Cyprus Birding Tours

Offering guided bird watching tours around Cyprus


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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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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s Guiding around Larnaca, 3rd April 2017

Today I took Terry and Sarah out around Larnaca for the day for the first time, although we had been out together several times around Paphos. We started in the Panagia Stazousa valley where we watched singing Cyprus Warbler and found a male and female Collared Flycatcher, a pair of Great Spotted Cuckoo and several Cyprus Wheatear. We watched a Long-legged Buzzard perched in a tree being harassed by Eurasian Magpie and later saw a pair circling over the area. Several migrating Common Nightingale were heard ‘peeping’ and one managed a few bars of song as well. Two Tree Pipit were also heard and we saw several Spanish Sparrow.

Driving through Kivisili fields we were pleased to find at least ten Lesser Kestrel including a male that perched close to us on some electricity wires. Suddenly an immature Bonelli’s Eagle flew in from the north and the Lesser Kestrel were soon mobbing it until it left the area. Two female Western Marsh Harrier approached from the south and were watched gaining height to migrate northwards. Our next stop was Petounta Point where we saw a migrating male Western Marsh Harrier, two Baltic Gulls heading E offshore and several Northern and Isabelline Wheatear. In the small area of trees we could hear a couple of Common Nightingale and decided to have our lunch there and see what else we could find. A good decision as we had good views of both a male and female Ruppell’s Warbler, a couple of Lesser Whitethroat and finally a Common Nightingale. I also saw a male Subalpine Warbler and Common Redstart but unfortunately Terry and Sarah didn’t. We watched a Eurasian Hoopoe feeding and then a couple of Corn Bunting as we left the area.

A couple of Calandra Lark were singing over the fields near Pervolia and two Common Quail called near the road. In the distance, we could see a large flock of Yellow Wagtail feeding and three Eurasian Skylark flew in. We were greeted by large numbers of waders on the Airport Pools – plenty of Marsh Sandpiper, Ruff, Common Greenshank, Dunlin, Little Stint, Black-winged Stilt and a lone Red-necked Phalarope – a good bird for Cyprus. In with the Greater Flamingo was a single Slender-billed Gull, two Little Egret and two Gull-billed Tern. A couple of Kentish Plover were around the edge of the Pool.

It was very windy at the Sewage Works hide so we didn’t stay long and moved inland a bit to the north east corner of the main Salt Lake. We finished the day there and added Sedge and Eurasian Reed Warbler, Water Pipit, Common Kingfisher, Green Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover to the day list. A good day out with Terry and Sarah having the chance to see new birding locations on the island.

Total number of species seen – 74

Little Egret, Greater Flamingo, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Western Marsh Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Black Francolin, Common Quail, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Dunlin, Ruff, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Red-necked Phalarope, Common Black-headed Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Baltic Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Gull-billed Tern, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Swift, Common Kingfisher, Eurasian Hoopoe, Calandra Lark, Crested Lark, Eurasian Skylark, Barn Swallow, Common House Martin, Tree Pipit, Water Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Common Nightingale, Common Redstart, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Ruppell’s Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Collared Flycatcher, Great Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Corn Bunting

Kentish Plover, Larnaca Airport Pools, 3rd April 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Kentish Plover, Larnaca Airport Pools, 3rd April 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Limassol area 5th January 2017

First day out birding of 2017 on my return from UK. As I had missed out on adding Common Gull to my 2016 Cyprus list I was determined to get it for my 2017 list. So I decided to go to Lady’s Mile at Akrotiri where at least three of this uncommon Cyprus winter visitor have been present. I saw my target birds and in with the 1000+ wintering Common Black-headed Gull I also found a first winter Slender-billed Gull and three first winter Mediterranean Gulls. There were also several wintering Armenian and Caspian Gulls.

Other birds of interest in the area included:

Zakaki Marsh
Western Marsh Harrier 3 (in air at same time)
Eurasian Penduline Tit 1+ heard
Common Reed Bunting 1 heard
Gadwall 2f

Phassouri Reed-beds
Western Marsh Harrier 2
Spanish Sparrow 20

Germasogeia Dam
Cyprus Warbler 1m
Corn Bunting 22
Long-legged Buzzard 2
Great Egret 1

Adult Armenian Gull, Lady's Mile 5th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Adult Armenian Gull, Lady’s Mile 5th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

First winter Mediterranean Gull, Lady's Mile 5th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

First winter Mediterranean Gull, Lady’s Mile 5th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

First-winter Slender-billed Gull, Lady's Mile 5th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

First-winter Slender-billed Gull, Lady’s Mile 5th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Guiding Larnaca and Nicosia 17th & 18th December 2016

Real winter’s weather for our day and a half out birding. Picking up Richard and Brad from Larnaca Airport midday Saturday we headed for Oroklini Marsh.  We spent time in both hides there and were out of the rain at least. On the Paralimni coast at Agia Trias we weren’t so lucky and a biting wind there cut our birding short, while the gathering gloom and storm clouds as we reached Makronissos Beach meant we could have done with a torch to help us find the birds. A chilly, cloudy start on Sunday found us in the hide at Larnaca Sewage Works and although we got quite cold in the wind, the weather improved as we got to the Salt Lake and the sun finally came out. We even managed to eat our picnic lunch outside in the Panagia Stazousa valley and stayed out until the sun set at Agios Sozomenos outside Nicosia.

Birding highlights per location:

Saturday 17th December:

Oroklini Marsh – Cattle Egret, Greater Flamingo, Common Pochard, Western Marsh Harrier, Northern Lapwing, Spur-winged Lapwing

Xylofagou – Long-legged Buzzard perched on road side electricity pole.

Agia Trias – Grey Plover 3, Common Sandpiper 1, Yellow-legged Gull 4, Common Kingfisher 1

Cape Greco – Chukar 10+

Makronissos Beach – Eurasian Skylark c40, Kentish Plover 37

Sunday 18th December:

Larnaca Airport Pools South – Eurasian Stone Curlew 4, Common Starling 1, Black Francolin 5m and 2f, Eurasian Skylark, Common Shelduck 4

Larnaca Sewage Works – Greater White-fronted Goose 6, Ruddy Shelduck 2, Common Shelduck 3, Great White Pelican 1 imm, Eurasian Wigeon 4, Northern Pintail 10m and 2f, Grey Plover 1, Western Marsh Harrier 1,

Larnaca Airport Coast – Eurasian Curlew 2, Western Black Redstart

Pervolia – Corn Bunting 11

Larnaca Salt Lake – Greater Flamingo c600, Common Shelduck c150, Western Marsh Harrier 1, Common Crane 3, Spur-winged Lapwing 4, Common Snipe c15, Green Sandpiper 1, Heuglin’s Gull 2, Caspian Gull, Water Pipit 4, Grey Wagtail, Bluethroat, European Goldfinch 50+

Panagia Stazousa – Hen Harrier 1f, Long-legged Buzzard 1, Common Buzzard 1, Spanish Sparrow, European Serin

Agios Sozomenos – Northern Lapwing, Bluethroat 2, Finsch’s Wheatear 1m and 1f, Blue Rock Thrush 1m

 

Total species seen: 77

Little Grebe, Great Cormorant, European Shag, Great White Pelican, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Greater Flamingo, Greater White-fronted Goose, Ruddy Shelduck, Common Shelduck, Eurasian Wigeon, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Common Pochard, Western Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Common Crane, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Kentish Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Northern Lapwing, Little Stint, Common Snipe, Eurasian Curlew, Common Redshank, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Common Black-headed Gull, Heuglin’s Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Caspian Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Kingfisher, Crested Lark, Eurasian Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Water Pipit, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, European Robin, Bluethroat, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Finsch’s Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Eurasian Blackbird, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Corn Bunting

Great White Pelican, Larnaca, 18th December 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Great White Pelican, Larnaca, 18th December 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

 

 

 


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Larnaca Water Bird Count, 16th March 2016

Around the Larnaca wetlands today. Very few Greater Flamingo around but there are still a couple of hundred Northern Shoveler and Eurasian Teal on the Sewage Pools. One Black-necked Grebe is still present as is a Ruddy Shelduck, five Ferruginous Duck, four Northern Pintail and two male and a female Red-crested Pochard. Most of the pools had double figures of Black-winged Stilt and plenty of Common Black-headed Gull and some Slender-billed Gull. Four hundred Slender-billed Gull were on the main Salt Lake as were four male Garganey and a large flock of Ruff, more than forty Common Redshank, some Dunlin and LIttle Stint and Kentish Plover. Several pairs of Spur-winged Lapwing were around as was a Common Snipe and some Green and Common Sandpiper.

Several Yellow Wagtail were in the area – mainly feldegg but also a couple of flava and a few intergrades. A Cyprus Wheatear was near Tekke Mosque and several Isabelline and Northern Wheatear were around. At Petounta Point two Sandwich Tern were offshore and three Little Ringed Plover and a Kentish Plover were in the flooded area.

After a storm in the early afternoon there were many Common Swift, Red-rumped Swallow and Barn Swallow in the area of Meneou Beach.

