oreites we had good views of European Roller and saw the first of many Masked Shrike and Cyprus Wheatear – there were many adults and juveniles around of both species all along our route. Further on towards Archimandrita we had good views of an Olivaceous Warbler in a pine tree and three European Roller flying around making a lot of noise.

We were pleased to find one Cretzschmar’s Bunting feeding by the side of the road as we headed towards Dora and a bit further on a family group of the same species. Red-rumped Swallow and Barn Swallow were overhead and then Jonathan spotted a European Bee-eater in the distance. We could hear them calling but it took us a while to relocate them.

Stopping for a coffee under some pine trees near Tzelefos Bridge we saw and heard several Coal Tit and Jonathan remarked how different they were from the ones he saw at home in the UK. By the stream at the start of the Mylikouri trail were several Short-toed Treecreeper – another of the Cyprus endemic sub-species but we didn’t come across any Jays – especially as there were many people around the area near the bridge where I had expected we should find one. We added Spotted Flycatcher, Northern Wren and Common Chaffinch to the day list. Two birds of prey appeared over a ridge as we left the area but dropped down before we could get our binoculars on them – more than likely Long-legged Buzzard but we weren’t sure enough to add them to the day list and they didn’t reappear.

It was now getting very hot and there were few birds out and about in the Omodos vineyards. We heard more European Bee-eater and saw more Masked Shrike, Cyprus Wheatear, Red-rumped Swallow and Sardinian Warbler.

We finished at Petra tou Romiou for a last look for Cyprus Warbler. We saw a likely candidate flitting around nearby bushes but didn’t have good enough views to confirm ID. We did however see three Eleonora’s Falcon flying around the area which was some compensation. Thanks to Jonathan for an interesting morning out.

Species seen:

Chukar, Common Woodpigeon, European Turtle Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, Laughing Dove, Common Swift, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Common Kestrel, Eleonora’s Falcon, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Olivaceous Warbler, Northern House Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Barn Swallow, Sardinian Warbler, Short-toed Treecreeper, Northern Wren, Spotted Flycatcher, Cyprus Wheatear, House Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, Common Linnet, European Goldfinch, Cretzschmar’s Bunting

Stream on Mylikouri Trail 8th August 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Stream on Mylikouri Trail 8th August 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Morning at Troodos 7th July 2017

Just a few hours around Troodos this morning before it got too hot. Birds seen included:

Platania
Red-rumped Swallow 4 juvs
Spotted Flycatcher 1
Northern Goshawk 1h and seen briefly in flight

Amiantos Botanical Gardens
Cyprus Wheatear 1 ad and 4 juvs
Red-rumped Swallow 6
Masked Shrike 1m, 1f and 2 fledged juvs
Common Hoopoe 1
Northern House Martin 20+

Almirolivado
Red Crossbill (see photo) c8 (inc at least 1 male and 2 juvs)
European Serin 8 inc juvs
Common Chaffinch 10+ inc 3 juvs
Eurasian Blackbird 1m and 1f
Eurasian Jay 2
Coal Tit c15
Red-rumped Swallow 2
Northern House Martin 20+

Red Crossbill, Troodos 7th July 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red Crossbill, Troodos 7th July 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Kionia, this morning 27th June 2017

Many juvenile (see photo) and adult Coal Tits around as well as Masked Shrike, Eurasian Hoopoe, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, Spotted Flycatcher, Eurasian Blackbird, Cyprus Wheatear, Northern Wren and Eurasian Jay.

Coal Tit, juvenile, Kionia 27th June 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Coal Tit, juvenile, Kionia 27th June 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Troodos area today 20th June 2017

Spent the day visiting several of the Troodos picnic sites which are usually a good area to find migrant and resident breeders and find some endemic sub-species. Some of the plumage of the breeding birds was looking very worn.

Platania
Spotted Flycatcher 1 ad and at least 4 juvs
Red-rumped Swallow 1
Eurasian Blackbird pair seen and 1 other male singing
Common Hoopoe 1
Masked Shrike 2m and 1f (1m having bath in stream)
Coal Tit 3 juvs
Northern Wren 1 having bath in stream

Livadi tou Pashia
Eurasian Blackbird 2m and 1f
European Serin 2+
Northern Wren 2
Eastern Olivaceous Warbler 4+
Masked Shrike 1 pair feeding unseen juvs and another feeding 3 fledged juvs
plus 3 other males
Eurasian Jay 3 juvs, one seen fighting with male Blackbird
Northern House Martin 100+

Almirolivado
Masked Shrike 3m
Eurasian Blackbird 3 singing males
Red Crossbill 2
Eastern Olivaceous Warbler 2h

Platres Old Road and start of Caledonia Trail
Cyprus Wheatear 1m singing
Eurasian Blackbird 4m
Grey Wagtail 1 ad
Northern Wren 2
European Serin 1+

Troodos Botanical Gardens
Grey Wagtail 1ad
Cyprus Wheatear 1 ad
Red-rumped Swallow 2
Northern House Martin 30+

Masked Shrike, Livadi tou Pashia 20th June 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Masked Shrike, Livadi tou Pashia 20th June 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Hoopoe, Platania 20th June 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Hoopoe, Platania 20th June 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Jay, Livadi tou Pashia 20th June 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Jay, Livadi tou Pashia 20th June 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Grey Wagtail, Troodos 20th June 2017 (Cyprus Birding Tours)

Grey Wagtail, Troodos 20th June 2017 (Cyprus Birding Tours)

Female Eurasian Blackbird taking a bath, Platania 20th June 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Female Eurasian Blackbird taking a bath, Platania 20th June 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Morning’s Guiding around Troodos and Omodos, 6th June 2017

I picked up James and Lizzie from Kakopetria and we headed towards Troodos stopping at a few locations on the way to the Square. At Platania we found Red-rumped Swallow and at the Botanical Gardens at Amiantos we found our first of the Cyprus endemic sub-species – the Eurasian Jay as well as a large group of hirundines which although mainly Northern House Martin also included several more Red-rumped Swallow and two Eurasian Crag Martin. An Eastern Olivaceous Warbler sang out in the open on a small conifer so we spend some time watching it. A couple of male Cyprus Wheatear were also seen and at least one male Eurasian Blackbird was singing. As we left the area I spotted a large thrush on a rock and we were pleased to see a male Blue Rock Thrush as we got out of the car. I also heard a singing Cretzschmar’s Bunting but we couldn’t see it.

We then spent some time at the Livadi tou Pashia picnic site where we had good views of two other endemic sub-species – Coal Tit and Short-toed Treecreeper. Several Northern Wren and European Serin were heard and finally a male Masked Shrike flew into view. We then headed to Troodos Square seeing more Masked Shrike and Cyprus Wheatear on the way. At least eight Pallid Swift were in a large flock of swifts at the square.

The rest of the morning was spent in the Omodos area and especially on the road from there to Agios Nikolaos. The stars there were the singing male Black-headed Buntings but we also saw some Corn Bunting, more Masked Shrike and Cyprus Wheatear, a smart male Spanish Sparrow and finally a singing male Cyprus Warbler – strangely singing from some electricity wires. The last species for the day was Cretzschmar’s Bunting as we found two males near Agios Nikolaos.

A lovely way to spend a morning in the early summer catching up with the Cyprus endemics and migrant breeders.

Full species list:

Common Woodpigeon, European Collared Dove, Pallid Swift, Common Swift, Common Kestrel, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Jay, Eurasian Magpie, Hooded Crow, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Zitting Cisticola, Olivaceous Warbler, Northern House Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Barn Swallow, Eurasian Crag Martin, Cetti’s Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Short-toed Treecreeper, Northern Wren, Eurasian Blackbird, Blue Rock Thrush, Cyprus Wheatear, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, European Serin, Black-headed Bunting, Corn Bunting, Cretzschmar’s Bunting

Coal Tit, Troodos 6th June 2017(c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Coal Tit, Troodos 6th June 2017(c) Cyprus Birding Tours

 


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Limassol area today

Spent the morning around Akrotiri where it was quiet with the best birds at least three Little Bittern at Zakaki Marsh, a group of a couple of hundred Greater Flamingo still on the Salt Lake where there were also Little Tern, Black-winged Stilt and Slender-billed Gull.

Akrotiri Salt Lake/Zakaki Run off
Greater Flamingo 300+
Slender-billed Gull 6
Little Tern 6+
Black-winged Stilt 21
Little Egret 2
Grey Heron 2
Little Stint c40
Ruff 8
Yellow Wagtail 1 in flight

Lady’s Mile
Little Egret 6 inc grey morph

Phasouri Reed-beds
Squacco Heron 2
European Turtle Dove 2

But the best part of the day  was the two hours I spent at Prastio Kellakiou in the late afternoon. Full of migrant breeders – Eurasian Hoopoe, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Masked Shrike, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, European Turtle Dove and Cyprus’ endemic sub-species Coal Tit and Jay. But the star was the hardworking male Black-headed Bunting who was kept busy feeding two fledglings in the shade of some olive trees (see the photo below that was taken at a distance). At least four other Black-headed Bunting males and one female were also in the area.

Black-headed Bunting, Prastio Kellakiou, 29th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-headed Bunting, Prastio Kellakiou, 29th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Greater Flamingo, Akrotiri Salt Lake 29th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Greater Flamingo, Akrotiri Salt Lake 29th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Cyprus Wheatear, Germasogeia Dam, 29th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Cyprus Wheatear, Germasogeia Dam, 29th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Troodos 25th November 2016

A collection of photos taken yesterday at Troodos. The Coal Tit is a Cyprus endemic sub-species. Hawfinch is an almost annual winter visitor to Cyprus in variable numbers. A former winter visitor, Eurasian Blackbird now breed in Troodos although their numbers are swelled by winter visitors at this time of year. Mistle and Song Thrush are winter visitors in variable numbers each year.

Coal Tit, Troodos 25th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Coal Tit, Troodos 25th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Blackbird, Troodos 25th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Blackbird, Troodos 25th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Hawfinch, Troodos 25th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Hawfinch, Troodos 25th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Mistle Thrush, Troodos 25th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Mistle Thrush, Troodos 25th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Song Thrush, Troodos 25th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Song Thrush, Troodos 25th November 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Troodos and Omodos vineyards, 10th June 2016

Some sightings from the Troodos area and the Omodos vineyards. Many Barn Swallow, Common House Martin, Common Chaffinch, Coal Tit and Short-toed Treecreeper also seen:

Amiandos
Eurasian Crag Martin 2
Livadi tou Pashia
Eurasian Hoopoe 1h
Winter Wren 5+
Spotted Flycatcher 5
Masked Shrike 3m and 2f and 4 juveniles (two in one area, two others elsewhere)
Eastern Olivaceous Warbler 8+ and 2+ family groups
Red Crossbill 1 seen and another heard
Eurasian Jay 2
Eurasian Blackbird 1m
Red-rumped Swallow 2
Almirolivado
Masked Shrike 3m and 1f
Eastern Olivaceous Warbler 4+
Winter Wren 4+
Eurasian Blackbird 1
Start of Caledonia Trail (Troodos end)
Grey Wagtail 1m and 1 juv plus another prob heard.
Eurasian Blackbird 1m an 1f
Winter Wren 3+
Spotted Flycatcher 1
Mandria (Platres) – Agios Nikolaos road
Cyprus Wheatear 4m
Masked Shrike 1
Agios Nikolaos road to Omodos
Cyprus Wheatear 3
Masked Shrike 1m and 1f
Long-legged Buzzard 2
Black-headed Bunting 4 singing males
Omodos
Black-headed Bunting 3 males
Corn Bunting 1
Red-rumped Swallow 5
Eurasian Jay, Livadi tou Pashia, 10th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Jay, Livadi tou Pashia, 10th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Grey Wagtail, Caledonia Trail, 10th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Grey Wagtail, Caledonia Trail, 10th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Masked Shrike, Livadi tou Pashia, 10th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Masked Shrike, Livadi tou Pashia, 10th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Masked Shrike juvenile, Livadi tou Pashia, 10th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Masked Shrike juvenile, Livadi tou Pashia, 10th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Spotted Flycatcher, Livadi tou Pashia, 10th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Spotted Flycatcher, Livadi tou Pashia, 10th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Day’s Guiding Paphos 11th May 2016

A day out around Paphos with John and Madeleine. As we had been out together in both May 2014 and 2015, this year we were aiming for a general birdwatch in the Paphos area. We visited Anarita Park, Episokopi (Paphos), Minthis Hills, Kannaviou, Panagia, Evretou Dam and Kathikas. A good variety of habitats in which we saw mainly migrant breeders but also several late passage migrants including a male Eastern Black-eared Wheatear at Anarita Park. Unfortunately, that area was much quieter than it has been recently. The vagrant Amur Falcon and most of the other migrating falcons having moved on.

Highlights per location:

Anarita Park – Long-legged Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel 1m, Red-footed Falcon 1f, Great Spotted Cuckoo 5, European Roller 2, Little Owl, Red-rumped Swallow, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear 1m pale throated, Cyprus Warbler 1m

Anarita Park to Episkopi (Paphos) track -European Roller 6

Episkopi (Ezousas valley) – Bonelli’s Eagle, European Roller 2, European Turtle Dove, Red-rumped Swallow, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher

Episkopi Rocks – Peregrine Falcon 2

Minthis Hills – Cretzschmar’s Bunting 1m

Kannaviou area – European Turtle Dove, European Bee-eater, Red-rumped Swallow, Spotted Flycatcher,Coal Tit,  Masked Shrike, European Serin, Cretzschmar’s Bunting

Panagia area – Common House Martin 50+, Red-rumped Swallow c10, Masked Shrike 1, Coal Tit, Eurasian Jay, European Bee-eater

Evretou Dam – Purple Heron, Little Ringed Plover, Wood Sandpiper, Spanish Sparrow, Eurasian Hoopoe

Kathikas – Black-headed Bunting 2 singing males

Total species seen: 53

Purple Heron, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, Little Ringed Plover, Wood Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Turtle Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Jay, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Black-headed Bunting, Corn Bunting

Masked Shrike, Panagia 11th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Masked Shrike, Panagia 11th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Day’s Guiding Paphos 7th May 2016

I had previously taken Gareth out in April 2015 when we had visited Akrotiri and managed to see 90 species. We knew that we couldn’t reach that total today around Paphos but we had some great birding moments – quality rather than quantity being the order of the day. We started at Anarita Park where we saw seven species of raptor – Bonelli’s Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Western Marsh Harrier, Common Kestrel, Lesser Kestrel, Amur Falcon and Red-footed Falcon. We also found both the Cyprus endemics – Cyprus Wheatear and Cyprus Warbler, at least six Great Spotted Cuckoo, watched a displaying European Roller, enjoyed the feeding antics of many European Bee-eater and in return were watched by two Little Owls.

We spent several hours at Anarita Park and then moved on to Petra tou Romiou where we saw at least three Eleonora’s Falcon, an Alpine Swift and then – my birds of the day – a female Peregrine Falcon with two young birds flying out over the sea and near the cliff face. A great spectacle watching them trying out aerial manouvres  and chasing each other. A quick detour into the village of Kouklia meant we found two of Cyprus’ newest colonisers, Laughing Dove. Usually noted as a vagrant to Cyprus, a population of escapees has bred for several years in Agia Napa and Limassol and they are now spreading, although the exact origin of the Kouklia birds is unclear. While eating our lunch in the Agia Varvara valley we added Squacco Heron and Spotted Flycatcher to our day list and again were entertained by European Bee-eaters.

We then drove to the area around Kannaviou Dam. There was little on the dam itself – a single Purple Heron but in the nearby wooded area we found two of Cyprus’ endemic sub-species – Coal Tit and Eurasian Jay – as well as Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Masked Shrike, Cretzschmar’s Bunting and European Serin. There was no sign though of any Black-headed Buntings which have been seen near the Dam in previous years. So we headed towards Kathikas where we heard at least two singing males and got good views of one in the vineyards. A nearby soaring Long-legged Buzzard completed a great day’s birding.

Total species – 50

Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, Western Marsh Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Amur Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Laughing Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Jay, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Black-headed Bunting, Corn Bunting

Peregrine Falcon, Petra tou Romiou 7th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Peregrine Falcon, Petra tou Romiou 7th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-footed Falcon, Anarita Park 7th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-footed Falcon, Anarita Park 7th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-footed Falcon female, Anarita Park 7th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-footed Falcon female, Anarita Park 7th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Troodos today, 20th November 2015

All the usual suspects at Troodos today – plenty of Coal Tits, Winter Wren, Short-toed Treecreeper, Eurasian Jay, Common Chaffinch and Eurasian Blackbird. Of more interest was a male Yellowhammer and a Mistle Thrush at Almirolivado, two Goldcrest at Livadi tou Pashia and at least twelve European Siskin at Platania.

Photograph below of a Coal Tit at Livadi tou Pashia. One of the Cyprus endemic sub-species.

Coal Tit Troodos 20th November 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Coal Tit Troodos 20th November 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours