Cyprus Birding Tours

Offering guided bird watching tours around Cyprus


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Morning at Troodos 7th July 2017

Just a few hours around Troodos this morning before it got too hot. Birds seen included:

Platania
Red-rumped Swallow 4 juvs
Spotted Flycatcher 1
Northern Goshawk 1h and seen briefly in flight

Amiantos Botanical Gardens
Cyprus Wheatear 1 ad and 4 juvs
Red-rumped Swallow 6
Masked Shrike 1m, 1f and 2 fledged juvs
Common Hoopoe 1
Northern House Martin 20+

Almirolivado
Red Crossbill (see photo) c8 (inc at least 1 male and 2 juvs)
European Serin 8 inc juvs
Common Chaffinch 10+ inc 3 juvs
Eurasian Blackbird 1m and 1f
Eurasian Jay 2
Coal Tit c15
Red-rumped Swallow 2
Northern House Martin 20+

Red Crossbill, Troodos 7th July 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red Crossbill, Troodos 7th July 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Troodos area today 20th June 2017

Spent the day visiting several of the Troodos picnic sites which are usually a good area to find migrant and resident breeders and find some endemic sub-species. Some of the plumage of the breeding birds was looking very worn.

Platania
Spotted Flycatcher 1 ad and at least 4 juvs
Red-rumped Swallow 1
Eurasian Blackbird pair seen and 1 other male singing
Common Hoopoe 1
Masked Shrike 2m and 1f (1m having bath in stream)
Coal Tit 3 juvs
Northern Wren 1 having bath in stream

Livadi tou Pashia
Eurasian Blackbird 2m and 1f
European Serin 2+
Northern Wren 2
Eastern Olivaceous Warbler 4+
Masked Shrike 1 pair feeding unseen juvs and another feeding 3 fledged juvs
plus 3 other males
Eurasian Jay 3 juvs, one seen fighting with male Blackbird
Northern House Martin 100+

Almirolivado
Masked Shrike 3m
Eurasian Blackbird 3 singing males
Red Crossbill 2
Eastern Olivaceous Warbler 2h

Platres Old Road and start of Caledonia Trail
Cyprus Wheatear 1m singing
Eurasian Blackbird 4m
Grey Wagtail 1 ad
Northern Wren 2
European Serin 1+

Troodos Botanical Gardens
Grey Wagtail 1ad
Cyprus Wheatear 1 ad
Red-rumped Swallow 2
Northern House Martin 30+

Masked Shrike, Livadi tou Pashia 20th June 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Masked Shrike, Livadi tou Pashia 20th June 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Hoopoe, Platania 20th June 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Hoopoe, Platania 20th June 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Jay, Livadi tou Pashia 20th June 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Jay, Livadi tou Pashia 20th June 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Grey Wagtail, Troodos 20th June 2017 (Cyprus Birding Tours)

Grey Wagtail, Troodos 20th June 2017 (Cyprus Birding Tours)

Female Eurasian Blackbird taking a bath, Platania 20th June 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Female Eurasian Blackbird taking a bath, Platania 20th June 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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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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Limassol area today

Spent the morning around Akrotiri where it was quiet with the best birds at least three Little Bittern at Zakaki Marsh, a group of a couple of hundred Greater Flamingo still on the Salt Lake where there were also Little Tern, Black-winged Stilt and Slender-billed Gull.

Akrotiri Salt Lake/Zakaki Run off
Greater Flamingo 300+
Slender-billed Gull 6
Little Tern 6+
Black-winged Stilt 21
Little Egret 2
Grey Heron 2
Little Stint c40
Ruff 8
Yellow Wagtail 1 in flight

Lady’s Mile
Little Egret 6 inc grey morph

Phasouri Reed-beds
Squacco Heron 2
European Turtle Dove 2

But the best part of the day  was the two hours I spent at Prastio Kellakiou in the late afternoon. Full of migrant breeders – Eurasian Hoopoe, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Masked Shrike, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, European Turtle Dove and Cyprus’ endemic sub-species Coal Tit and Jay. But the star was the hardworking male Black-headed Bunting who was kept busy feeding two fledglings in the shade of some olive trees (see the photo below that was taken at a distance). At least four other Black-headed Bunting males and one female were also in the area.

Black-headed Bunting, Prastio Kellakiou, 29th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-headed Bunting, Prastio Kellakiou, 29th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Greater Flamingo, Akrotiri Salt Lake 29th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Greater Flamingo, Akrotiri Salt Lake 29th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Cyprus Wheatear, Germasogeia Dam, 29th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Cyprus Wheatear, Germasogeia Dam, 29th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Morning’s Guiding north of Paphos, 19th May 2017

Spent the morning at several locations north of Paphos with Mark looking for migrant breeders including Black-headed Bunting and Cretzschmar’s Bunting. Despite the unseasonal heavy rain as we drove through Akoursos to Kathikas the weather brightened up and we were treated to good views of several of the colourful migrant breeders that are now on territories as well as some later passage migrants such as Woodchat Shrike and European Bee-eater.

Highlights per location:

Akoursos – European Roller 2

Kathikas – Black-headed Bunting 1m and 1f, Corn Bunting

Arodes – Black Francolin 2h, Great Spotted Cuckoo 2, European Bee-eater 3, European Roller 5, European Golden Oriole 2m and 1f, Woodchat Shrike 1, Cyprus Wheatear, Spanish Sparrow 20+, Black-headed Bunting 2m

Pittokopos – Androlikou road – European Roller 3 including one rolling and displaying, Cyprus Wheatear 2, Black-headed Bunting 2m, Corn Bunting 6+

Androlikou – Cyprus Wheatear 4, European Roller 1, European Bee-eater 22

Neo Chorio/Smygies – Long-legged Buzzard 1, European Turtle Dove 1, Cyprus Wheatear 3, Olivaceous Warbler, European Serin, Red-rumped Swallow, Cretzschmar’s Bunting 2 singing males seen, others heard

Black-headed Bunting, Pittokopos 19th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-headed Bunting, Pittokopos 19th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

 


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s Guiding on east of the island, 17th May 2017

This year a day out in mid-May means finding very few passerine migrants, the need to concentrate on breeding birds and visiting a wetland to increase the variety of species seen. Luckily Robert had a list of realistic target species which made our day easier although we had to work hard to find the Black-headed Wagtail. The other species Robert hoped to see were Cyprus Warbler, Cyprus Wheatear, Black Francolin, Chukar, Little Owl, Spur-winged Lapwing and Masked Shrike.

Starting at Cape Greco, the first bird we saw was a singing male Cyprus Warbler which was a great start. We explored the area and found another two males and two females together with a couple of juveniles. We soon heard the distinctive call of the Cyprus Wheatear and spotted a singing male on a low bush. Several others were later seen as were a couple of European Turtle Dove, a Spectacled Warbler, a male and female Red-backed Shrike as well as a couple of Sand Martin. A couple of Black-headed Buntings were singing near the Sea Caves area where we also found our only Chukar of the day.

We then headed to Akhna Dam where several Spur-winged Lapwing were found as was a male Garganey, a couple of Ruff and Common Sandpiper, some Little Egret, a Grey Heron and a Glossy Ibis. Several Eurasian Reed Warbler were heard singing and a flock of around 30 Common Swift and seven Alpine Swift were flying over the area and coming down to drink – a great sight. We visited both hides at Oroklini and Robert got great views of another of his targets here – this time a male Black Francolin was out in the open calling for quite a while. We also saw more Spur-winged Lapwing here as well as Black-winged Stilt, Curlew Sandpiper, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Little, Whiskered and White-winged Tern and Garganey. There were several recently hatched young Cattle Egret in the colony and we also spotted a Spur-winged Lapwing chick with one of its parents.

We then went inland to Panagia Stazousa to try and find a Masked Shrike and a Little Owl. We found the Little Owl perched outside its nest site but it took a while to find a Masked Shrike until eventually a male flew into view. We also saw more Cyprus Warbler and Cyprus Wheatear as well as Olivaceous Warbler, a European Roller, a fly-over Eurasian Hobby and two Long-legged Buzzard. We heard Cretzschmar’s Bunting but couldn’t get decent views of them.

Our next stop was on the eastern side of Larnaca Salt Lake where there was still some water and I was hoping may be a suitable location for the feldegg race of the Yellow Wagtail – Black-headed Wagtail. We found some water and the bonus of three Broad-billed Sandpiper (a regular but scarce passage migrant to Cyprus) feeding with Black-winged Stilt, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper and some stunning Curlew Sandpiper. A Squacco Heron was also present and we heard the call of a Yellow Wagtail and saw a couple fly over but were unable to see which race they were. Finally, a male Blue-headed was spotted feeding next to some reeds and then to its right there was a male Black-headed. All of the target species seen we went south of the airport to see what was on the Sewage Pools there. There were several Little Tern and a couple of White-winged Tern as well as two Yellow-legged Gull, some Spur-winged Lapwing and several Ruff. New birds for the day were a single Gull-billed Tern feeding over the water and a Collared Pratincole which we saw head out towards the coast.

We finished our day there pleased with our efforts.

Total species seen 66

Chukar, Black Francolin, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Common Teal, Little Grebe, Common Woodpigeon, European Turtle Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, Laughing Dove, Alpine Swift, Common Swift, Common Moorhen, Common Coot, Glossy Ibis, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Black-winged Stilt, Kentish Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruff, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Common Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Collared Pratincole, Yellow-legged Gull, Little Tern, Gull-billed Tern, Whiskered Tern, White-winged Tern, Little Owl, Long-legged Buzzard, European Roller, Common Kestrel, Eurasian Hobby, Red-backed Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Great Tit, Crested Lark, Zitting Cisticola, Olivaceous Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Northern House Martin, Barn Swallow, Collared Sand Martin, Cetti’s Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Cyprus Wheatear, House Sparrow, Blue-headed Wagtail, Black-headed Wagtail, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Black-headed Bunting, Cretzschmar’s Bunting

Whiskered Tern, Oroklini Marsh 17th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Whiskered Tern, Oroklini Marsh 17th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s Guiding 5th May 2017, Paphos and Akrotiri

Good to see John and Madeleine again for another day’s birding. We visited a few Paphos locations in the morning before spending the rest of the day around Akrotiri. Eight species of raptor seen including Red-footed Falcon, Lesser Kestrel and Montagu’s Harrier at Anarita early morning and later on a Peregrine Falcon and two Eleonora’s Falcon hunting the waders on Akrotiri Salt Lake where we were surprised to find a female Hen Harrier as well. We saw many different waders including Broad-billed Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper and Temminck’s Stint plus great views of Collared Pratincole and White-winged Tern.

Highlights per location visited:

Agia Varvara – Black Francolin 2, European Turtle Dove, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Lesser Kestrel, Eleonora’s Falcon, Spotted Flycatcher

Agia Varvara village reservoir- Ruff, Temminck’s Stint, Wood Sandpiper, European Roller, Red-rumped Swallow

Anarita Park – Montagu’s Harrier 1m, Long-legged Buzzard, European Bee-eater h, Lesser Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Cyprus Warbler, Corn Bunting

Kouklia village – Laughing Dove

Akrotiri Gravel Pits – Great Spotted Cuckoo 2, European Turtle Dove 4, Little Egret, Kentish Plover, Willow Warbler, European Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, Spotted Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher 1f

Phasouri Reed Beds – Ferruginous Duck, Glossy Ibis 6, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Ruff, Olivaceous Warbler, Black-headed Wagtail 1m, European Serin

Akrotiri Salt Lake – Greater Flamingo, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Cuckoo, Black-winged Stilt, Grey Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Ruff, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Collared Pratincole, Little Tern, White-winged Tern, Hen Harrier 1f, European Bee eater, Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon

Lady’s Mile – Little Egret, Common Ringed Plover, Ruff, Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Common Greenshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Little Tern

Zakaki Marsh – European Bee-eater, Squacco Heron

Total species seen – 75

Black Francolin, Ferruginous Duck, Mallard, Little Grebe, Greater Flamingo, Common Woodpigeon, European Turtle Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, Laughing Dove, Common Swift, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Cuckoo, Common Moorhen, Common Coot, Glossy Ibis, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Black-winged Stilt, Grey Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit, Ruff, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Temminck’s Stint, Little Stint, Common Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Collared Pratincole, Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Little Tern, White-winged Tern, Hen Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Eurasian Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Great Tit, Crested Lark, Zitting Cisticola, Olivaceous Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Northern House Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Willow Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, Cyprus Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher, Cyprus Wheatear, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Black-headed Wagtail, European Greenfinch, Common Linnet, European Goldfinch, European Serin, Corn Bunting

Glossy Ibis, Phasouri 5th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Glossy Ibis, Phasouri 5th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Three Days Guiding, Akrotiri, Larnaca and Akamas 26th – 28th April 2017

Three days out with Mark, Willem, Oscar and Sjors around Akrotiri, Larnaca and Paphos produced a total of 112 different species/forms with a wide variety of types of birds and a few surprises. The only down side was the real lack of passerine migrants which were much decreased from mid-April but we had good visible migration of larger species especially Glossy Ibis and other herons as well as a Black Stork and the unexpected sight of three Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters over our heads at Phasouri.

Wednesday 26th April

This was spent around the various sites of the Akrotiri peninsula. We started at the hide overlooking Zakaki Marsh where we saw Ferruginous Duck through the reeds but had better views of a Baillons Crake in front of the hide where it competed for our attention with a Water Rail and a male and female Little Bittern. There were plenty of Eurasian Reed Warbler as well as a couple of Squacco Heron, Little Egret and Glossy Ibis. A singing Black Francolin came into the open and was well seen. Two Pallid Swift flew over the area and a Wood Sandpiper fed in the mud. Moving to Lady’s Mile a good selection of migrating waders included many Ruff, Black-winged Stilt and Little Stint, a lone Temminck’s Stint, a couple of Marsh and Wood Sandpiper and Dunlin and some Curlew Sandpiper. Several pairs of Kentish Plover were present as was a greyish Little Egret. Closer to the Salt Lake itself at the Zakaki runoff we saw a Black Stork thermalling up to the north as well as a distant White-winged Tern and Collared Pratincole. A group of more than sixty Gull-billed Tern were on the shore with some Slender-billed Gull and at least six Little Tern. A few Yellow Wagtail including thunbergi and feldegg race males were in the vegetation and we also found a female Black-eared Wheatear.

There were still a couple of hundred Greater Flamingo on the Salt Lake. A quick visit to Bishops Pool was notable for better views of Ferruginous Duck than at Zakaki as well as a good number of migrating Sand Martin over the water and some late Common Teal. An Eleonora’s Falcon flew over close to Sylvana’s as did a couple of European Turtle Dove and we also found two European Roller on the wires there. There was little of note around Agios Georgios Church so we drove across the Gravel Pits to Phasouri Reed beds finding a Grey Plover and a Whinchat on the way. At the reed-beds we saw another pair of Little Bittern, a single Cattle Egret, a Common Snipe, five Ferruginous Duck, three Glossy Ibis (with another 12 seen migrating over the area, another Wood Sandpiper, more Ruff and plenty of Eurasian Reed Warblers. As we were leaving three Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters flew over us – their call slightly different from their European counterparts. They were heading back towards the Gravel Pits area and we decided to go back there in the hope of re finding them.

We didn’t find them again but the decision to go back to there was a good one as we then saw two Greater Spotted Cuckoo, a Common Cuckoo, a European Roller, and a female Red-footed Falcon. Where had they been earlier? We finished the day at Kensington Cliffs where although Griffon Vulture let us down we had a wonderful aerial display from at least six Eleonora’s Falcon and many Alpine Swift.

Thursday 27th April

We headed for the Larnaca area today and started at the fields just outside Kivisili village. There were at least twenty Red-footed Falcon feeding and resting there as well as around eight kestrels that we could ID as Lesser as well as several Common as well. In the distance a female ring-tailed Harrier was quartering the fields – from the brief views of the underwing I managed it was most likely a female Pallid. We had just brief views of a Greater Spotted Cuckoo and Little Owl and found two recently fledged Corn Bunting. More than thirty Greater Short-toed Lark were feeding at Petounta Point and we saw our first group of migrating Glossy Ibis of the day (a total of at least 250 birds seen during the day), three migrating Purple Heron and two groups of Little Egret. The wooded area near Kiti Dam wall was quieter than it had been when I had visited on Monday – another reminder of the fact that migrant warbler passage seems to be largely over. But we did have two Spur-winged Lapwing, a male Golden Oriole and a single Great Spotted Cuckoo.

A quick detour via a post box in Kiti village produced a pair of Laughing Dove obviously breeding nearby. They are spreading throughout Larnaca. Around Larnaca Sewage Works and its pools we found another European Turtle Dove, a Common Cuckoo, a family party of Spectacled Warbler, a Great Reed Warbler, several Blackcap and Spotted Flycatcher, a male Black-eared Wheatear and a Whinchat. More visible migration – this time Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis and large flocks of Spanish Sparrow. On the pools themselves we had two White-winged Tern and two Collared Pratincole flying around in front of the hide as well as several Spur-winged Lapwing, some Black-winged Stilt, Ruff and Little Stint and a single Baltic Gull.

We found at least three Calandra Lark on the fields outside Pervolia as well as a male Northern Wheatear, a couple of Yellow Wagtail, plenty of Zitting Cisitcola and two male Black Francolin disputing their territories. Two Common Cuckoo were on wires near Meneou Pool – one of them a ‘rufous’ female. Our last stop was for a look at the waders on the Airport Pools (North) where the highlight was three Red-necked Phalarope.

Friday 28th April

A completely different day for our last day out which after a brief check of the fields at Mandria was concentrating in the Akamas. At Mandria we watched a group of swifts, including several Alpine come in off the sea and also found some Yellow Wagtail, a few fly over Red-throated Pipit and a single Tawny Pipit. We then heading to the valley behind Arodes village where our main target was the Black-headed Bunting. In the end, we found three singing males but also had good views of several Cyprus Wheatear, a singing male Cyprus Warbler, a fly over Eleonora’s Falcon and at least three male and two female Golden Oriole wwith at least four European Roller were in the area. There were plenty of Spotted Flycatcher, two Great Spotted Cuckoo and Red-rumped Swallow around as well.

Driving on through Pittokopos to Androlikou we found two more singing male Black-headed Bunting, Chukar, a male Lesser Kestrel and two Red-throated Pipit obligingly sitting on telegraph wires. Androlikou village had at least four European Roller and a couple of Cyprus Wheatear. A Common Hoopoe was singing from the top of a carob tree and as usual for the day there were several Spotted Flycatcher and singing Olivaceous Warbler.

A walk around the caravan site at the Baths of Aphrodite gave us another pair of Eurasian Golden Oriole, several Blackcap and a stunning male Red-backed Shrike. We also heard a Scops Owl but it wasn’t roosting anywhere visible. Two more were heard towards the Smygies picnic site and although Mark saw a small owl fly off again we couldn’t locate one for a proper view. We added Masked Shrike, European Serin and Cretzschmar’s Bunting to our list and saw two more European Roller. There were many migrating swifts and swallows including Alpine Swift, Red-rumped Swallow and Northern House Martin. A walk around some fields and carob groves produced another male Red-backed Shrike, a Tree Pipit, Whinchat and a male black and white Flycatcher which was probably a Pied. We heard some European Bee-eater fly over but couldn’t locate them against a sunny sky.

Thanks to Mark, Willem, Sjors and Oscar for three good days birding and some great birds.

Total species/forms seen – 112

Chukar, Black Francolin, Ferruginous Duck, Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Common Teal, Little Grebe, Greater Flamingo, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, European Turtle Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, Laughing Dove, Alpine Swift, Pallid Swift, Common Swift, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Cuckoo, Western Water Rail, Baillons Crake, Common Moorhen, Common Coot, Black Stork, Glossy Ibis, Common Little Bittern, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Purple Heron, Little Egret, European Shag, Black-winged Stilt, Grey Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruff, Curlew Sandpiper, Temminck’s Stint, Little Stint, Common Snipe, Red-necked Phalarope, Common Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Collared Pratincole, Slender-billed Gull, Black-headed Gull, Baltic Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Little Tern, Gull-billed Tern, White-winged Tern, Little Owl, Scops Owl, Western Marsh Harrier, Ring-tailed Harrier probably female Pallid, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Hoopoe, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Great Tit, Calandra Lark, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Zitting Cisticola, Olivaceous Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Northern House Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Barn Swallow, Sand Martin, Cetti’s Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Cyprus Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher, Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Black-eared Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Tree Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Tawny Pipit, Western Yellow Wagtail inc thunbergi, flava and feldegg races, White Wagtail, European Greenfinch, Common Linnet, European Goldfinch, European Goldfinch, Black-headed Bunting, Corn Bunting, Cretzschmar’s Bunting

Baillon's Crake, Zakaki Marsh 26th April 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Baillon’s Crake, Zakaki Marsh 26th April 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Little Bittern, Zakaki Marsh 26th April 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Little Bittern, Zakaki Marsh 26th April 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

 

 


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s Guiding Limassol and Larnaca 24th April 2017

A good day out with Peter and Jeanette around some of the Limassol and Larnaca sites didn’t quite go according to plan but we still picked up some good species including their targets of Black Francolin and Spur-winged Lapwing. We started at Germasogeia Dam and had intended to go around the Akrotiri peninsula after that but on hearing the news that a Bar-tailed Lark had been found near Larnaca Sewage Works we decided to try our luck and headed that way to see if we could find it.

Unfortunately we couldn’t find the lark but Peter and Jeanette weren’t phased as they were able to get good view of other species they had hoped to see on our day out and we took the opportunity to visit some other Larnaca locations before finishing the day at Prastio Kellekiou outside Limassol as originally planned.

Highlights per location:

Germasogeia Dam – Glossy Ibis, Long-legged Buzzard, Little Owl, Laughing Dove, Greater Short-toed Lark, Red-rumped Swallow, Cyprus Wheatear, Great Reed Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler

Kofinou – European Roller

Larnaca Sewage Works area – Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Little Tern, White-winged Tern, Black Francolin, Black-headed Wagtail (feldegg), Common Whitethroat, Common Nightingale, Collared Flycatcher 1f

Pervolia – Common Quail h, Calandra Lark, Red-throated Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Whinchat

Kiti Dam – Black Francolin h, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Cuckoo, Wood Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher 1f, European Golden Oriole 1m

Prastio Kellakiou – European Turtle Dove 1h, Red-rumped Swallow, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Garden Warbler h, Coal Tit, Masked Shrike, Spanish Sparrow, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Black-headed Bunting

Full species list – 71

Little Grebe, Glossy Ibis, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Quail, Eurasian Coot, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Ruff, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Little Tern, White-winged Tern, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Turtle Dove, Laughing Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, European Roller, Greater Short-toed Lark, Calandra Lark, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Red-throated Pipit, Yellow Wagtail spp, Black-headed Wagtail (feldegg), Common Nightingale, Whinchat, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Wood Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Collared Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Hooded Crow, Western Jackdaw, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Black-headed Bunting, Corn Bunting

 


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s Guiding Limassol and Kivisili Fields, 22nd April 2017

A good day’s birding around Limassol with Hlynur which ended outside Larnaca at Kivisili, adding several more target species to the day’s tally. We started at Kensington Cliffs where we found three Eurasian Griffon Vulture, three Eleonora’s Falcon, several Alpine Swift and a young Peregrine Falcon flying around the area. We heard a male Cyprus Wheatear singing and had distant views. We could hear several singing male Sardinian Warbler but luckily caught good views of a male Cyprus Warbler in a dead bush.

We then headed to Akrotiri Gravel Pits where we found very few migrant passerines which was the story of the day. We had just one Tawny Pipit and two Whinchat there although we did have a couple of Woodchat Shrike and a Eurasian Hoopoe. But the stars of that area were the ten Greater Sandplover in breeding plumage we found resting on the coast with a Grey Plover and several Kentish Plover nearby. Three Glossy Ibis were at Phasouri Reed-beds where we also had another 12 migrating over the area, another Woodchat Shrike, three Cattle Egret and good views of several Eurasian Reed Warbler.

There were around 500 Greater Flamingo still on the Salt Lake and we found some nearby shade to eat our lunch where we were surrounded by singing Sardinian and Olivaceous Warbler. A large flock of migrating Spanish Sparrow were in tall grasses near the road on the way to Lady’s Mile. Lady’s Mile had a good variety of waders which included Curlew Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, many Ruff, Marsh Sandpiper, Little Stint, two Dunlin, two Common Ringed Plover and at least thirty Black-winged Stilt. We then spent some time in the hide at Zakaki Marsh where a female Little Crake put in a brief appearance. There were three more Glossy Ibis there and a couple of Squacco Heron. As well as Cetti’s and Eurasian Reed Warbler in the reeds we also found a Sedge Warbler.

We then headed inland to Prastio Kellakiou where we had further chances to see Cyprus Wheatear and Warbler and also found two of the endemic sub-species – Eurasian Jay and Coal Tit. But our target birds there were Cretzschmar’s Bunting and Masked Shrike and we were pleased to find several males of the former singing on territories and both a male and female Masked Shrike. We also heard a European Turtle Dove ‘purring’ and a Eurasian Hoopoe calling in the distance.

Our final location were the fields behind Kivisili where we found two male Red-footed Falcon and a female as well as four Lesser Kestrel after spotting two Little Owl on an old building in the village of Alethriko on our way there.  Two Great Spotted Cuckoo flew over the area and we heard a Eurasian Stone Curlew. As we left the area two Stone Curlew flew up so we were able to see them well and then finally, after hearing many all day, we saw a Black Francolin calling from a low branch of an olive tree. A great way to end a good day’s birding in which several species I would have expected to see were absent but others more than made up for that.

Total species: 76

Little Grebe, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo, Mallard, Eurasian Griffon Vulture, Western Marsh Harrier, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin, Little Crake, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Grey Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Greater Sandplover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ruff, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Turtle Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Common House Martin, Tawny Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Common Nightingale, Whinchat, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Jay, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting

Ruff, Lady's Mile, 22nd April 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Ruff, Lady’s Mile, 22nd April 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

 


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Mornings Guiding Panagia Stazousa and Oroklini Marsh 21st April 2017

A morning out at two very different locations with Mary, Rui and Maria. We visited Panagia Stazousa valley first where we were looking to get good views of the endemic Cyprus Warbler and Cyprus Wheatear. We were successful with the wheatear at our first stop but although we could hear a Cyprus Warbler male singing his heart out we could not spot where it was. A quick walk down the track led us to another singing male – this time well out in the open at the top of a pine. After that we heard many other singing males throughout the valley which was very pleasing. We heard both calling Common Quail and Black Francolin but had no joy trying to see them. A male Collared Flycatcher flew into a pine and several Olivaceous Warbler were singing.

At our next stop we found a large colony of Spanish Sparrow in a couple of large pines and moved on to watch two Great Spotted Cuckoo flying around calling and then listen to and watch a singing male Cretzschmar’s Bunting.

A complete change of scenery and birds at Oroklini Marsh where we visited both hides. There were good numbers of Cattle Egret, some already on nests, in the recently formed colony there. We also saw several Black-winged Stilt and Spur-winged Lapwing as well as Ruff and a couple of Wood Sandpiper. A Little Tern was resting on one of the shingle islands, two male Red-crested Pochard were seen as was a male Ferruginous Duck and three Garganey. Hopefully all of these will or are already breeding there. A single Glossy Ibis flew over and a few overstaying Northern Shoveler and Eurasian Teal were still around.

A brief taste of birding in Cyprus in a few hours gave us a total of 41 different and varied species.

Number of species seen: 42

Little Grebe, Cattle Egret, Glossy Ibis, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Ferruginous Duck, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Common Quail (h), Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Little Tern, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Swift, Barn Swallow, Common House Martin, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Collared Flycatcher, Great Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Serin (h), European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Cretzschmar’s Bunting

Black-winged Stilt, Oroklini Marsh 21st April 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-winged Stilt, Oroklini Marsh 21st April 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Morning’s Guiding around Paphos 20th April 2017

Mark, Jill and I spent the morning visiting a few of the Paphos birding locations with a view to showing them a different variety of species. Our first stop was at Anarita Park where we watched the Lesser Kestrels hunting over the area and also found singing male Cyprus Warbler and Cyprus Wheatear, a European Roller, a Great Spotted Cuckoo, several Ortolan Bunting, Woodchat Shrike, a Little Owl, many Whinchat, a Tree Pipit and a male and female Black-eared Wheatear.

We searched for the crakes I had found at Agia Varvara the day before but other than brief inflight views of one we had no luck today. It was impossible to say which of the two we had seen in flight and it didn’t show again. There were two Lesser Kestrel in the area as well as a small group of Yellow Wagtail, a Spotted Flycatcher and yet more Whinchat. We found at least 14 Spur-winged Lapwing in the fields near Paphos Sewage Plant and saw a tiny Eurasian Stone Curlew chick with its parent  in an olive grove there. A group of mainly Blue-headed Wagtail came to a puddle to drink, a Black Francolin flew across our path and a smart male Spanish Sparrow came into the open on a road side reed as we left.

An enjoyable morning out with the highlight being excellent views of the endemics.

Full species list:

Long-legged Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Black Francolin, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Spru-winged Lapwing, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, European Roller, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Tree Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Blue-headed Wagtail (flava), Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Black-eared Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Greenfinch, Ortolan Bunting, Corn Bunting

Lesser Kestrel, Anarita Park 20th April 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Lesser Kestrel, Anarita Park 20th April 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours