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
A quick visit to Agia Napa this morning to check for migrant warblers. Plenty of Eastern Olivaceous Warblers still around and there were a couple of Lesser Whitethroat. I was especially pleased to see at least five Eastern Orphean Warbler flying around the area and perching in the open and good views of one juvenile Barred Warbler in an olive tree plus poor views of a possible other. An Eleonora’s Falcon flew over the pools and was chased off by two Spur-winged Lapwing. I also saw a female Cyprus Warbler, several Spectacled Warbler and a Masked and a Woodchat Shrike. At the football fields there was a Lesser Grey Shrike and at least twenty five Cattle Egret taking advantage of the freshly watered pitches.
Cattle Egret, Agia Napa Football Fields 12th August 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Knowing that migration was now virtually over, this day out with Steve and Mary concentrated on finding migrant breeders and allowed them to see several lifers which included Black Francolin, Chukar, European Stone Curlew, Spur-winged Lapwing, Cyprus Wheatear, Laughing Dove, Alpine Swift, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler and Cretzschmar’s and Black-headed Bunting. The bird of the day was a male Black-headed Bunting singing perched on a large cow-parsley flower head!
Highlights per location:
Paphos Sewage Works – Black Francolin 2m and 1f, Spur-winged Lapwing 6+
Petra tou Romiou – Eleonora’s Falcon 2, Peregrine Falcon 1, Alpine Swift 10+
Kouklia – Laughing Dove 2
Anarita Park – Eastern Black-eared Wheatear 1 pale throated male, Spanish Sparrow, Little Owl, Cetti’s Warbler – 1 fledgling, European Roller 3, Cyprus Wheatear 1 male with two fledglings, Chukar 2 ad and 12 young
Road to Episkopi – European Roller 2, Cyprus Wheatear 6+
Ezousas Valley, Episkopi – European Roller 2, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler 1 seen well, European Turtle Dove 2
Minthis Hills – European Roller 1, Cyprus Wheatear 2, Cretzschmar’s Bunting 1 singing male and another adult with a young bird
Arodes – Black Francolin 1h, Eleonora’s Falcon 1, European Roller 4, Cyprus Wheatear 4+, Red-rumped Swallow 1, Black-headed Bunting 1 singing male
Androlikou – Cyprus Wheatear 6 plus one young bird, European Roller 1, Eurasian Scops Owl 1 h, Little Owl 1h
All species seen: Common Kestrel, Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Spur-winged Lapwing, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Turtle Dove, Laughing Dove, Eurasian Scops Owl, Little Owl, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, European Roller, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Great Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Black-headed Bunting, Corn Bunting
I had previously taken Gareth out in April 2015 when we had visited Akrotiri and managed to see 90 species. We knew that we couldn’t reach that total today around Paphos but we had some great birding moments – quality rather than quantity being the order of the day. We started at Anarita Park where we saw seven species of raptor – Bonelli’s Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Western Marsh Harrier, Common Kestrel, Lesser Kestrel, Amur Falcon and Red-footed Falcon. We also found both the Cyprus endemics – Cyprus Wheatear and Cyprus Warbler, at least six Great Spotted Cuckoo, watched a displaying European Roller, enjoyed the feeding antics of many European Bee-eater and in return were watched by two Little Owls.
We spent several hours at Anarita Park and then moved on to Petra tou Romiou where we saw at least three Eleonora’s Falcon, an Alpine Swift and then – my birds of the day – a female Peregrine Falcon with two young birds flying out over the sea and near the cliff face. A great spectacle watching them trying out aerial manouvres and chasing each other. A quick detour into the village of Kouklia meant we found two of Cyprus’ newest colonisers, Laughing Dove. Usually noted as a vagrant to Cyprus, a population of escapees has bred for several years in Agia Napa and Limassol and they are now spreading, although the exact origin of the Kouklia birds is unclear. While eating our lunch in the Agia Varvara valley we added Squacco Heron and Spotted Flycatcher to our day list and again were entertained by European Bee-eaters.
We then drove to the area around Kannaviou Dam. There was little on the dam itself – a single Purple Heron but in the nearby wooded area we found two of Cyprus’ endemic sub-species – Coal Tit and Eurasian Jay – as well as Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Masked Shrike, Cretzschmar’s Bunting and European Serin. There was no sign though of any Black-headed Buntings which have been seen near the Dam in previous years. So we headed towards Kathikas where we heard at least two singing males and got good views of one in the vineyards. A nearby soaring Long-legged Buzzard completed a great day’s birding.
Total species – 50
Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, Western Marsh Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Amur Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Laughing Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Jay, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Black-headed Bunting, Corn Bunting
Peregrine Falcon, Petra tou Romiou 7th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Red-footed Falcon, Anarita Park 7th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Red-footed Falcon female, Anarita Park 7th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Two days out with Benny and Ann-Marie who were based in Limassol. We visited most of the coastal Larnaca sites and a couple of inland ones, Zakaki, Phasouri and Kensington Cliffs in Limassol, Omodos, Agios Nikolaos and Tzelefos Bridge inland before finishing at Anarita Park where we had ended our two days out with great views of the first Amur Falcon to be found in Cyprus the day before by local birder Matt Smith.
A day out with Margaret, Susan, Judy and Shelley at sites to the north of Paphos gave us a good variety of species and a very enjoyable day out. We started at Cape Drepanum which was quiet apart from the Yellow-legged Gulls, Rock Dove and Western Jackdaw breeding on Geronissos Island offshore. In the scrub we found many Sardinian Warbler, two Northern and an Isabelline Wheatear. We moved quickly north and into the area behind Arodes. Many singing Corn Bunting were around and we stopped to watch a Woodchat Shrike. We heard the first of the areas Great Spotted Cuckoo calling and soon located it in the company of a pair of Eurasian Magpie. As we moved on we then found two other pairs and spent almost an hour watching one pair flying around the area and ‘torturing’ another pair of Magpies. An enjoyable way to spend an hour in the spring Cyprus sunshine. We also found a Masked Shrike, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Common Nightingale, a Blue Rock Thrush, some Tree Pipit, Lesser Whitethroat and Eurasian Blackcap, several singing Cyprus Wheatear and Sardinian Warbler.
After our picnic lunch outside Droushia we headed for Smygies and the surrounding area. We stopped to watch some large birds of prey gaining height. We counted sixteen but they were too distant to be really sure of their ID. They were definitely Buzzards but given the number could have been ‘Steppe’ Buzzard . In the end we put them down as Buzzard spp. Three Long-legged Buzzard were easier to ID. We spent some time trying to locate the source of an unusual contact call and were pleased when we realized it came from an Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler. Unfortunately only I managed to spot a Cretzschmar’s Bunting before it flew from its pine tree vantage point. We also had European Serin, Willow Warbler, Common Chiffchaff and more Lesser Whitethroat and another Blue Rock Thrush for the day.
We ended the day at Evretou Day. A large flock of at least fifty Spanish Sparrow were feeding on the track as we got down to the water. At the water’s edge we found three Little Ringed Plover, a Common and a Green Sandpiper and a Little Egret. Sand Martin and Red-rumped Swallow were coming down to feed off insects on the water. In the nearby grassy vegetation we found several White and Yellow Wagtail. The latter were mainly male Black-headed but we found at least two Blue-headed. A Tawny Pipit and at least twelve Greater Short-toed Lark were also feeding there. A Little Owl and several Black Francolin were calling as we left to head back to the ladies’ holiday accommodation but we were unable to see them.
Total species seen 60
Little Egret, Common Buzzard, Buzzard spp (poss Steppe), Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Eurasian Scops Owl (h), Little Owl, Common Swift, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Tawny Pipit, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Blue-headed Wagtail (flava), Black-headed Wagtail (feldegg), White Wagtail, Common Nightingale, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting
Well I knew it had been hot in Cyprus while I had been away but I had hoped that at 7am it would be bearable. It wasn’t really but there were a few interesting species around. At least 18 Pallid Swift were over Agia Napa Sewage Works where almost every bush seemed to have several Eastern Olivaceous Warbler in it. I also saw eight Eastern Orphean Warbler but I am sure there were more unseen. A lone Cyprus Wheatear was also there as were several Spectacled Warbler.
A male Lesser Grey Shrike was at the Agia Napa Football Fields together with a Woodchat Shrike. Nearly 50 Cattle Egret were feeding on the watered pitches together with a couple of Black Francolin.
At Oroklini Marsh there were at least 22 Spur-winged Lapwing – several of them juvenile – and 25 Black-winged Stilt (again with several juvenile). At least twenty Little Stint were feeding in what is left of the water with some Little Ringed Plover, Wood Sandpiper, Ruff and a single Marsh Sandpiper.
Cattle Egret, Agia Napa Football Fields 8th August 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
An early morning visit to the area around the Agia Napa Sewage Works this morning produced a male and female Red-backed Shrike, a Woodchat and Lesser Grey Shrike and a juvenile Masked Shrike. There were several Eastern Orphean Warbler in the bushes and I was pleased to get a good view of a male out in the open for a few seconds. Other warblers around included a couple of Cyprus Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat and plenty of Eastern Olivaceous Warbler. A larger warbler skulking deep inside an olive tree was probably a juvenile Barred Warbler but wouldn’t cooperate to allow a definite ID.
Another Woodchat Shrike was at the Agia Napa Football Fields as was a Common Cuckoo, two Eurasian Hoopoe and a Common Whitethroat.
Spent the day in Troodos yesterday. Found family parties of Masked Shrike, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Winter Wren, Spotted Flycatcher, Short-toed Treecreeper, Coal Tit, Chaffinch and Cyprus Wheatear. Also a lone Hoopoe at Livadhi tou Pashia and several male Blackbirds. I heard at least one Red Crossbill fly over Troodos Square. There were a couple of Pallid Swift in with around twenty Common Swift flying around together with at least fifty House Martin and several Barn Swallow. A Scops Owl called a couple of times.
Went to the Myllomeris Waterfall to see if Grey Wagtail were breeding there again this year. I saw a male fly off but as I mistimed my visit there and it coincided with the arrival of several jeep loads of other visitors, there was unfortunately no chance to find any birds at all let alone juvenile Grey Wagtails.
I stopped at Zakaki Marsh on the way home and found two juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron and a Black-tailed Godwit. The Black-winged Stilt young are growing. A Great Reed Warbler was seen climbing among the reeds as well as several Eurasian Reed Warbler.
Caledonia Trail near Troodos 11th July 2014 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Black Pine Troodos 11th July 2014 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
It was Esther and Marcel’s first birding trip in the eastern Mediterranean so they were keen to see as many regional species as possible. We started well at Petra tou Romiou where at least twenty Alpine Swift were flying noisily around. After a longer wait we had good views of four, maybe five Eleonora’s Falcon and their aerobatics. One of the birds was a dark morph so we had the chance to compare both plumage types. A couple of Chukar was on the slopes and several Yellow-legged Gull were on the cliffs. As usual the local Western Jackdaw were everywhere. We saw both male Sardinian and Cyprus Warbler but couldn’t locate the calling Cyprus Wheatear.
At Asprokremmos Dam we were treated to great views of a pair of Cyprus Warbler with two maybe three young moving around some bushes. A male Spectacled Warbler was singing nearby and we later saw at least two family parties of that species. A couple of male Sardinian Warbler were also singing in the car park area. A lone Squacco Heron was on the water and near the mast we found a late migrating Whinchat. A pair of Red-Rumped Swallow were near the pump area and a drive along the canal as we left the area allowed us to see a pair of European Roller and twelve European Bee-eater.
We made a quick visit to the Sewage Works where our target species was the Spur-winged Lapwing. Three were present on the edge of the pools and were very obliging. On to Anarita Park where ten days after my last visit all the migrating raptors and falcons had moved on. We did however find many Common Kestrel probably glad to have the area to themselves again. Two of them quickly chased off a single Eleonora’s Falcon flying high over the road. As we ate our lunch we were treated to an adult Bonelli’s Eagle floating to the north of us and a pair of Red-rumped Swallow and two Little Owl kept a close watch on us. We found a singing male Cyprus Wheatear and at least one European Roller.
Heading towards Kannaviou we went via Minthis Hills. We found another Roller and two more singing male Spectacled Warbler. New for the day were the several singing Corn Bunting and after hearing at least three Cretzschmar’s Bunting we finally saw an impressive male close to the track as we drove through. Our timing at Kannaviou was perfect as we missed what appeared to have been a heavy downpour. A lone male Mallard was on the water so we quickly focused on the nearby fields and plantations. We saw family parties of Cyprus Wheatear, Sardinian Warbler and Common Linnet on one slope and heard a couple of calling Black Francolin. The Francolin remained hidden in the tall grasses but many Corn Bunting were singing. There was no sign of the Black-headed Bunting though much to my disappointment.
In the forested area we saw a couple of Eurasian Turtle Dove and could hear others ‘purring’ in the pines. After hearing several Eastern Olivaceous Warbler we finally spotted one in a conifer and were able to follow it as it flitted from branch to branch. Several male Spanish Sparrow were collecting nesting material and four European Serin were seen together with the many European Goldfinch and Greenfinch that are always in the area. A male Masked Shrike flew into the open and perched on a low branch and we finished our time there watching him. As we drove back to Coral Bay a Long-legged Buzzard flew across the road near Psathi. A great sight on which to finish a really enjoyable day out.
Species seen – 43
Squacco Heron, Mallard, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Common Kestrel, Eleonora’s Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin (h), Spur-winged Lapwing, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Little Owl, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Whinchat, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Great Tit, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting