Harish and Deepa were visiting Cyprus on a birding break and we visited sites in Paphos and Limassol. They were especially keen to get photographs of new species – this being their first birding trip in Europe. To give them a chance to appreciate the new birds they asked not to be taken to wetland sites as they wanted to concentrate on passerines and raptors.
Day one – Saturday 15th March
We visited Cape Drepanum, Paphos Headland, Mandria and Anarita Park. We found several Sylvia warblers including resident Sardinian and migrant Subalpine and Rüppell’s. An unexpected bird at Cape Drepanum was a male singing Cyprus Warbler. We had good views of Isabelline and Northern Wheatear as well as Western Black Redstart, Blue-headed Wagtail, Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat. We also found a male Finsch’s Wheatear at Anarita Park and a Black Francolin at Mandria.
Day two – Sunday 16th March
We started at Amathus and found at least eight singing male Cyprus Warbler as well as a female Blue Rock Thrush and five Chukar. A Masked Shrike, a Bluethroat, a Crag Martin and two migrating White Stork were the highlights at Germasogeia Dam although disappointingly we didn’t see any raptors there. We found several Western Marsh Harrier at Phassouri including a migrating adult male. A ringtail Hen Harrier and several Common Buzzard were also seen. There were many Northern Wheatear in the area and we found a Sedge Warbler, Black-headed Wagtail and another Bluethroat around the reed beds.
Offshore was a flock of at least 300 Garganey and around 150 Black-headed Gull and migrating Great Cormorant passed over. At least one Great Spotted Cuckoo was in the Gravel Pits area as well as three maybe four Hoopoe.
Two intensive days of birding in enjoyable company with a pleasing number of species considering we didn’t go looking for waterbirds as well.
Seventy two species
Little Grebe, Great Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, White Stork, Garganey, Mallard, Common Teal, Western Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Common Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, European Coot, Common Snipe, Green Sandpiper, Ruff, Common Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Woodlark, Eurasian Skylark, Eurasian Crag Martin, Barn Swallow, Common House Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Water Pipit, Blue-headed Wagtail, Black-headed Wagtail, White Wagtail, European Robin, Bluethroat, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Finsch’s Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Rüppell’s Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Corn Bunting