Cyprus Birding Tours

Offering guided bird watching tours around Cyprus


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Troodos this morning 28th June 2018

Plenty of the ‘usual suspects’ around Troodos this morning. Especially good views of Masked Shrike, Spotted Flycatcher, Eurasian Jay, Cyprus Wheatear and Red-rumped Swallow. A male Blue Rock Thrush was singing at Amiantos.

Below is a photo of a Eurasian Jay – a Cyprus endemic sub species – taking a bath in one of the many water troughs at a picnic site.

Eurasian Jay, Troodos, 28th June 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Jay, Troodos, 28th June 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Paphos and Akamas 10th and 11th May 2018

Enjoyed some good birding the last two days with plenty of European Bee-eaters as well as European Roller, Red-footed Falcon, Red-rumped Swallow (see photo), Cyprus Wheatear, Black-headed and Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Garden Warbler, European Golden Oriole, Spotted Flycatcher, European Turtle Dove, Long-legged Buzzard, Eurasian Hobby, Eleonora’s and Peregrine Falcon and Alpine Swift.

European Bee-eater, Arodes 11th May 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

European Bee-eater, Arodes 11th May 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-rumped Swallow, Nata 10th May 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-rumped Swallow, Nata 10th May 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Oroklini, Achna Dam and Cape Greco today 10th April 2018

Managed to avoid most of the rain showers today and even had a good walk around Achna Dam – trying to find (and failing) the Pied Kingfisher that has been seen there on a couple of occasions over the last ten days. But despite that, at the three locations I visited I managed to see some good birds including Black-necked Grebe, Squacco Heron, Great Egret, Glossy Ibis, ‘Baltic’ Gull, Purple Heron, Marsh Sandpiper, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Black-winged Stilt, Temminck’s Stint, Garganey, Olivaceous Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Cyprus Wheatear and Warbler, Tawny Pipit, Black-eared Wheatear and Woodchat Shrike.


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Larnaca area today 2nd April 2018

Some of the more interesting sightings:

Meneou Pool

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater 1
Black-winged Stilt 7
Purple Heron 2

Spiros Beach

Eurasian Thick-knee 1
Greater Flamingo c200 flying E
Northern Wheatear 4m
Isabelline Wheatear 1

Spiros Pool

Kentish Plover 2
Pied Avocet 12 (seen later on Airport Pools south)

Larnaca Sewage Works

Northern Wheatear 5
Black-necked Grebe 3
Citrine Wagtail 2
Yellow Wagtail 7
Common Greenshank 1
Ruff 1
Spur-winged Lapwing 8+
Common Nightingale 1 singing in front of hide

Pervolia

Common Quail 1h
Black-headed Wagtail 8
Calandra Lark 3+
Common Hoopoe 1
Isabelline Wheatear 1

Petounta Point

Northern Wheatear 5
Common Kingfisher 1
Common Sandpiper 1

Kiti Dam

Laughing Dove 1
Isabelline Wheatear 1
Great Spotted Cuckoo 2
Eurasian Blackcap 1+
European Turtle Dove 1
Common Hoopoe 2

Kivisili

Lesser Kestrel 10+
Eurasian Thick-knee 1
Cyprus Wheatear 1
Common Hoopoe 1

Panagia Stazousa

Cyprus Wheatear 6
Cyprus Warbler 1
Common Cuckoo 1
Cretzschmar’s Bunting pair near known breeding location
Olivaceous Warbler 1 singing
Eurasian Stone Curlew, Spiros Beach 2nd April 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Stone Curlew, Spiros Beach 2nd April 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Lesser Kestrel, Kivisili 2nd April 2018  (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Lesser Kestrel, Kivisili 2nd April 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Hoopoe, Kivisili 2nd April 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Hoopoe, Kivisili 2nd April 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

 


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Birding around the east of Cyprus 27th March 2018

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.

Citrine Wagtail, Paralimni Lake 27th March 2018 (1 of 1)

Citrine Wagtail, Paralimni Lake, 27th March 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Masked Shrike, Agia Napa Sewage Works, 27th March 2018 (1 of 1)

Masked Shrike, Agia Napa Sewage Works, 27th March 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Spotted Crake, Paralimni Lake 27th March 2018 (1 of 1)

Spotted Crake, Paralimni Lake, 27th March 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Greater Short-toed Lark, Cape Greco 27th March 2018 (1 of 1)

Greater Short-toed Lark, Cape Greco, 27th March 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Limassol area 10th & 11th March 2018

Spent the last two days in the Limassol area. The highlight was a Masked Shrike already on breeding territory at Prastio Kellakiou and two Bimaculated Lark in with a flock of Greater Short-toed Lark and Meadow Pipit on the coastline of Akrotiri Gravel Pits. Other interesting sightings during the two days:

Saturday 10th March

Zakaki Marsh
Water Rail 1h
Little Crake 1m
Penduline Tit 2

Lady’s Mile
Slender-billed Gull 2 ad and 1 imm
Heuglin’s Gull 1
Armenian Gull c30
Caspian Gull 2 imm
Isabelline Wheatear 1
Common Hoopoe 3 (See photo)
Lesser Whitethroat 1
Cyprus Wheatear 1

Akrotiri Salt Lake/Zakaki run off
Little Ringed Plover 20+
Common Ringed Plover 20+
Kentish Plover c100
Little Stint c30
Northern Shoveler c50
Greater Flamingo 800+
Dunlin 5
Western Marsh Harrier 1 ad male
Common Snipe 12
Black-headed Wagtail 1m

Akrotiri Gravel Pits
Kentish Plover 2
Isabelline Wheatear 1
Northern Wheatear 1m
Ruppell’s Warbler 1m
Greater Short-toed Lark 4

Phasouri Reed-beds
Subalpine Warbler 1f
Eurasian Reed Warbler 4+h
Red-throated Pipit 1h

Kensington Cliffs
Alpine Swift 14
Cyprus Warbler 2h

Sunday 11th March

Germasogeia Dam
Cyprus Warbler 3 singing males and 1f
Eurasian Reed Warbler 1h

Prastio Kellakiou
Masked Shrike 1m
Cyprus Warbler 4 singing males
Common Buzzard 1

Parekklishia
Great Spotted Cuckoo 1 flew over road

Akrotiri Gravel Pits coast
Bimaculated Lark 2 (Record shot below)
Greater Short-toed Lark 20+
Isabelline Wheatear 2
Black-eared Wheatear 1f

Common Hoopoe, Lady's Mile 10th March 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Hoopoe, Lady’s Mile 10th March 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Bimaculated Lark, Akrotiri Gravel Pits 11th March 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Bimaculated Lark, Akrotiri Gravel Pits 11th March 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Review of 2017

Another year draws to a close and as some of you may know Cyprus Birding Tours will not be offering private guided tours during the first six months of 2018 due to my  commitments on other bird related tasks and increased work with UK based tour companies. 2017 was a great year for Cyprus Birding Tours with 56 days of guiding with returning and new birders – thank you all. We saw many great species including the endemic Cyprus Warbler and Cyprus Wheatear and endemic sub-species Scops Owl, Short-toed Treecreeper, Coal Tit and Jay as well as Black Francolin, Chukar, Common Quail, Ruddy Shelduck, Red-crested Pochard, Ferruginous Duck, Greater Flamingo, European Turtle Dove, Laughing Dove, Pallid Swift, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Spotted, Baillon’s and Little Crake, Scopoli’s Shearwater, Black Stork, Common Little Bittern, Great White Pelican, Greater Sandplover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Temminck’s Stint, Collared Pratincole, Slender-billed Gull, Audouin’s Gull, Caspian Tern, Whiskered and White-winged Tern, European Honey Buzzard, Black Kite, Griffon Vulture, Bonelli’s Eagle, Montagu’s and Pallid Harrier, Northern Goshawk, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Pied Kingfisher, Lesser Kestrel, Red-footed and Elenora’s Falcon, Masked and Woodchat Shrike, Eurasian Penduline Tit, Bar-tailed Lark, Bimaculated and Calandra Lark, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Moustached Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Eastern Bonelli’s, Subalpine and Ruppell’s Warbler, Barred Warbler, Bluethroat, Semi-collared Flycatcher, Finsch’s Wheatear, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Red-throated Pipit, Richard’s Pipit, Red Crossbill, Black-headed, Cretzschmar’s and Ortolan Bunting.

A great selection of birds – especially the Bar-tailed Lark which was only the sixth Cyprus record!

I will still have time (I hope) to do some personal birding so this site will act as my Cyprus Birding blog in 2018.

Many thanks to everyone who has supported Cyprus Birding Tours and I wish you all the best in 2018. Hopefully I will bump into many of you making return visits here.


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – A day and a half around Paphos 25th & 27th October 2017

I spent Wednesday morning and all day Friday taking Katrin and Volker around several of the main Paphos birding locations. On Wednesday morning we concentrated on finding the two endemics – Cyprus Warbler and Cyprus Wheatear. To maximise our chances we spent a couple of hours at Mavrokolymbos Dam. Luckily we found two Cyprus Wheatear that have still not headed south for the winter. We heard a couple of Cyprus Warbler too in an area where I have found them in the past. They were not as obliging as the wheatears – we can say that we definitely saw them but only briefly as they flitted between bushes, usually diving quickly out of sight again. A Long-legged Buzzard perched on a low rock also kept us entertained until finally the local Hooded Crows forced it to leave the area. Two Eurasian Hobby flew briefly into view and we heard many newly arrived European Robin, saw some Spanish Sparrow, found many Sardinian Warbler, a female Black Redstart and a late migrant Spotted Flycatcher. The only water bird in the area was a Grey Heron.

We checked the road to Akoursos for Cyprus Warbler as well and again we were made to struggle for good views. A male played very hard to get and while a female was also around. Driving towards Kathikas we found a good number of Corn Bunting and a Lesser Whitethroat. A surprise near Pegeia was a female Merlin that flew in front of the car.

On Friday the aim was to have a general bird watch and see what was around. We started at Paphos Headland where we were pleased to find three Greater Sandplover in their usual location on the beach despite being warned by a local birder that they weren’t present. We also found a Common Sandpiper and four Ruddy Turnstone which late migrant Whinchat and Northern Wheatear were also present together with some of the numerous European Stonechat and Crested Lark that we would see during the day. At Paphos Sewage Plant we also found our target species quite quickly – Spur-winged Lapwing – although behind the fences today and not feeding in the fields as we had hoped. We spent some time watching a mixed flock of Meadow and Red-throated Pipit in an unploughed field together with a good number of White Wagtail and a few Western Yellow Wagtail. Six Eurasian Skylark flew over – all these species highlighting the fact that winter visitors are well and truly here.

We then visited Anarita Park where we failed to find our target species – a Finsch’s Wheatear. One had been reported back on territory in mid week but we had no joy today even after trying several areas where they usually winter. We did find some compensation in a very smart male Blue Rock Thrush. We also found Chukar, a Little Owl, four Northern Wheatear, two Whinchat and a Cyprus Wheatear. Moving down to the coast we drove around the fields at Mandria and were pleased to finally see a raptor – a ringtail Hen Harrier that flew over the western part of the area being chased by Hooded Crows. Here we also found two juvenile Red-backed Shrike.

Over looking Asprokremmos Dam from near Anarita Mast we were treated to a fly over from an Eleonora’s Falcon and then a young Osprey fishing in the Dam itself. Also trying to feed over the water was an immature Whiskered Tern. An odd bird for this location but a new one for our trip list was a Northern Lapwing. Several Great Cormorant and Grey Heron were also on the water.

We finished our day checking the Ha Potami valley and then headed back into Paphos after seeing a good variety of species during what is a relatively quiet period bird-wise.

Species list- Chukar, Mallard, Little Grebe, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dover, Common Coot, Grey Heron, Great Cormorant, Greater Sandplover, Northern Lapwing, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruddy Turnstone, Common Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Whiskered Tern, Little Owl, Osprey, Hen Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Eurasian Hobby, Eleonora’s Falcon, Merlin, Red-backed Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Great Tit, Eurasian Skylark, Crested Lark, Zitting Cisticola, Willow Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Lesser Whitethroat, Cyprus Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, European Robin, Black Redstart, Blue Rock Thrush, Whinchat, European Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Red-throated Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Western Yellow Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Common Chaffinch, European Goldfinch, Corn Bunting

Greater Sandplover, Paphos Headland 27th October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Greater Sandplover, Paphos Headland 27th October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Finsch’s Wheatear, Nicosia 21st October 2017

Finsch's Wheatear, Agios Sozomenos, 21st October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Finsch’s Wheatear, Agios Sozomenos, 21st October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Winter is definitely coming, despite what the weather here tells us at the moment. A male (see photo) and female Finsch’s Wheatear were back on winter territories this morning at Agios Sozomenos. The male was very photo friendly, not so the female. Late migrants around were a lone Cyprus Wheatear, two Spotted Flycatcher and three juvenile Red-backed Shrike. Also around in large numbers were European Stonechat setting up their winter territories.


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Agios Sozomenos, 14th October 2017

A good morning around Agios Sozomenos to the south east of Nicosia. Still some migrant breeders and passage migrants around while several European Stonechat setting up territories showed that winter on the way. Two late European Roller, a flock of more than forty Red-throated Pipit, a late Lesser Grey Shrike (see photo) and a Bonelli’s Eagle perched on the cliffs were the highlights.

European Roller 2
Red-throated Pipit 45+
White Wagtail 20+
Yellow Wagtail 12
Bonelli’s Eagle 1 ad perched on cliffs
Red-backed Shrike 2 juv
Lesser Grey Shrike 1 juv
Cattle Egret 6
Spanish Sparrow 20+
Little Owl 1
European Stonechat 16+ (setting up territories all over area)
Cyprus Wheatear 3
Spotted Flycatcher 1

Lesser Grey Shrike, Agios Sozomenos 14th October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Lesser Grey Shrike, Agios Sozomenos 14th October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Morning’s Guiding 12th October Achna Dam, Oroklini Marsh & Panagia Stazousa

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 GoldfinchGreat Egret, Achna Dam 12th October 2017 (c) 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