Cyprus Birding Tours

Offering guided bird watching tours around Cyprus

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Waterbird Count Larnaca 12th August 2017

Back in Larnaca and out early to do the monthly waterbird count there. Good to find three Broad-billed Sandpiper and a Grey Plover on the Sewage Works pools but very dry elsewhere with just a small stream of water in the Kamares end of the main Salt Lake.

Larnaca Sewage Works
Mallard 248
Ferruginous Duck 22
European Coot 40
Spur-winged Lapwing 29
Black-winged Stilt 11
Little Grebe 6
Yellow-legged Gull 22
Dunlin 10+
Broad-billed Sandpiper 3
Little Stint 15
Kentish Plover 5
Green Sandpiper 2
Northern Shoveler 4
Garganey 5
Common Teal 2
Grey Plover 1
Yellow Wagtail h
Ruff 41
Common Sandpiper 6
Grey Heron 1
Temminck’s Stint 1

Spiros Beach
Yellow-legged Gull 17
Kentish Plover 26 inc several juvs

Larnaca Airport Coast
Yellow-legged Gull 36
Pallid Swift 2

Larnaca Salt Lake (Tekke area)
Masked Shrike 3 imm

Larnaca Salt Lake (Kamares area)
Spur-winged Lapwing 10 inc 1 juv
Common Redshank 1 (see photo).
Green Sandpiper 1
Common Kingfisher 1

Common Redshank, Larnaca Salt Lake 12th August 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Redshank, Larnaca Salt Lake 12th August 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

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Waterbird Count Larnaca 18th May 2017

There seemed to have been a clear out of birds overnight and there were less around than yesterday but still some migrants around including a Broad-billed Sandpiper on the Salt Lake. Other birds included:

Larnaca Sewage Works
Grey Heron 2
Little Tern 7
Yellow-legged Gull 1
Black-crowned Night Heron 1 along coast being mobbed by Hooded Crow
Ruff 5
Little Stint 3
Common Sandpiper 1
Mallard 18 plus 1 female with 10 ducklings
Little Grebe 6
Common Coot 11
Sand Martin 20+
Barn Swallow 200+
Common Swift 50+
Northern House Martin 10+

Spiros Pool
Red-backed Shrike 1m
Greater Short-toed Lark 2

Larnaca Salt Lake
Little Owl 1
Eurasian Thick-knees (Stone Curlew) 1 h
Spur-winged Lapwing 16
Wood Sandpiper 5
Broad-billed Sandpiper 1
Little Stint 22
Temminck’s Stint 1
Glossy Ibis 8
Curlew Sandpiper 2
Ruff 9
Squacco Heron 1 (see photos)
Black-crowned Night Heron 2 over road near Airport

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Waterbird Count Larnaca 14th January 2017

Out counting the waterbirds around Larnaca today was very enjoyable – not a lot of Greater Flamingos to count (last year there were 12000+ on this day!) – but lots of interesting birds including the largest flock of Greylag Geese in Cyprus for more than 30 years, five Pallas’ Gulls, two Common Quail, two Barn Swallow and plenty more. One of the Pallas’ Gulls was sitting at the north end of the Salt Lake with some Greater Flamingos (see record photo below).

Greater Flamingo and a Great Black-backed Gull, Larnaca Salt Lake, 14th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Greater Flamingo and a Great Black-backed Gull, Larnaca Salt Lake, 14th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Meneou Pool
Common Redshank 4
Greater Flamingo 97
Common Shelduck 43
Common Ringed Plover 2
Kentish Plover 2

Larnaca Airport Pools South
Eurasian Stone Curlew 5

Larnaca Sewage Works
Eurasian Curlew 17
Great Cormorant 24
Greater White-fronted Goose 8
Eurasian Wigeon 16
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Eurasian Teal 736
Northern Shoveler 16
Mallard 232
Great Black-headed Gull (Pallas Gull) 2 ad and 2 imm
Black-necked Grebe 3
Northern Pintail 4
Tufted Duck 1m
Caspian Gull 3
Meadow Pipit c30
Great White Pelican 1
Mediterranean Gull 1 imm

Spiros Pool
Greater Flamingo 37
Eurasian Wigeon 3
Eurasian Golden Plover 336

Larnaca Airport Coast
European Shag 2

Larnaca Airport Pools North
Greater Flamingo 37
Common Shelduck 26
Northern Shoveler 41
Kentish Plover 4
Common Redshank 3
Dunlin 12

Larnaca Salt Lake
Common Starling 50
Greater Flamingo 1028
Common Shelduck 576
Common Ringed Plover 8
Little Stint 39
Common Redshank 7
Common Black-headed Gull 261
Greylag Geese 57 (presumably same birds as those at Akrotiri during the week)
Dunlin 62+
Hen Harrier 1
Black-necked Grebe 12
Slender-billed Gull 1 ad
Caspian Gull 60+
Armenian Gull 24
Great Black-headed Gull 1 ad
Common Quail 2 flushed
Corn Bunting c60
Common Buzzard 2
Common Snipe 4
Spanish Sparrow 20+
Common Reed Bunting 1h
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Song Thrush 2
Eurasian Blackbird 1
Marsh Sandpiper 1
Common Greenshank 1

Kamares area
Spur-winged Lapwing 3
Common Chiffchaff 50+
Moustached Warbler 1
Yellow Wagtail 1 1st winter bird – same as seen there in mid Dec
Common Snipe 1
Green Sandpiper 1
Common Redshank 1
Common Ringed Plover 1
Western Jackdaw 15
Barn Swallow 2
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Water Pipit 2

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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Guiding Larnaca and Nicosia 17th & 18th December 2016

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

Cape Greco – Chukar 10+

Makronissos Beach – Eurasian Skylark c40, Kentish Plover 37

Sunday 18th December:

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

Great White Pelican, Larnaca, 18th December 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours




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Waterbird Count, Larnaca area this morning 26th October 2016

Due to the continued drought this was probably the quickest October Waterbird Count I have ever done, although where there was some water there were birds. Did not see the Greater White-fronted Geese or Black-necked Grebes seen on the Sewage Pools on Saturday.

Update: the five Greater White-fronted Geese were present at 17.00pm

Larnaca Sewage Works
Eurasian Skylark 3+
Mallard 129
Northern Shoveler 153
Eurasian Teal 25
Dunlin 2
Greater Flamingo 1 ad
Common Redshank 1
Eurasian Coot 1
Little Stint 23
Barn Swallow 5
Meadow Pipit 1+
Greater Cormorant 2
Kentish Plover 10
Red-throated Pipit 2
Yellow-legged Gull 9
Spiros Pool
Eurasian Curlew 3
Spiros Beach
Yellow-legged Gull 11
Armenian Gull 1
Larnaca Salt Lake
Little Owl 1
Common Kingfisher 1
Common Moorhen 2
Green Sandpiper 1
Little Stint 1
Spur-winged Lapwing 2
Grey Wagtail 1
Common Snipe 3

Dunlin 1

Green Sandpiper, Larnaca Salt Lake, 26th October 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Green Sandpiper, Larnaca Salt Lake, 26th October 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

White Wagtail, Larnaca Salt Lake, 26th October 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

White Wagtail, Larnaca Salt Lake, 26th October 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

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Akhna Dam, 27th September 2016

With not much water anywhere on the island at the moment I spent a couple of hours at Akhna Dam today. There is still some water here. Highlight was a fly over Osprey but I also had:

Common Redshank 3
Common Greenshank 1
Dunlin 3
Curlew Sandpiper 1
Common Ringed Plover 3
Glossy Ibis 1
Ruff 2 juv
Common Quail 1
Osprey 1
Common Snipe 1
Spur-winged Lapwing 6
Common Kingfisher 1

Glossy Ibis, Akhna Dam 27th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Glossy Ibis, Akhna Dam 27th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Osprey, Akhna Dam 27th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Osprey, Akhna Dam 27th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

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Larnaca Sewage Works this morning 7th August 2016

Still some interesting waders on Larnaca Sewage Works pools with an adult and a juvenile Pied Avocet among them today.

Larnaca Sewage Works 7th August 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Larnaca Sewage Works 7th August 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

The juvenile can just be made out in this photo taken from a distance. Also present:

Black-tailed Godwit 1
Spotted Redshank 2
Temminck’s Stint 2+
Little Stint 40+
Little Ringed Plover 1
Dunlin 3
Curlew Sandpiper 6
Wood Sandpiper 2
Green Sandpiper 1
Ruddy Shelduck 1
Garganey 9
White-winged Tern 3
Ruff 6
Common Redshank 1
Marsh Sandpiper 1
Ferruginous Duck 3
Yellow-legged Gull 31

Sprios Pool
Yellow-legged Gull 92 (all juvs)

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Interesting migrants in Larnaca area this morning, 22nd August 2015

Had my first Pallid Harrier of the autumn today with a juvenile quartering the fields near Larnaca Desalination Plant. A Common Kingfisher was on the coast there and several Yellow Wagtail were in the fields. It was strange to see around twenty Ruff on the bone dry Spiros Pool.

On the Sewage Pools there were seven Garganey, around four Northern Shoveler and at least one Eurasian Teal – migrants mixed in with the resident Mallards. Around the edge were also some migrant waders – a Black-tailed Godwit, a Sanderling, two Common Ringed Plover, a Common Redshank, around twenty Little Stint, five Common Sandpiper and a Green Sandpiper. Two moulting adult White-winged Tern were flying over the water together with a juvenile. There are still good numbers of Black-winged Stilt and Spur-winged Lapwing there.

Near Tekke Mosque there were two Lesser Grey Shrike and two male, three female and a juvenile Red-backed Shrike.

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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s guiding around Limassol, 12th May 2015

For our second day out this spring, I met John and Madeline at Avdimou and we headed for Kensington Cliffs. We stopped to watch a singing male Sardinian Warbler and then scanned the bay. We quickly found several Eleonora’s Falcon on the cliffs and then watched as others flew close to us and around the bay. On some rocks in the bay five Squacco Heron were resting. Both that species and strangely Common House Martin were present at most of the coastal sites we visited during the day. Spotted Flycatcher were also present in good numbers around the Akrotiri Peninsula and we found our first of the day at Phassouri Reed Beds where we also had at least five Squacco Heron, a Cattle Egret, several Little Egret, six Glossy Ibis , a juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron, up to sixteen Wood Sandpiper and a single Ruff. Five Eurasian Turtle Dove flew over as did a Western Marsh Harrier. In the reeds were several Eurasian Reed Warbler and also a Woodchat Shrike, while two female Black-headed Wagtail were feeding in the footsteps of one of the grazing cattle.

The Gravel Pits were quieter but we did find a Purple Heron, Kentish Plover, Whinchat and Spotted Flycatcher. In the gardens of Agios Georgios Church we found another Woodchat Shrike and at least five Spotted Flycatcher. Madeline located a yellowish warbler in one of the pines which then started singing. The ID was then obvious – an Icterine Warbler – the star bird of the day and a lifer for John and Madeline.  We could see around a hundred Greater Flamingo on the main Salt Lake and spotted a Great Egret feeding at the edge with several Little Egret. A female Montagu’s Harrier flew over the area. We had our lunch in the shade of the trees near Bishop’s Pool watching European Bee-eater and yet another Spotted Flycatcher. As we drove on a male Golden Oriole flew in front of us.

There had been a clear out of waders on Lady’s Mile since I was last there although on the eastern end we found nearly twenty Common Ringed Plover, several Ruff, many Little Stint and some Wood Sandpiper. Another good find was a Little Gull and six Squacco Heron were migrating along the coast. At the Zakaki Marsh hide we watched more Wood Sandpiper and female Black-headed Wagtail. We also found another Squacco Heron together with six Little Egret and a Grey Heron. We then visited the east side of the Salt Lake to get better views of some of the waders we had seen there when watching the Greater Flamingo. The light and heat haze were against us but we did see four Little Tern, several Black-winged Stilt and more Ruff, Common Ringed Plover and Little Stint. In the distance we could see a hazy flock of terns feeding – it was impossible to ID them with any certainty but it is likely they included White-winged and Whiskered.

We then headed inland to our final location at Kellakiou. On the way a Collared Flycatcher was seen from the side of the road. At Kellakiou we found a couple of Cyprus Wheatear and a single Cyprus Warbler. Eastern Olivaceous Warbler were singing and European Bee-eater migrating over the area. Eurasian Turtle Dove, European Serin, Common Chaffinch, Spanish Sparrow and juvenile European Goldfinch were coming down to drink at a small pool of water. Four Red-rumped Swallow were also flying down to drink there. At least three male Black-headed Bunting were singing and we were able to get close views of two of them as well as of at least seven Cretzschmar’s Bunting. A lone Masked Shrike was seen flying across the valley. This great experience, both listening and watching both migrant and resident breeders setting up territories ended our day out.

Total species seen – 68

Little Grebe, Black-crowned Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Great Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo, Mallard, Western Marsh Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier, Common Kestrel, Eleonora’s Falcon, Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Little Stint, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Little Gull, Common Black-headed Gull, Tern spp, Little Tern, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Eurasian Scops Owl (h), Common Swift, European Bee-eater, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Black-headed Wagtail, Whinchat, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Icterine Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Collared Flycatcher, Great Tit, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Woodchat Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Goldfinch, European Greenfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Black-headed Bunting.DSCN1615

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Terns and waders this evening 10th May 2015

Seventeen White-winged Tern and six Whiskered Tern were feeding over Larnaca Sewage Pools this evening as was a Little Gull. There was a good selection of wader on Spiros Pool – many of them in breeding plumage which we don’t often get the chance to see. There were single Red-necked Phalarope and Broad-billed Sandpiper, three Black-winged Godwit, several Curlew Sandpiper, five Dunlin, many Ruff and Little Stint, some Common Ringed Plover and Wood Sandpiper.

Two Collared Pratincole were on the Desalination Plant fields where more Wood Sandpiper and Ruff were feeding. It was good to see a small group of European Bee-eater and there was also a Whinchat and a Woodchat Shrike.

Whinchat Larnaca Desalination Plant 10th May 2015  (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Whinchat Larnaca Desalination Plant 10th May 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours