Cyprus Birding Tours

Offering guided bird watching tours around Cyprus


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Birding Nicosia and Oroklini 11th November 2017

Spent much longer out birding than I had originally intended but it was worth it with the best birds being a sub adult Bonelli’s Eagle, two Long-legged Buzzard, three (maybe four) Finsch’s Wheatear, Red-throated Pipit, Spotted Crake, Water Pipit and a female Merlin which scattered the waders at Oroklini Marsh.

Interesting birds seen:

Agios Sozomenos
Bonelli’s Eagle 1 ad
Long-legged Buzzard 2 (see photo)
Peregrine Falcon 1
Finsch’s Wheatear 1m and 2f (prob 3f)
Red-throated Pipit 7+
Black Redstart 5
Spanish Sparrow 30+

Oroklini Marsh
Greater Flamingo 15
Spur-winged Lapwing 52+
Northern Lapwing 18
Black-headed Gull 13
Armenian Gull 1 ad
Northern Pintail 3
Little Stint 37
Common Ringed Plover 1
Common Redshank 8
Marsh Sandpiper 1
Common Snipe 2
Spotted Crake 1
Water Pipit 2
Merlin 1f
Grey Heron 1

Spiros Pool
Eurasian Golden Plover 27

Long-legged Buzzard, Agios Sozomenos 11th November 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Long-legged Buzzard, Agios Sozomenos 11th November 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

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European Serin, Nicosia 9th November 2017

With the drop in temperatures, European Serin are now present at lower levels of the island and taking advantage of any water they can find.


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Finsch’s Wheatear, Nicosia 21st October 2017

Finsch's Wheatear, Agios Sozomenos, 21st October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Finsch’s Wheatear, Agios Sozomenos, 21st October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Winter is definitely coming, despite what the weather here tells us at the moment. A male (see photo) and female Finsch’s Wheatear were back on winter territories this morning at Agios Sozomenos. The male was very photo friendly, not so the female. Late migrants around were a lone Cyprus Wheatear, two Spotted Flycatcher and three juvenile Red-backed Shrike. Also around in large numbers were European Stonechat setting up their winter territories.


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Agios Sozomenos, 14th October 2017

A good morning around Agios Sozomenos to the south east of Nicosia. Still some migrant breeders and passage migrants around while several European Stonechat setting up territories showed that winter on the way. Two late European Roller, a flock of more than forty Red-throated Pipit, a late Lesser Grey Shrike (see photo) and a Bonelli’s Eagle perched on the cliffs were the highlights.

European Roller 2
Red-throated Pipit 45+
White Wagtail 20+
Yellow Wagtail 12
Bonelli’s Eagle 1 ad perched on cliffs
Red-backed Shrike 2 juv
Lesser Grey Shrike 1 juv
Cattle Egret 6
Spanish Sparrow 20+
Little Owl 1
European Stonechat 16+ (setting up territories all over area)
Cyprus Wheatear 3
Spotted Flycatcher 1

Lesser Grey Shrike, Agios Sozomenos 14th October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Lesser Grey Shrike, Agios Sozomenos 14th October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Little Grebe family, Nicosia 22nd June 2017

Several Little Grebe families this morning at Athalassa Dam. This one was near the hide and the adult was very busy keeping the three youngsters together and also bringing some food. All three young were able to dive and could be seen clumsily swimming underwater presumably looking for insects etc themselves.


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Agios Sozomenos, Nicosia this afternoon 6th February 2017

Only saw one Finsch’s Wheatear in the area this afternoon and he decided to keep an eye on me from behind a rock! A pair of Long-legged Buzzard were flying around the abandoned village calling and a female Hen Harrier was present. Lots of finches, Common Chiffchaff and Common Stonechat in the area.

Finsch's Wheatear, Agios Sozomenos, Nicosia 6th February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Finsch’s Wheatear, Agios Sozomenos, Nicosia 6th February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Chiffchaff, Agios Sozomenos 6th February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Chiffchaff, Agios Sozomenos 6th February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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World Wetlands Day 2nd February 2017

A visit to Manglis Lake in the suburbs of Nicosia this morning showed the importance of this and other wetlands to wintering birds here in Cyprus. There were nearly 50 Greater Cormorant, four Grey Heron, a Great Egret, a Little Egret, more than 20 Eurasian Coot, three Moorhen and a Little Grebe all feeding and resting there.

Grey Heron, Manglis Lake 2nd February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Grey Heron, Manglis Lake 2nd February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Coot, Manglis Lake 2nd February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Coot, Manglis Lake 2nd February 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: A Morning’s Guiding around Nicosia 17th January 2017

The first guided trip of 2017 was a morning around two of the Nicosia birding spots. Josh and Toni were hoping to see Finsch’s Wheatear and Blue Rock Thrush so we headed straight to Agios Sozomenos where we had a good chance of both. Entering the area we had good views of Zitting Cisticola and heard and saw a singing Corn Bunting in the distance. We stopped to scan the area for Finsch’s Wheatear and as we saw a flash of white wheatear rump fly off, a brown bird started singing on the top of a thorny bush. We were pleased to see that it was a Bluethroat which very obligingly sat out in the open for several minutes. A Spectacled Warbler and several Chiffchaffs flitted in and out of the bush at the same time. When the Bluethroat flew off we searched again for the Finsch’s Wheatear but no joy. We moved along the road and a grey-brown bird flew across the rocks – a female Finsch’s Wheatear. We stopped and watched her and then continued around the corner where we came across a male Finsch’s Wheatear. One of our two target species seen and well watched. We returned to the deserted village where two Long-legged Buzzard and a Peregrine Falcon treated us to fly-bys.

In the fields, we found plenty of Meadow Pipit, Zitting Cisticola, Common Stonechat and a large flock of noisy European Serin that sat obligingly in a small tree next to the track. We watched a male Spanish Sparrow feeding while others flitted unseen between the bushes. Large flocks of the resident Western Jackdaw flew over the area. As we had not managed to find the Blue Rock Thrush we decided to spend a little longer re checking the cliffs and rocks. Still no joy with that species although we found the male Finsch’s Wheatear we had missed earlier (minus the Bluethroat this ime) and then, best of all – a pair of adult Bonelli’s Eagle that treated us to an aerial display for at least ten minutes. The highlight of the morning.

Moving on to Athalassa Dam we found most of the expected waterfowl including a Ferruginous Duck and six Tufted Duck (scarce for Cyprus). Here the highlights were three adult and two immature Black-crowned Night Heron and the unseasonal Whiskered Tern that has been in the area for most of the winter. A great morning out with a good list of species for a January morning out away from the coast, and thanks to Josh and Toni for their company.

Total number of species: 45

Little Grebe, Great Cormorant, Black-crowned Night Heron, Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Ferruginous Duck, Tufted Duck, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Common Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Whiskered Tern, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, European Robin, Bluethroat, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Finsch’s Wheatear, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Corn Bunting.

Bonelli's Eagle, Agios Sozomenos 17th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Bonelli’s Eagle, Agios Sozomenos 17th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

 


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Finsch’s Wheatear, Agios Sozomenos 13th December 2016

Decided not to waste any time today on trying to get photos of Finsch’s Wheatears at a distance (I have more than enough!). But this male sat on a boulder by the roadside as I drove past and allowed me just this one attempt.

Finsch's Wheatear, Agios Sozomenos 13th December 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Finsch’s Wheatear, Agios Sozomenos 13th December 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Birding around Nicosia 3rd December 2016

A couple of hours birding close to Nicosia. Lots of the usual winter visitors around: Common Stonechat, Meadow Pipit, European Robin, Chiffchaff, Eurasian Blackcap. The more interesting sightings were:

Agios Sozomenos, Nicosia
Spanish Sparrow 22 + 25
Eurasian Skylark 16
Little Owl 1
Blue Rock Thrush 1f
Spectacled Warbler 7
Western Black Redstart 4
Finsch’s Wheatear 2m and 1f
Hen Harrier 1f
Corn Bunting 18
Red-throated Pipit 2h and 1 seen in breeding plumage (see photos)
Northern Lapwing 70+ flying

Vathi Gonia Water Treatment Plant, Nicosia
Ferruginous Duck 4

Red-throated Pipit, Agios Sozomenos, 3rd December 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-throated Pipit, Agios Sozomenos, 3rd December 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-throated Pipit, Agios Sozomenos, 3rd December 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-throated Pipit, Agios Sozomenos, 3rd December 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours