Cyprus Birding Tours

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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Morning’s Guiding Cape Greco & Agia Napa 16th September 2017

Nelson wanted to see Cyprus Warbler and Cyprus Wheatear on his short stay in Cyprus with anything else a bonus. I was a bit apprehensive as Cyprus Warbler can be quite skulking at this time of year and it was possible that Cyprus Wheatear could have moved on. But we started early at Cape Greco and luckily a couple of male Cyprus Warbler were flitting around in an area where they usually breed and are regularly seen in the spring. We also had good views of a couple of females and one juvenile. One of the males even decided to sing – we were very pleased. We also saw a couple of Spectacled Warbler, Isabelline Wheatear and several Red-backed Shrike. Moving closer to the coast we soon found a very smart juvenile Cyprus Wheatear which sat very still to enable both Nelson and Molly to watch him at their leisure.  We were very pleased to see good numbers of Chukar as well.  European Bee-eater were migrating overhead – many heard only although finally three or four passed low in front of us. Six Purple Heron migrated over as well as did Red-rumped Swallow and Sand Martin. We added Lesser Grey Shrike, Northern Wheatear, Willow Warbler and another Cyprus Wheatear before heading towards Agia Napa Sewage Works.

A surprise find on the pools there was a single Ferruginous Duck. Four Spur-winged Lapwing were flying around the area calling and two Common Sandpiper were feeding on the edge of the pool. We stopped to watch a juvenile Montagu’s Harrier gaining height over the area and migrating south. An Eleonora’s Falcon was being mobbed by two Common Kestrel below him. We added yet more Red-backed Shrike to the mornings totals but also a male, female and juvenile Masked Shrike which gave us a chance to compare their different plumages. A Spotted Flycatcher was another new species there.

Moving to Agia Napa Football Fields we found several Cattle Egret, another Isabelline Wheatear, a Common Hoopoe, a juvenile Red-backed Shrike and at least 60 Yellow Wagtail feeding on the fields. Our last stop was at Macronissos Beach where at first it seemed we wouldn’t find anything but more scanning produced two Greater Sandplover and three Kentish Plover – two bonus species on which to finish our morning.

Total species seen – 40

Chukar, Northern Shoveler, Ferruginous Duck, Little Grebe, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Coot, Cattle Egret, Purple Heron, Kentish Plover, Greater Sandplover, Spur-winged Plover, Common Sandpiper, Montagu’s Harrier, Common Hoopoe, European Bee-eater, Common Kestrel, Eleonora’s Falcon, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Great Tit, Crested Lark, Red-rumped Swallow, Barn Swallow, Sand Martin, Willow Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Isabelline Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, House Sparrow, Western Yellow Wagtail, European Goldfinch

European Bee-eater 16th September 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

European Bee-eater 16th September 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s Guiding Akrotiri and Paphos Plain 13th September 2017

A good day out again with Terry and Sarah around Akrotiri and then west to Mandria, Timi Beach and Asprokremmos Dam. Another very warm day with just a trickle of migrating raptors but we pieced together some good species and enjoyed ourselves in any case.

Highlights per location:

Phassouri Reed-beds – Black Francolin 1m and 1f, European Turtle Dove 20+, Pallid Swift 2, European Honey Buzzard 7, Western Marsh Harrier 3, Montagu’s Harrier 3 juv, Black Kite 2, European Bee-eater 200+, European Roller, Common Kingfisher, Lesser Kestrel, Red-backed, Lesser Grey and Masked Shrike, Red-rumped Swallow, Whinchat, Yellow Wagtail

Bishop’s Pool – Black-crowned Night Heron, Purple Heron, Black-winged Stilt, Western Marsh Harrier, Red-rumped Swallow, Sand Martin

Lady’s Mile – Dunlin 3, Kentish Plover, Little Stint

Zakaki Marsh – Common Kingfisher, Great Reed Warbler

Mandria – Chukar, Eleonora’s Falcon, European Roller, Lesser Grey Shrike, Greater Short-toed Lark, Northern & Isabelline Wheatear, Yellow Wagtail, European Shag

Timi Beach – Greater Short-toed Lark c30

Asprokremmos Dam – Spotted Flycatcher, Eleonora’s Falcon

European Honey Buzzard, Phasouri Reed Beds 13th September 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

European Honey Buzzard, Phasouri Reed Beds 13th September 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Kingfisher, Phasouri Reed Beds 13th September 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Kingfisher, Phasouri Reed Beds 13th September 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Western Marsh Harrier, Phasouri Reed Beds 13th September 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Western Marsh Harrier, Phasouri Reed Beds 13th September 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Polis Chrysochou Bay 1st September 2017

After visiting Akrotiri I spent the afternoon sea watching in Polis Chrysochou Bay. The photo is of two Whimbrel seen migrating W offshore. Other sightings included:

Polis Chrysochou Bay 12:00 – 19-:00
Common Ringed Plover 4 heading W along coast
Garganey three groups c300 in total
Purple Heron in off sea in two groups of 74 in total then seen heading inland 19:00
Audouin’s Gull 1 heading W
Glossy Ibis 52 in off from N and then inland
Common Kingfisher
Eurasian Honey Buzzard 2 in off sea 14:40 and then lost to view
Whimbrel 2 heading W with another wader probably Ruff
Baltic Gull 1 heading W
Masked Shrike 1m

Whimbrel, Polis Chrysochou Bay, 1st September 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Whimbrel, Polis Chrysochou Bay, 1st September 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cape Greco raptor count 31st August 2017

Well the first day of the raptor count at Cape Greco produced two hunting Common Kestrel and one Eleonora’s Falcon. Still a bit early for raptor migration so expecting better things over the next ten days.

A few other migrants around there and at Agia Napa Football Fields but overall quite quiet.

Cape Greco 8 – 12
Elenora’s Falcon 1 hunting
Red-backed Shrike 1
Lesser Whitethroat 2
Olivaceous Warbler 1
Pallid Swift 4
Greater Short-toed Lark 1 over

Agia Napa Football Fields
Yellow Wagtail 17
Isabelline Wheatear 1
Lesser Grey Shrike 2
Masked Shrike 1
European Bee-eater h
Spotted Flycatcher 1

Eleonora's Falcon, Cape Greco 31st August 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eleonora’s Falcon, Cape Greco 31st August 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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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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Akamas area and visible migration Polis Chrysochou Bay 11th August 2017

Spent several hours sea watching in Polis Chrysochou Bay today. Plenty of Glossy Ibis on the move as well as Little Egret and a single Grey Heron. Bird of the day was a juvenile Greater Sandplover that flew onto the beach near me around 7.30 am and then flew off east after about 15 minutes. It was probably the large plover that I saw later migrating west in with a flock of Glossy Ibis.

Birds seen during the day there and inland included:

Polis Chrysochou Bay
From 7.00 am – 8.30am and 11.00am to 16.00 pm
Grey Heron 1
Glossy Ibis flocks of c60 + 34 + 38+ 11 + 52 + c100 + 45 + 18 + c80 (see photo)
Little Egret 27 flying over area all day
Greater Sandplover 1 on beach in morning then flying W later with flock of Glossy Ibis 12:10
Wader spp 18 probably Common Redshank flying offshore heading W
Common Ringed Plover in off sea and inland
Common Kingfisher 1
European Shag 1 offshore
Alpine Swift 2
Common Sandpiper 5

Pittokopos
European Roller 3
Lesser Grey Shrike 1 imm

Pittokopos to Androlikou track
European Roller 5
Long-legged Buzzard 1
Lesser Grey Shrike 2 ad
Woodchat Shrike 2m
Cyprus Warbler 1m and 1f
Masked Shrike 1m and 1 juv

Androlikou
Cyprus Wheatear 2

Prodromi
Eleonora’s Falcon 1 over

Glossy Ibis, Polis Chrysochou Bay 11th August 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Glossy Ibis, Polis Chrysochou Bay 11th August 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Woodchat Shrike, Androlikou 11th August 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Woodchat Shrike, Androlikou 11th August 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Morning’s Guiding Akamas 10th August 2017

The morning out today around Akamas with Grahame and Susie was notable for the number of European Rollers, Masked Shrike and Lesser Grey Shrike. We were especially pleased to see six of the latter sitting on low trees close to each other outside Pittokopos and Grahame was pleased to see so many European Rollers – his target species for the morning,

Highlights per location:

Neo Horio to Androlikou – Masked Shrike, European Turtle Dove, Chukar, Cyprus Wheatear

Androlikou to Pittokopos – Lesser Grey Shrike 6, Masked Shrike, Woodchat Shrike 1m, European Roller 6+, European Turtle Dove, Common Kestrel 7+ hawking over area together, Corn Bunting

Arodes – Lesser Grey Shrike 2, Masked Shrike, European Roller 5+, Little Owl 2 juv, Olivaceous Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Cyprus Wheatear

European Roller, Arodes, 10th August 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

European Roller, Arodes, 10th August 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Morning’s Guiding Kouklia, Orietes, Archimandrita, Agios Nikolaos & Omodos 8th August 2017

Start of the autumn season with a morning’s guiding with Jonathan, looking for Cyprus endemics in particular and anything we could find in general, bearing in mind the time of year and the heat! In the end, we had no luck with the Cyprus Warbler – apart of one possible flying out of and then disappearing into bushes at Petra tou Romiou but found plenty of Cyprus Wheatear – both adults, juveniles and newly fledged and had good views of the Coal Tit and Short-toed Treecreeper – both endemic sub-species.

Starting in the village of Kouklia where we checked out the small Laughing Dove population now doing well there and were surprised to also see a European Turtle Dove in the village. Late or migrating Common Swift were heard overhead. Moving inland from the village towards Oreites we had good views of European Roller and saw the first of many Masked Shrike and Cyprus Wheatear – there were many adults and juveniles around of both species all along our route. Further on towards Archimandrita we had good views of an Olivaceous Warbler in a pine tree and three European Roller flying around making a lot of noise.

We were pleased to find one Cretzschmar’s Bunting feeding by the side of the road as we headed towards Dora and a bit further on a family group of the same species. Red-rumped Swallow and Barn Swallow were overhead and then Jonathan spotted a European Bee-eater in the distance. We could hear them calling but it took us a while to relocate them.

Stopping for a coffee under some pine trees near Tzelefos Bridge we saw and heard several Coal Tit and Jonathan remarked how different they were from the ones he saw at home in the UK. By the stream at the start of the Mylikouri trail were several Short-toed Treecreeper – another of the Cyprus endemic sub-species but we didn’t come across any Jays – especially as there were many people around the area near the bridge where I had expected we should find one. We added Spotted Flycatcher, Northern Wren and Common Chaffinch to the day list. Two birds of prey appeared over a ridge as we left the area but dropped down before we could get our binoculars on them – more than likely Long-legged Buzzard but we weren’t sure enough to add them to the day list and they didn’t reappear.

It was now getting very hot and there were few birds out and about in the Omodos vineyards. We heard more European Bee-eater and saw more Masked Shrike, Cyprus Wheatear, Red-rumped Swallow and Sardinian Warbler.

We finished at Petra tou Romiou for a last look for Cyprus Warbler. We saw a likely candidate flitting around nearby bushes but didn’t have good enough views to confirm ID. We did however see three Eleonora’s Falcon flying around the area which was some compensation. Thanks to Jonathan for an interesting morning out.

Species seen:

Chukar, Common Woodpigeon, European Turtle Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, Laughing Dove, Common Swift, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Common Kestrel, Eleonora’s Falcon, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Olivaceous Warbler, Northern House Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Barn Swallow, Sardinian Warbler, Short-toed Treecreeper, Northern Wren, Spotted Flycatcher, Cyprus Wheatear, House Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, Common Linnet, European Goldfinch, Cretzschmar’s Bunting

Stream on Mylikouri Trail 8th August 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Stream on Mylikouri Trail 8th August 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Morning at Troodos 7th July 2017

Just a few hours around Troodos this morning before it got too hot. Birds seen included:

Platania
Red-rumped Swallow 4 juvs
Spotted Flycatcher 1
Northern Goshawk 1h and seen briefly in flight

Amiantos Botanical Gardens
Cyprus Wheatear 1 ad and 4 juvs
Red-rumped Swallow 6
Masked Shrike 1m, 1f and 2 fledged juvs
Common Hoopoe 1
Northern House Martin 20+

Almirolivado
Red Crossbill (see photo) c8 (inc at least 1 male and 2 juvs)
European Serin 8 inc juvs
Common Chaffinch 10+ inc 3 juvs
Eurasian Blackbird 1m and 1f
Eurasian Jay 2
Coal Tit c15
Red-rumped Swallow 2
Northern House Martin 20+

Red Crossbill, Troodos 7th July 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red Crossbill, Troodos 7th July 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Troodos area today 20th June 2017

Spent the day visiting several of the Troodos picnic sites which are usually a good area to find migrant and resident breeders and find some endemic sub-species. Some of the plumage of the breeding birds was looking very worn.

Platania
Spotted Flycatcher 1 ad and at least 4 juvs
Red-rumped Swallow 1
Eurasian Blackbird pair seen and 1 other male singing
Common Hoopoe 1
Masked Shrike 2m and 1f (1m having bath in stream)
Coal Tit 3 juvs
Northern Wren 1 having bath in stream

Livadi tou Pashia
Eurasian Blackbird 2m and 1f
European Serin 2+
Northern Wren 2
Eastern Olivaceous Warbler 4+
Masked Shrike 1 pair feeding unseen juvs and another feeding 3 fledged juvs
plus 3 other males
Eurasian Jay 3 juvs, one seen fighting with male Blackbird
Northern House Martin 100+

Almirolivado
Masked Shrike 3m
Eurasian Blackbird 3 singing males
Red Crossbill 2
Eastern Olivaceous Warbler 2h

Platres Old Road and start of Caledonia Trail
Cyprus Wheatear 1m singing
Eurasian Blackbird 4m
Grey Wagtail 1 ad
Northern Wren 2
European Serin 1+

Troodos Botanical Gardens
Grey Wagtail 1ad
Cyprus Wheatear 1 ad
Red-rumped Swallow 2
Northern House Martin 30+

Masked Shrike, Livadi tou Pashia 20th June 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Masked Shrike, Livadi tou Pashia 20th June 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Hoopoe, Platania 20th June 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Hoopoe, Platania 20th June 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Jay, Livadi tou Pashia 20th June 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Jay, Livadi tou Pashia 20th June 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Grey Wagtail, Troodos 20th June 2017 (Cyprus Birding Tours)

Grey Wagtail, Troodos 20th June 2017 (Cyprus Birding Tours)

Female Eurasian Blackbird taking a bath, Platania 20th June 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Female Eurasian Blackbird taking a bath, Platania 20th June 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Morning’s Guiding around Troodos and Omodos, 6th June 2017

I picked up James and Lizzie from Kakopetria and we headed towards Troodos stopping at a few locations on the way to the Square. At Platania we found Red-rumped Swallow and at the Botanical Gardens at Amiantos we found our first of the Cyprus endemic sub-species – the Eurasian Jay as well as a large group of hirundines which although mainly Northern House Martin also included several more Red-rumped Swallow and two Eurasian Crag Martin. An Eastern Olivaceous Warbler sang out in the open on a small conifer so we spend some time watching it. A couple of male Cyprus Wheatear were also seen and at least one male Eurasian Blackbird was singing. As we left the area I spotted a large thrush on a rock and we were pleased to see a male Blue Rock Thrush as we got out of the car. I also heard a singing Cretzschmar’s Bunting but we couldn’t see it.

We then spent some time at the Livadi tou Pashia picnic site where we had good views of two other endemic sub-species – Coal Tit and Short-toed Treecreeper. Several Northern Wren and European Serin were heard and finally a male Masked Shrike flew into view. We then headed to Troodos Square seeing more Masked Shrike and Cyprus Wheatear on the way. At least eight Pallid Swift were in a large flock of swifts at the square.

The rest of the morning was spent in the Omodos area and especially on the road from there to Agios Nikolaos. The stars there were the singing male Black-headed Buntings but we also saw some Corn Bunting, more Masked Shrike and Cyprus Wheatear, a smart male Spanish Sparrow and finally a singing male Cyprus Warbler – strangely singing from some electricity wires. The last species for the day was Cretzschmar’s Bunting as we found two males near Agios Nikolaos.

A lovely way to spend a morning in the early summer catching up with the Cyprus endemics and migrant breeders.

Full species list:

Common Woodpigeon, European Collared Dove, Pallid Swift, Common Swift, Common Kestrel, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Jay, Eurasian Magpie, Hooded Crow, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Zitting Cisticola, Olivaceous Warbler, Northern House Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Barn Swallow, Eurasian Crag Martin, Cetti’s Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Short-toed Treecreeper, Northern Wren, Eurasian Blackbird, Blue Rock Thrush, Cyprus Wheatear, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, European Serin, Black-headed Bunting, Corn Bunting, Cretzschmar’s Bunting

Coal Tit, Troodos 6th June 2017(c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Coal Tit, Troodos 6th June 2017(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