Out around Nicosia again today visiting Manglis Lake, Athalassa Dam and Agios Sozomenos. Best birds were:
Great Egret 1
Little Egret 1
Black-necked Grebe 1
Grey Wagtail 1
Great Egret 2
Little Egret 1
Grey Heron 6
Black-crowned Night Heron 3ad and 1imm
Great Cormorant 60+
Black-necked Grebe 3
Ferruginous Duck 9
Eurasian Blackbird 1h
European Serin 2+
Plus plenty of Teal, Mallard, Shoveler, Coot, Moorhen and Little Grebe
Long-legged Buzzard 1
Hen Harrier 1 being chased away by Long-legged Buzzard
Spanish Sparrow 30+
Bonelli’s Eagle 1 ad and 1 imm
Finsch’s Wheatear 1m and 1f
Common Quail 1h calling from edge of field of alfalfa
Red-throated Pipit 2h
Black-crowned Night Heron (immature), Athalassa Dam 12th January 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Back in Cyprus after a few weeks away and time to get the 2018 year list under way. Visiting Manglis Lake and Agios Sozomenos in Nicosia with the Black-necked Grebe I found at the former in mid December still present and good views of Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Little Owl and Finsch’s Wheatear at the latter.
Black-necked Grebe 1
Northern Shoveler 13
Common Teal 1m
Little Egret 1
Great Cormorant 1
Cattle Egret 1
Red-throated Pipit 6
European Serin 2
Spectacled Warbler 3 singing males
Long-legged Buzzard 1
Bonelli’s Eagle 2
Little Owl 1 (see photo)
Northern Lapwing c50
Common Buzzard 2
Finsch’s Wheatear 1m and 1f
Corn Bunting 2 singing
Little Owl, Agios Sozomenos 8th January 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Best bird was an immature Bonelli’s Eagle (see photo) being mobbed by a Common Kestrel but also saw three Finsch’s Wheatear, a female Blue Rock Thrush and a singing male Spectacled Warbler. There were many Eurasian Skylark, Red-throated and Meadow Pipit in the fields as well as a large flock of more than 80 Northern Lapwing (see photo).
Bonelli’s Eagle, Nicosia 2nd December 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
A sunny but cool winter’s day around some of the Paphos birding sites with Martin and Beverley produced a variety of species and showed that most of our regular winter visitors have arrived. Unfortunately for Martin and Beverly a lot of those are common in the UK but even so we picked up several new species for them and they were also pleased to see three female Hen Harriers which are not easy to see in England any longer.
We started at Paphos Sewage Plant where six Spur-winged Lapwing were feeding in a recently mown field along with four Northern Lapwing, plenty of Meadow Pipit, just two Red-throated Pipits and some Eurasian Skylark. Of course we saw many European Stonechat as well as the first of many of the day’s Black Redstart. In the valley behind Agia Varvara village we found a small group of Woodlark and then European Serin. Here we saw the first of our female Hen Harrier as well as a distant Long-legged Buzzard and Eurasian Sparrowhawk. Two Common Snipe were feeding in a small area of water. Also in the area was a very late Willow Warbler as well as several Common Chiffchaff, Sardinian Warbler and Spanish Sparrow.
Our next stop was Anarita Park where our target species was the Finsch’s Wheatear. A male was waiting for us – or so it seemed – as we arrived on one of the usual territories and then proceeded to keep us entertained for almost half an hour as it fed, flying from rocks down to the grass and back again. Another male was seen on a large boulder in the distance. A couple of flocks of Woodlark and Meadow Pipit were flying around. We then drove down to the coast and around the fields at the coast of Mandria. We had reasonable views of two Red-throated Pipits and watched several Eurasian Skylark in the fields. A Black Redstart entertained us while we ate our picnic lunch and several Yellow-legged Gull flew over. We decided to make a short stop near Kouklia Fish Farm where a pair of Slavonian Grebe had been offshore since late last week. Unfortunately we couldn’t find them but we did get great views of five Chukar that we had not managed at other locations.
We took the opportunity to visit Kouklia village where at least five Laughing Dove were found near the archaeological site there and then we moved to our last location of the day – Asprokremmos Dam. We spent some time on the dam wall where we watched another female Hen Harrier fly up stream and a lovely male Blue Rock Thrush feeding on the boulders. Driving up to the mast we found many Corn Bunting as well as more Woodlark, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch and a large flock of Common Linnet. On the water was a large group of Great Cormorant – another winter visitor – as well as some Common Teal and a single Northern Shoveler. Now the sun was setting the temperature started to drop and we called it a day and I drove Martin and Beverley back to their Paphos hotel.
Species seen – Chukar, Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Common Teal, Little Grebe, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Laughing Dove, Common Coot, Grey Heron, Great Cormorant, Northern Lapwing, Spur-winged Lapwing, Common Snipe, Yellow-legged Gull, Hen Harrier, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Eurasian Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Great Tit, Woodlark, Eurasian Skylark, Crested Lark, Zitting Cisticola, Willow Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Cetti’s Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, European Robin, Black Redstart, Blue Rock Thrush, European Stonechat, Finsch’s Wheatear, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Red-throated Pipit, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, Common Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, Common Linnet, European Goldfinch, European Serin, Corn Bunting
Blue Rock Thrush, Asprokremmos Dam 23rd November 2017 (C) Cyprus Birding Tours
For their second day out I took Peter and Jean to Paphos Sewage Plant, Timi Beach and Mandria and then inland to Kidasi. We finished the day at Kouklia village and then watching hundreds of Eurasian Jackdaw and Hooded Crow come into roost at Secret Valley where thirty plus Greater Cormorant also flew in and added to the spectacle.
Although we failed to see the Bimaculated Lark at Mandria despite checking through a lot of Eurasian Skylark we did find a lone Calandra Lark there as well as seeing a flyby Audouin’s Gull, a very late male Pallid Harrier and both a male and female Hen Harrier. We also enjoyed a male Finsch’s Wheatear at Kidasi.
Highlights per locations:
Paphos Sewage Plant – Spur-winged Lapwing 4, Eurasian Sparrowhawk 2, Common Buzzard, Red-throated Pipit 2+, Black Redstart
Timi Beach – Common Kingfisher
Mandria – Yellow-legged Gull c200, Audouin’s Gull 1, Hen Harrier 1m and 1f, Pallid Harrier 1m, Eurasian Skylark 100+, Calandra Lark 1, Black Redstart, Spanish Sparrow, White Wagtail
Kidasi – Finsch’s Wheatear 1m
Mamonia – Corn Bunting
Kouklia Village – Laughing Dove 5+
Secret Valley – Chukar, Great Cormorant 35+, Eurasian Jackdaw 300+, Common Kingfisher
Pallid Harrier, Mandria 14th November 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Spent much longer out birding than I had originally intended but it was worth it with the best birds being a sub adult Bonelli’s Eagle, two Long-legged Buzzard, three (maybe four) Finsch’s Wheatear, Red-throated Pipit, Spotted Crake, Water Pipit and a female Merlin which scattered the waders at Oroklini Marsh.
Interesting birds seen:
Bonelli’s Eagle 1 ad
Long-legged Buzzard 2 (see photo)
Peregrine Falcon 1
Finsch’s Wheatear 1m and 2f (prob 3f)
Red-throated Pipit 7+
Black Redstart 5
Spanish Sparrow 30+
Greater Flamingo 15
Spur-winged Lapwing 52+
Northern Lapwing 18
Black-headed Gull 13
Armenian Gull 1 ad
Northern Pintail 3
Little Stint 37
Common Ringed Plover 1
Common Redshank 8
Marsh Sandpiper 1
Common Snipe 2
Spotted Crake 1
Water Pipit 2
Grey Heron 1
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.
A day around Paphos with Ann and Peter – the third year running that we have been out together. We started at Timi Beach and Anarita Park and then went further inland to new sites for them – Episkopi (Paphos), Arodes and Evretou Dam. We had a total of 55 species with highlights from each location as follows:
Eurasian Hoopoe, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Chukar
Total species – 55
European Shag, Eurasian Teal, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Eurasian Coot, Yellow-legged Gull, Caspian Gull, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Little Owl, Common Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Woodlark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, Common Nightingale, European Robin, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Finsch’s Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Ruppell’s Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Eurasian Magpie, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Goldfinch, European Greenfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting
Lesser Kestrel, Anarita Park 15th March 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
The first of two day’s out with Barry and we spent our time around Cape Greco moving to Paralimni Lake later in the day. We started at Agia Trias beach where there were still two Greater Sand Plover on the beach together with a Grey Plover, Common Sandpiper and a Common Kingfisher. We spent several hours exploring Cape Greco on foot and by car and were pleased with the species we found which included three singing male Cyprus Warbler, Spectacled and Ruppell’s Warbler, Isabelline, Cyprus, Northern and Finsch’s Wheatear, Red-rumped Swallow, a Pallid Harrier, at least seven Eurasian Hoopoe, Blue Rock Thrush, Baltic Gull and Little Egret migrating offshore, Cretzschmar’s Bunting and Greater Short-toed Lark. Still plenty of Western Black Redstart and Common Stonechat around as well as several Chukar and lots of finches.
Although it was very windy when we finally got to Kermia Beach we were glad we made the effort as our target species for that location was there – two Audouin’s Gull. Although they were dozing when we arrived two Yellow-legged Gull flew in and woke them up for us. We went slightly inland to Agia Napa Sewage Works where we saw two male Blue Rock Thrush, more Cretzschmar’s Bunting and Isabelline Wheatear and a very smart male Masked Shrike. On the treated water pools there were Eurasian Coot and Little Grebe as well as two each of Spur-winged Lapwing, Common Sandpiper and Green Sandpiper. We did a detour to the Agia Napa Football fields where we found another Cretzschmar’s Bunting and two Laughing Doves.
Finishing the day at Paralimni Lake we set up the ‘scope and scanned the area. A Peregrine Falcon was sitting on a rock towards the middle and an adult Long-legged Buzzard was nearby in a low bush. We found a couple more Isabelline Wheatear and another Masked Shrike. There were several species of wader – Kentish Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Ringed Plover, Ruff, Eurasian Golden Plover and Dunlin. As we sat to go over our sightings and drink a final cup of tea late in the afternoon we watched a small flock of Common Starling coming into roost. A good day out hopefully with more species to come later in the week on our second day out.
Total species – 64
Little Grebe, Great Cormorant, Little Egret, Mallard, Pallid Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Greater Sand Plover, Eurasian Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Dunlin, Ruff, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Audouin’s Gull, Baltic Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Eurasian Collared Dove, Laughing Dove, Common Swift, Common Kingfisher, Eurasian Hoopoe, Greater Short-toed Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, European Robin, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Finsch’s Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Ruppell’s Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Masked Shrike, Hooded Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting
Audouin’s Gull, Kermia Beach, 13th March 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
The first day out of what promises to be a busy spring season for Cyprus Birding Tours, was with Peter and Sian. We had arranged to go to Anarita Park and Akrotiri to show Peter those locations. Our target species were Cyprus Warbler, Cyprus Wheatear and Finsch’s Wheatear. After heavy rain over night the weather was mainly sunny if hazy as we headed for Anarita Park. Flocks of finches – Common Linnet, European Serin, European Goldfinch and Greenfinch greeted us as did a Eurasian Hoopoe. Corn Bunting were singing and we heard a Great Spotted Cuckoo although we didn’t see one there. After a few false starts we found both Cyprus and Finsch’s Wheatear as well as a couple of Isabelline and Northern and a very smart Eastern Black-eared. We were told by a local birder that a male Lesser Kestrel was hunting near the road and we passed by there and had good views of it. We briefly saw a male Cyprus Warbler as well as a Chukar, two male and a female Blue Rock Thrush, some male Spanish Sparrow and a few Woodlark.
We then headed to the Agia Varvara valley hoping to get better views of the Cyprus Warbler. We were in luck and found a male singing there which kept us entertained for a while until we were interrupted by a fox dashing through the undergrowth nearby being chased by three dogs. We then moved on to Kourio Stadium where we ate our lunch in the shade of a carob tree watching Isabelline, Northern and Cyprus Wheatear and added Red-rumped Swallow to our list of species.
Two Eurasian Hoopoe flew over Phasouri Reed-beds but we didn’t find much else there. We drove to check the coast of the Gravel Pits and assumed we had found Garganey floating on the sea. Putting the scope on them it was a surprise to see five Gadwall and around twenty Eurasian Teal. Driving through the Gravel Pits area we came across five Little Ringed Plover, a Ruff and a Green Sandpiper, two Kentish Plover, a Great Spotted Cuckoo, two Isabelline Wheatear, a male Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, five Lesser Whitethroat, a Woodchat Shrike and many mosquitos. A quick scan over the Salt Lake revealed a couple of hundred Greater Flamingo and a Western Marsh Harrier quartering the shore.
On Lady’s Mile we found just a couple of Kentish Plover and Ruff, a Black-winged Stilt, a Spotted Redshank and a Common Redshank. A couple of Slender-billed Gull with a lovely pink tinge to their plumage were floating offshore with some Common Black-headed Gull and at least one Armenian and Caspian Gull. We then spent a short time in the hide at Zakaki Marsh where we could hear Eurasian Penduline Tit calling. Finally two males were spotted by Peter feeding in a tamarisk bush to the left of the hide. Also present were a Little Egret, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot and five Common Starling.
The last stop was Kensington Cliffs but unfortunately we were too late to see any Eurasian Griffon Vulture but we did see at least six Alpine Swift. We returned to Paphos happy with our days birding.
Total species – 72
Little Egret, Grey Heron, Greater Flamingo, Gadwall, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Western Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Kentish Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Ruff, Common Snipe, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Green Sandpiper, Common Black-headed Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Caspian Gull, Armenian Gull, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Woodlark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, European Robin, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Finsch’s Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Eurasian Penduline Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Corn Bunting
Lesser Kestrel, Anarita Park 10th March 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Found two newly arrived Cyprus Wheatear at Cape Greco today and just a hand full of other migrants – an Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat and plenty of Isabelline Wheatear. Also saw several singing male Cyprus Warbler and a pair chasing, plus three Blue Rock Thrush, a flock of migrating Great Cormorant, Spanish Sparrows collecting nest material , a Eurasian Hoopoe and a male and female Finsch’s Wheatear. Two Greater Sandplover, a Grey Plover and an immature Slender-billed Gull were at Agia Trias.