Spent most of the day at Cape Greco looking for early migrants. Some putting in an appearance – see list below – but the best was a lovely male Common Redstart of the samamisicus race (see photos). Also visited Oroklini Marsh and a couple of Agia Napa beaches where there were ten Greater Sandplovers (see photos).
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Black-tailed Godwit 5
Yellow Wagtail 1h
Northern Pintail 2m and 3f
Ferruginous Duck 7
Red-crested Pochard 1m and 5f
Black-winged Stilt c30
Spur-winged Lapwing 8
Common Redshank 1
Greater Flamingo 33
Common Swift 22
Cape Greco – from Kermia Beach to Agioi Anargyroi picnic site
Cyprus Warbler 6+ singing males
Ruppell’s Warbler 8m and 1f
Tree Pipit 1h
Cyprus Wheatear 4
Isabelline Wheatear 4
Greater Short-toed Lark 2
Northern Wheatear 1m
Yellow Wagtail 2 over
Blue Rock Thrush 1f
Common ‘Ehrenberg’s’ Redstart (samamisicus spp) 1m
Back after a few weeks away and spent the day on the east of the island. All wetlands now have a lot of water and from the weather forecasts more is to come. Visited Oroklini, Akhna Dam, Paralimni Lake and the coastal sites of Agios Trias, Kermia and Macronissos Beaches. Highlights were:
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Northern Lapwing c70+
Spur-winged Lapwing 5+ (see photo)
Black-winged Stilt 5
Northern Pintail 2m and 1f
Red-crested Pochard 1m and 1f
Ferruginous Duck 2
Northern Shoveler 80+
Greater Flamingo 73
Grey Heron 1
Common Teal 30+
Common Starling 1
Cattle Egret 140+ evening roost
Great Crested Grebe 1
Grey Heron 2
Great Cormorant 6
Woodlark 3 (1 singing from wire)
Eurasian Skylark h
Common Starling 5
Corn Bunting 1
Paralimni Lake – a lot of water
Grey Heron 17
Northern Lapwing 79
Common Redshank 1
Greater Flamingo 112
Common Teal 5
Western Marsh Harrier 2
Common Starling 8
Pied Avocet 2
Laughing Dove 1+
Out for a day’s birding around Larnaca with Victor Tjernberg checking out some good sites for spring birding and trying to up our year lists!
The wetlands had most birds but probably the birds of the day were the Calandra Lark on the fields in Pervolia already in display song flight. Also good to see several Cyprus Warbler in the Panagia Stazousa valley singing and on territory. Although it is a partial migrant with some leaving in the winter, many stay all year on the island.
Larnaca Sewage Works
Eurasian Wigeon 7 (3m)
Ferruginous Duck 1
Common Pochard 6+
Black-necked Grebe 40+
Common Greenshank 3
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Eurasian Golden Plover 120+
Larnaca Airport Pools South
Eurasian Thick-knee 17
Caspian Gull 10+
Armenian Gull 1ad
Heuglin’s Gull 1 ad
Calandra Lark 4+ in display flight
Common Buzzard 4
Common Quail 1h
Cyprus Warbler 6+ singing males
Long-legged Buzzard 1
European Serin 3+
Eurasian Blackbird 1m
Eurasian Thick-knee 1 in flight near Klavdia village
Oroklini Marsh (see photo)
Black-winged Stilt 2
Red-crested Pochard 1m and 2f
Common Pochard 2m
Ferruginous Duck 7
Northern Lapwing 1
Cattle Egret 200+
Grey Heron 2
Barn Swallow 3
Common Redshank 1
Green Sandpiper 1
Spur-winged Lapwing 3
Armenian Gull 5 ad and c15 imm
Caspian Gull 1 imm
Sandwich Tern 2 fishing offshore
Oroklini Marsh 6th February 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
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
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
Lesser Kestrel, Kivisilli, 29th March 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
After our day out around Cape Greco on Monday, I took Barry today to Akhna Dam, Oroklini and Larnaca. A very windy day which affected the kind of species we saw but we had some excellent views of some great birds and took the total number of species seen over the two days to 103.
We started our day today at Akhna Dam. A Great White Pelican has been moving between Akhna and Larnaca since early November 2016 and today was at Akhna. We watched him preening for a while and also saw a Great Crested Grebe, a singing male Spectacled Warbler, several Grey Heron, a hunting Western Marsh Harrier, a small group of overflying Ruff and a lone Little Ringed Plover. We then headed towards Oroklini Marsh. On the spur of the moment I decided we should check out the beach first just in case there were any gulls there. There wasn’t a single gull present but hovering over the shallow water there we saw a Pied Kingfisher. It had been seen at the Marsh earlier in the week but not since Monday. We were really pleased and watched it for a while as it hovered and then flew to a wire near us calling. It returned to the sea and then flew east. The bird of the day and it wasn’t even lunch time.
At Oroklini we visited both hides and had great views of Greater Flamingo, Spur-winged Lapwing, Black-winged Stilt, Northern Pintail, Red-crested Pochard, a Black-necked Grebe, Lesser Whitethroat, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler and best of all a showy Bluethroat. Although we heard Eurasian Penduline Tit we couldn’t spot it in the reeds. A quick stop at the drainage channel further west along the coast added Common Kingfisher to our growing day list and as we drove through Livadia village we found three Laughing Doves near the church there.
It was very windy around Larnaca Salt Lake and the Sewage Pools area. Two Sandwich Tern were fishing offshore and from the hide we saw 18 Ruddy Shelduck, six Common Greenshank and two Eurasian Wigeon in with the Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Teal and Mallard there. A lone Audouin’s Gull sat on Spiros Pool and our only wheatears of the day were in that area – an Isabelline and a female Northern. We saw a migrating male Western Marsh Harrier and then moved to Meneou Pool where there were several Greater Flamingo, some Kentish Plover, a Common Ringed Plover, a few Little Stint, over forty Black-winged Stilt and some Ruff and Marsh Sandpiper. We visited nearby fields in the village of Pervolia and were pleased to see a singing male Black Francolin out in the open and then two migrating Pallid Harrier flying low over the fields fighting against the wind.
A quick scan of the main Salt Lake produced six Black-necked Grebe, around forty Slender-billed Gull and a couple of hundred Greater Flamingo. We finished the day in the north-east corner of the Salt Lake where we spent around an hour watching a female Little Crake feeding in a run off channel. Also there were Eurasian Reed and Cetti’s Warbler, a Water Pipit, Common Snipe, Grey Wagtail, several Red-rumped Swallows and a Water Rail. Some great birds to finish a great day out.
Total species seen – 82
Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Great Cormorant, Great White Pelican, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Greater Flamingo, Ruddy Shelduck, Eurasian Wigeon, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Red-crested Pochard, Western Marsh Harrier, Pallid Harrier, Common Kestrel, Black Francolin, Water Rail, Little Crake, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Kentish Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Ruff, Common Snipe, Common Redshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Common Black-headed Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Audouin’s Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Sandwich Tern, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Laughing Dove, Common Swift, Common Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Crested Lark, Eurasian Skylark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Meadow Pipit, Water Pipit, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, European Robin, Bluethroat, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Eurasian Penduline Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Corn Bunting
Little Crake, Larnaca Salt Lake, 17th March 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Pied Kingfisher, Oroklini 17th March 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Great White Pelican, Akhna Dam 17th March 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
A break from the rain today and I started at Akhna Dam which now has almost double the amount of water than when I last visited. Plenty of Eurasian Coot and some Grey Heron but more interesting was the female Red-crested Pochard, two Great Crested Grebe and the immature Great White Pelican that has been in the area since mid November 2016. At the coast at Agia Trias I found three Grey Plover, two Greater Sand Plover and three Common Sandpiper (see photo). An immature Slender-billed Gull flew in for a few minutes and then flew off again south (see photo).
A quick look at Cape Greco with only a female Blue Rock Thrush, a female Hen Harrier and Cyprus Warbler of note. Single Little Egret were on Kermia Beach, Makronissos Beach and Dekeleia. Nearly twenty Armenian Gull, a big male Caspian Gull and an adult Mediterranean Gull were on Oroklini Beach and a large flock of Common Starling were flying around before roosting. There were four Temminck’s Stint and six Common Ringed Plover at the JUMBO drainage channel. I finished the day at the Larnaca Sewage Works hide. No sign of the Pallas’ Gull that have been there for a few days but there were seven Greater White-fronted Geese in the fields.
Chukar 11th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Common Sandpiper, Agia Trias, 11th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Around the Larnaca wetlands today. Very few Greater Flamingo around but there are still a couple of hundred Northern Shoveler and Eurasian Teal on the Sewage Pools. One Black-necked Grebe is still present as is a Ruddy Shelduck, five Ferruginous Duck, four Northern Pintail and two male and a female Red-crested Pochard. Most of the pools had double figures of Black-winged Stilt and plenty of Common Black-headed Gull and some Slender-billed Gull. Four hundred Slender-billed Gull were on the main Salt Lake as were four male Garganey and a large flock of Ruff, more than forty Common Redshank, some Dunlin and LIttle Stint and Kentish Plover. Several pairs of Spur-winged Lapwing were around as was a Common Snipe and some Green and Common Sandpiper.
Several Yellow Wagtail were in the area – mainly feldegg but also a couple of flava and a few intergrades. A Cyprus Wheatear was near Tekke Mosque and several Isabelline and Northern Wheatear were around. At Petounta Point two Sandwich Tern were offshore and three Little Ringed Plover and a Kentish Plover were in the flooded area.
After a storm in the early afternoon there were many Common Swift, Red-rumped Swallow and Barn Swallow in the area of Meneou Beach.
Black-winged Stilt, Meneou Pool, 16th March 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Black-headed Wagtail, Petounta Point 16th March 2016
Little Ringed Plover, Petounta Point, 16th March 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Corn Bunting, Larnaca Salt Lake 16th March 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours