Lovely day around Cape Greco today – dodging some very heavy rain at times. Great birds including this male Masked Shrike (photo).
Other sightings included:
Isabelline Wheatear 28+
Northern Wheatear 12+
Common Hoopoe 20 incl a group of five in off sea together
Cyprus Wheatear 4
Common Crane 1 heading E 09:45
Black Redstart 10
Lesser Whitethroat 8+
Common Whitethroat 2
Song Thrush 7
Black-eared Wheatear 2 pale throated and 5 dark throated
Ruppell’s Warbler 3m
Masked Shrike 1m
Blue Rock Thrush 3 (incl a pair with singing male)
Cyprus Warbler 3m
Common Nightingale 1
Great Spotted Cuckoo 1
Hen Harrier 1f
Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler 2
Common Redstart 1m and 1f
‘Ehrenberg’s’ Redstart 1f
Desert Wheatear 1m
Red-rumped Swallow 7
Black-headed Wagtail 30
Blue-headed Wagtail 2
Spent the morning at Germasogeia Dam where I found at least three Bluethroat which were great to watch although not keen to have their photo taken! A trip around the Akrotiri sites later produced three more Bluethroats, a couple of Common Kingfisher, a large flock of Dunlin and Little Stint, three Temminck’s Stint, some Water Pipit and Woodlark, a Hen Harrier and several Western Marsh Harrier, three Water Rail and at least two Eurasian Penduline Tit.
Photo of a juv Slender-billed Gull with a Black-headed Gull behind taken at Lady’s Mile.
Another good day out with the Travelling Naturalist Cyprus group. Today we visited Cape Drepanum, Arodes and Smygies and we had the luck to witness first hand the amazing numbers of Painted Lady butterflies currently migrating through Cyprus. We estimate we saw at least 200,000 through the day. We also saw some good birds including more Cyprus Wheatear, migrating flocks of Grey Heron and Little Egret, Blue-headed Wagtail, Chukar, Hen Harrier, Black-eared Wheatear and a Great Spotted Cuckoo pair. We rounded the day off finding several new orchid species.
Painted Lady Baths of Aphrodite 22nd March 2019 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Managed to avoid the storms that were around most of the day just inland from Akrotiri and had a relaxing birding day with highlights:
Black-headed Gull c300 (flying between here and Zakaki Marsh)
Mediterranean Gull 1 1st winter
Slender-billed Gull 3
Armenian Gull 20+
Caspian Gull c2
Eurasian Skylark 1 over calling
Kentish Plover 6
Hen Harrier 1 ring tail
Eurasian Sparrowhawk 1f flew over area four or five times putting gulls to flight
Eurasian Wigeon 1m
Reed Bunting 3
Eurasian Penduline TIt 2+ h
Moustached Warbler c5
Bluethroat 3 (one with white on head, one white spot and one red spot)
Water Rail 2
Spanish Sparrow 6
Common Kingfisher 2
Akrotiri Gravel Pits
Western Marsh Harrier 1f
Common Starling 1
Cattle Egret 2
Western Yellow Wagtail 3
Eurasian Penduline Tit 1+h
Common Kingfisher 1
Water Rail 1h
Griffon Vulture 10 flying over cliffs together 14:40 – 14:55
Cyprus Warbler 2 (1 h only)
Long-legged Buzzard 1
Eurasian Magpie 21 in one flock flying together
Bluethroat, Zakaki 23rd November 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Water Rail, Zakaki 23rd November 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
White Wagtail, Zakaki 23rd November 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
No sign today of the Black-winged Kite that was seen at Phasouri Reed-beds yesterday morning which was disappointing. Spent some time watching this female Common Kingfisher which cheered me up (See photo). Elsewhere around Akrotiri I found Spotted Crake, Water Rail, Little Bittern, Great Reed Warbler, Red-throated Pipit, Bluethroat, Common Crane, a Western Marsh and a Hen Harrier, two European Honey Buzzard, four Eleonora’s Falcon and a few Eurasian Sparrowhawk so I can’t really complain!
Common Kingfisher, Zakaki, 19th October 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Spent most of the day birding around Limassol. Found a couple of singing Moustached Warblers at Zakaki Marsh where I also heard Eurasian Penduline Tit, Water Rail and Reed Bunting. There were two Reed Bunting at Phasouri Reed-beds and two Western Marsh Harrier, a ring-tail Hen Harrier and a Common Buzzard. Plenty of gulls on Lady’s Mile including Armenian, Caspian, Yellow-legged and Black-headed as well as a single adult Heuglin’s Gull, an adult and an immature Mediterranean Gull, an immature Slender-billed Gull and a Common Gull.
Also went to Germasogeia Dam where several Cyprus Warbler were singing and there was a very large flock of European Serin. Two Common Snipe flew up from the stream
No sign of any spring migrants anywhere that I visited.
Armenian Gull, Lady’s Mile 10th February 2018 (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