Cyprus Birding Tours

Offering guided bird watching tours around Cyprus

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Akrotiri morning 2nd July 2020

A morning around the Akrotiri peninsula with some interesting species seen.

Akrotiri Salt Lake
Slender billed Gull 50+
Common Tern 2
Gull billed Tern 4
Caspian Tern 1
Little Tern 15
Spotted Redshank 1
Marsh Sandpiper 4
Wood Sandpiper 1
Green Sandpiper 4
Common Redshank 4+
Greater Flamingo c1000
Little Ringed Plover 4
Little Egret 3
Black winged Stilt 100+

Akrotiri Marsh (Phasouri Reed beds)
Glossy Ibis 24
Little Egret 16 (see photo)
Grey Heron 2
Cattle Egret 8
Spur winged Lapwing 1
Squacco Heron 4
Little Bittern 1m
Eleonora’s Falcon 1
Red rumped Swallow 7 heading S
Black crowned Night Heron 1 juv in flightLittle Egret, Akrotiri 2nd July 2020

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Achna Dam morning 6th June 2020.

Achna Dam 6th June 2020 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Achna Dam 6th June 2020 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

I don’t remember as much water in Achna Dam before as I found today . But even so I managed to have a good walk in several areas and found some interesting birds. Its getting hotter though now so I guess walks of an hour or more will soon be out of the question!

Birds seen included:
Glossy Ibis 13
Squacco Heron 8
Gull billed Tern 12
Spur winged Lapwing 8
Great Cormorant 2
Grey Heron 3
Great Crested Grebe 1 ad
European Roller 1
Cattle Egret 2 (one with stick in bill)
Little Egret 2
Little Bittern 1f
Purple Heron 1
Common Hoopoe 4
Black winged Stilt 2

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Paphos area May 21st 2020

Headed towards Paphos yesterday for first day here without a lock down and restrictions on movement. Spent some time in the Akamas where I found plenty of European Roller, a Woodchat Shrike, several Black-headed Bunting, two Cretzschmar’s Bunting (see photo of female), European Turtle Dove, Red-rumped Swallow and Cyprus Wheatear. On the way home I visited Agia Varvara soakaways where there is still some water and spent time watching a Little Bittern and a Squacco Heron (see photo) fishing.

Cretzschmar's Bunting, Akamas 21st May 2020 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Akamas 21st May 2020 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Squacco Heron, Agia Varvara 21st May 2020 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Squacco Heron, Agia Varvara 21st May 2020 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

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Larnaca late afternoon 19th April 2019

Out for an hour before sunset in the Meneou/Spiros Pool area. A few birds seem to have been put down by the heavy storms in the area during the afternoon. Interesting species seen were:

Larnaca Airport Pools South
Little Tern 2
Squacco Heron 1 (see photo)

Spiros Pool
Little Bittern 1m
Northern Pintail 1m
Eurasian Wryneck 1
Little Tern 4
Common Redstart 1f
Black-tailed Godwit 1
Common Whitethroat 2

Spiros Beach
Dunlin 1
Little Stint c40 (See photo)
Eurasian Stone Curlew 2 (See photo)
Kentish Plover c30
Common Ringed Plover 3
Northern Wheatear 1m and 1f

Eurasian Stone Curlew, Larnaca 19th April 2019 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Stone Curlew, Larnaca 19th April 2019 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Little Stint, Larnaca 19th April 2019 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Little Stint, Larnaca 19th April 2019 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Squacco Heron, Larnaca, 19th April 2019 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Squacco Heron, Larnaca, 19th April 2019 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

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Paphos and Lady’s Mile 16th April 2019

Out again guiding for Birdwatching Breaks – today trying to dodge the heavy rain around Paphos with some success. Good views of a very mobile flock of Greater Short-toed Lark at Mandria with Eurasian Turtle Dove, Tawny Pipit, Western Yellow Wagtail and Squacco Heron also seen there. Several Collared Flycatcher seen at Timi as were a couple of Laughing Dove at Kouklia. Ending the day at Lady’s Mile and Zakaki Marsh we saw several Spotted Flycatcher, three Eurasian Spoonbill (see photo), a male Little Bittern and a Great Reed Warbler.

Eurasian Spoonbill, Lady's Mile 16th April 2019. (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Spoonbill, Lady’s Mile 16th April 2019. (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

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Paphos area 14th April 2019

A great day out around Paphos guiding for Birdwatching Breaks. Starting with Little Bittern and Baillon’s Crake at Agia Varvara we then saw a singing male Cyprus Warbler and at least seven Great Spotted Cuckoo (one photographed). We had European Bee-eater over our heads in off the sea at Mandria, while we were searching for the female Caspian Plover seen there earlier. We caught up with the Caspian Plover after lunch and then moved onto Timi where we found two male and a female Citrine Wagtail. The day finished with good views of a Scops Owl.

Great Spotted Cuckoo, Anarita Park, 14th April 2019 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Great Spotted Cuckoo, Anarita Park, 14th April 2019 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

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Akrotiri 29th October 2018

Continuing October’s run of either being out of the country when they are around or dipping on the month’s rarities, today was no exception! No sign of the Eurasian Oystercatcher, Common Rosefinch or even the Eurasian Bittern, found by local birders Ian & Kate Bloomer and Matt Smith today at Akrotiri, by the time I got there.

So instead I spent some time just sitting in the hide at Phasouri Reed-beds watching this juvenile Little Bittern hunting through the reeds.

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Akrotiri this morning 19th October 2018

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

Common Kingfisher, Zakaki, 19th October 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

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Akrotiri 14th October 2018

A spur of the moment visit to Akrotiri today. I didn’t see any raptor migration but had some good birds in any case.

Interesting sightings include:

Akrotiri Salt Lake/Zakaki run off area
Hen Harrier 1 ring tail
Ruff 6
Common Ringed Plover 26+
Common Snipe 2
Red-throated Pipit 8
Little Stint 24+
Western Marsh Harrier 6
Temminck’s Stint 1
Kentish Plover 150+
Greater Flamingo 400+ incl melanistic bird
Northern Wheatear 1
Spotted Crake 3 seen and another heard elsewhere
Collared Pratincole 1
Bluethroat 2
Sedge Warbler 1
Spanish Sparrow 40+
Eleonora’s Falcon 4

Zakaki Marsh hide
Black-headed Gull 6
Grey Heron 20+
Grey Wagtail 1
Water Rail 4
Spotted Crake 1
Bluethroat 1 with white on head
Squacco Heron 1
Little Egret 1
Spanish Sparrow 15

Phasouri Reed-beds Tower hide
Masked Shrike 1 juv
Western Marsh Harrier 1 maybe 2
Eurasian Reed Warbler 1
Common Kingfisher 1
Bluethroat 1
Little Bittern 1 juv

Akrotiri Gravel Pits
Northern Wheatear 1m

Bluethroat, Akrotiri Salt Lake 14th October 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Bluethroat, Akrotiri Salt Lake 14th October 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-throated Pipit, Akrotiri Salt Lake 14th October 2018-1

Red-throated Pipit, Akrotiri Salt Lake, 14th October 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Squacco Heron, Zakaki Marsh, 14th October 2018-1

Squacco Heron, Zakaki Marsh, 14th October 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Water Rail, Zakaki Marsh, 14th October 2018-1

Water Rail, Zakaki Marsh, 14th October 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Western Marsh Harrier, Zakaki Marsh, 14th October 2018-1

Western Marsh Harrier, Zakaki Marsh, 14th October 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Temminck's Stint, Akrotiri Salt Lake 14th October 2018-1

Temminck’s Stint, Akrotiri Salt Lake, 14th October 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

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Limassol area today

Spent the morning around Akrotiri where it was quiet with the best birds at least three Little Bittern at Zakaki Marsh, a group of a couple of hundred Greater Flamingo still on the Salt Lake where there were also Little Tern, Black-winged Stilt and Slender-billed Gull.

Akrotiri Salt Lake/Zakaki Run off
Greater Flamingo 300+
Slender-billed Gull 6
Little Tern 6+
Black-winged Stilt 21
Little Egret 2
Grey Heron 2
Little Stint c40
Ruff 8
Yellow Wagtail 1 in flight

Lady’s Mile
Little Egret 6 inc grey morph

Phasouri Reed-beds
Squacco Heron 2
European Turtle Dove 2

But the best part of the day  was the two hours I spent at Prastio Kellakiou in the late afternoon. Full of migrant breeders – Eurasian Hoopoe, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Masked Shrike, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, European Turtle Dove and Cyprus’ endemic sub-species Coal Tit and Jay. But the star was the hardworking male Black-headed Bunting who was kept busy feeding two fledglings in the shade of some olive trees (see the photo below that was taken at a distance). At least four other Black-headed Bunting males and one female were also in the area.

Black-headed Bunting, Prastio Kellakiou, 29th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-headed Bunting, Prastio Kellakiou, 29th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Greater Flamingo, Akrotiri Salt Lake 29th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Greater Flamingo, Akrotiri Salt Lake 29th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Cyprus Wheatear, Germasogeia Dam, 29th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Cyprus Wheatear, Germasogeia Dam, 29th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

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Akrotiri 2nd May 2017

A great day’s birding around Akrotiri with some good birds at Zakaki, Lady’s Mile, the Salt Lake and Phasouri.

Sightings included:

Zakaki Marsh 8.45am
Little Bittern 1f seen at least one other heard
Black-crowned Night Heron 1 juv and 1 ad
Water Rail 1 seen
European Bee-eater 40+ heading N at 17.30

Lady’s Mile
Curlew Sandpiper 12
Little Ringed Plover 2
Litttle Tern 4
Common Greenshank 1
Common Cuckoo 1
Ruff 90+
Little Stint 30+
Red-footed Falcon 1m (in morning)
Bar-tailed Godwit 1 (in afternoon)
Black-winged Stilt 2
Great White Egret 2 over
Akrotiri Salt Lake and Zakaki run off
Ruff c300+
Kentish Plover c25
Little Stint 50+
Common Ringed Plover 4
Black-winged Stilt 30+
Little Tern 3
White-winged Tern 17
Broad-billed Sandpiper 5
Greater Flamingo 200+
Red-throated Pipit h
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Bar-tailed Godwit 1 flying over am

Akrotiri Gravel Pits
Spotted Flycatcher 1
European Turtle Dove 1h
Eurasian Pied Flycatcher 1m and 1f
Common Whitethroat 1
Common Redstart 1m
Wood Sandpiper 1

Phasouri Reed Beds
Squacco Heron 1
Ruff 20+
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Glossy Ibis 9
Woodchat Shrike 1
Wood Sandpiper 5

Phasouri Bee-hives area
Eurasian Bittern 1 walking by side of road and creeping in vegetation feeding.

Entrance to Bishops Pool pm
European Bee-eatear 20+

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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Three Days Guiding, Akrotiri, Larnaca and Akamas 26th – 28th April 2017

Three days out with Mark, Willem, Oscar and Sjors around Akrotiri, Larnaca and Paphos produced a total of 112 different species/forms with a wide variety of types of birds and a few surprises. The only down side was the real lack of passerine migrants which were much decreased from mid-April but we had good visible migration of larger species especially Glossy Ibis and other herons as well as a Black Stork and the unexpected sight of three Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters over our heads at Phasouri.

Wednesday 26th April

This was spent around the various sites of the Akrotiri peninsula. We started at the hide overlooking Zakaki Marsh where we saw Ferruginous Duck through the reeds but had better views of a Baillons Crake in front of the hide where it competed for our attention with a Water Rail and a male and female Little Bittern. There were plenty of Eurasian Reed Warbler as well as a couple of Squacco Heron, Little Egret and Glossy Ibis. A singing Black Francolin came into the open and was well seen. Two Pallid Swift flew over the area and a Wood Sandpiper fed in the mud. Moving to Lady’s Mile a good selection of migrating waders included many Ruff, Black-winged Stilt and Little Stint, a lone Temminck’s Stint, a couple of Marsh and Wood Sandpiper and Dunlin and some Curlew Sandpiper. Several pairs of Kentish Plover were present as was a greyish Little Egret. Closer to the Salt Lake itself at the Zakaki runoff we saw a Black Stork thermalling up to the north as well as a distant White-winged Tern and Collared Pratincole. A group of more than sixty Gull-billed Tern were on the shore with some Slender-billed Gull and at least six Little Tern. A few Yellow Wagtail including thunbergi and feldegg race males were in the vegetation and we also found a female Black-eared Wheatear.

There were still a couple of hundred Greater Flamingo on the Salt Lake. A quick visit to Bishops Pool was notable for better views of Ferruginous Duck than at Zakaki as well as a good number of migrating Sand Martin over the water and some late Common Teal. An Eleonora’s Falcon flew over close to Sylvana’s as did a couple of European Turtle Dove and we also found two European Roller on the wires there. There was little of note around Agios Georgios Church so we drove across the Gravel Pits to Phasouri Reed beds finding a Grey Plover and a Whinchat on the way. At the reed-beds we saw another pair of Little Bittern, a single Cattle Egret, a Common Snipe, five Ferruginous Duck, three Glossy Ibis (with another 12 seen migrating over the area, another Wood Sandpiper, more Ruff and plenty of Eurasian Reed Warblers. As we were leaving three Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters flew over us – their call slightly different from their European counterparts. They were heading back towards the Gravel Pits area and we decided to go back there in the hope of re finding them.

We didn’t find them again but the decision to go back to there was a good one as we then saw two Greater Spotted Cuckoo, a Common Cuckoo, a European Roller, and a female Red-footed Falcon. Where had they been earlier? We finished the day at Kensington Cliffs where although Griffon Vulture let us down we had a wonderful aerial display from at least six Eleonora’s Falcon and many Alpine Swift.

Thursday 27th April

We headed for the Larnaca area today and started at the fields just outside Kivisili village. There were at least twenty Red-footed Falcon feeding and resting there as well as around eight kestrels that we could ID as Lesser as well as several Common as well. In the distance a female ring-tailed Harrier was quartering the fields – from the brief views of the underwing I managed it was most likely a female Pallid. We had just brief views of a Greater Spotted Cuckoo and Little Owl and found two recently fledged Corn Bunting. More than thirty Greater Short-toed Lark were feeding at Petounta Point and we saw our first group of migrating Glossy Ibis of the day (a total of at least 250 birds seen during the day), three migrating Purple Heron and two groups of Little Egret. The wooded area near Kiti Dam wall was quieter than it had been when I had visited on Monday – another reminder of the fact that migrant warbler passage seems to be largely over. But we did have two Spur-winged Lapwing, a male Golden Oriole and a single Great Spotted Cuckoo.

A quick detour via a post box in Kiti village produced a pair of Laughing Dove obviously breeding nearby. They are spreading throughout Larnaca. Around Larnaca Sewage Works and its pools we found another European Turtle Dove, a Common Cuckoo, a family party of Spectacled Warbler, a Great Reed Warbler, several Blackcap and Spotted Flycatcher, a male Black-eared Wheatear and a Whinchat. More visible migration – this time Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis and large flocks of Spanish Sparrow. On the pools themselves we had two White-winged Tern and two Collared Pratincole flying around in front of the hide as well as several Spur-winged Lapwing, some Black-winged Stilt, Ruff and Little Stint and a single Baltic Gull.

We found at least three Calandra Lark on the fields outside Pervolia as well as a male Northern Wheatear, a couple of Yellow Wagtail, plenty of Zitting Cisitcola and two male Black Francolin disputing their territories. Two Common Cuckoo were on wires near Meneou Pool – one of them a ‘rufous’ female. Our last stop was for a look at the waders on the Airport Pools (North) where the highlight was three Red-necked Phalarope.

Friday 28th April

A completely different day for our last day out which after a brief check of the fields at Mandria was concentrating in the Akamas. At Mandria we watched a group of swifts, including several Alpine come in off the sea and also found some Yellow Wagtail, a few fly over Red-throated Pipit and a single Tawny Pipit. We then heading to the valley behind Arodes village where our main target was the Black-headed Bunting. In the end, we found three singing males but also had good views of several Cyprus Wheatear, a singing male Cyprus Warbler, a fly over Eleonora’s Falcon and at least three male and two female Golden Oriole wwith at least four European Roller were in the area. There were plenty of Spotted Flycatcher, two Great Spotted Cuckoo and Red-rumped Swallow around as well.

Driving on through Pittokopos to Androlikou we found two more singing male Black-headed Bunting, Chukar, a male Lesser Kestrel and two Red-throated Pipit obligingly sitting on telegraph wires. Androlikou village had at least four European Roller and a couple of Cyprus Wheatear. A Common Hoopoe was singing from the top of a carob tree and as usual for the day there were several Spotted Flycatcher and singing Olivaceous Warbler.

A walk around the caravan site at the Baths of Aphrodite gave us another pair of Eurasian Golden Oriole, several Blackcap and a stunning male Red-backed Shrike. We also heard a Scops Owl but it wasn’t roosting anywhere visible. Two more were heard towards the Smygies picnic site and although Mark saw a small owl fly off again we couldn’t locate one for a proper view. We added Masked Shrike, European Serin and Cretzschmar’s Bunting to our list and saw two more European Roller. There were many migrating swifts and swallows including Alpine Swift, Red-rumped Swallow and Northern House Martin. A walk around some fields and carob groves produced another male Red-backed Shrike, a Tree Pipit, Whinchat and a male black and white Flycatcher which was probably a Pied. We heard some European Bee-eater fly over but couldn’t locate them against a sunny sky.

Thanks to Mark, Willem, Sjors and Oscar for three good days birding and some great birds.

Total species/forms seen – 112

Chukar, Black Francolin, Ferruginous Duck, Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Common Teal, Little Grebe, Greater Flamingo, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, European Turtle Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, Laughing Dove, Alpine Swift, Pallid Swift, Common Swift, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Cuckoo, Western Water Rail, Baillons Crake, Common Moorhen, Common Coot, Black Stork, Glossy Ibis, Common Little Bittern, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Purple Heron, Little Egret, European Shag, Black-winged Stilt, Grey Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruff, Curlew Sandpiper, Temminck’s Stint, Little Stint, Common Snipe, Red-necked Phalarope, Common Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Collared Pratincole, Slender-billed Gull, Black-headed Gull, Baltic Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Little Tern, Gull-billed Tern, White-winged Tern, Little Owl, Scops Owl, Western Marsh Harrier, Ring-tailed Harrier probably female Pallid, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Hoopoe, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Great Tit, Calandra Lark, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Zitting Cisticola, Olivaceous Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Northern House Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Barn Swallow, Sand Martin, Cetti’s Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Cyprus Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher, Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Black-eared Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Tree Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Tawny Pipit, Western Yellow Wagtail inc thunbergi, flava and feldegg races, White Wagtail, European Greenfinch, Common Linnet, European Goldfinch, European Goldfinch, Black-headed Bunting, Corn Bunting, Cretzschmar’s Bunting

Baillon's Crake, Zakaki Marsh 26th April 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Baillon’s Crake, Zakaki Marsh 26th April 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Little Bittern, Zakaki Marsh 26th April 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Little Bittern, Zakaki Marsh 26th April 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours