Cyprus Birding Tours

Offering guided bird watching tours around Cyprus


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Day birding around Larnaca 3rd February 2017

Some good birds and some warmer weather today at Larnaca. The flocks of Greylag and Greater White-fronted Goose and Ruddy Shelduck were on the Sewage Works pools as was a first winter Great Black-headed (Pallas) Gull. Three Eurasian Curlew and thirty Eurasian Golden Plover were on Spiros Pool with twenty Eurasian Wigeon. In the fields at Pervolia there were large flocks of Eurasian Skylark and also seven more Eurasian Golden Plover. I stopped on the road from Kiti to Petounta, at an area where I have found Calandra Lark in the past, and soon heard and saw three in display flight over the area.

More Eurasian Skylark at Petounta where there was also a Grey Plover and three Kentish Plover. Returning to the Salt Lake there didn’t seem to be as many Greater Flamingo as in mid January but still plenty of Common Shelduck, Common Black-headed Gull and small waders. A roosting flock of larger gulls was mainly Caspian Gull but there were also a few Armenian and Yellow-legged Gulls as well as two Heuglin’s.

At the Kamares area I found a Green Sandpiper, two Common Snipe (see photo), two Water Pipit, two Cattle Egret, seven Spur-winged Lapwing, a Grey Wagtail, many Common Chiffchaff, two Moustached Warblers and a Bluethroat. As I was leaving a larger bird on the grassy area caught my eye and I was very pleased to find my first Great Spotted Cuckoo of the year.

Common Snipe, Larnaca Salt Lake 3rd February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Snipe, Larnaca Salt Lake 3rd February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Great Spotted Cuckoo, Larnaca Salt Lake 3rd February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Great Spotted Cuckoo, Larnaca Salt Lake 3rd February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Water Pipit (coutelli race), Larnaca Salt Lake, 3rd February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Water Pipit (coutelli race), Larnaca Salt Lake, 3rd February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Winter visitors 31st January 2017

A day out on Tuesday with many of the sightings reminiscent of a UK birding day out. After popping in quickly to Zakaki I got a quick view of the Red Knot there – a rare and irregular winter visitor and passage migrant to Cyprus – I headed to Paphos where many of the birds were familiar northern European birds wintering here. A Eurasian Griffon Vulture flying over the motorway and Black Francolin, Long-legged Buzzard and Finsch’s Wheatear were the best reminders that I was actually in Cyprus!

Zakaki area
Red Knot 1

Paramali
Eurasian Griffon Vulture 1

Kouklia Soakaways
Long-legged Buzzard 1
Black Francolin 1

Asprokremmos Dam area
Water Pipit 4
Woodlark 2
Long-legged Buzzard 1
Corn Bunting 1h

Mandria
Eurasian Golden Plover 2
Common Linnet c60

Paphos Sewage Works
Cattle Egret 1
Common Buzzard 1
Eurasian Teal 1 in flight
European Serin c80
Red-throated Pipit 3

Anarita Park
Finsch’s Wheatear 1m & 1f
Cyprus Warbler 1m
Woodlark 32
Corn Bunting 1 singing

Common Kestrel, Anarita Mast, 31st January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Kestrel, Anarita Mast, 31st January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Stonechat, Anarita Mast 31st January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Stonechat, Anarita Mast 31st January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Skylark, Mandria, 31st January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Skylark, Mandria, 31st January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red Knot, Zakaki, 31st January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red Knot, Zakaki, 31st January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

 


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Waterbird Count Larnaca 14th January 2017

Out counting the waterbirds around Larnaca today was very enjoyable – not a lot of Greater Flamingos to count (last year there were 12000+ on this day!) – but lots of interesting birds including the largest flock of Greylag Geese in Cyprus for more than 30 years, five Pallas’ Gulls, two Common Quail, two Barn Swallow and plenty more. One of the Pallas’ Gulls was sitting at the north end of the Salt Lake with some Greater Flamingos (see record photo below).

Greater Flamingo and a Great Black-backed Gull, Larnaca Salt Lake, 14th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Greater Flamingo and a Great Black-backed Gull, Larnaca Salt Lake, 14th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Meneou Pool
Common Redshank 4
Greater Flamingo 97
Common Shelduck 43
Common Ringed Plover 2
Kentish Plover 2

Larnaca Airport Pools South
Eurasian Stone Curlew 5

Larnaca Sewage Works
Eurasian Curlew 17
Great Cormorant 24
Greater White-fronted Goose 8
Eurasian Wigeon 16
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Eurasian Teal 736
Northern Shoveler 16
Mallard 232
Great Black-headed Gull (Pallas Gull) 2 ad and 2 imm
Black-necked Grebe 3
Northern Pintail 4
Tufted Duck 1m
Caspian Gull 3
Meadow Pipit c30
Great White Pelican 1
Mediterranean Gull 1 imm

Spiros Pool
Greater Flamingo 37
Eurasian Wigeon 3
Eurasian Golden Plover 336

Larnaca Airport Coast
European Shag 2

Larnaca Airport Pools North
Greater Flamingo 37
Common Shelduck 26
Northern Shoveler 41
Kentish Plover 4
Common Redshank 3
Dunlin 12

Larnaca Salt Lake
Common Starling 50
Greater Flamingo 1028
Common Shelduck 576
Common Ringed Plover 8
Little Stint 39
Common Redshank 7
Common Black-headed Gull 261
Greylag Geese 57 (presumably same birds as those at Akrotiri during the week)
Dunlin 62+
Hen Harrier 1
Black-necked Grebe 12
Slender-billed Gull 1 ad
Caspian Gull 60+
Armenian Gull 24
Great Black-headed Gull 1 ad
Common Quail 2 flushed
Corn Bunting c60
Common Buzzard 2
Common Snipe 4
Spanish Sparrow 20+
Common Reed Bunting 1h
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Song Thrush 2
Eurasian Blackbird 1
Marsh Sandpiper 1
Common Greenshank 1

Kamares area
Spur-winged Lapwing 3
Common Chiffchaff 50+
Moustached Warbler 1
Yellow Wagtail 1 1st winter bird – same as seen there in mid Dec
Common Snipe 1
Green Sandpiper 1
Common Redshank 1
Common Ringed Plover 1
Western Jackdaw 15
Barn Swallow 2
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Water Pipit 2


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Morning’s Guiding Paphos, 24th November 2016

 

A morning around a few Paphos sites with Stephen and Lorraine. The main target species was the wintering Finsch’s Wheatear but first we headed to Paphos Headland for a short walk to track down the Greater Sand Plover that winter there. They were not easy to find this morning but eventually we found three of them feeding close to the water’s edge. A fly-by first winter Mediterranean Gull was a surprise – never seen in Cyprus in large numbers it is rarely seen in the west of the island. Twenty ducks flew offshore heading SW which we decided were probably Northern Pintail. Other wintering waders were good Cyprus birds although familiar to British birders – around fifty Eurasian Golden Plover, a Whimbrel and two Ruddy Turnstone. Small flocks of Eurasian Skylark were flying around as were European Goldfinch and Common Linnet – and of course there were plenty of Common Stonechat.

We then headed inland to check out Anarita Park which is a well-known wintering site for Finsch’s Wheatear. We quickly found a female flitting between rocks and plant stalks and after some perseverance we had good views of a male in another area. We also saw three Little Owl and several Woodlark. Our last stop was at the Paphos Sewage Plant where the fields were full of Meadow Pipit. Eighteen Northern Lapwing were feeding in a recently harvested field and two Spur-winged Lapwing also found. Large flocks of Common Woodpigeon were flying around. We found a Western Black Redstart in the olive trees as well as wintering European Robin and Common Chiffchaff.

Although most of the species seen on a Cyprus winter’s day were well known to Steven and Lorraine, our great views of Greater Sand Plover, Finsch’s Wheatear and Spur-winged Lapwing made up for that.

Full list of species:

Great Cormorant, Common Kestrel, Northern Pintail, Greater Sand Plover, Eurasian Golden Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Northern Lapwing, Whimbrel, Ruddy Turnstone, Mediterranean Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Little Owl, Woodlark, Eurasian Skylark, Meadow Pipit,  White Wagtail, European Robin, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Finsch’s Wheatear, Sardinian Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet


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Waterbird Count Larnaca today, Saturday 16th January 2016

Greater Flamingo Larnaca Salt Lake 16th January 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Greater Flamingo Larnaca Salt Lake 16th January 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Spent quite a long time today counting Greater Flamingos. 12,000 plus in the Larnaca area. Hundreds of Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Teal and Common Shelduck; twenty five Black-necked Grebe, three Gadwall, a Ferruginous Duck, eight Eurasian Wigeon and seven Greater White-fronted Geese at Larnaca Sewage Works. A small flock of less than thirty Eurasian Golden Plover at Spiros Pool with two Sandwich Tern offshore. Among the many Common Black-headed Gull it was good to find a Little Gull on Meneou Pool.

A lot of disturbance around the Salt Lake including some idiots walking in the water to get nearer to the Greater Flamingos there. Away from them in a quieter area there was a Temminck’s Stint, a few Little Ringed and Common Ringed Plover, seven Common Snipe and larger numbers of Kentish Plover, Dunlin, Little Stint and Common Redshank.

The White-headed Duck were still at Oroklini when I popped in there before heading home.