Spent most of the day doing the Waterbird Count around Larnaca today. Lots of Greater Flamingo and Northern Shoveler to count – and surprisingly also – it took time to count the Little Gull with just over 300 in the area feeding on several pools. Other interesting birds included three Pied Avocet, three Greater White-fronted Geese and 38 Black-necked Grebe.
Little Gull 71
Larnaca Airport Pools South
Little Gull 2
Northern Shoveler 276
Greater Flamingo 13
Common Shelduck 2
Caspian Gull c50
Armenian Gull 4
Heuglin’s Gull 1
Larnaca Sewage Works
Western Marsh Harrier 3
Great Cormorant 130
Northern Shoveler 88
Common Teal 429
Greater White-fronted Goose 3
Common Coot 29
Caspian Gull 8
Grey Heron 1
Spur-winged Lapwing 3
Common Redshank 5
Little Stint 63
Kentish Plover 175
Common Ringed Plover 4
Northern Shoveler 130
Eurasian Wigeon 2
Common Redshank 4
Larnaca Desalination Plant fields
Eurasian Golden Plover 5
Common Ringed Plover 3
Larnaca Airport Pools North
Pied Avocet 3
Little Gull 124
Larnaca Salt Lake
Little Gull 107
Cattle Egret 3
Greater Flamingo 9000+
Common Shelduck 153
Northern Shoveler 449
Black-necked Grebe 38
Little Stint 25
Common Snipe 14
Common Redshank 3
Spur-winged Lapwing 5
Common Ringed Plover 7
Reed Bunting 1
Water Pipit 2
Kiti Dam (full but no waterbirds)
Little Gull, Larnaca Salt Lake 11th January 2020 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Spent the last two days in the Limassol area. The highlight was a Masked Shrike already on breeding territory at Prastio Kellakiou and two Bimaculated Lark in with a flock of Greater Short-toed Lark and Meadow Pipit on the coastline of Akrotiri Gravel Pits. Other interesting sightings during the two days:
Saturday 10th March
Water Rail 1h
Little Crake 1m
Penduline Tit 2
Slender-billed Gull 2 ad and 1 imm
Heuglin’s Gull 1
Armenian Gull c30
Caspian Gull 2 imm
Isabelline Wheatear 1
Common Hoopoe 3 (See photo)
Lesser Whitethroat 1
Cyprus Wheatear 1
Akrotiri Salt Lake/Zakaki run off
Little Ringed Plover 20+
Common Ringed Plover 20+
Kentish Plover c100
Little Stint c30
Northern Shoveler c50
Greater Flamingo 800+
Western Marsh Harrier 1 ad male
Common Snipe 12
Black-headed Wagtail 1m
Numbers of ducks decreasing but still good numbers of Northern Shoveler and Common Teal as well as 24+ Black-necked Grebe, a pair of Gadwall, some Eurasian Wigeon and Common Pochard. More than 1000 Greater Flamingo in the area, although no sign today of a melanistic one seen yesterday, as well as nearly 1000 Common Shelduck on the main Salt Lake. A couple of hundred Slender-billed Gull were on the Salt Lake as well as some Caspian and Armenian Gull and plenty of Black-headed. But the best was an adult Pallas’s Gull in full breeding plumage in the north-east corner together with a Baltic Gull, two Heuglin’s Gull and a Mediterranean Gull. Waders included at least 16 Common Snipe, five Ruff, a few Eurasian Stone Curlew and hundreds of Dunlin and Little Stint.
The only spring migrants I saw were some Barn Swallows, an Isabelline Wheatear (see photo) and a Common Hoopoe. I then went along the coast towards Agios Theodoros where the Great Grey Shrike (probable aucheri intergrade) was still present and I managed to get a view of one of two Short-toed Snake Eagle that have also been in that area for a few days.
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
Out for a day’s birding around Larnaca with Victor Tjernberg checking out some good sites for spring birding and trying to up our year lists!
The wetlands had most birds but probably the birds of the day were the Calandra Lark on the fields in Pervolia already in display song flight. Also good to see several Cyprus Warbler in the Panagia Stazousa valley singing and on territory. Although it is a partial migrant with some leaving in the winter, many stay all year on the island.
Larnaca Sewage Works
Eurasian Wigeon 7 (3m)
Ferruginous Duck 1
Common Pochard 6+
Black-necked Grebe 40+
Common Greenshank 3
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Eurasian Golden Plover 120+
Larnaca Airport Pools South
Eurasian Thick-knee 17
Caspian Gull 10+
Armenian Gull 1ad
Heuglin’s Gull 1 ad
Calandra Lark 4+ in display flight
Common Buzzard 4
Common Quail 1h
Cyprus Warbler 6+ singing males
Long-legged Buzzard 1
European Serin 3+
Eurasian Blackbird 1m
Eurasian Thick-knee 1 in flight near Klavdia village
Oroklini Marsh (see photo)
Black-winged Stilt 2
Red-crested Pochard 1m and 2f
Common Pochard 2m
Ferruginous Duck 7
Northern Lapwing 1
Cattle Egret 200+
Grey Heron 2
Barn Swallow 3
Common Redshank 1
Green Sandpiper 1
Spur-winged Lapwing 3
Armenian Gull 5 ad and c15 imm
Caspian Gull 1 imm
Sandwich Tern 2 fishing offshore
Oroklini Marsh 6th February 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Not very many Greater Flamingos on the Salt Lake – less than 100 in the whole area. Numbers of ducks reduced on the Sewage Works pools from November but still plenty of Northern Shoveler, Mallard and Common Teal. More than thirty Black-necked Grebe have arrived for the winter but only four Greater White-fronted Geese – the numbers of those wintering here get less every year. A male Tufted Duck was on the pools as were five Common Pochard, 21 Ferruginous Duck, nine Eurasian Wigeon and four Northern Pintail.
Good numbers of Dunlin (see photo), Common Redshank, Little Stint, Common Ringed Plover and Kentish Plover as well as four Common Snipe, a Green Sandpiper and two Little Ringed Plover. A large flock of Eurasian Golden Plover and two Eurasian Curlew were in fields near the coast. Two Hen Harrier and two Western Marsh Harrier were hunting over the area. Plenty of Eurasian Skylark were in the fields. Offshore were four Sandwich Tern. Four Heuglin’s, some Caspian and a couple of Armenian Gull were roosting with the large group of Black-headed Gull on the Salt Lake.
A quick visit to Oroklini afterwards and I found a first winter Mediterranean Gull in with the Black-headed Gull and more Northern Shoveler and Greater Flamingo on the main lake. Two Merlin flew over the area and it was depressing to see 19 Spur-winged Lapwing roosting on a newly constructed road, part of an area that looks as if it is to be drained for housing.
Dunlin, Meneou 13th December 2017 (d) Cyprus Birding Tours
Dunlin, Meneou 13th December 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Common Redshank, Larnaca Salt Lake, 13th December 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Some good birds and some warmer weather today at Larnaca. The flocks of Greylag and Greater White-fronted Goose and Ruddy Shelduck were on the Sewage Works pools as was a first winter Great Black-headed (Pallas) Gull. Three Eurasian Curlew and thirty Eurasian Golden Plover were on Spiros Pool with twenty Eurasian Wigeon. In the fields at Pervolia there were large flocks of Eurasian Skylark and also seven more Eurasian Golden Plover. I stopped on the road from Kiti to Petounta, at an area where I have found Calandra Lark in the past, and soon heard and saw three in display flight over the area.
More Eurasian Skylark at Petounta where there was also a Grey Plover and three Kentish Plover. Returning to the Salt Lake there didn’t seem to be as many Greater Flamingo as in mid January but still plenty of Common Shelduck, Common Black-headed Gull and small waders. A roosting flock of larger gulls was mainly Caspian Gull but there were also a few Armenian and Yellow-legged Gulls as well as two Heuglin’s.
At the Kamares area I found a Green Sandpiper, two Common Snipe (see photo), two Water Pipit, two Cattle Egret, seven Spur-winged Lapwing, a Grey Wagtail, many Common Chiffchaff, two Moustached Warblers and a Bluethroat. As I was leaving a larger bird on the grassy area caught my eye and I was very pleased to find my first Great Spotted Cuckoo of the year.
Common Snipe, Larnaca Salt Lake 3rd February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Great Spotted Cuckoo, Larnaca Salt Lake 3rd February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Water Pipit (coutelli race), Larnaca Salt Lake, 3rd February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Real winter’s weather for our day and a half out birding. Picking up Richard and Brad from Larnaca Airport midday Saturday we headed for Oroklini Marsh. We spent time in both hides there and were out of the rain at least. On the Paralimni coast at Agia Trias we weren’t so lucky and a biting wind there cut our birding short, while the gathering gloom and storm clouds as we reached Makronissos Beach meant we could have done with a torch to help us find the birds. A chilly, cloudy start on Sunday found us in the hide at Larnaca Sewage Works and although we got quite cold in the wind, the weather improved as we got to the Salt Lake and the sun finally came out. We even managed to eat our picnic lunch outside in the Panagia Stazousa valley and stayed out until the sun set at Agios Sozomenos outside Nicosia.
Birding highlights per location:
Saturday 17th December:
Oroklini Marsh – Cattle Egret, Greater Flamingo, Common Pochard, Western Marsh Harrier, Northern Lapwing, Spur-winged Lapwing
Xylofagou – Long-legged Buzzard perched on road side electricity pole.
Agia Trias – Grey Plover 3, Common Sandpiper 1, Yellow-legged Gull 4, Common Kingfisher 1
Larnaca Airport Pools South – Eurasian Stone Curlew 4, Common Starling 1, Black Francolin 5m and 2f, Eurasian Skylark, Common Shelduck 4
Larnaca Sewage Works – Greater White-fronted Goose 6, Ruddy Shelduck 2, Common Shelduck 3, Great White Pelican 1 imm, Eurasian Wigeon 4, Northern Pintail 10m and 2f, Grey Plover 1, Western Marsh Harrier 1,
Larnaca Airport Coast – Eurasian Curlew 2, Western Black Redstart
Pervolia – Corn Bunting 11
Larnaca Salt Lake – Greater Flamingo c600, Common Shelduck c150, Western Marsh Harrier 1, Common Crane 3, Spur-winged Lapwing 4, Common Snipe c15, Green Sandpiper 1, Heuglin’s Gull 2, Caspian Gull, Water Pipit 4, Grey Wagtail, Bluethroat, European Goldfinch 50+
Panagia Stazousa – Hen Harrier 1f, Long-legged Buzzard 1, Common Buzzard 1, Spanish Sparrow, European Serin
Agios Sozomenos – Northern Lapwing, Bluethroat 2, Finsch’s Wheatear 1m and 1f, Blue Rock Thrush 1m
Total species seen: 77
Little Grebe, Great Cormorant, European Shag, Great White Pelican, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Greater Flamingo, Greater White-fronted Goose, Ruddy Shelduck, Common Shelduck, Eurasian Wigeon, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Common Pochard, Western Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Common Crane, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Kentish Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Northern Lapwing, Little Stint, Common Snipe, Eurasian Curlew, Common Redshank, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Common Black-headed Gull, Heuglin’s Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Caspian Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Kingfisher, Crested Lark, Eurasian Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Water Pipit, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, European Robin, Bluethroat, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Finsch’s Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Eurasian Blackbird, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Corn Bunting
Great White Pelican, Larnaca, 18th December 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
A couple of hours around the Sewage Works area with Ruddy Shelduck, Pied Avocet, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Caspian Gull, Baltic and Heuglin’s Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Ferruginous Duck, Black-necked Grebe, Gadwall, Common Shelduck, Sandwich Tern, Lesser Short-toed Lark, Eurasian Curlew and Barn Swallow.
Plus the sight of a Western Marsh Harrier trying hard to put the flock of Eurasian Coot to flight so it could catch one – it had no joy while I was watching it, gave up and flew away. But I had the feeling it would go back and keep trying until it was successful.
Western Marsh Harrier over Eurasian Coot Larnaca Sewage Works 7th February 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Eurasian Stone Curlew Larnaca Airport Pools South 7th February 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Did the waterbird count around Larnaca Salt Lake today. Some interesting birds around despite the general lack of water. The Sewage Works pools had c750 Northern Shoveler, c490 Eurasian Teal, c130 Mallard, a Gadwall, 219 Greater Flamingo, a Ruff, two Ruddy Shelduck, a Common Shelduck, six Greater White-fronted Geese, a Tufted Duck, 11 Ferruginous Duck, 13 Black-necked Grebe, a Mediterranean and Armenian Gull and 11 Northern Lapwing. In the fields there were many Eurasian Skylark, some Red-throated Pipit, plenty of Spanish Sparrow and flocks of European Goldfinch, European Greenfinch and Common Linnet. On the Airport Pools South there was a flock of 330 Eurasian Golden Plover.
There is not a lot of water on the main Salt Lake and a lot of the birds mentioned below were seen in the north east corner where it is quite boggy: 9 Greater Flamingo , 2 Heuglin’s Gull , 1 Mediterranean Gull , 2 Armenian Gull , 1 Yellow-legged Gull, 39 Common Shelduck , c170 Kentish Plover, 4 Common Ringed Plover, 11 Corn Bunting, a Common Reed Bunting, 5 Common Snipe, 2 Water Pipit, 2 Spur-winged Lapwing, Water Rail (h), Eurasian Teal c175 and two Marsh Sandpiper.
Common Redshank, Meneou Pool, 15th December 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Female Sardinian Warbler keeping an eye on what’s above her, Larnaca Sewage Works 15th December (c) Cyprus Birding Tours