Cyprus Birding Tours

Offering guided bird watching tours around Cyprus


Leave a comment

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


Leave a comment

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


2 Comments

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

 


Leave a comment

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


Leave a comment

Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s Guiding on east of the island, 17th May 2017

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

Whiskered Tern, Oroklini Marsh 17th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Whiskered Tern, Oroklini Marsh 17th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


Leave a comment

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

 

 


Leave a comment

Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s Guiding Limassol and Kivisili Fields, 22nd April 2017

A good day’s birding around Limassol with Hlynur which ended outside Larnaca at Kivisili, adding several more target species to the day’s tally. We started at Kensington Cliffs where we found three Eurasian Griffon Vulture, three Eleonora’s Falcon, several Alpine Swift and a young Peregrine Falcon flying around the area. We heard a male Cyprus Wheatear singing and had distant views. We could hear several singing male Sardinian Warbler but luckily caught good views of a male Cyprus Warbler in a dead bush.

We then headed to Akrotiri Gravel Pits where we found very few migrant passerines which was the story of the day. We had just one Tawny Pipit and two Whinchat there although we did have a couple of Woodchat Shrike and a Eurasian Hoopoe. But the stars of that area were the ten Greater Sandplover in breeding plumage we found resting on the coast with a Grey Plover and several Kentish Plover nearby. Three Glossy Ibis were at Phasouri Reed-beds where we also had another 12 migrating over the area, another Woodchat Shrike, three Cattle Egret and good views of several Eurasian Reed Warbler.

There were around 500 Greater Flamingo still on the Salt Lake and we found some nearby shade to eat our lunch where we were surrounded by singing Sardinian and Olivaceous Warbler. A large flock of migrating Spanish Sparrow were in tall grasses near the road on the way to Lady’s Mile. Lady’s Mile had a good variety of waders which included Curlew Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, many Ruff, Marsh Sandpiper, Little Stint, two Dunlin, two Common Ringed Plover and at least thirty Black-winged Stilt. We then spent some time in the hide at Zakaki Marsh where a female Little Crake put in a brief appearance. There were three more Glossy Ibis there and a couple of Squacco Heron. As well as Cetti’s and Eurasian Reed Warbler in the reeds we also found a Sedge Warbler.

We then headed inland to Prastio Kellakiou where we had further chances to see Cyprus Wheatear and Warbler and also found two of the endemic sub-species – Eurasian Jay and Coal Tit. But our target birds there were Cretzschmar’s Bunting and Masked Shrike and we were pleased to find several males of the former singing on territories and both a male and female Masked Shrike. We also heard a European Turtle Dove ‘purring’ and a Eurasian Hoopoe calling in the distance.

Our final location were the fields behind Kivisili where we found two male Red-footed Falcon and a female as well as four Lesser Kestrel after spotting two Little Owl on an old building in the village of Alethriko on our way there.  Two Great Spotted Cuckoo flew over the area and we heard a Eurasian Stone Curlew. As we left the area two Stone Curlew flew up so we were able to see them well and then finally, after hearing many all day, we saw a Black Francolin calling from a low branch of an olive tree. A great way to end a good day’s birding in which several species I would have expected to see were absent but others more than made up for that.

Total species: 76

Little Grebe, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo, Mallard, Eurasian Griffon Vulture, Western Marsh Harrier, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin, Little Crake, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Grey Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Greater Sandplover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ruff, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Turtle Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Common House Martin, Tawny Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Common Nightingale, Whinchat, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Jay, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting

Ruff, Lady's Mile, 22nd April 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Ruff, Lady’s Mile, 22nd April 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

 


Leave a comment

Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Day’s Guiding around Limassol 7th April 2017

Another windy day out which again disrupted the planned itinerary and the birds we saw but nevertheless we did manage to find some interesting species which included great views of both Cyprus Warbler and Cyprus Wheatear, Cretzschmar’s Bunting and Masked Shrike.

Picking up Brian and Wendy from their hotel in Limassol we headed inland to Germasogeia Dam. The first bird we found was a Little Owl sitting in the open on the branch of a carob tree and then we watched some singing Corn Bunting. We stopped to listen for Cyprus Warbler and were quickly rewarded by at least two singing males and a secretive female. The males were very obliging and allowed Brian good views of the first of his targets. After looking at the ID pointers of on a female Eastern Black-eared Wheatear we moved to the stream. Here we spent some time looking at two Cretzschmar’s Bunting feeding on the track and then a singing Cyprus Wheatear on the slope above us. Leaving and heading back towards Akrotiri we saw another male Cyprus Warbler feeding on a fig tree.

As I had feared it was already windy around Akrotiri but we did the best we could! We saw a male Eastern Black-eared Wheatear and also an Isabelline and Northern. There were several Tree Pipit around and a single Ortolan Bunting was feeding on the ground near the church. Waders of interest were a Marsh Sandpiper, two Wood Sandpiper, some Ruff and two Little Ringed Plover. After watching a Squacco Heron feed on a very large lizard we checked out the new cleared areas of Phasouri Reed Beds and saw four Ferruginous Duck and another Wood Sandpiper as well as a group of 12 Ruff feeding in the grass.

Along Lady’s Mile we had close views of several Greater Flamingo, another Marsh Sandpiper, a Common Greenshank, plenty of Ruff, two Kentish Plover, three Yellow-legged Gull and two Armenian Gull. It was now even windier so we spent just ten minutes in the hide at Zakaki where a Squacco Heron flew in and three Ferruginous Duck were seen at the back of the pool.

We decided to head inland again and went to Prastio Kellakiou where we found three male Masked Shrike, a few more Cretzschmar’s Bunting, European Serin, another Cyprus Warbler, several Cyprus Wheatear, Common Chaffinch, two Red-rumped Swallow and heard the endemic Coal Tit.

Overall we were pleased with the species we had seen but disappointed that the wind had certainly limited the number that would have been expected for a day out in April during spring migration.

Species seen –

Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Greater Flamingo, Mallard, Ferruginous Duck, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Ruff, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Yellow-legged Gull, Armenian Gull, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Little Owl, Common Swift, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Tree Pipit, White Wagtail, Common Nightingale, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Ortolan Bunting, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting

 


Leave a comment

Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Days Guiding around Paphos, 5th April 2017

Picking up Bob, John, Lesley and John from Pissouri we headed straight to Timi Beach to start our day. Thirteen Black-winged Stilt were flying along the coast while two Little Egret and a couple of Yellow-legged Gull sat on offshore rocks. On the grassy areas we found several Isabelline and Northern Wheatear as well as a single Cyprus Wheatear. Two Eurasian Stone Curlew were in the ploughed field and in the bushes we watched a Common Nightingale, a Common Whitethroat and an Eastern Olivaceous Warbler which was in song. Three female Black-headed Wagtail were also present.

We then headed inland to Anarita Park. As we arrived the wind started to blow and that was the story of the rest of the day out. There appeared to have been a clear out of birds compared to yesterday although we did have two male Lesser Kestrel in with several females, a couple of Alpine Swift, at least four Tree Pipit, a couple of Northern, Cyprus and Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, two Cretzschmar’s Bunting and a male Ruppell’s Warbler – not all bad!

A quick visit to Agia Varvara added two more Lesser Kestrel, a Green Sandpiper, two Whinchat, a fly over Red-throated Pipit, a Eurasian Hoopoe and a female Eastern Black-eared Wheatear. We then went to Asprokremmos Dam where the wind was still very strong but we managed to see a male Collared Flycatcher, a Little Owl and a Woodchat Shrike as well as the area’s usual European Goldfinch and vocal European Serin.

A change of plan to try and avoid the wind and we headed inland to the head of the dam to what was once Nata Ford and is now a bridge. On the way we found a large group of nearly 200 Spanish Sparrow and another Eurasian Hoopoe. On the Xeros river we watched a Marsh Sandpiper, a Little Ringed Plover, several Green Sandpiper, some Yellow Wagtail and both Barn Swallow and Red-rumped Swallow coming down to collect mud. A noisy Great Spotted Cuckoo flew into nearby trees and on the return drive we found a female Collared Flycatcher. Driving through Anarita Village we were pleased to see a male Pallid Harrier over an orchard although disappointed it was moving so quickly and was soon out of sight.

A quick visit to Paphos Sewage Works gave us good views of Spur-winged Lapwing and Cattle Egret and a Long-legged Buzzard high above us before we returned to Pissouri where a smart male Masked Shrike was perched on a hawthorn bush as we parked. A good bird on which to finish a day on which we had worked pretty hard in the wind for the birds we did find!

Total birds seen – 64

Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Pallid Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin h, Common Moorhen, Black-winged Stilt, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Little Ringed Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Marsh Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Slender-billed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Tree Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, flava, feldegg and supercilaris, White Wagtail, Common Nightingale, Whinchat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Ruppell’s Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Collared Flycatcher, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting


Leave a comment

Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s Guiding Paphos, 4th April 2017

A day out around several Paphos sites with Rob who had the target species of Cyprus Warbler,  Black Francolin and Ortolan Bunting. We had two good views of singing male Cyprus Warbler and briefer views of two Ortolan Bunting but although we heard several Black Francolin they all remained firmly out of sight. We did see some other good species though including a pair of Bonelli’s Eagle, eight female Lesser Kestrel, a stunning male Common Redstart, a Masked Shrike and two Woodchat Shrike, a male Ruppell’s Warbler, five Tawny Pipit, several Eastern Black-eared, Isabelline and Cyprus Wheatear, a couple of Great Spotted Cuckoo, Cretzschmar’s Bunting at several locations, male Semi-collared, Collared and Pied Flycatcher, singing Common Whitethroat, an Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, a Purple Heron and a Black-crowned Night Heron asleep in the pines of Asprokremmos Dam car park.

Highlights per location:

Agia Varvara – Purple Heron, Western Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, Tree Pipit, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Nightingale, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Masked Shrike, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, Collared Flycatcher, Cyprus Warbler

Anarita Park – Bonelli’s Eagle pair, Lesser Kestrel, Tawny Pipit, Common Redstart, Whinchat, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear and Warbler, Ruppell’s Warbler, Lesser and Common Whitethroat, Ortolan and Cretzschmar’s Bunting

Asprokremmos Dam – Black-crowned Night Heron, Black-headed Wagtail, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Semi-collared, Collared and Pied Flycatcher, Woodchat Shrike, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Kingfisher, Cretzschmar’s Bunting

Mandria – Red-throated Pipit, Yellow Wagtail

Paphos Sewage Works – Spur-winged Lapwing, Meadow Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Little Egret

Total species and forms seen – 67

Black-crowned Night Heron, Little Egret, Purple Heron, Western Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin h, Common Moorhen, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruff, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Kingfisher, Common Swift, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Common House Martin, Tawny Pipit, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Black-headed Wagtail (feldegg race), White Wagtail, European Robin, Common Nightingale, Common Redstart, Whinchat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbker, Cyprus Warbler, Ruppell’s Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Semi-collared Flycatcher, Collared Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Ortolan Bunting, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting

Little Owl, Anarita Park, 4th April 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Little Owl, Anarita Park, 4th April 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


Leave a comment

Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Two Day’s Guiding around Larnaca, Paralimni and Cape Greco, 29th and 30th March 2017

Two days out with Ashley who was in Cyprus with the single purpose of seeing the Cyprus Warbler, Cyprus Wheatear and Black Francolin and then some general birding.

Wednesday 29th March

We started on Wednesday morning in the Panagia Stazousa valley where we soon heard the strange buzzing of a male Cyprus Wheatear on territory and got some great views of it while at the same time two Cyprus Warbler were singing and competing for territory nearby. We had excellent views of them as well and were two thirds of the way through our target before our first hour was over. In the end we saw at least four singing male Cyprus Wheatear and at least twelve male and a female Cyprus Warbler in the area. Very satisfying to see so many of the warblers. A singing Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler in the same area was an added bonus. We also saw four Great Spotted Cuckoo -two of whom were seem copulating while the male fed the female a caterpillar taken from the nest of a processionary moth caterpillar. We watched him trying to extract another one but the female had lost interest by the time he was successful. A Long-legged Buzzard flew over, a Eurasian Scops Owl called and we found five Cretzschmar’s Bunting. Two Eurasian Hoopoe flew into a pine while we were watching a group of European Serin in the same tree.

Driving through the fields beneath the village of Kivisilli we stopped to admire another Eurasian Hoopoe and eight Lesser Kestrel hunting over the fields and dropping down to catch insects. A small group of Greater Short-toed Lark were in a ploughed field. We heard several Black Francolin calling at Petounta Point but only saw one briefly in flight. We had better views of another Long-legged Buzzard and several Northern and Isabelline Wheatear as well as a Common Redstart. But driving towards Pervolia we had more luck and finally had a singing male Black Francolin out in the open and not too far away so that our views were ruined by heat haze. In the fields near Pervolia village we had close up views of five Calandra Lark, around 60 Yellow Wagtail, 20 Red-throated Pipit and 50+ Greater Short-toed Lark.

After a picnic lunch by the seaside we moved to the hide overlooking Larnaca Sewage Works. There were not many waterfowl left there now although there were two Ruddy Shelduck which were a lovely surprise. Lesser Whitethroat were in the bushes in front of the hide – they were present at all the locations we visited over the two days. A Purple Heron flew over but didn’t stop while another Great Spotted Cuckoo rested briefly in front of the hide. Spur-winged Lapwing, Black-winged Stilt, Little Stint, Common Ringed Plover, Common and Green Sandpiper fed around the water’s edge. Before leaving the area we found more Black-winged Stilt, a lone Greater Flamingo and 13 Slender-billed Gull on Meneou Pool.

A quick stop to scan the main Salt Lake gave us a few more Greater Flamingo, two breeding plumage Black-necked Grebe and more Slender-billed Gull. In the north east corner our best birds were a female Little Crake and a Spotted Crake as well as Marsh Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover, Common Snipe, Ruff, Spur-winged Lapwing, Wood and Green Sandpiper, Bluethroat, Water Pipit, Yellow Wagtail and Eurasian Reed Warbler. We finished the day there with targets met and a total of 80 species seen.

Thursday 30th March

Our first stop today was Oroklini Marsh where we found a Glossy Ibis and a  Black-tailed Godwit, Ruff, Black-winged Stilt and Spur-winged Lapwing, three winter plumage Black-necked Grebe, a Ferruginous Duck, two male and a female Red-crested Pochard, Garganey, plenty of Cattle Egret and two Little Egret and an overflying male Pallid Harrier and a hunting female Western Marsh Harrier. Several Eurasian Reed Warbler and a single Sedge Warbler were singing. We found another Pallid Harrier, this time a sub-adult male, sitting on Paralimni Lake and another male flew over. Also there were two Eurasian Golden Plover, many Ruff, many wheatear – mainly Northern but also Isabelline, Eastern Black-eared and Cyprus, a couple of Little Ringed Plover and a Common Greenshank.

We ate our lunch at the picnic site at Cape Greco after a short walk that had us thinking there was nothing around having just heard a Common Nightingale and seen a couple of Lesser Whitethroat and Eurasian Blackcap. Then a male Pallid Harrier flew by as did five Alpine Swift. We had good views of a dark-throated and pale throated Eastern Black-eared Wheatear and two male Cyprus Warbler at a distance. A drive around the rest of the area was then more productive and we saw two Water Pipit, 12 Greater Short-toed Lark, several Cyprus Wheatear including a pair with the female collecting nest material, a showy Eurasian Wryneck sitting on a rock in the sun, five Tawny Pipit, a male Masked Shrike in the same bush as three male Subalpine Warbler and a male Ruppell’s Warbler. A quick visit to the Larnaca area produced our final birds which were another male Masked Shrike and 18 Baltic Gull migrating off shore.

Two great days out with Ashley with a wide variety of species.

Total species and forms seen – 101

Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo, Ruddy Shelduck, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Red-crested Pochard, Ferruginous Duck, Western Marsh Harrier, Pallid Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Quail, Spotted Crake, Little Crake, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Eurasian Golden Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Ruff, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Slender-billed Gull, Baltic Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Scops Owl, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Eurasian Wryneck, Calandra Lark, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Common House Martin, Tawny Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Water Pipit, Blue-headed Wagtail (flava), Black-headed Wagtail (feldegg), superciliaris intergrade, White Wagtail, Common Nightingale h, Bluethroat, Common Redstart, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler h, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Ruppell’s Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting


Leave a comment

Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Day’s Guiding Cape Greco and Paralimni Lake, 13th March 2017

The first of two day’s out with Barry and we spent our time around Cape Greco moving to Paralimni Lake later in the day. We started at Agia Trias beach where there were still two Greater Sand Plover on the beach together with a Grey Plover, Common Sandpiper and a Common Kingfisher. We spent several hours exploring Cape Greco on foot and by car and were pleased with the species we found which included three singing male Cyprus Warbler, Spectacled and Ruppell’s Warbler, Isabelline, Cyprus, Northern and Finsch’s Wheatear, Red-rumped Swallow, a Pallid Harrier, at least seven Eurasian Hoopoe, Blue Rock Thrush, Baltic Gull and Little Egret migrating offshore, Cretzschmar’s Bunting and Greater Short-toed Lark. Still plenty of Western Black Redstart and Common Stonechat around as well as several Chukar and lots of finches.

Although it was very windy when we finally got to Kermia Beach we were glad we made the effort as our target species for that location was there – two Audouin’s Gull. Although they were dozing when we arrived two Yellow-legged Gull flew in and woke them up for us. We went slightly inland to Agia Napa Sewage Works where we saw two male Blue Rock Thrush, more Cretzschmar’s Bunting and Isabelline Wheatear and a very smart male Masked Shrike. On the treated water pools there were Eurasian Coot and Little Grebe as well as two each of Spur-winged Lapwing, Common Sandpiper and Green Sandpiper. We did a detour to the Agia Napa Football fields where we found another Cretzschmar’s Bunting and two Laughing Doves.

Finishing the day at Paralimni Lake we set up the ‘scope and scanned the area. A Peregrine Falcon was sitting on a rock towards the middle and an adult Long-legged Buzzard was nearby in a low bush. We found a couple more Isabelline Wheatear and another Masked Shrike. There were several species of wader – Kentish Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Ringed Plover, Ruff, Eurasian Golden Plover and Dunlin. As we sat to go over our sightings and drink a final cup of tea late in the afternoon we watched a small flock of Common Starling coming into roost. A good day out hopefully with more species to come later in the week on our second day out.

Total species – 64

Little Grebe, Great Cormorant, Little Egret, Mallard, Pallid Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Greater Sand Plover, Eurasian Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Dunlin, Ruff, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Audouin’s Gull, Baltic Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Eurasian Collared Dove, Laughing Dove, Common Swift, Common Kingfisher, Eurasian Hoopoe, Greater Short-toed Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, European Robin, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Finsch’s Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Ruppell’s Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Masked Shrike, Hooded Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting

Audouin's Gull, Kermia Beach, 13th March 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Audouin’s Gull, Kermia Beach, 13th March 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours