Cyprus Birding Tours

Offering guided bird watching tours around Cyprus


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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

 

 


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East of the island, 29th November 2016

Headed east today and managed to avoid the rain and get the two birds I had hoped for – a Great Crested Grebe at Akhna Dam (a scarce winter visitor to Cyprus, and missing from my Cyprus 2016 list) and the Steppe Grey Shrike at Cape Greco.

Akhna Dam
Great Crested Grebe 1
Northern Lapwing 4
Common Redshank 5
Common Ringed Plover 4
Little Stint 3
Common Snipe 1
Little Bittern 1 juv
Common Starling c80
Water Pipit 8+
Hen Harrier 1f
Cattle Egret 1
Grey Heron 2
Eurasian Wigeon 2

Cape Greco Sea Caves area
Finsch’s Wheatear 1f
Steppe Grey Shrike 1
Blue Rock Thrush 1f

Agia Trias
Little Egret 1
Grey Plover 1
Greater Sand Plover 1
Common Sandpiper 1
Common Kingfisher 1


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Akhna Dam and Agia Napa area this morning, 27th October 2016

Some interesting birds at Akhna Dam this morning where there is still a good level of water. The star was a juvenile Little Bittern but also there were a Grey Plover, a Black-tailed Godwit, four Dunlin, a juvenile Ruff, a Common Snipe, Common Redshank and Little Stint. Also a Little Egret, Grey Heron, six Eurasian Teal and three Northern Pintail. A Bluethroat, two Yellow Wagtail, nine Water Pipit and several Corn Bunting and White Wagtail were around the edges. A couple of Barn Swallow and a Sand Martin flew over.

At Macronissos Beach there were six Greater Sand Plover and around forty Kentish Plover. They were spooked by a Eurasian Sparrowhawk that flew along the coast and were very uneasy for a while afterwards.

Little Bittern, Akhna Dam 27th October 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Little Bittern, Akhna Dam 27th October 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Bluethroat, Akhna Dam 27th October 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Bluethroat, Akhna Dam 27th October 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

grey-heron-akhna-dam-27th-october-2016-1-of-1

Grey Heron, Akhna Dam 27th October 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Grey Plover, Akhna Dam 27th October 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Grey Plover, Akhna Dam 27th October 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Athalassa Dam, Nicosia this morning 9th June 2016

A walk around the dam at Athalassa today which still has plenty of water. A couple of pairs of Black-winged Stilt were present as were four Ferruginous Duck, an adult Little Bittern, two Squacco Heron, two Black-crowned Night Heron, four Little Egret and several European Turtle Dove. Eastern Olivaceous and Eurasian Reed Warbler could be heard and seen flitting in the trees and reeds and there were several Cetti’s Warbler. Several Mallard had large duckling with them and Eurasian Coot were feeding young – ranging from recently hatched to larger birds. Plenty of Common Moorhen and Little Grebe but no young seen of either species. As usual the area was full of Common Woodpigeon and Hooded Crow.

Black-winged Stilt, Athalassa 9th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-winged Stilt, Athalassa 9th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

European Turtle Dove, Athalassa Dam, 9th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

European Turtle Dove, Athalassa Dam, 9th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Coot with young, Athalassa 9th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Coot with young, Athalassa 9th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Woodpigeon, Athalassa 9th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Woodpigeon, Athalassa 9th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Larnaca Waterbird count this morning, 16th May 2016

Out in the Larnaca area for the waterbird count with interesting species found listed below:

Meneou Pool
Little Tern 2
Greater Flamingo 3
Kentish Plover 3 ad

Larnaca Sewage Works pools and surrounds
Black Francolin 1 m and 1f
Black Tern 1
White-winged Tern 2
Curlew Sandpiper 5,
Black-winged Stilt 8
Ruff 17
Ferruginous Duck 1
Little Stint 5
Common Ringed Plover 1
Spur-winged Lapwing 15
Common Black-headed Gull 1
Ruddy Shelduck 1
Sand Martin 4

Spiros Pool
Kentish Plover 2
Spur-winged Lapwing 1

Larnaca Salt Lake
Kentish Plover 23
Black-winged Stilt 1f
Ruff 42
Glossy Ibis 6
Black-crowned Night Heron 5
Grey Heron 1
Little Bittern 1m.
Squacco Heron 2
Spur-winged Lapwing 3
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Yellow Wagtail feldegg 1h
Common Redstart 1f
Eastern Olivaceous Warbler 2
Eurasian Reed Warbler c10

Ruddy Shelduck , Larnaca Sewage Works 16th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Ruddy Shelduck , Larnaca Sewage Works 16th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Squacco Heron Larnaca Salt Lake 16th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Ruddy Shelduck , Larnaca Sewage Works 16th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Oroklini Marsh this morning 14th May 2016

A brief visit to Oroklini Marsh where there was a Little Tern fishing, a Little Bittern, an adult and immature Black-crowned Night Heron and two Garganey as well as the usual Black-winged Stilt and Spur-winged Lapwing. On the coast of Larnaca south of the airport there was a Whimbrel flying west and two Little Tern on Meneou Pool with a Great Spotted Cuckoo nearby.

Two record shots from Oroklini as I attempt to master getting decent flight photos…..

Little Tern, Oroklini Marsh, 14th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Little Tern, Oroklini Marsh, 14th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Spur-winged Lapwing, Oroklini Marsh, 14th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Spur-winged Lapwing, Oroklini Marsh, 14th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours