Still some migrating waders around today with two Ruddy Turnstone and six Broad-billed Sandpipers the highlights. Plenty of Ruff, Little Stint, Wood Sandpiper, Common Ringed Plover and Black-winged Stilt. Also two Black-tailed Godwit and Marsh Sandpiper and a few Little Ringed Plover, a Curlew Sandpiper and a Common Greenshank. Still a large flock of Little Tern on Lady’s Mile so hopefully they will stay to breed. I also found two Woodchat Shrike and four Red-backed Shrike with a Black-eared Wheatear, a Whinchat, a female Common Redstart and several Spotted Flycatcher.
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.
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 Goldfinch
Although we managed to keep dry, a lot of our day out was spent dodging coming storms until one finally caught up with us at Lady’s Mile on Akrotiri. This definitely affected the species that we saw. However, Stuart, Sue and I did manage to fit in some good birds including male Pallid and female Hen Harrier, Lesser Kestrel including two very smart males, Semi-collared and Collared Flycatchers, a male Ortolan Bunting, several male Common Redstart with one of the samamisicus race and the stars of the day – a Baillon’s and male Little Crake at Zakaki Marsh to end the day.
Highlights per location:
Timi Beach – Grey Heron, Ruff, Kentish Plover and Common Greenshank all on beach. Eurasian Stone Curlew, Common Nightingale, Corn Bunting, Greater Short-toed Lark, Isabelline and Northern Wheatear
Anarita Park – Hen Harrier, Lesser Kestrel, Great Spotted Cuckoo h, Alpine Swift, Red-rumped Swallow, Cyprus and Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Whinchat, Tree Pipit. Common Redstart, Ehrenberg’s Redstart
Paphos Sewage Works – Cattle Egret, Spur-winged Lapwing, Collared Flycatcher, Common Redstart
Akrotiri Gravel Pits area – Pallid Harrier, Greater Short-toed Lark, Ruff, Common Nightingale, Common Redstart, Semi-collared Flycatcher 1m, Collared Flycatcher 5m and 1f, Common Whitethroat, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Ortolan Bunting, Cyprus Wheatear
Akrotiri Salt Lake – Greater Flamingo, Eurasian Hoopoe
Lady’s Mile – Black-winged Stilt, Ruff
Zakaki Marsh – Glossy Ibis, Baillon’s Crake, Little Crake, Great Reed Warbler, Eurasian Penduline Tit h, Black Francolin h
Total species and forms seen – 70
Little Grebe, Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo, Mallard, Hen Harrier, Pallid Harrier, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Little Crake, Baillon’s Crake, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Kentish Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruff, Common Greenshank, Common Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Armenian Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Common Nightingale, Common Redstart, Ehrenberg’s Redstart, Whinchat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Semi-collared Flycatcher, Collared Flycatcher, Great Tit, Eurasian Penduline Tit h, Eurasian Magpie, Hooded Crow, Western Jackdaw, House Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Ortolan Bunting, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting
I picked up Martin and his father from their Paphos hotel and we headed to Minthis Hills to try and see one of Martin’s target species – Cretzschmar’s Bunting. We heard a pair calling almost as soon as we arrived and found another pair higher along the track. We also had a female Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, a couple of Cyprus Wheatear, a singing male Cyprus Warbler, two fly over Red-throated Pipit, a Common Cuckoo, a Woodchat Shrike and several Corn Bunting.
I had taken Martin out previously in late 2013 and we had failed to find a Black Francolin so on our way to Akrotiri we headed to Avdimou where we found a male singing on the edge of a small olive grove. At first he was hard to see but with some patience Martin and Herbert got some decent views. In the area we also found a Great Spotted Cuckoo, a couple of singing Common Nightingale and more Cyprus Warbler and Cyprus Wheatear.
A drive around Akrotiri Gravel Pits produced several migrant passerines including more Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Northern and Isabelline Wheatear, Ruppell’s Warbler, Collared and Spotted Flycatcher, Common Redstart, Tawny Pipit, Whinchat, Greater Short-toed Lark and more Woodchat Shrike. On the shore we found six resting Black-crowned Night Heron. At Phasouri Reed-beds we found a Glossy Ibis and a Eurasian Hoopoe.
Along Lady’s Mile there were several Kentish Plover , Little Stint and Dunlin as well as five Greater Flamingo and a Spotted Redshank. Near the port we found Lesser Whitethroat and a Wryneck in a tamarisk.
We finished the day in the hide at Zakaki where the male Little Crake gave us brief views. We also saw Purple Heron, Ferruginous Duck, Little Egret and heard Eurasian Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler and Sedge Warble. A couple of Black-headed Wagtail flew over as we finished our day and returned to Paphos. Once again a very interesting day out with Martin with a good variety of species.
Total species – 77
Little Grebe, Black-crowned Night Heron, Little Egret, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Ferruginous Duck, Western Marsh Harrier, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Quail (h), Water Rail (h), Little Crake, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Little Ringed Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Little Stint, Dunlin, Spotted Redshank, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Cuckoo, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Eurasian Wryneck, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Tawny Pipit, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Black-headed Wagtail, White Wagtail, Common Nightingale, Common Redstart, Whinchat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Ruppell’s Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Spotted Flycatcher, Collared Flycatcher, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting
Visited a few sites around Paphos today. Main sightings were:
Ruppell’s Warbler 1m
Blue Rock Thrush 1m
Isabelline Wheatear 3
Northern Wheatear 4
Eastern Black-eared Wheatear 1m dark throated
Two days out with Martin and Rosemary to several of the Paphos hotspots gave us several lifers for Martin, despite the strong winds and lack of numbers of migrants around at the moment which limited the species we could have seen. However we were pleased with our species list in the end, although we felt we had worked hard to get some of the birds!
Highlights from locations visited:
Saturday 19th March:
Baths of Aphrodite: Long-legged Buzzard, Cyprus Wheatear, European Serin, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Yellow-legged Gull
Neo Chorio/Smygies: Chukar, Red-rumped Swallow, Cyprus Wheatear, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting
Droushia: Long-legged Buzzard, Blue Rock Thrush
Arodes: Little Owl, Cyprus Wheatear 4+, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear 1m pale throated, Finsch’s Wheatear 1m
Mioliou: Eurasian Hoopoe
Evretou Dam: Common Quail 3h, Black Francolin 2, Little Ringed Plover 2, Great Spotted Cuckoo 2, Black-headed Wagtail 2, Isabelline Wheatear 1
Monday 21st March:
Minthis Hills: Chukar, Woodlark, Cyprus Wheatear, Tree Pipit, Cyprus Warbler 1 singing male, Ruppell’s Warbler 1m and 1f, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Cretzschmar’s Bunting 4 singing males, Corn Bunting
Agia Varvara: Green Sandpiper 4, Red-rumped Swallow 30+, Cretzschmar’s Bunting 10+
Anarita Park: Long-legged Buzzard, Common Quail, Little Owl, Red-rumped Swallow, Tree Pipit, Common Redstart 1m, Isabelline Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear 6+, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear 2m dark throated, Finsch’s Wheatear 1f, Blue Rock Thrush 1m, Eastern Orphean Warbler 2, Spanish Sparrow c100
Asprokremmos Dam area: Long-legged Buzzard, Western Marsh Harrier, Chukar, Red-rumped Swallow 30+, Tree Pipit, Cyprus Wheatear, Spectacled Warbler
Mandria: Black Francolin, Western Black Redstart, Black-headed Wagtail c300
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