Still some winter visitors around – Eurasian Siskins, Hawfinches and Bramblings but migrant breeders are now in evidence – I found two male and one female Masked Shrike as well as a Common Hoopoe (see photo).
Decided to make what will probably be last visit to Troodos for a while before migration gets underway and the coastal sites become the best birding spots. Spent a leisurely day at Livadi tou Pashia picnic site where I found at least three Brambling, two Hawfinch, many Eurasian Siskin (photo) – several feeding on pine cones – , many Coal Tit chasing and calling, lots of Common Chaffinch, a fly over Red Crossbill, and singing Northern Wrens. Also seen were Eurasian Blackbird and European Greenfinch (photo).
Found several Hawfinch, European Siskin, Woodlark and Red Crossbill today at Troodos, as well as the more usual Northern Wren, Common Chaffinch, Coal Tit, Eurasian Jay, Short-toed Treecreeper and Eurasian Blackbird.
A collection of photos taken yesterday at Troodos. The Coal Tit is a Cyprus endemic sub-species. Hawfinch is an almost annual winter visitor to Cyprus in variable numbers. A former winter visitor, Eurasian Blackbird now breed in Troodos although their numbers are swelled by winter visitors at this time of year. Mistle and Song Thrush are winter visitors in variable numbers each year.
Spent several hours at a few Troodos picnic sites. As well as the usual enedemic sub-species Coal Tit, Eurasian Jay and Short-toed Tree Creeper there was a good selection of winter visitors around including this Yellowhammer (see record shot photo). Until recently Yellowhammers were vagrants but small numbers are recorded most years now.
A male and two female Hawfinch spent at least an hour hiding behind branches and leaves at Troodos today, finally coming down the drink as the light faded!
Platania Picnic Site
Eurasian Siskin c12
Grey Wagtail 1
Two days out with Pauline and Michael over again on holiday in Cyprus. Despite the two weeks difference between them, both days out were characterized by strong winds which affected the number of species seen. However, we managed a total of 53 on 6th March visiting Germasogeia Dam, the Akrotiri Peninsula, Petra tou Romiou and Kouklia Soakaways; and 54 on 20th March when we visited Cape Drepanum, Mavrokolympos Dam, Tsada Hills, Episkopi (Paphos), Mandria, Asprokremmos Dam and Anarita Masts. Over the two days we saw a total of 74 different species. The final bird we saw was a Eurasian Pied Flycatcher which surprised us as we said our goodbyes in the car park at Paphos Harbour!
Germasogeia Dam – Common Quail
Akrotiri Gravel Pits – Kentish Plover, Isabelline Wheatear, Woodlark, Eurasian Hoopoe
Akrotiri Salt Lake – Greater Flamingo
Lady’s Mile – Armenian Gull, Caspian Gull
Kouklia Soakaways – Long-legged Buzzard, Hawfinch
Petra tou Romiou – Alpine Swift
Cape Drepanum – European Shag, Eurasian Skylark
Mavorkolympos Dam – Alpine Swift, Isabelline, Northern and Cyprus Wheatear, Common Whitethroat
Episkopi (Paphos) – Long-legged Buzzard
Mandria – Greater Short-toed Lark, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear (light throated form)
Asprokremmos Dam area – Little Owl, Eurasian Hoopoe, Red-throated Pipit, Yellow Wagtail – feldegg, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear (dark throated form), Cyprus Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Rüppell’s Warbler
Anartia Mast area – Montagu’s Harrier, Lesser Kestrel, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Tawny Pipit, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear (dark throated form), Blue Rock Thrush
Paphos Harbour carpark – Eurasian Pied Flycatcher
Total species seen – 74
Little Grebe, European Shag, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Greater Flamingo, Mallard, Western Marsh Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Quail, Common Moorhen, Kentish Plover, Common Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Caspian Gull, Armenian Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Woodlark, Eurasian Skylark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Tawny Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Black-headed Wagtail, White Wagtail, European Robin, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Eurasian Blackbird, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Rüppell’s Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Eurasian Pied Flycatcher, Great Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Hawfinch, Corn Bunting
Spent a lovely spring day around Limassol with highlights:
Phassouri Reed Beds – Hawfinch 1+, Common Reed Bunting 3, Water Pipit 2, Common Snipe 4, Little Egret 1, Blackcap 10+, Song Thrush 5+, Blackbird 1, Western Marsh Harrier 2
Akrotiri Gravel Pits – Green Sandpiper 1, Western Marsh Harrier 1
Lady’s Mile – Sandwich Tern 2, Armenian Gull 20, Caspian Gull 3+
Zakaki Marsh – Common Kingfisher 1, Common Snipe 1, Penduline Tit 1h
Germasogeia Dam – Bonelli’s Eagle 1 adult, Grey Wagtail 2, Barn Swallow 7, Woodlark 14
Was too late getting to Zakaki Marsh this morning to catch sight of the three Little Swift that had been feeding there earlier. Although I also returned there later in the day, there was no further sign of them. I did see a Jack Snipe, several Water Pipit, Common Kingfisher and hear a Water Rail though. The Eurasian Bittern at Phassouri Reed Beds came out from the reeds briefly, but more interesting there were the Hawfinch that were flying in the area together with large flocks of Common Chaffinch and European Serin. I saw at least four but other birders had found up to ten. At least three Western Marsh Harrier and four Common Buzzard were around and a Eurasian Curlew was near the coast.
At Lady’s Mile there was at least one Mediterranean Gull in with all the Common Black-headed Gull, about ten Armenian Gull and six first winter Caspian Gull. Along the port road two Laughing Dove were sitting on the wires and a Eurasian Sparrowhawk was flying over being mobbed by two Hooded Crow. Great to get out birding again!!
Spent most of the day at Troodos yesterday and was pleased to find the Pine Bunting again and several Yellowhammer. Other winter visitors around included Mistle Thrush and Hawfinch. There were several Crossbill flying around the area and plenty of Coal Tit – the endemic sub-species. But the best birds were seen flying near the Millomeris Waterfall outside of Platres – two Northern Raven. An extremely unusual sight away from the Pentadactylos mountains these days.
Spent a day and a half in Troodos where some great winter visitors are present. Spent most of the time near a picnic site where birds were coming down to drink at a quickly drying puddle left from recent rain. One of my best birding experience days with Fieldfare, Hawfinch, Brambling, Mistle Thrush, Yellowhammer, possible Pine Bunting, Crossbill and Goldcrest all up close and easy to watch. Also had a late Cyprus Wheatear near Mount Olympos and a Siskin at Platania.