Cyprus Birding Tours

Offering guided bird watching tours around Cyprus


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Waterbird count Larnaca area today 20th February 2018

Numbers of ducks decreasing but still good numbers of Northern Shoveler and Common Teal as well as 24+ Black-necked Grebe, a pair of Gadwall, some Eurasian Wigeon and Common Pochard. More than 1000 Greater Flamingo in the area, although no sign today of a melanistic one seen yesterday, as well as nearly 1000 Common Shelduck on the main Salt Lake. A couple of hundred Slender-billed Gull were on the Salt Lake as well as some Caspian and Armenian Gull and plenty of Black-headed. But the best was an adult Pallas’s Gull in full breeding plumage in the north-east corner together with a Baltic Gull, two Heuglin’s Gull and a Mediterranean Gull. Waders included at least 16 Common Snipe, five Ruff, a few Eurasian Stone Curlew and hundreds of Dunlin and Little Stint.

The only spring migrants I saw were some Barn Swallows, an Isabelline Wheatear (see photo) and a Common Hoopoe. I then went along the coast towards Agios Theodoros where the Great Grey Shrike (probable aucheri intergrade) was still present and I managed to get a view of one of two Short-toed Snake Eagle that have also been in that area for a few days.Isabelline Wheatear, Kiti, 20th February 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Waterbird Count Larnaca 13th December 2017

Not very many Greater Flamingos on the Salt Lake – less than 100 in the whole area. Numbers of ducks reduced on the Sewage Works pools from November but still plenty of Northern Shoveler, Mallard and Common Teal. More than thirty Black-necked Grebe have arrived for the winter but only four Greater White-fronted Geese – the numbers of those wintering here get less every year. A male Tufted Duck was on the pools as were five Common Pochard, 21 Ferruginous Duck, nine Eurasian Wigeon and four Northern Pintail.

Good numbers of Dunlin (see photo), Common Redshank, Little Stint, Common Ringed Plover and Kentish Plover as well as four Common Snipe, a Green Sandpiper and two Little Ringed Plover. A large flock of Eurasian Golden Plover and two Eurasian Curlew were in fields near the coast. Two Hen Harrier and two Western Marsh Harrier were hunting over the area. Plenty of Eurasian Skylark were in the fields. Offshore were four Sandwich Tern. Four Heuglin’s, some Caspian and a couple of Armenian Gull were roosting with the large group of Black-headed Gull on the Salt Lake.

A quick visit to Oroklini afterwards and I found a first winter Mediterranean Gull in with the Black-headed Gull and more Northern Shoveler and Greater Flamingo on the main lake. Two Merlin flew over the area and it was depressing to see 19 Spur-winged Lapwing roosting on a newly constructed road, part of an area that looks as if it is to be drained for housing.

Dunlin, Meneou 13th December 2017 (d) Cyprus Birding Tours

Dunlin, Meneou 13th December 2017 (d) Cyprus Birding Tours

Dunlin, Meneou 13th December 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Dunlin, Meneou 13th December 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Redshank, Larnaca Salt Lake, 13th December 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Redshank, Larnaca Salt Lake, 13th December 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Larnaca Waterbird Count this morning 16th October 2017

A group of five Common Crane on Meneou Pool (distant photo below) and ten seen migrating from the main Salt Lake were the highlights of the waterbird count around Larnaca today. Also of interest were a Common Pochard, more than 20 Northern Pintail, 11 Ferruginous Duck, two Sanderling, large flocks of White Wagtail with a few Yellow Wagtail and Red-throated Pipit with them, more than 50 Spur-winged Lapwing in the area, two Whiskered Tern, a Black-necked Grebe and a lone European Bee-eater.

Common Crane, Meneou Pool 16th October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Crane, Meneou Pool 16th October 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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Early visit to Larnaca Sewage Works and coast today, 27th October 2015

Larnaca Airport Coast
Spanish Sparrow c300
Red-throated Pipit 24
Yellow Wagtail 1

Larnaca Sewage Works
Common Crane 9 (also seen later gaining height and heading out S over the sea)
Eurasian Spoonbill 1
Mediterranean Gull 1
Slender-billed Gull 6
Grey Plover 1
Northern Lapwing 1
Ruddy Turnstone 1
Marsh Sandpiper 1
Black-winged Stilt 8+
Little Stint 12+
Common Ringed Plover 5
Common Redshank 10+
Greater Flamingo 62
Ferruginous Duck 4
Tufted Duck 1m and 1f
Common Pochard 1f
Northern Pintail 4

Spanish Sparrow Larnaca Airport Coast 27th October 2015  (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Spanish Sparrow Larnaca Airport Coast 27th October 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

 Tufted Duck male Larnaca Sewage Works 27th October 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Tufted Duck male Larnaca Sewage Works 27th October 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Two rarities Larnaca area this morning, 6th December 2014

The star bird on the Larnaca Sewage Pools this morning was a female/juvenile type White-headed Duck. A rare winter visitor, its a couple of years since one has been seen although that site is often favoured when one does appear. Also present were eight Greater White-fronted Geese, at least four Gadwall, several Eurasian Wigeon, a male Common Pochard, two Black-necked Grebe and the long staying lone Common Shelduck.

Around 150 Greater Flamingo were on Meneou Pool where a Western Marsh Harrier was on the mud with the remains of something it caught earlier. A Eurasian Curlew was on the coast near the airport and in the fields there were a couple of hundred Eurasian Skylark, some Meadow Pipit and Corn Bunting and at least one Red-throated Pipit.

But the morning got better when I got a tip off from a local birder of a juvenile Black-legged Kittiwake on Larnaca Sea front.  It was still there when I arrived. Only six previous records of this bird in Cyprus. Great morning in Larnaca!

Black-legged Kittiwake Larnaca Sea Front 6th December 2014 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-legged Kittiwake Larnaca Sea Front 6th December 2014 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Western Marsh Harrier Meneou Pools 6th December 2014  (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Western Marsh Harrier Meneou Pools 6th December 2014 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours