One of several juvenile Yellow-legged Gull currently to be found along Spiros Beach and Larnaca Sewage Works. Also in the area today were an Eleonora’s Falcon, Little and Gull-billed Tern, Temminck’s and Little Stint, Dunlin, Ruff, Little Ringed Plover and Greater Flamingo.
Still some migrating waders around today with two Ruddy Turnstone and six Broad-billed Sandpipers the highlights. Plenty of Ruff, Little Stint, Wood Sandpiper, Common Ringed Plover and Black-winged Stilt. Also two Black-tailed Godwit and Marsh Sandpiper and a few Little Ringed Plover, a Curlew Sandpiper and a Common Greenshank. Still a large flock of Little Tern on Lady’s Mile so hopefully they will stay to breed. I also found two Woodchat Shrike and four Red-backed Shrike with a Black-eared Wheatear, a Whinchat, a female Common Redstart and several Spotted Flycatcher.
A very enjoyable day birding around Akrotiri even if I got a later start than intended. Highlight was definitely finding a female Semi-collared Flycatcher as I was checking the ID’s of several females near Bishop’s Pool – also a female Collared Flycatcher which was actually my first Collared for the year. In that area there were also Pied and Spotted Flycatcher, Wood Warbler, Blackcap and several beautiful male European Golden Oriole. Plenty of Woodchat Shrike around with a few Red-backed as well. A large group of more than twenty Little Tern were on Lady’s Mile in the morning as were nine Collared Pratincole and many Marsh Sandpiper and Common Greenshank (see photos).
Late in the afternoon I visited the eastern shore of the Salt Lake and the Zakaki run off. There I saw more than ten Temminck’s Stint, ten Black-tailed Godwit, a few Curlew Sandpiper, fishing Little Tern, feeding White-winged and Whiskered Tern and best of all – a resting flock of around 300 Collared Pratincoles (see photo). Lovely!
A record photo of one of four Gull-billed Terns at the Sewage Pools this morning. Three other tern species also present – seven Little Tern, one Whiskered and one White-winged Tern. Black-winged Stilt and Spur-winged Lapwing had chicks of varying sizes. On the water there were five Ferruginous Ducks in with the Mallard and around the edge there was a Little Ringed Plover, a Common and Green Sandpiper and some Kentish Plover. I only saw the best bird as I drove up to the hide – a Osprey was being chased over the area by Hooded Crows and heading east. A juvenile had been reported there towards the end of June and I guess it may well be the same bird.
Just had 30 minutes to spare yesterday and today in the hide overlooking the Sewage Pools but managed a few decent birds there after a quiet couple of weeks. Two long staying Grey Heron and the breeding Spur-winged Lapwing, Mallard, Coot and Little Grebe have been joined at some stage by a White-winged Tern, up to seven fishing Little Tern, a Gull-billed Tern, an adult Slender-billed Gull, two Little Ringed Plover and up to six Black-winged Stilt. Feeding on caterpillars in the bushes along the fence line are an adult (photo) and a juvenile Great Spotted Cuckoo.
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
Yellow Wagtail 1 in flight
Little Egret 6 inc grey morph
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.
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
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+
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
Squacco Heron 1 (see photos)
Black-crowned Night Heron 2 over road near Airport
This year a day out in mid-May means finding very few passerine migrants, the need to concentrate on breeding birds and visiting a wetland to increase the variety of species seen. Luckily Robert had a list of realistic target species which made our day easier although we had to work hard to find the Black-headed Wagtail. The other species Robert hoped to see were Cyprus Warbler, Cyprus Wheatear, Black Francolin, Chukar, Little Owl, Spur-winged Lapwing and Masked Shrike.
Starting at Cape Greco, the first bird we saw was a singing male Cyprus Warbler which was a great start. We explored the area and found another two males and two females together with a couple of juveniles. We soon heard the distinctive call of the Cyprus Wheatear and spotted a singing male on a low bush. Several others were later seen as were a couple of European Turtle Dove, a Spectacled Warbler, a male and female Red-backed Shrike as well as a couple of Sand Martin. A couple of Black-headed Buntings were singing near the Sea Caves area where we also found our only Chukar of the day.
We then headed to Akhna Dam where several Spur-winged Lapwing were found as was a male Garganey, a couple of Ruff and Common Sandpiper, some Little Egret, a Grey Heron and a Glossy Ibis. Several Eurasian Reed Warbler were heard singing and a flock of around 30 Common Swift and seven Alpine Swift were flying over the area and coming down to drink – a great sight. We visited both hides at Oroklini and Robert got great views of another of his targets here – this time a male Black Francolin was out in the open calling for quite a while. We also saw more Spur-winged Lapwing here as well as Black-winged Stilt, Curlew Sandpiper, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Little, Whiskered and White-winged Tern and Garganey. There were several recently hatched young Cattle Egret in the colony and we also spotted a Spur-winged Lapwing chick with one of its parents.
We then went inland to Panagia Stazousa to try and find a Masked Shrike and a Little Owl. We found the Little Owl perched outside its nest site but it took a while to find a Masked Shrike until eventually a male flew into view. We also saw more Cyprus Warbler and Cyprus Wheatear as well as Olivaceous Warbler, a European Roller, a fly-over Eurasian Hobby and two Long-legged Buzzard. We heard Cretzschmar’s Bunting but couldn’t get decent views of them.
Our next stop was on the eastern side of Larnaca Salt Lake where there was still some water and I was hoping may be a suitable location for the feldegg race of the Yellow Wagtail – Black-headed Wagtail. We found some water and the bonus of three Broad-billed Sandpiper (a regular but scarce passage migrant to Cyprus) feeding with Black-winged Stilt, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper and some stunning Curlew Sandpiper. A Squacco Heron was also present and we heard the call of a Yellow Wagtail and saw a couple fly over but were unable to see which race they were. Finally, a male Blue-headed was spotted feeding next to some reeds and then to its right there was a male Black-headed. All of the target species seen we went south of the airport to see what was on the Sewage Pools there. There were several Little Tern and a couple of White-winged Tern as well as two Yellow-legged Gull, some Spur-winged Lapwing and several Ruff. New birds for the day were a single Gull-billed Tern feeding over the water and a Collared Pratincole which we saw head out towards the coast.
We finished our day there pleased with our efforts.
Total species seen 66
Chukar, Black Francolin, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Common Teal, Little Grebe, Common Woodpigeon, European Turtle Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, Laughing Dove, Alpine Swift, Common Swift, Common Moorhen, Common Coot, Glossy Ibis, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Black-winged Stilt, Kentish Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruff, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Common Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Collared Pratincole, Yellow-legged Gull, Little Tern, Gull-billed Tern, Whiskered Tern, White-winged Tern, Little Owl, Long-legged Buzzard, European Roller, Common Kestrel, Eurasian Hobby, Red-backed Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Great Tit, Crested Lark, Zitting Cisticola, Olivaceous Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Northern House Martin, Barn Swallow, Collared Sand Martin, Cetti’s Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Cyprus Wheatear, House Sparrow, Blue-headed Wagtail, Black-headed Wagtail, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Black-headed Bunting, Cretzschmar’s Bunting
Good to see John and Madeleine again for another day’s birding. We visited a few Paphos locations in the morning before spending the rest of the day around Akrotiri. Eight species of raptor seen including Red-footed Falcon, Lesser Kestrel and Montagu’s Harrier at Anarita early morning and later on a Peregrine Falcon and two Eleonora’s Falcon hunting the waders on Akrotiri Salt Lake where we were surprised to find a female Hen Harrier as well. We saw many different waders including Broad-billed Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper and Temminck’s Stint plus great views of Collared Pratincole and White-winged Tern.
Highlights per location visited:
Agia Varvara – Black Francolin 2, European Turtle Dove, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Lesser Kestrel, Eleonora’s Falcon, Spotted Flycatcher
Agia Varvara village reservoir- Ruff, Temminck’s Stint, Wood Sandpiper, European Roller, Red-rumped Swallow
Anarita Park – Montagu’s Harrier 1m, Long-legged Buzzard, European Bee-eater h, Lesser Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Cyprus Warbler, Corn Bunting
Kouklia village – Laughing Dove
Akrotiri Gravel Pits – Great Spotted Cuckoo 2, European Turtle Dove 4, Little Egret, Kentish Plover, Willow Warbler, European Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, Spotted Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher 1f
Phasouri Reed Beds – Ferruginous Duck, Glossy Ibis 6, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Ruff, Olivaceous Warbler, Black-headed Wagtail 1m, European Serin
Akrotiri Salt Lake – Greater Flamingo, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Cuckoo, Black-winged Stilt, Grey Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Ruff, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Collared Pratincole, Little Tern, White-winged Tern, Hen Harrier 1f, European Bee eater, Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon
Lady’s Mile – Little Egret, Common Ringed Plover, Ruff, Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Common Greenshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Little Tern
Zakaki Marsh – European Bee-eater, Squacco Heron
Total species seen – 75
Black Francolin, Ferruginous Duck, Mallard, Little Grebe, Greater Flamingo, Common Woodpigeon, European Turtle Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, Laughing Dove, Common Swift, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Cuckoo, Common Moorhen, Common Coot, Glossy Ibis, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Black-winged Stilt, Grey Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit, Ruff, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Temminck’s Stint, Little Stint, Common Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Collared Pratincole, Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Little Tern, White-winged Tern, Hen Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Eurasian Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Great Tit, Crested Lark, Zitting Cisticola, Olivaceous Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Northern House Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Willow Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, Cyprus Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher, Cyprus Wheatear, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Black-headed Wagtail, European Greenfinch, Common Linnet, European Goldfinch, European Serin, Corn Bunting
A good day out with Peter and Jeanette around some of the Limassol and Larnaca sites didn’t quite go according to plan but we still picked up some good species including their targets of Black Francolin and Spur-winged Lapwing. We started at Germasogeia Dam and had intended to go around the Akrotiri peninsula after that but on hearing the news that a Bar-tailed Lark had been found near Larnaca Sewage Works we decided to try our luck and headed that way to see if we could find it.
Unfortunately we couldn’t find the lark but Peter and Jeanette weren’t phased as they were able to get good view of other species they had hoped to see on our day out and we took the opportunity to visit some other Larnaca locations before finishing the day at Prastio Kellekiou outside Limassol as originally planned.
Highlights per location:
Germasogeia Dam – Glossy Ibis, Long-legged Buzzard, Little Owl, Laughing Dove, Greater Short-toed Lark, Red-rumped Swallow, Cyprus Wheatear, Great Reed Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler
Kofinou – European Roller
Larnaca Sewage Works area – Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Little Tern, White-winged Tern, Black Francolin, Black-headed Wagtail (feldegg), Common Whitethroat, Common Nightingale, Collared Flycatcher 1f
Pervolia – Common Quail h, Calandra Lark, Red-throated Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Whinchat
Kiti Dam – Black Francolin h, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Cuckoo, Wood Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher 1f, European Golden Oriole 1m
Prastio Kellakiou – European Turtle Dove 1h, Red-rumped Swallow, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Garden Warbler h, Coal Tit, Masked Shrike, Spanish Sparrow, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Black-headed Bunting
Full species list – 71
Little Grebe, Glossy Ibis, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Quail, Eurasian Coot, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Ruff, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Little Tern, White-winged Tern, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Turtle Dove, Laughing Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, European Roller, Greater Short-toed Lark, Calandra Lark, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Red-throated Pipit, Yellow Wagtail spp, Black-headed Wagtail (feldegg), Common Nightingale, Whinchat, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Wood Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Collared Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Hooded Crow, Western Jackdaw, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Black-headed Bunting, Corn Bunting
A morning out at two very different locations with Mary, Rui and Maria. We visited Panagia Stazousa valley first where we were looking to get good views of the endemic Cyprus Warbler and Cyprus Wheatear. We were successful with the wheatear at our first stop but although we could hear a Cyprus Warbler male singing his heart out we could not spot where it was. A quick walk down the track led us to another singing male – this time well out in the open at the top of a pine. After that we heard many other singing males throughout the valley which was very pleasing. We heard both calling Common Quail and Black Francolin but had no joy trying to see them. A male Collared Flycatcher flew into a pine and several Olivaceous Warbler were singing.
At our next stop we found a large colony of Spanish Sparrow in a couple of large pines and moved on to watch two Great Spotted Cuckoo flying around calling and then listen to and watch a singing male Cretzschmar’s Bunting.
A complete change of scenery and birds at Oroklini Marsh where we visited both hides. There were good numbers of Cattle Egret, some already on nests, in the recently formed colony there. We also saw several Black-winged Stilt and Spur-winged Lapwing as well as Ruff and a couple of Wood Sandpiper. A Little Tern was resting on one of the shingle islands, two male Red-crested Pochard were seen as was a male Ferruginous Duck and three Garganey. Hopefully all of these will or are already breeding there. A single Glossy Ibis flew over and a few overstaying Northern Shoveler and Eurasian Teal were still around.
A brief taste of birding in Cyprus in a few hours gave us a total of 41 different and varied species.
Number of species seen: 42
Little Grebe, Cattle Egret, Glossy Ibis, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Ferruginous Duck, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Common Quail (h), Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Little Tern, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Swift, Barn Swallow, Common House Martin, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Collared Flycatcher, Great Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Serin (h), European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Cretzschmar’s Bunting