Black-winged Stilt, Meneou Pool, 16th March 2016  (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-winged Stilt, Meneou Pool, 16th March 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-headed Wagtail 2, Petounta Point 16th March 2016

Black-headed Wagtail, Petounta Point 16th March 2016

Little Ringed Plover, Petounta Point, 16th March 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Little Ringed Plover, Petounta Point, 16th March 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Corn Bunting, Larnaca Salt Lake 16th March 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Corn Bunting, Larnaca Salt Lake 16th March 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

 


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Agios Sozomenos this morning 15th January 2016

 

Too nice a day to sit at laptop so went out for a few hours around Agios Sozomenos. Best birds were a pair of Long-legged Buzzard flying together and being mobbed by the many Western Jackdaw of the area. One of the Long-legged had nesting material in its talons. A Bluethroat was a surprise spot, sitting on a bush singing briefly. Found a female and two male Finsch’s Wheatear. The female was at least a kilometre away from where I had seen one at the end of last year so there must be two of them in the area this winter. Spectacled Warbler and Corn Bunting were singing and I also found a female Cyprus Warbler and heard a Little Owl calling.

Finsch's Wheatear, Agios Sozomenos 15th January 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Finsch’s Wheatear, Agios Sozomenos 15th January 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Days Guiding Paphos 16th November 2015

The third day out with Peter and Jean was spent around Paphos. We stopped at Achelia Dam on our way to Anarita Park. There we found the lone Ferruginous Duck that has been there for at least a week as well as fourteen Great Cormorant – one of which we watched struggle with a large fish it had caught. Onto Anarita Park, where it took us longer than expected to find a Finsch’s Wheatear, but with a little help from another birder we finally had some good views of a male. We also spent time watching two Little Owls and then were treated to the spectacle of two adult Bonelli’s Eagle flying to the east of the area being mobbed by a Long-legged Buzzard.  Three Woodlark were also seen as well as a couple of Western Black Redstart and the ubiquitous Common Stonechat.

Some Yellow-legged Gulls, two Grey Heron and two Great Cormorant were the only water birds on Asprokremmos Dam so we headed to the mast area to the west of the water where we had brief views of a male and female Cyprus Warbler and a couple of Spectacled Warbler. A late Northern Wheatear was a surprise but the best bird of the area was a male Merlin we saw speeding over the scrub and fields putting the large flocks of European Goldfinch and Greenfinch, Spanish Sparrow, Meadow Pipit and Corn Bunting into a panic. Down by the water’s edge we also found large flocks of European Serin. A Long-legged Buzzard was also flying over the area.

We finished our day at Lower Ezousas, a site that has been very busy over the last few days since a pair of Cyprus rarities, the Bearded Reedling, had been seen on Saturday. We saw the female as soon as we arrived and the male as we left. We also had close up views of at least one Moustached Warbler, a Grey Wagtail, two Water Rail and a Bluethroat as well as several Cetti’s Warbler and Chiffchaff. As we left the light was fading – some good birds to round off the day.

The new species that we saw today brought the total seen over the three trips to 77.

Today’s species – 52

Little Grebe, Great Cormorant, Grey Heron, Mallard, Ferruginous Duck, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Common Kestrel, Merlin, Chukar, Water Rail, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Little Owl, Crested Lark, Woodlark, Eurasian Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, European Robin, Bluethroat, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Finsch’s Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Moustached Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Bearded Reedling, Eurasian Magpie, Hooded Crow, Western Jackdaw, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Corn Bunting

Water Rail Lower Ezousas 16th November 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Water Rail Lower Ezousas 16th November 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Moustached Warbler Lower Ezousas 16th November 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Moustached Warbler Lower Ezousas 16th November 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Late afternoon at Agios Sozomenos, Nicosia 22nd June 2015

A few hours in the Agios Sozmenos area late this afternoon produced four European Roller, a couple of hundred Corn Bunting in post breeding flocks, several calling Black Francolin, some Spanish Sparrow, at least three Green Sandpiper, Stone Curlew, Black-winged Stilt, Spur-winged Lapwing and a juvenile Great Spotted Cuckoo begging its Magpie parent for food.

Spanish Sparrow Agios Sozomenos 22nd June 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Spanish Sparrow Agios Sozomenos 22nd June 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Omodos today 20th June 2015

Spent a few hours in the vineyards to the north west of Omodos where there were many singing Black-headed Bunting and Cyprus Wheatear. Had good views of Cyprus Warbler, Serin, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler and Long-legged Buzzard as well and there were many Common House Martin with a few Red-rumped and Barn Swallow overhead.

The best part of the time there was when I drove along the road to Agios Nikolaos and found a family party of four Black-headed Bunting juveniles flying from mosphilia bush to the vines and back. At one stage there were several young Corn Bunting, a couple of juvenile Spanish Sparrow, a young Common Linnet and Sardinian Warbler and two of the Black-headed Bunting in the same bush! Great birding moment! Light was really bad so the photo of one of the young Black-headed Bunting with a young Spanish Sparrow is the best of a very poor bunch.

Black-headed Bunting juvenile with Spanish Sparrow juvenile Omodos 20th June 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-headed Bunting juvenile with Spanish Sparrow juvenile Omodos 20th June 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours