Cyprus Birding Tours

Offering guided bird watching tours around Cyprus


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Two Day’s Guiding around Larnaca, Paralimni and Cape Greco, 29th and 30th March 2017

Two days out with Ashley who was in Cyprus with the single purpose of seeing the Cyprus Warbler, Cyprus Wheatear and Black Francolin and then some general birding.

Wednesday 29th March

We started on Wednesday morning in the Panagia Stazousa valley where we soon heard the strange buzzing of a male Cyprus Wheatear on territory and got some great views of it while at the same time two Cyprus Warbler were singing and competing for territory nearby. We had excellent views of them as well and were two thirds of the way through our target before our first hour was over. In the end we saw at least four singing male Cyprus Wheatear and at least twelve male and a female Cyprus Warbler in the area. Very satisfying to see so many of the warblers. A singing Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler in the same area was an added bonus. We also saw four Great Spotted Cuckoo -two of whom were seem copulating while the male fed the female a caterpillar taken from the nest of a processionary moth caterpillar. We watched him trying to extract another one but the female had lost interest by the time he was successful. A Long-legged Buzzard flew over, a Eurasian Scops Owl called and we found five Cretzschmar’s Bunting. Two Eurasian Hoopoe flew into a pine while we were watching a group of European Serin in the same tree.

Driving through the fields beneath the village of Kivisilli we stopped to admire another Eurasian Hoopoe and eight Lesser Kestrel hunting over the fields and dropping down to catch insects. A small group of Greater Short-toed Lark were in a ploughed field. We heard several Black Francolin calling at Petounta Point but only saw one briefly in flight. We had better views of another Long-legged Buzzard and several Northern and Isabelline Wheatear as well as a Common Redstart. But driving towards Pervolia we had more luck and finally had a singing male Black Francolin out in the open and not too far away so that our views were ruined by heat haze. In the fields near Pervolia village we had close up views of five Calandra Lark, around 60 Yellow Wagtail, 20 Red-throated Pipit and 50+ Greater Short-toed Lark.

After a picnic lunch by the seaside we moved to the hide overlooking Larnaca Sewage Works. There were not many waterfowl left there now although there were two Ruddy Shelduck which were a lovely surprise. Lesser Whitethroat were in the bushes in front of the hide – they were present at all the locations we visited over the two days. A Purple Heron flew over but didn’t stop while another Great Spotted Cuckoo rested briefly in front of the hide. Spur-winged Lapwing, Black-winged Stilt, Little Stint, Common Ringed Plover, Common and Green Sandpiper fed around the water’s edge. Before leaving the area we found more Black-winged Stilt, a lone Greater Flamingo and 13 Slender-billed Gull on Meneou Pool.

A quick stop to scan the main Salt Lake gave us a few more Greater Flamingo, two breeding plumage Black-necked Grebe and more Slender-billed Gull. In the north east corner our best birds were a female Little Crake and a Spotted Crake as well as Marsh Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover, Common Snipe, Ruff, Spur-winged Lapwing, Wood and Green Sandpiper, Bluethroat, Water Pipit, Yellow Wagtail and Eurasian Reed Warbler. We finished the day there with targets met and a total of 80 species seen.

Thursday 30th March

Our first stop today was Oroklini Marsh where we found a Glossy Ibis and a  Black-tailed Godwit, Ruff, Black-winged Stilt and Spur-winged Lapwing, three winter plumage Black-necked Grebe, a Ferruginous Duck, two male and a female Red-crested Pochard, Garganey, plenty of Cattle Egret and two Little Egret and an overflying male Pallid Harrier and a hunting female Western Marsh Harrier. Several Eurasian Reed Warbler and a single Sedge Warbler were singing. We found another Pallid Harrier, this time a sub-adult male, sitting on Paralimni Lake and another male flew over. Also there were two Eurasian Golden Plover, many Ruff, many wheatear – mainly Northern but also Isabelline, Eastern Black-eared and Cyprus, a couple of Little Ringed Plover and a Common Greenshank.

We ate our lunch at the picnic site at Cape Greco after a short walk that had us thinking there was nothing around having just heard a Common Nightingale and seen a couple of Lesser Whitethroat and Eurasian Blackcap. Then a male Pallid Harrier flew by as did five Alpine Swift. We had good views of a dark-throated and pale throated Eastern Black-eared Wheatear and two male Cyprus Warbler at a distance. A drive around the rest of the area was then more productive and we saw two Water Pipit, 12 Greater Short-toed Lark, several Cyprus Wheatear including a pair with the female collecting nest material, a showy Eurasian Wryneck sitting on a rock in the sun, five Tawny Pipit, a male Masked Shrike in the same bush as three male Subalpine Warbler and a male Ruppell’s Warbler. A quick visit to the Larnaca area produced our final birds which were another male Masked Shrike and 18 Baltic Gull migrating off shore.

Two great days out with Ashley with a wide variety of species.

Total species and forms seen – 101

Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo, Ruddy Shelduck, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Red-crested Pochard, Ferruginous Duck, Western Marsh Harrier, Pallid Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Quail, Spotted Crake, Little Crake, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Eurasian Golden Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Ruff, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Slender-billed Gull, Baltic Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Scops Owl, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Eurasian Wryneck, Calandra Lark, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Common House Martin, Tawny Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Water Pipit, Blue-headed Wagtail (flava), Black-headed Wagtail (feldegg), superciliaris intergrade, White Wagtail, Common Nightingale h, Bluethroat, Common Redstart, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler h, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Ruppell’s Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting


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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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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: A Morning’s Guiding around Nicosia 17th January 2017

The first guided trip of 2017 was a morning around two of the Nicosia birding spots. Josh and Toni were hoping to see Finsch’s Wheatear and Blue Rock Thrush so we headed straight to Agios Sozomenos where we had a good chance of both. Entering the area we had good views of Zitting Cisticola and heard and saw a singing Corn Bunting in the distance. We stopped to scan the area for Finsch’s Wheatear and as we saw a flash of white wheatear rump fly off, a brown bird started singing on the top of a thorny bush. We were pleased to see that it was a Bluethroat which very obligingly sat out in the open for several minutes. A Spectacled Warbler and several Chiffchaffs flitted in and out of the bush at the same time. When the Bluethroat flew off we searched again for the Finsch’s Wheatear but no joy. We moved along the road and a grey-brown bird flew across the rocks – a female Finsch’s Wheatear. We stopped and watched her and then continued around the corner where we came across a male Finsch’s Wheatear. One of our two target species seen and well watched. We returned to the deserted village where two Long-legged Buzzard and a Peregrine Falcon treated us to fly-bys.

In the fields, we found plenty of Meadow Pipit, Zitting Cisticola, Common Stonechat and a large flock of noisy European Serin that sat obligingly in a small tree next to the track. We watched a male Spanish Sparrow feeding while others flitted unseen between the bushes. Large flocks of the resident Western Jackdaw flew over the area. As we had not managed to find the Blue Rock Thrush we decided to spend a little longer re checking the cliffs and rocks. Still no joy with that species although we found the male Finsch’s Wheatear we had missed earlier (minus the Bluethroat this ime) and then, best of all – a pair of adult Bonelli’s Eagle that treated us to an aerial display for at least ten minutes. The highlight of the morning.

Moving on to Athalassa Dam we found most of the expected waterfowl including a Ferruginous Duck and six Tufted Duck (scarce for Cyprus). Here the highlights were three adult and two immature Black-crowned Night Heron and the unseasonal Whiskered Tern that has been in the area for most of the winter. A great morning out with a good list of species for a January morning out away from the coast, and thanks to Josh and Toni for their company.

Total number of species: 45

Little Grebe, Great Cormorant, Black-crowned Night Heron, Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Ferruginous Duck, Tufted Duck, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Common Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Whiskered Tern, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, European Robin, Bluethroat, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Finsch’s Wheatear, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Corn Bunting.

Bonelli's Eagle, Agios Sozomenos 17th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Bonelli’s Eagle, Agios Sozomenos 17th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

 


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Agios Sozomenos this morning 10th December 2016

Spent an hour at Agios Sozomenos this morning. Everywhere looking very dry again despite the recent rain.

Highlights:

Hen Harrier 1m and 1f hunting in same area and putting up many Meadow Pipits
Bluethroat 1 singing
Finsch’s Wheatear 1m (also singing) and 1f
Northern Lapwing 32 (see photo)
Meadow Pipit 200+
Western Jackdaw 300+
Red-throated Pipit 1 seen
European Serin 4
Eurasian Blackbird 1f
Common Chaffinch 6+
Spectacled Warbler 6+
Western Black Redstart 2
Little Owl 1

Northern Lapwing, Agios Sozomenos, 10th December 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Northern Lapwing, Agios Sozomenos, 10th December 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Troodos 31st May 2016

Had a great day around Troodos today – relaxing birding! Found two Red-rumped Swallow collecting mud from near the stream in the Platania picnic site. They would fly in together and one would sit on a nearby stem or bush while the other collected the mud and then they flew off together – presumably to make a nest or repair one they have already used. Spent some time watching a male Masked Shrike feeding a downy recently fledged youngster at Livadi tou Pashia and was pleased to see a Grey Wagtail at the Troodos end of the Caledonia Trail. Lots of Coal Tit, Short-toed Tree-creeper, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler and Common Chaffinch around.
 
Main sightings:
 
Platania Picnic Site
 
Red-rumped Swallow 2 coming down to take mud
Masked Shrike 2m and 1f
European Serin 6+
Eurasian Blackbird 1m and 1f
Eurasian Hoopoe 2
Winter Wren 1
Eurasian Jay 1
 
Livadi tou Pashia
Spotte Flycatcher 3
Eurasian Hoopoe 2
Eurasian Blackbird 2m, 1f and one juvenile
Eurasian Jay h
Masked Shrike 2m – one feeding a downy fledgling
European Serin 4+
Winter Wren 2 plus family party of 6+
Cyprus Wheatear 2m
 
Start of Artemis trail
Common Swift c70
Pallid Swift 3+
Eurasian Hoopoe 1h
Cyprus Wheatear 3m
European Serin h
Eurasian Blackbird 1 singing male
Eurasian Jay 1
 
Platania Old Road
European Turtle Dove 2
Cyprus Wheatear 1
 
Caledonia Trail (Troodos end)
Grey Wagtail 1 ad
Winter Wren 10+ and young in family parties
Eurasian Blackbird 3m and 2f
Common Nightingale 1h singing
Spotted Flycatcher 1
 
Troodos Environment Centre area
Eurasian Blackbird 1m
Common House Martin c30
Common Swift c200 with at least 30 probable Pallids
 
Kampos tou Livadiou
Winter Wren 1
 
Troodos Botanical Gardens – Amiandos
Cyprus Wheatear 1m, 1f and 1 fledgling
Masked Shrike 1m
Eurasian Jay 2
European Serin 2+
Eurasian Blackbird 2+m
Red-rumped Swallow 30+
Common House Martin c40
European Turtle Dove 1

Red-rumped Swallow, Platania, 31st May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-rumped Swallow, Platania, 31st May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Cyprus Wheatear fledgling, Amiandos, 31st May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Cyprus Wheatear fledgling, Amiandos, 31st May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Cyprus Wheatear, Amiandos, 31st May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Cyprus Wheatear, Amiandos, 31st May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Winter Wren, Caledonia Trail, 31st May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Winter Wren, Caledonia Trail, 31st May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Chaffinch, Livadi tou Pashia, 31st May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Chaffinch, Livadi tou Pashia, 31st May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Blackbird, Caledonia Trail, 31st May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Blackbird, Caledonia Trail, 31st May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

European Greenfinch Platania, 31st May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

European Greenfinch Platania, 31st May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Omodos today 20th June 2015

Spent a few hours in the vineyards to the north west of Omodos where there were many singing Black-headed Bunting and Cyprus Wheatear. Had good views of Cyprus Warbler, Serin, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler and Long-legged Buzzard as well and there were many Common House Martin with a few Red-rumped and Barn Swallow overhead.

The best part of the time there was when I drove along the road to Agios Nikolaos and found a family party of four Black-headed Bunting juveniles flying from mosphilia bush to the vines and back. At one stage there were several young Corn Bunting, a couple of juvenile Spanish Sparrow, a young Common Linnet and Sardinian Warbler and two of the Black-headed Bunting in the same bush! Great birding moment! Light was really bad so the photo of one of the young Black-headed Bunting with a young Spanish Sparrow is the best of a very poor bunch.

Black-headed Bunting juvenile with Spanish Sparrow juvenile Omodos 20th June 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-headed Bunting juvenile with Spanish Sparrow juvenile Omodos 20th June 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Grey Wagtail juvenile at Kalopanagiotis and other birds in the Troodos area, 2nd August 2014

Spent yesterday and today around Kalopanagiotis and Troodos. Plenty of European Serin and Winter Wren heard around the river bed at Kalopanagiotis as well as a couple of male Blackbirds, a Cyprus Wheatear and plenty of Chaffinch. After sunset there were at least fifty House Martin flying over the village.

This morning near the Venetian Bridge at Kalopanagiotis I found a juvenile Grey Wagtail and was pleased to find evidence of breeding again this year. Plenty of Eurasian Jay around the Mount Olympos and Troodos cafes picking up scraps and stale bread. Several male Masked Shrike and adult Cyprus Wheatear were still in the area as well as  two Common Swift  flying over. Plenty of Coal Tit and Short-toed Treecreeper were heard but only a few were seen. At Moutoullas there were around six Red-rumped Swallow and a Eurasian Crag Martin as well as more House Martin and plenty of Barn Swallow.