Cyprus Birding Tours

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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s Guiding around Paphos 10th October 2017

 

We were made to work hard for the birds we saw today but David, Ann and I managed in the end to get a good variety of species and excellent views of two of David’s main targets – Greater Sandplover and Red-footed Falcon. This time of year is often very quiet bird-wise and today was no exception. We saw no large migrating raptors although we did see resident Long-legged Buzzard and Bonelli’s Eagle.

We started with a walk around Paphos Headland specifically to see the Greater Sandplover that overwinter there and have been present now for a few months. We found three of them and with them were two Ruddy Turnstone, a Common Ringed Plover and a Dunlin. A Common Kingfisher was hovering and fishing close to the shore. We then headed to the Paphos Sewage Plant where we had great views of several Spur-winged Lapwing, Spanish Sparrow and many Willow Warbler. The latter were everywhere we went today feeding mainly in trackside weeds. In the distance we saw a Long-legged Buzzard being mobbed by Hooded Crows and a group of nearly 50 migrating Great Cormorant.

The area behind Agia Varvara village was quieter than on recent visits there but we did see another Common Kingfisher, Spanish Sparrow bathing in a large puddle, several Spotted Flycatcher and Whinchat as well as a juvenile Red-backed Shrike. The Red-footed Falcon feeding in a ploughed field at Mandria were real stars and it was also interesting to watch around half of those present suddenly take off and, gaining height, move south. The rest remained on the field, some hunting and others just sitting on the field. In other fields we found more than two hundred Western Yellow Wagtail, around twenty Greater Short-toed Lark, several Northern Wheatear, a male Black Francolin, a European Turtle Dove and then a lone European Bee-eater was spotted sitting on a wire – always a popular species.

Moving on to the area behind Asprokremmos Dam we found a juvenile Cyprus Wheatear as well as more Whinchat and Western Yellow Wagtail. The Dam itself was quiet but a Bonelli’s Eagle brightened things up as it flew over us near the Dam wall. We decided to head for Armou Hills as our final destination A ‘Steppe’ Grey Shrike had been found there in late September and re seen again at the end of last week.  But there our luck run out. We didn’t find it and had to console ourselves with another Cyprus Wheatear, several Northern Wheatear, more Whinchat, a juvenile Red-backed Shrike and another fly past Long-legged Buzzard.

Total species seen: Black Francolin, Little Grebe, Common Woodpigeon, European Turtle Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, Grey Heron, European Shag, Great Cormorant, Common Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Greater Sandplover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruddy Turnstone, Common Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Bonelli’s Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, European Bee-eater, Common Kingfisher, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Red-backed Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Great Tit, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Zitting Cisticola, Barn Swallow, Willow Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Whinchat, European Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Western Yellow Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, European Greenfinch, Common Linnet, European Goldfinch.

European Turtle Dove, Paphos 10th October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

European Turtle Dove, Paphos 10th October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Greater Sandplover, Paphos Headland 10th October 2017  (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Greater Sandplover, Paphos Headland 10th October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-footed Falcon, Mandria 10th October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-footed Falcon, Mandria 10th October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Morning’s Guiding Cape Greco & Agia Napa 16th September 2017

Nelson wanted to see Cyprus Warbler and Cyprus Wheatear on his short stay in Cyprus with anything else a bonus. I was a bit apprehensive as Cyprus Warbler can be quite skulking at this time of year and it was possible that Cyprus Wheatear could have moved on. But we started early at Cape Greco and luckily a couple of male Cyprus Warbler were flitting around in an area where they usually breed and are regularly seen in the spring. We also had good views of a couple of females and one juvenile. One of the males even decided to sing – we were very pleased. We also saw a couple of Spectacled Warbler, Isabelline Wheatear and several Red-backed Shrike. Moving closer to the coast we soon found a very smart juvenile Cyprus Wheatear which sat very still to enable both Nelson and Molly to watch him at their leisure.  We were very pleased to see good numbers of Chukar as well.  European Bee-eater were migrating overhead – many heard only although finally three or four passed low in front of us. Six Purple Heron migrated over as well as did Red-rumped Swallow and Sand Martin. We added Lesser Grey Shrike, Northern Wheatear, Willow Warbler and another Cyprus Wheatear before heading towards Agia Napa Sewage Works.

A surprise find on the pools there was a single Ferruginous Duck. Four Spur-winged Lapwing were flying around the area calling and two Common Sandpiper were feeding on the edge of the pool. We stopped to watch a juvenile Montagu’s Harrier gaining height over the area and migrating south. An Eleonora’s Falcon was being mobbed by two Common Kestrel below him. We added yet more Red-backed Shrike to the mornings totals but also a male, female and juvenile Masked Shrike which gave us a chance to compare their different plumages. A Spotted Flycatcher was another new species there.

Moving to Agia Napa Football Fields we found several Cattle Egret, another Isabelline Wheatear, a Common Hoopoe, a juvenile Red-backed Shrike and at least 60 Yellow Wagtail feeding on the fields. Our last stop was at Macronissos Beach where at first it seemed we wouldn’t find anything but more scanning produced two Greater Sandplover and three Kentish Plover – two bonus species on which to finish our morning.

Total species seen – 40

Chukar, Northern Shoveler, Ferruginous Duck, Little Grebe, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Coot, Cattle Egret, Purple Heron, Kentish Plover, Greater Sandplover, Spur-winged Plover, Common Sandpiper, Montagu’s Harrier, Common Hoopoe, European Bee-eater, Common Kestrel, Eleonora’s Falcon, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Great Tit, Crested Lark, Red-rumped Swallow, Barn Swallow, Sand Martin, Willow Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Isabelline Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, House Sparrow, Western Yellow Wagtail, European Goldfinch

European Bee-eater 16th September 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

European Bee-eater 16th September 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Migrants on Larnaca Sewage Works this morning 15th August 2017

Some interesting waders on the Sewage Pools today although the Broad-billed Sandpipers that were there on Saturday seem to have moved on. Today I found an adult Ruddy Turnstone still in breeding plumage and a Eurasian Curlew – both of which are never common here. Also several Dunlin, Curlew Sandpiper, Common Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper and four Collared Pratincole (inc a juv). Still several Black-winged Stilt around as well as c30 Spur-winged Plover and at least 14 Kentish Plover.

In addition to four Greater Flamingo (photo) there were 11 Ferruginous Duck with Northern Shoveler numbers now up to 17. Six Garganey were preening and roosting as was at least one Common Teal.

Ten juvenile Yellow-legged Gull flew in and single juvenile White-winged Tern and Gull-billed Tern were feeding over the water. A Squacco Heron flew over heading east and two Pallid Swift flew over in with many Barn Swallow.

Greater Flamingo. Larnaca Sewage Works 15th August 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Greater Flamingo. Larnaca Sewage Works 15th August 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Waterbird Count Larnaca 12th August 2017

Back in Larnaca and out early to do the monthly waterbird count there. Good to find three Broad-billed Sandpiper and a Grey Plover on the Sewage Works pools but very dry elsewhere with just a small stream of water in the Kamares end of the main Salt Lake.

Larnaca Sewage Works
Mallard 248
Ferruginous Duck 22
European Coot 40
Spur-winged Lapwing 29
Black-winged Stilt 11
Little Grebe 6
Yellow-legged Gull 22
Dunlin 10+
Broad-billed Sandpiper 3
Little Stint 15
Kentish Plover 5
Green Sandpiper 2
Northern Shoveler 4
Garganey 5
Common Teal 2
Grey Plover 1
Yellow Wagtail h
Ruff 41
Common Sandpiper 6
Grey Heron 1
Temminck’s Stint 1

Spiros Beach
Yellow-legged Gull 17
Kentish Plover 26 inc several juvs

Larnaca Airport Coast
Yellow-legged Gull 36
Pallid Swift 2

Larnaca Salt Lake (Tekke area)
Masked Shrike 3 imm

Larnaca Salt Lake (Kamares area)
Spur-winged Lapwing 10 inc 1 juv
Common Redshank 1 (see photo).
Green Sandpiper 1
Common Kingfisher 1

Common Redshank, Larnaca Salt Lake 12th August 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Redshank, Larnaca Salt Lake 12th August 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Akamas area and visible migration Polis Chrysochou Bay 11th August 2017

Spent several hours sea watching in Polis Chrysochou Bay today. Plenty of Glossy Ibis on the move as well as Little Egret and a single Grey Heron. Bird of the day was a juvenile Greater Sandplover that flew onto the beach near me around 7.30 am and then flew off east after about 15 minutes. It was probably the large plover that I saw later migrating west in with a flock of Glossy Ibis.

Birds seen during the day there and inland included:

Polis Chrysochou Bay
From 7.00 am – 8.30am and 11.00am to 16.00 pm
Grey Heron 1
Glossy Ibis flocks of c60 + 34 + 38+ 11 + 52 + c100 + 45 + 18 + c80 (see photo)
Little Egret 27 flying over area all day
Greater Sandplover 1 on beach in morning then flying W later with flock of Glossy Ibis 12:10
Wader spp 18 probably Common Redshank flying offshore heading W
Common Ringed Plover in off sea and inland
Common Kingfisher 1
European Shag 1 offshore
Alpine Swift 2
Common Sandpiper 5

Pittokopos
European Roller 3
Lesser Grey Shrike 1 imm

Pittokopos to Androlikou track
European Roller 5
Long-legged Buzzard 1
Lesser Grey Shrike 2 ad
Woodchat Shrike 2m
Cyprus Warbler 1m and 1f
Masked Shrike 1m and 1 juv

Androlikou
Cyprus Wheatear 2

Prodromi
Eleonora’s Falcon 1 over

Glossy Ibis, Polis Chrysochou Bay 11th August 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Glossy Ibis, Polis Chrysochou Bay 11th August 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Woodchat Shrike, Androlikou 11th August 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Woodchat Shrike, Androlikou 11th August 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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One of several Black-winged Stilt this morning at Larnaca Sewage Works.

Black-winged Stilt, Larnaca Sewage Works 17th July 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-winged Stilt, Larnaca Sewage Works 17th July 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

 
Several juveniles were also present as well as a Slender-billed and Black-headed Gull, a few Little Tern and an adult and juv Whiskered Tern, seven Ferruginous Duck, a couple each of Ruff, Common Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover and at least twenty Spur-winged Lapwing.


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Larnaca Sewage Pools this morning, 11th July 2017

Gull-billed Tern, Larnaca Sewage Works 11th July 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Gull-billed Tern, Larnaca Sewage Works 11th July 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

A record photo of one of four Gull-billed Terns at the Sewage Pools this morning. Three other tern species also present – seven Little Tern, one Whiskered and one White-winged Tern. Black-winged Stilt and Spur-winged Lapwing had chicks of varying sizes. On the water there were five Ferruginous Ducks in with the Mallard and around the edge there was a Little Ringed Plover, a Common and Green Sandpiper and some Kentish Plover. I only saw the best bird as I drove up to the hide – a Osprey was being chased over the area by Hooded Crows and heading east. A juvenile had been reported there towards the end of June and I guess it may well be the same bird.


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Eastern Cyprus today 11th January 2017

A break from the rain today and I started at Akhna Dam which now has almost double the amount of water than when I last visited. Plenty of Eurasian Coot and some Grey Heron but more interesting was the female Red-crested Pochard, two Great Crested Grebe and the immature Great White Pelican that has been in the area since mid November 2016. At the coast at Agia Trias I found three Grey Plover, two Greater Sand Plover and three Common Sandpiper (see photo). An immature Slender-billed Gull flew in for a few minutes and then flew off again south (see photo).

A quick look at Cape Greco with only a female Blue Rock Thrush, a female Hen Harrier and Cyprus Warbler of note. Single Little Egret were on Kermia Beach, Makronissos Beach and Dekeleia. Nearly twenty Armenian Gull, a big male Caspian Gull and an adult Mediterranean Gull were on Oroklini Beach and a large flock of Common Starling were flying around before roosting. There were four Temminck’s Stint and six Common Ringed Plover at the JUMBO drainage channel. I finished the day at the Larnaca Sewage Works hide. No sign of the Pallas’ Gull that have been there for a few days but there were seven Greater White-fronted Geese in the fields.

Chukar 11th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Chukar 11th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Sandpiper, Agia Trias, 11th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Sandpiper, Agia Trias, 11th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Slender-billed Gull, Agia Trias 11th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Slender-billed Gull, Agia Trias 11th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s Guiding Paphos 14th September 2016

The day out with Joan and Keith started with a walk around the Headland with the aim of finding the Greater Sand Plover that overwinter there. We found four of them after a bit of searching in the rocks where they were hunkered down. We also watched a Common Kingfisher hovering over the sea and saw a Whimbrel, Common Sandpiper, a Northern Wheatear and two Crested Lark. Several of the fields around Paphos Sewage Works were being watered and at least twelve Spur-winged Lapwing were feeding there, as were many Hooded Crow and Western Jackdaw. Other birds of note there were a couple of Whinchat and Eurasian Hoopoe, a Eurasian Stone Curlew, at least ten Yellow Wagail, a Green Sandpiper and the first of many Willow Warbler that were at all locations visited.

At Mandria we got good views of a flock of migrating European Bee-eater which came down close to us and then headed out to sea. We watched a flock of more than 150 Yellow Wagtails in a field of cut alfalfa and in the ploughed fields found two Isabelline and two Northern Wheatear, several Whinchat, a Tawny Pipit and a mobile flock of at least thirty Greater Short-toed Lark. In the west of the area there was a European Roller and two Lesser Grey Shrike on some wires. A Spur-winged Lapwing seen on the beach could have been a migrant. An unusual bird sitting on the offshore rocks with the European Shag was later identified as nothing more interesting than a Muscovy Duck….not sure how it got there!

We ate our lunch under the trees in the amenities area of the Asprokremmos Dam. European Bee-eater passed over head and European Goldfinch, Spotted Flycatcher, Sardinian Warbler and a Masked Shrike were all flying around and feeding in the conifers. We had a quick scan of the dam itself but saw nothing until we spotted a Peregrine Falcon sitting near the Dam head. Moving onto Agia Varvara we found some water in a couple of the ‘soakaways’. There we found a very smart male Red-backed Shrike, several Yellow Wagtail including a male Black-headed, more Willow Warbler, two Tree Pipit, a Spanish Sparrow, Chukar, Zitting Cisticola and some more European Bee-eaters.

The current development at Minthis Hills appears to have disturbed the birds although we did see some more European Bee-eater, a Masked Shrike and a fly-by Eurasian Hobby.
A good day out in fun company – odd not to have seen any large raptors, migrant or resident –  but we had a good mixture of species.

Total birds – 46
European Shag, Common Kestrel, Eurasian Hobby, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Greater Sand Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Whimbrel, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Turtle Dove, Common Kingfisher, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Tawny Pipit, Tree Pipit, Yellow Wagtail inc flava and feldegg, Whinchat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet.

Whimbrel, Paphos Headland 14th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Whimbrel, Paphos Headland 14th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-backed Shrike, Agia Varvara 14th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-backed Shrike, Agia Varvara 14th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Larnaca area this morning 25th July 2016

Back out birding in the heat of Larnaca this morning and found the following:

Meneou Pool

Eurasian Stone Curlew 2
Spur-winged Lapwing 1 juvenile

Larnaca Sewage Works and surrounding fields
Spur-winged Lapwing 25
Little Tern 1
Greater Flamingo 12
Glossy Ibis 1
Common Sandpiper 6
Ruff 3
Little Ringed Plover 2
Spotted Redshank 1
Little Stint 17
Wood Sandpiper 1
Red-crested Pochard 4 fem/juv types
Ferruginous Duck 7
Green Sandpiper 1
Common Swift 5
Kentish Plover 3

Spiros Beach
Kentish Plover c60 ads and juvs post breeding flock

Larnaca Airport Coast
Common Kingfisher 1
Common Sandpiper 9

Larnaca Salt Lake – only water is near Kamares
Little Egret 2
Glossy Ibis 1
Spur-winged Lapwing 13

Yellow-legged Gull, Spiros Beach, 25th July 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Yellow-legged Gull, Spiros Beach, 25th July 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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East of Cyprus today, 22nd January 2016

Visited several of my favourite locations today around the east of the island. Several Greater Sand Plover on a couple of rocky coasts and the three White-headed Duck are still at Oroklini Marsh. More interesting sightings included:

Agia Trias (Paralimni)
Greater Sand Plover 2
Grey Plover 4
Cape Greco
Blue Rock Thrush 2m
Cyprus Warbler 3m singing plus others heard
Song Thrush 8
Audouin’s Gull 1
Spanish Sparrow c200
Kermia Beach
Greater Sand Plover 2
Grey Plover 1
Macronissos Beach
Common Sandpiper 1
Chukar 16 together in one field
Agia Thekla
Common Sandpiper 2
Great Cormorant 2
Potamos Liopetri
Common Kingfisher 1
Little Egret 1
Common Sandpiper 1
Audouin’s Gull 1
Dhekelia
European Shag 8
Oroklini Beach
Sandwich Tern 2
European Shag 3
Oroklini Marsh
White-headed Duck 3
Black-winged Stilt 4
Black-tailed Godwit 1
Common Pochard 1m
Northern Pintail 2
Blue Rock Thrush Cape Greco 22nd January 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Blue Rock Thrush Cape Greco 22nd January 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Greater Sand Plover Agia Trias 22nd January 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Greater Sand Plover Agia Trias 22nd January 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Grey Plover Agia Trias 22nd January 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Grey Plover Agia Trias 22nd January 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours