Cyprus Birding Tours

Offering guided bird watching tours around Cyprus


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s Guiding Limassol area, 17th February 2015

First trip out of the new season was around Limassol with Ann and Peter. We visited Germasogeia Dam, Phassouri Reed Beds, Akrotiri Gravel Pits, Akrotiri Salt Lake, Zakaki Marsh,  Lady’s Mile and Kensington Cliffs. A windy day still mainly dominated by winter visitors although we found a Eurasian Hoopoe at the Gravel Pits and Barn Swallows and Common House Martins at Germasogeia Dam.  We had good views of a juvenile Caspian Gull and adult and juvenile Armenian Gull at Lady’s Mile with other highlights –  a Ferruginous Duck on Zakaki; Woodlarks at Akrotiri Gravel Pits; a male and a female Black Francolin in flight at Phassouri Reed Beds and a Long-legged Buzzard at Kensington Cliffs.

Days species – 57:

Little Grebe, Great Cormorant, Eurasian Shag, Little Egret, Greater Flamingo, Common Shelduck, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Ferruginous Duck, Western Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Eurasian Curlew, Common Black-headed Gull, Baltic Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Caspian Gull, Armenian Gull, Sandwich Tern, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Woodlark, Barn Swallow, Common House Martin, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, European Robin, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Blue Rock Thrush, Eurasian Blackbird, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Corn Bunting


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s Guiding Nicosia and Akrotiri, 23rd October 2014

Picking up Pat from her hotel in Nicosia we headed south east to the abandoned village of Agios Sozomenos. In the fields we heard and saw a few Eurasian Skylark, Meadow Pipit and Red-throated Pipit. Hundreds of Western Jackdaw were on the cliff face and we were really pleased to find two Cyprus Wheatear still present and a migrating Whinchat in with the many Common Stonechat that were setting up territories. A smart male Western Black Redstart stood out and we also had good views of Zitting Cisticola, Chukar and Spectacled Warbler. The target species for the area was the Finsch’s Wheatear that spends the winter in the area. I wasn’t sure if they had arrived and at first it seemed we were too early but then I heard one singing and we located a very smart male. We were then pleased to locate another further along the road. We were also treated to fly-bys from a Long-legged Buzzard, a Peregrine Falcon and a Western Marsh Harrier.

The sky looked very threatening and we drove through a heavy rain storm to Limassol and Phassouri Reed Beds. As the rain was stopping our timing was just right, and we saw a male and juvenile Red-footed Falcon circling up together with a Eurasian Sparrowhawk. Two European Honey Buzzard were also gaining height as were at least two Western Marsh Harrier. We heard a Common Kingfisher, a Water Rail and several Cetti’s Warbler in the reeds but the best bird there was a Moustached Warbler that we saw moving around at the base of the reeds. Akrotiri Gravel Pits held many Common Stonechat and we also found a flock of Common Linnet, Sardinian and Spectacled Warbler.

There were only a few Little Stint on Lady’s Mile and the water levels had risen at Zakaki Marsh but we still had close up views of a Common Kingfisher and two juvenile Yellow Wagtail. A couple of Little Egret were feeding in the mud and at least fourteen Grey Heron were present. A lone Sand Martin was perched on the electricity wires

We decided to finish the day at Kensington Cliffs and we arrived there at around 4.30pm. Here we were treated to an aerial display by several Eleonora’s Falcon – in fact when we looked in the distance we counted at least forty birds – but five were flying and calling over our heads, catching insects and avoiding Hooded Crows and Yellow-legged Gull. As the sun got lower seven Griffin Vulture came into view and flew over the cliff opposite us to their nearby roost. A spectacular sight to round off a great day.

Fifty seven species

Little Grebe, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Greater Flamingo, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, European Honey Buzzard, Eurasian Griffon Vulture, Western Marsh Harrier, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Water Rail, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Little Stint, Common Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Kingfisher, Crested Lark, Eurasian Skylark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, European Robin, Western Black Redstart, Whinchat, Common Stonechat, Cyprus Wheatear, Finsch’s Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Great Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet

 


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Morning’s Guiding Akrotiri 30th April 2014

Spent four hours this morning with Sheila and Declan around Akrotiri where we saw a good mixture of 58 different species. At Phassouri Reed Beds we had Glossy Ibis, Squacco Heron, Great Reed Warbler, Western Marsh Harrier, Garganey, several flava Yellow Wagtail, Whinchat and Turtle Dove. Driving through Akrotiri Gravel Pits we found three singing male Sardinian Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, a Common Buzzard, a Kentish Plover, a striking male Northern Wheatear and some Tawny Pipit. In the gardens of Agios Georgios Church there were several Spotted Flycatcher, a female Pied Flycatcher and a Woodchat Shrike. It was encouraging to find three male Cyprus Warbler singing in the junipers near the church.

Luckily there wasn’t too much of a heat haze and we were able to get good views of the Greater Flamingo on the Salt Lake. At least twelve European Bee-eater were seen as we headed to Lady’s Mile where we found more Kentish Plover and a couple of Little Stint. There were more Little Stint at Zakaki Marsh along with Little Ringed Plover, Wood and Common Sandpiper, Ruff , Common Snipe, Black-winged Stilt and two Spur-winged Lapwing. The star bird there though was a Collared Pratincole, closely followed by the Purple Heron pointed out to us hidden in the reeds by a visiting birder. There were more Yellow Wagtail feeding in the mud – this time mainly feldegg.

Total of 58 birds seen –

Little Grebe, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo, Mallard, Garganey, Western Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Collared Pratincole, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Ruff, Common Snipe, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Common Swift, European Bee-eater, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Common House Martin, Tawny Pipit, Yellow Wagtail flava and feldegg, Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch.

Spotted Flycatcher Agios Georgios Church April 30th 2014 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Spotted Flycatcher Agios Georgios Church April 30th 2014 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Days Guiding Pissouri and Troodos Foothills 25th April 2014

A visit to some different sites today with Steve and Julie concentrated on finding his two target species – Eleonora’s Falcon and Black-headed Bunting – but also produced some other interesting sightings.

We started our search for the Eleonora’s Falcon at Petra tou Romiou where we found several Alpine Swift, singing Cyprus Wheatear and Warbler and heard Chukar. Unusually we also heard a calling Scops Owl. More Alpine Swift were at Pissouri where we had great views of a male Cyprus Warbler, heard but couldn’t see a Black Francolin and Steve spotted a Hoopoe flying over the area. Our first Eleonora’s Falcon was seen by the roadside on the way between Pissouri and Avdimou. We had stopped to watch four European Rollers that were on roadside wires and an Eleonora’s Falcon flew nearby.

At Avdimou Bay we found several Cyprus Wheatear and a fly-by migrating Lesser Black-backed Gull of the fuscus race (Baltic Gull) was a good surprise. Arriving at Kensington Cliffs we were quickly treated to the aerial show of at least six Eleonora’s Falcon. We spent at least half an hour enjoying them and also saw one of the local Peregrine Falcon, a migrating juvenile Western Marsh Harrier and up to ten Alpine Swift.

One of our targets enjoyed, we then headed inland to see if Black-headed Buntings had arrived on their territories in the Omodos area. On the way we saw another Roller and pairs of Great Spotted Cuckoo and Turtle Dove. We sat and enjoyed the scenery in a valley outside the village. We could neither hear nor see any Black-headed Bunting but were treated to a pair of Long-legged Buzzard flying over the area – one of which had a rat in its talons and we assumed they were off to feed it to their young somewhere nearby. We also saw a Peregrine Falcon and a couple of Red-rumped Swallow and European Serin. Both Sardinian and Cyprus Warbler were heard and seen and Cyprus Wheatear were on territories. Several Eastern Olivaceous Warbler were singing in the thick vegetation but we couldn’t succeed in our attempts to actually see one. As we left I finally heard a singing male Black-headed Bunting and we managed just brief views of it as it flew away and out of sight over a ridge.

We headed back towards Limassol and then back inland to the east of that town to Prastio Kellakiou where I hoped we may find Black-headed Bunting. We were in luck and heard at least one as soon as we arrived. In the end there were three singing males and we managed much better views of them than at Omodos. We also found at least six Cretzschmar’s Bunting, several of which were singing, and two pairs of Masked Shrike. The area was full of Spanish Sparrow and a group of at least twenty European Bee-eater flew over.

An enjoyable day with some great bird watching moments – quality rather than quantity summing up the day.

Forty six species seen

Western Marsh Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin, Lesser Black-backed Gull (Baltic Gull), Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Eurasian Scops Owl (heard), Common Swift, Alpine Swift, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Great Tit, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Black-headed Bunting


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s Guiding Limassol 9th April 2014

After the windy stormy weather of the previous day I was concerned as I picked up Dick, Nancy, Al and Alice that we would also be affected by the weather on our day out. As it was we were lucky and the only rain we encountered was as we were driving to Prastio Kellakiou late in the afternoon. It was a great day out in interesting company, visited several sites around Limassol and found a total of 75 different species the most notable of which were:

Germasogeia Dam – Squacco Heron, Osprey, Spotted Crake, Little Crake, Stock Dove, Roller, Hoopoe, Cyprus Wheatear, Cyprus Warbler

Phassouri Reed Beds – Squacco Heron , Glossy Ibis, Water Rail (h), Turtle Dove, Great Reed Warbler

Akrotiri Gravel Pits – Hen Harrier, Tawny Pipit, Common Redstart, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Cyprus Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Collared Flycatcher, Woodchat Shrike

Zakaki Marsh – Black-winged Stilt, Citrine Wagtail

Prastio Kellakiou – Cyprus Warbler, Masked Shrike, Cretzschmar’s Bunting

Collared Flycatcher Agios Georgios Church, Akrotiri 9th April 2014 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Collared Flycatcher Agios Georgios Church, Akrotiri 9th April 2014 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Limassol this afternoon, 26th March 2014

A quick visit to Limassol this afternoon with quality birds seen rather than a large quantity! Got excellent views of the White-throated Kingfisher in a garden behind the channel opposite the port. Although not close enough for a photo it sat for at least twenty minutes while I watched through binoculars.

Had earlier visited the Debenhams area of the town for another look at the Laughing Dove there so felt a bit cheated when one flew out of the Port in front of me while I was looking at the kingfisher! They seem to be getting well established in Limassol now.

There were two male and a female Citrine Wagtail on Zakaki Marsh. There were also several Wood Sandpiper, Common Snipe and Yellow Wagtail. A brief visitor was an adult Baltic Gull which flew in for a few minutes.


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s guiding Nicosia and Limassol 21st March 2014

Starting from Nicosia this morning for a day out with David,who was in Cyprus for business  and looking to see some new birds, we headed first to Agios Sozomenos. No sign of the over wintering Finsch’s Wheatear and they seem to have left but we did find a singing male Spectacled Warbler, some Spanish Sparrows, a Little Owl, some late Song Thrush and a Blackbird, Blackcap and Zitting Cisticola. We could hear at least four Black Francolin and managed to locate one on a rocky outcrop. A calling Common Quail though could not be located.

Heading to Limassol we saw a Long-legged Buzzard over the motorway near Mari and then another over the Amathus Archaeological Site. Around Amathus we found both the Cyprus endemics – a single male Cyprus Wheatear and several singing Cyprus Warbler. A couple of Sardinian Warbler were also singing and we had the  first of the day’s Isabelline Wheatear there.

At Germasogeia Dam we found several waders – Common Snipe, Green and Common Sandpiper and a Water Pipit which was almost in full breeding plumage. A few Black-headed Wagtail were also at the water’s edge and a Blue-headed flew over. I found one of David’s target species in the reeds – a male Bluethroat but unfortunately it disappeared before David could find it. We spent a while trying to relocate it but luck wasn’t on our side.

We headed to Akrotiri with our first stop around the small church. Driving towards the church we found many interesting migrants in a small area – a Masked Shirke, four male Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, a female Cyprus Wheatear, some Isabelline Wheatear and a Tawny Pipit. Several Red-rumped Swallow were flying around with the many Barn Swallow and we could hear a Cyprus Warbler singing. A female Blue Rock Thrush perched for a few moments on a juniper bush and a Serin flew in to the area. Around the church itself we found a male and a female Common Redstart, several Lesser Whitethroat, a Hoopoe and many Chiffchaff. Driving over the Gravel Pits we saw a Great Spotted Cuckoo and a hunting ring-tail Hen Harrier.

At Phassouri Reed Beds we found the resident Cattle Egret and two Little Egret. A female Garganey flew in to one of the shallow pools where Wood and Green Sandpiper and Ruff were feeding. A Water Rail called and more Red-rumped Swallow flew over. On the Salt Lake itself there were around 100 Greater Flamingo and a couple of Common Shelduck which we looked at through the telescope despite the haze. More than forty Ruff were feeding on Lady’s Mile and we also found some Little Stint, Kentish Plover and a single Common Ringed Plover.

The rather unattractive looking Zakaki Marsh produced better birds than we expected. There were four Little Ringed Plover, a Green Sandpiper and a Common Snipe as well as a couple of Black-headed Wagtail. A Western Marsh Harrier flew over and then we saw the star birds there – a beautiful male Citrine Wagtail and a Eurasian Spoonbill. This meant we stayed there longer than intended and the sun was setting as we reached Kensington Cliffs. We didn’t see any Griffon Vulture but we did see at least ten Alpine Swift and another Long-legged Buzzard which was mobbed by Common Kestrel and Western Jackdaw as it flew across the Bay. A quick visit to the Stadium close by added European Robin to our day list.

Thanks to David for a great day out with a real variety of species.

Birds seen – eighty six:

European Shag, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Eurasian Spoonbill. Greater Flamingo, Common Shelduck, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Garganey, Western Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Quail, Water Rail, Eurasian Coot, Little Ringed Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Little Stint, Ruff, Common Snipe, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, Common Kingfisher, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Eurasian Skylark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Water Pipit, Tawny Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Blue-headed Wagtail, Black-headed Wagtail, Citrine Wagtail, White Wagtail, European Robin, Bluethroat, Western Black Redstart, Common Redstart, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Eurasian Blackbird, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Masked Shirke, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European  Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Corn Bunting


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Two days guiding Paphos and Limassol 15th & 16th March 2014

Harish and Deepa were visiting Cyprus on a birding break and we visited sites in Paphos and Limassol. They were especially keen to get photographs of new species – this being their first birding trip in Europe. To give them a chance to appreciate the new birds they asked not to be taken to wetland sites as they wanted to concentrate on passerines and raptors.

Day one – Saturday 15th March

We visited Cape Drepanum, Paphos Headland, Mandria and Anarita Park. We found several Sylvia warblers including resident Sardinian and migrant Subalpine and Rüppell’s. An unexpected bird at Cape Drepanum was a male singing Cyprus Warbler. We had good views of Isabelline and Northern Wheatear as well as Western Black Redstart, Blue-headed Wagtail, Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat. We also found a male Finsch’s Wheatear at Anarita Park and a Black Francolin at Mandria.

Day two – Sunday 16th March

We started at Amathus and found at least eight singing male Cyprus Warbler as well as a female Blue Rock Thrush and five Chukar. A Masked Shrike, a Bluethroat, a Crag Martin and two migrating White Stork were the highlights at Germasogeia Dam although disappointingly we didn’t see any raptors there. We found several Western Marsh Harrier at Phassouri including a migrating adult male. A ringtail Hen Harrier and several Common Buzzard were also seen. There were many Northern Wheatear in the area and we found a Sedge Warbler, Black-headed Wagtail and another Bluethroat around the reed beds.

Offshore was a flock of at least 300 Garganey and around 150 Black-headed Gull and migrating Great Cormorant passed over. At least one Great Spotted Cuckoo was in the Gravel Pits area as well as three maybe four Hoopoe.

Two intensive days of birding in enjoyable company with a pleasing number of species considering we didn’t go looking for waterbirds as well.

 Seventy two species

Little Grebe, Great Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, White Stork, Garganey, Mallard, Common Teal, Western Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Common Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, European Coot, Common Snipe, Green Sandpiper, Ruff, Common Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Woodlark, Eurasian Skylark, Eurasian Crag Martin, Barn Swallow, Common House Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Water Pipit, Blue-headed Wagtail, Black-headed Wagtail, White Wagtail, European Robin, Bluethroat, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Finsch’s Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Rüppell’s Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Corn Bunting


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Akrotiri and Amathus today, 26th February 2014

My planned visit to Akrotiri today luckily coincided with the discovery yesterday of a Cream-coloured Courser at Akrotiri Gravel Pits. Fortunately it was easy to find and as well as seeing that I got my first Isabelline Wheatears (six in total) and Great Spotted Cuckoo of the year. On the coast there were two Eurasian Curlew and in the reeds at Phassouri I found a ReedBunting.  There were at least three Western Marsh Harrier and three Common Buzzard in the area. Several Barn Swallows and House Martin were flying around and before I arrived another birder had seen a group of around fifty Common Swift pass over.

I later found one of the Laughing Doves that are now breeding in a residential area of Limassol. They are probably escapes but are well established in the area. Afterwards I went to Amathus where I found another Isabelline Wheatear, five Black Redstart, sixty Spanish Sparrow, over thirty Common Linnet, several Song Thrush and a female Blackbird, two male Cyprus Warbler, a couple of Chukar and more than twelve Corn Bunting.

Cream-coloured Courser Akrotiri Gravel Pits February 26th 2014 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Cream-coloured Courser Akrotiri Gravel Pits February 26th 2014 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Cattle Egret Phassouri 26th February 2014 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Cattle Egret Phassouri 26th February 2014 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Spanish Sparrow Amathus 26th February 2014 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Spanish Sparrow Amathus 26th February 2014 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Two Days’ Guiding Limassol and Paphos 17th & 19th February 2014

Two days birding with Paula and Jack over from Canada for a couple of weeks. Paula’s wish list had contained several passage migrants which unfortunately the timing of her visit wouldn’t allow for – infact the only spring migrant we saw were Barn Swallow. It was interesting to take out a couple with little experience of European species and therefore did not tire of the many Common Stonechat and Crested Lark we saw which we take for granted here.

We spent Monday in the Limassol area starting at Germasogeia Dam where we were able to see Common and Long-legged Buzzard and a pair of Bonelli’s Eagle. Flocks of Chaffinch, Linnet, Serin, European Goldfinch, Spanish Sparrow and Meadow Pipit were around and several Great Cormorant, Common Coot and Common Teal were on the water. There were plenty of Common Stonechat and Chiffchaff but although we could hear singing Song Thrush and several flew quickly past us, none would stay still in the open for Paula to get good views of them.

It was very windy on the Akrotiri Peninsula and there were not many small birds out in the open. We did find the long-staying young Common Crane which is now acquiring adult plumage and had brief glimpses of a couple of Water Pipit. At least eight Cattle Egret were present together with a single Little Egret. Two flocks of Rock Dove flew over. A couple of Western Marsh Harrier were flying over the area and we disturbed a perched Common Buzzard which flew off in front of the car. On the coast there was a large flock of at least fifty European Greenfinch. On Lady’s Mile we found three roosting Common Ringed Plover and three Kentish Plover as well as a Little Stint. There were four adult Armenian Gull and around twenty juveniles on the sea together with over a hundred Common Black-headed Gull.

We tried out the new hide overlooking Zakaki Marsh but the wind made viewing unpleasant. There were a couple of Teal together with some White Wagtail, a Water Pipit and a Green Sandpiper. I heard a Common Snipe fly off but we were unable to see it. We headed to Kensington Cliffs to finish the day where a single Griffon Vulture rose up from the cliffs to greet us. We spent some time watching it having found a relatively sheltered viewing point. Paula was pleased to get her first view of Common Woodpigeon on the trees there but only I was able to see the European Shag heading east over the bay.

A trip around Paphos was planned for Wednesday and we started with a walk around the Headland. The sea was calm and we had no wind, so we were optimistic of seeing a few more of our target species. A male Western Black Redstart was the first bird we found. There were several Eurasian Skylark flying over the area and we watched a singing Corn Bunting, a male Sardinian Warbler as well as Linnets and Meadow Pipit. I found a Red-throated Pipit but it was disturbed before Paula could see it. We found the Eurasian Golden Plover on the shore as well as the long-staying Dunlin. The four Greater Sand Plover were harder to find but we soon got the ‘scope on them. Each one had slightly different plumage, ranging from winter to almost in full breeding plumage.

At Paphos Sewage Works we were able to see five Spur-winged Lapwing but the star birds there were the large flocks of European Serin, probably two hundred birds in total, which were singing and flying around the area. We were pleased to get a good view of a Cetti’s Warbler which we had heard calling as well as a male Blackcap. The Song Thrush continued to refuse to allow Paula good views however. A Common Buzzard circled over the area and an army helicopter flying over and scaring the birds meant the six Cattle Egret landed in front of us. We spent most of our time at Mandria looking for Red-throated Pipit and were pleased to find a flock of about twenty as we were leaving the area. They came close to the car and we were able to sort out the ID differences between them and the Meadow Pipit. Flocks of Eurasian Skylark were everywhere – even coming close to us as we ate our picnic lunch. Eight Golden Plover were present but despite searching for an early Isabelline Wheatear reported early in the week we were unlucky. A female Hen Harrier flew over giving Paula and Jack the chance to compare it with the Northern Harrier they were more familiar with.

We headed inland and at Anarita Park were pleased to find two male Finsch’s Wheatear and a male Blue Rock Thrush and Paula was also able to get another look at a Chukar. A flock of Woodlark obligingly stopped on a boulder near the track as we drove past and we could compare its characteristics with the Crested and Skylark we had seen earlier. As no Cyprus Wheatear had been reported yet I hoped that we would be able to find an endemic Cyprus Warbler at least for Paula and Jack. We headed to Asprokremmos Dam where we luckily found a very smart male defending his territory. Unluckily only I saw the Little Owl in his cave nearby. On the water there were at least one hundred gull – probably Yellow-legged. We finished our day at Kouklia Soakaways were we saw two Moustached Warbler and heard at least one other.

Although our Monday had not been as productive as we had hoped, Wednesday made up for it and I would like to thank Jack and Paula for their interesting company.

68 species:

Great Cormorant, European Shag, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Common Shelduck, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Eurasian Griffon Vulture, Western Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Common Crane, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Greater Sand Plover, Eurasian Golden Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Dunlin, Common Snipe, Green Sandpiper, Common Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Armenian Gull, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Little Owl, Crested Lark, Woodlark, Eurasian Skylark, Barn Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Water Pipit, White Wagtail, European Robin, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Finsch’s Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Moustached Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Corn Bunting.


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Peregrine Falcon, Merlin, Long-legged Buzzard and other raptors around Limassol today, 22nd January 2014

Went to Limassol to try and find the Pied Kingfisher that was seen around Limassol port last week but although I was unlucky with that I had an enjoyable day out. In the canal close to the port I watched a Water Rail creeping through the reeds and also found several Cetti’s Warbler, two Little Egret, two Grey Wagtail, several Water Pipit, a Common Snipe and a Common Kingfisher.

At Zakaki there were plenty of Black-headed Gull, Common Teal and Coot but the highlight of the day occurred there when two Peregrine Falcon flew over hotly pursued by a Merlin. One of the Peregrines and the Merlin even seemed to grapple at one stage. It was unclear why this was happening but am guessing it could have been a squabble over prey. The Merlin was being very aggressive towards the other two larger falcons.

There were several Marsh Harrier and a Hen Harrier as well as a couple of Common Buzzard at Phassouri Reed Beds. I heard a Water Rail there but couldn’t see it and found six Reed Buntings feeding on the reeds. In the Gravel Pits area the hunting Hen Harrier put up the two Eurasian Curlew that have been there since the new year.

I went to Germasogeia Dam in the late afternoon stopping there to walk around the Finikaria end of the dam. There were twelve Crag Martin flying around the area and a Long-legged Buzzard perched on a tree. I also saw a Peregrine Falcon as well as a Little Owl and more Water Pipit, Common Snipe and Grey Wagtail, as well as mixed flocks of finches – Linnets, Serin , Chaffinch and Goldfinch – and some Corn Bunting.

 Long-legged Buzzard, Finikaria, 22nd January 2014 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Long-legged Buzzard, Finikaria, 22nd January 2014 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours