This was the third year that I had taken Peter and Jean out and we started the first of two days out this autumn at Mavrokolympos Dam, continued through Akoursos to Kathikas, spent a couple of hours in the valley behind Arodes before driving to Kannaviou Dam. We finished the day as light was fading at Evretou Dam after a drive through the Saramas Valley.
Highlights per location:
Mavrokolympos Dam – Chukar h, Rock Dove, Grey Heron, Woodlark, Cyprus Warbler 1m and 1f, Blue Rock Thrush 1f, Meadow Pipit 37 over in one group
Kathikas – Long-legged Buzzard
Arodes – Common Quail 1 flushed from under our feet, Great Cormorant c30 seen migrating in a flock heading S, Hen Harrier 1f, Bonelli’s Eagle 2 ad (pair), Northern Goshawk 1 (prob this species), Woodlark, Black Redstart, Corn Bunting
Kannaviou – Chukar, Coal Tit (Cyprus endemic sub-species), Common Chaffinch, European Serin
Saramas Valley – Song Thrush, Black Redstart, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chiffchaff c20, Corn Bunting 30+, White Wagtail
Evretou Dam – Western Marsh Harrier 1f hunting, Long-legged Buzzard 1 perched in tree overlooking village, Black Redstart
Bonelli’s Eagle, 10th November 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Just a few hours around Troodos this morning before it got too hot. Birds seen included:
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+
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
A few days in Droushia exploring the area and doing some birding. Passed by Mandria, Timi and Paphos Sewage Works on Friday morning where there were a few Red-footed Falcon, a couple of European Roller, single migrating European Honey Buzzard, dark morph Booted Eagle and Black Kite, three migrating Western Marsh Harrier, a couple of Red-backed and Lesser Grey Shrike, Northern Wheatear, Whinchat and newly arrived White Wagtail, a flock of Yellow Wagtail and a fly over Red-throated Pipit.
In the Akamas area and down in Polis Chrysochou Bay there were migrating Little Egret, Great Egret, Grey and Purple Heron, Alpine Swift, European Bee-eater and Red-footed Falcon. Also seen were an Eastern Black-eared and Northern Wheatear, several Whinchat and Cyprus Wheatear, Red-backed Shrike, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher and Common Redstart. Unexpected birds were a European Nightjar flushed from an olive grove by a hunting Common Kestrel, a Common Kingfisher flying over the Baths of Aphrodite and a Northern Goshawk flushed from a large carob tree as I drove past near Fasli.
Cyprus Wheatear, Androlikou 1st October 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Red-footed Falcon, Pittokopos in early morning sun 1st October 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Spent the day around Akrotiri – not lots of birds around – quality rather than quantity. Was pleased though to see European Honey Buzzard, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, juvenile Northern Goshawk, Western Marsh Harrier, Red-footed Falcon and Eleonora’s Falcon. Three White Stork were feeding in an alfalfa field. Flocks of European Bee-eater, Barn Swallow, Sand Martin and Red-rumped Swallow still passing through. Plenty of Whinchat, a couple of Northern Wheatear, two Lesser Grey Shrike and some juvenile Red-backed Shrikes. As far as waders were concerned still several Dunlin,plenty of Little Stint, Common Ringed Plover and lots of Kentish Plover – plus five Sanderling and two Spur-winged Lapwing.
White Stork, Akrotiri 28th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Spur-winged Lapwing, Akrotiri 28th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Picking Bernie and Gill up in Latchi we headed for the Smygies/Agios Minas area behind Neochorio. We saw the first of many European Bee-eater there as well as two Cretzschmar’s Bunting, a Whinchat, a Cyprus Wheatear, a couple of Spotted Flycatcher and an adult Masked Shrike. A covey of ten Chukar kept us entertained especially as a juvenile tried to climb into an olive tree as we drove past.
At Arodes we found another Cyprus Wheatear and spent some time watching and checking the ID pointers of a female Eastern Black-eared Wheatear. We also saw a male Spanish Sparrow, several Sardinian and Willow Warbler and juvenile Red-backed and Masked Shrike. The sound and sight of more European Bee-eater dominated the area. Driving from Kathikas through Arkoudaleia and Miliou we saw a male Eastern Black-eared Wheatear and a Lesser Grey Shrike.
We spent some time at the shallow end of Evretou Dam. There were many Yellow Wagtail, Barn Swallow and a couple of Sand Martin, yet more European Bee-eater as well as one each of Black-winged Stilt, Dunlin, Little Stint, Ruff and Common Kingfisher. Here we also saw a Long-legged Buzzard and more unexpectedly a Common Kestrel noisily mobbing an adult Northern Goshawk. The latter spectacle interrupted our lunch as we sat and ate our sandwiches in a small olive grove. We weren’t complaining though!
On the south coast outside Paphos we visited the Sewage Works and Mandria. Here we enjoyed Spur-winged Lapwing, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Western Marsh Harrier, more than 300 Yellow Wagtail, three European Roller, three Tawny Pipit, at least thirty Greater Short-toed Lark, Isabelline and Northern Wheatear and a couple more Whinchat, Lesser Grey and Red-backed Shrike.
A good day out with a mixture of species seen. European Bee-eaters provided the soundtrack of the day with the Northern Goshawk and the European Rollers providing the birding moments of the day.
Full list of birds seen – European Shag, Western Marsh Harrier, Northern Goshawk, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black-winged Stilt, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Dunlin, Ruff, Common Sandpiper, Common Black-headed Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Turtle Dove, Common Kingfisher, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Tawny Pipit, Yellow Wagtail races – flava, feldegg, thunbergii, Whinchat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting.
Mandria, 16th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Just like the first morning out with Jon, on 3rd August, today’s highlight was an unexpected sighting of a species not on the list of likely birds for the day. This time it was a juvenile Northern Goshawk which flew in front of us at Mavrokolympos Dam chasing six Chukar. It almost caught one of them and we saw the bird briefly on the ground before it returned across the valley and was lost to sight. The decision to visit the Dam turned out to be a good one as not only did we see the first migrating Lesser Grey Shrike of the autumn but also got great views of a male Cyprus Warbler, saw several Cyprus Wheatear, four Green Sandpiper and had a fly-past Eleonora’s Falcon.
We then spent some time in the valley behind Arodes where we found another Lesser Grey Shrike, two Woodchat Shrike, several Masked Shrike, some European Turtle Dove and a European Roller as well as two Eurasian Hobby. A European Serin flew overhead and we saw a flock of at least twenty Chukar – but not with a chasing raptor this time. Returning to Paphos we drove over Minthis Hills which gave Jon the chance to get a good view of a Spectacled Warbler.
Species list – Little Grebe, Northern Goshawk, Common Kestrel, Eurasian Hobby, Eleonora’s Falcon, Chukar, Green Sandpiper, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Turtle Dove, European Roller, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Cyprus Wheatear, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Great Tit, Lesser Grey Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch