Cyprus Birding Tours

Offering guided bird watching tours around Cyprus


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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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Raptor count Cape Greco 2nd September 2016

My first count of the BirdLife Cyprus autumn raptor monitoring at Cape Greco is usually very quiet giving me a chance to renew my acquaintance with the local Common Kestrels. So although not very busy the steady stream of raptors around there this morning was a pleasant change. At least three Eleonora’s Falcon, a Perergine Falcon and a Eurasian Hobby flew over the Cava Viewpoint on several occasions and did not appear to be migrating. (Poor, hazy record shots below). A group of eight adult and two juvenile Greater Flamingo flew from west to east and then heading SE out to sea. A trickle of migrating Western Marsh Harrier were seen either circling up and gaining height or heading out S over the sea. At least 15 passed through as well as six European Honey Buzzard. A couple of other large raptors were too distant for a certain ID. Also migrating over were seven Red-rumped Swallows, a handful of Barn Swallows and some European Bee-eater.

On finishing I passed by the Agia Napa Football Fields which is a good location to visit at this time of year and as most years there were a good number of Lesser Grey Shrike (15+) and also a male Red-backed Shrike, a European Roller, two Isabelline Wheatear, two Spotted Flycatcher, seven Yellow Wagtail, a Whinchat, a European Roller and around thirty Cattle Egret.

Peregrine Falcon, Cape Greco 2nd September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Peregrine Falcon, Cape Greco 2nd September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eleonora's Falcon, Cape Greco 2nd September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eleonora’s Falcon, Cape Greco 2nd September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Morning’s Guiding Paphos area 10th August 2016

Just like the first morning out with Jon, on 3rd August, today’s highlight was an unexpected sighting of a species not on the list of likely birds for the day. This time it was a juvenile Northern Goshawk which flew in front of us at Mavrokolympos Dam chasing six Chukar. It almost caught one of them and we saw the bird briefly on the ground before it returned across the valley and was lost to sight. The decision to visit the Dam turned out to be a good one as not only did we see the first migrating Lesser Grey Shrike of the autumn but also got great views of a male Cyprus Warbler, saw several Cyprus Wheatear, four Green Sandpiper and had a fly-past Eleonora’s Falcon.

We then spent some time in the valley behind Arodes where we found another Lesser Grey Shrike, two Woodchat Shrike, several Masked Shrike, some European Turtle Dove and a European Roller as well as two Eurasian Hobby. A European Serin flew overhead and we saw a flock of at least twenty Chukar – but not with a chasing raptor this time. Returning to Paphos we drove over Minthis Hills which gave Jon the chance to get a good view of a Spectacled Warbler.

Species list – Little Grebe, Northern Goshawk, Common Kestrel, Eurasian Hobby, Eleonora’s Falcon, Chukar, Green Sandpiper, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Turtle Dove, European Roller, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Cyprus Wheatear, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Great Tit, Lesser Grey Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch

Lesser Grey Shrike, Arodes, 10th August 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Lesser Grey Shrike, Arodes, 10th August 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Morning’s Guiding north of Paphos 5th August 2016

A morning out with Fulco and his son Tijmen was spent at a few locations to the north of Paphos. We visited Arodes, Androlikou, Neochorio and Kathikas and the highlights were Masked Shrike, two adult Bonelli’s Eagle, Eurasian Hobby, Long-legged Buzzard, Cyprus Wheatear and Cretzschmar’s Bunting. We also saw several Chukar, a male Black Francolin and Eurasian Turtle Dove. We spent some time sea watching near Latchi but there was no movement of migrants at the time.

Smygies picnic site, Neo Chorio, Paphos 5th August 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Smygies picnic site, Neo Chorio, Paphos 5th August 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Species list:

Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Common Kestrel, Eurasian Hobby, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Turtle Dove, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Cyprus Wheatear, Zitting Cisticola, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Great Tit, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Cretzschmar’s Bunting

Photographs below taken during trip by Fulco van’t Holt (c) Fulco van’t Holt.


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Cape Greco and Larnaca area, Sunday 13th September 2015

A very different morning at Cape Greco today. Few birds around compared to yesterday, although I spent an hour checking out the football pitches at Agia Napa which were full of migrants feeding on the watered pitches:

Cape Greco 8.00am – 12.00pm

Black Kite 1
Montagu’s Harrier 1 ringtail
Marsh Harrier 6 (1 male)
European Honey Buzzard 9
European Hobby 1
European Bee-eater two flocks heard and another 17 seen
Ortolan Bunting 4
Ruff 15 migrating off shore
Lesser Whitethroat 1

Agia Napa Football Fields

European Bee-eater 17
Lesser Grey Shrike 2
Masked Shrike 3
Eurasian Hoopoe 6
Yellow Wagtail 50+
Isabelline Wheatear 3
Red-backed Shrike 4
Whinchat 1
Tawny Pipit 1
Cattle Egret 12
Spotted Flycatcher 1
Red-rumped Swallow 8

Protaras
Alpine Swift 8

Meneou Beach 6.00am
Red-rumped Swallow 50+
Barn Swallow 30+
Sand Martin 3
Red-backed Shrike 1
European Bee-eater c60

 Red-rumped Swallow Meneou Beach 13th September 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-rumped Swallow Meneou Beach 13th September 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Hoopoe Agia Napa Football Fields 13th September 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Hoopoe Agia Napa Football Fields 13th September 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours