Cyprus Birding Tours

Offering guided bird watching tours around Cyprus


Leave a comment

Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Day’s Guiding 5th May 2016 Paphos, Omodos and Limassol

Neil and Christine had specific targets so the day was arranged to ensure we had the best chance to see them. The presence of a male Amur Falcon at Anarita Park changed the locations we had originally intended to visit but we still found all of them – although the Black Francolin refused to show from inside the cereal crop from which it was calling loudly – very frustrating!

The target species were Long-legged Buzzard, Spur-winged Lapwing, Chukar, Black Francolin, Cretzschmar’s Bunting and Cyprus Warbler, plus the Amur Falcon.

The Chukar turned out to be a roadside tick as one ran along the side of the road as we headed to Anarita Park from Neil and Christine’s Limassol base. Four then flew across the motorway. Flocks of swifts and hirundines were everywhere throughout the day – migrants probably bought down lower by the unsettled weather. We saw our first Alpine Swift in one of these flocks as we approached Anarita and we saw several more of these throughout the day plus good numbers of Sand and Common House Martin, Common Swift and Barn Swallow as well as one Red-rumped Swallow.

The Amur Falcon was the perfect bird – sitting on wires in front of us as we parked the car in Anarita Park where it was with several small falcons. In the area we found several male and female Red-footed Falcon and Lesser Kestrel. After watching them for a while we checked out the rest of the area and found a Cyprus Wheatear, three Little Owl, a Great Spotted Cuckoo and heard a Cyprus Warbler which remained deep in the hawthorn bush. More accommodating was a male Cretzschmar’s Bunting which we found busily collecting seeds. We watched it until it flew away towards the goat farm. Flocks of European Bee-eater flew over.

Moving on to Paphos Sewage Plant again we quickly found our target – the Spur-winged Lapwing. We counted at least six near the plant and in the nearby fields. Two Eurasian Turtle Dove were on the wires and again hirundines and swifts were everywhere. We had a couple of probably Pallid Swift but they were a little too distant for us to be 100 per cent sure. Mandria was quiet and little was seen apart from five Little Egret moving west along the coast. After a quick check of the area behind Asprokremmos Dam where we watched European Bee-eater on the wires we then headed back towards Limassol and inland to Omodos.

The weather was now cloudy, windy with scattered showers. However, we were pleased to see a Long-legged Buzzard flying over the area and find at least seven singing male Black-headed Bunting and one female. Several Cretzschmar’s Bunting were singing and European Serin, Cyprus Wheatear and Corn Bunting were reasonably common. We then decided to check Germasogeia Dam where we spent quite a while listening to a Black Francolin calling in a field of uncut cereal. He didn’t come out into the open however but at least Neil will recognize the call when he hears it again!

Our last stop was at Prastio Kellakiou. It was now very over cast but before the heavens opened we had brief views of a Cyprus Warbler family party, saw a fly-by Great Spotted Cuckoo, a male Masked Shrike, at least two singing male Black-headed Bunting and three Cretzschmar’s Bunting.

We headed back to Limassol in the rain- both the rain and the Black Francolin having defeated us but with the other targets met it didn’t seem important that the overall count for the day was low.

Full species list:

Little Egret, Long-legged Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Amur Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin h, Spur-winged Lapwing, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, European Bee-eater, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Black-headed Bunting, Corn Bunting

Cretzschmar's Bunting, Anarita Park 5th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Anarita Park 5th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Amur Falcon, Anarita Park 5th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Amur Falcon, Anarita Park 5th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


Leave a comment

Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Day’s Guiding Paphos 30th April 2016.

A day out with Vanessa, Catherine, Les and David around Paphos where we saw some colourful and varied species. We started at Anarita Park where a pair of Great Spotted Cuckoo greeted us as we drove into the area. As we watched them several Lesser Kestrel could be seen hunting over fields and a female Pallid Harrier gained height to the south. Four Lesser Kestrel rested on a nearby pylon and we were able to see the ID pointers on both the male and females. Moving down the track we found at least eight male and two female Red-footed Falcon and also the male Amur Falcon that has caused great excitement amongst local birders since it was found on Thursday. A Cyprus first and we had the privilege of watching it fly and hunt over our heads! After a while we moved on and found a European Roller and both the Cyprus endemics – being able to watch a singing male Cyprus Wheatear on our right and a singing male Cyprus Warbler on our left. We also got close to the resident Little Owl and found another pair of Great Spotted Cuckoo.

Our next stop was the valley of Agia Varvara. On our way to check out the soakaways that still held some water we were distracted by a displaying European Roller that was also attracting the attention of the resident Hooded Crows who were not keen to having him setting up territory there. A great spectacle and with all respect to the Amur Falcon it was the highlight of the day. In the wet areas we found Purple and Squacco Heron, Glossy Ibis, Ruff, Wood and Common Sandpiper, Common Snipe, and Yellow and White Wagtail. A surprise find were two Ortolan Bunting. We heard a Eurasian Turtle Dove and saw two European Bee-eater. We saw two Eurasian Turtle Dove at Mandria where we also found a Eurasian Stone Curlew in a ploughed field and added Red-rumped Swallow, Sand Martin and Eurasian Shag to the day list.

After a picnic lunch on the coast at Mandria, we moved to the Sewage Works at Paphos where we quickly located Catherine’s target – Spur-winged Lapwing. At least five were seen – the same number of Cattle Egret were also in the fields where they were joined by twelve Wood Sandpiper and two Glossy Ibis. At least three Eurasian Turtle Dove were with a large group of Common Woodpigeon and a Eurasian Hoopoe flew over the area. Near the beach we found a female Northern Wheatear.

Our next stop was Asprokremmos Dam where we had been told there were some Golden Orioles. We were pleased to find at least three males and a female although we would have been happier if they had perched out in the open instead of flying quickly across the area. A Eurasian Hoopoe called over the area and some European Bee-eater flew over. We finished the day near the cliffs at Petra tou Romiou where at least four Eleonora’s Falcon and eight Alpine Swift gave us aerial displays. A good way to finish our enjoyable and successful day out.

Total 57 species

European Shag, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Pallid Harrier, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Amur Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Black Francolin h, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruff, Common Snipe, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Blue-headed Wagtail flava, Black-headed Wagtail feldegg, White Wagtail, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zittting Cisticola, Eurasian Reed Warbler h, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Great Tit, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Ortolan Bunting, Corn Bunting

Red-footed Falcon, Anarita Park 30th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-footed Falcon, Anarita Park 30th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Ruff and Wood Sandpiper, Agia Varvara 30th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Ruff and Wood Sandpiper, Agia Varvara 30th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


Leave a comment

Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Two Day’s Guiding Larnaca, Limassol and Paphos area 28th and 29th April 2016

Two days out with Benny and Ann-Marie who were based in Limassol. We visited most of the coastal Larnaca sites and a couple of inland ones, Zakaki, Phasouri and Kensington Cliffs in Limassol, Omodos, Agios Nikolaos and Tzelefos Bridge inland before finishing at Anarita Park where we had ended our two days out with great views of the first Amur Falcon to be found in Cyprus the day before by local birder Matt Smith.

Species highlights per locations:

28th April 2016

Oroklini Marsh – Cattle Egret, Spur-winged Lapwing, White-winged Tern, Glossy Ibis, Black-tailed Godwit, Greater Flamingo, Black-winged Stilt

Oroklini JUMBO Drainage Channel – Temminck’s Stint 2, Little Ringed Plover , Wood Sandpiper

Larnaca Salt Lake – Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Spectacled Warbler

Larnaca Sewage Works – Ruddy Shelduck, Garganey, Black Francolin, Ruff, Slender-billed Gull, Armenian Gull, Spotted Flycatcher, Spur-winged Lapwing, Black-winged Stilt, Wood Sandpiper, Little Stint

Spiros Pool – Kentish Plover, Black-headed Wagtail, Little Tern

Larnaca Airport Coast – Woodchat Shrike, Eurasian Turtle Dove

Meneou Pools – Greater Flamingo, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover

Pervolia – Black Francolin, Calandra Lark, Red-throated Pipit, Yellow Wagtail

Kivisilli – Lesser Kestrel, Montagu’s Harrier 2f

Panagia Stazousa – Long-legged Buzzard, Eurasian Roller, Cyprus Warbler, Cyprus Wheatear, Common Nightingale

29th April 2016

Zakaki Marsh – Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Water Rail, Wood Sandpiper, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler

Phasouri Reed-beds – Eleonora’s Falcon, Lesser Kestrel, Western Marsh Harrier, Glossy Ibis, Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, Ferruginous Duck

Kensington Cliffs – Eleonora’s Falcon, Cyprus Wheatear

Omodos, Agios Nikoloas, Mandria (Platres) – Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Cyprus Wheatear, Black-headed Bunting, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Red-rumped Swallow, Coal Tit, European Serin, Winter Wren, Masked Shirke, Eurasian Hoopoe, Long-legged Buzzard

Tzelefos Bridge – Winter Wren, Red-rumped Swallow, Black-crowned Night Heron, European Bee-eater

Nikokleia – Little Owl, European Roller

Agia Varvara – European Bee-eater, European Roller, Common Snipe, Wood Sandpiper, Ruff, Common Sandpiper, Squacco Heron, Purple Heron

Anarita Park – Montagu’s Harrier 1m, Lesser Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Amur Falcon, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Whinchat, Long-legged Buzzard

Total seen: 96

Little Grebe, Black-crowned Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo, Ruddy Shelduck, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Ferruginous Duck, Western Marsh Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Amur Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin, Water Rail, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Temminck’s Stint, Ruff, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Common Black-headed Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull,  Armenian Gull, Little Tern, White-winged Tern, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Calandra Lark, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Tree Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Blue-headed Wagtail (flava), Black-headed Wagtail (feldegg), Winter Wren, Common Nightingale, Whinchat, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Black-headed Bunting, Corn Bunting

Glossy Ibis, Zakaki Marsh 29th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Glossy Ibis, Zakaki Marsh 29th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-crowned Night Heron, Tzelefos Bridge, 29th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-crowned Night Heron, Tzelefos Bridge, 29th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Amur Falcon, Anarita Park, 29th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Amur Falcon, Anarita Park, 29th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Omodos 29th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Omodos 29th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Snipe, Agia Varvara 29th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Snipe, Agia Varvara 29th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


Leave a comment

Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Days Guiding Paphos 15th October 2015

Pat, Val, Paul, Anne and I headed straight for Paphos Headland where a walk along the coast line produced four Greater Sand Plover, a Eurasian Golden Plover, a Whimbrel, a Ruddy Turnstone and two Common Sandpiper. Two Common Kingfisher squabbling over territory was great to see and we also found a Tawny Pipit in the scrub as well as a Zitting Cisticola and several Spanish Sparrow sitting in a couple of bushes. Two Northern Lapwing flew over – an unusual location for them.

Our next stop was the Ezousas Valley near Agia Varvara where we found many Willow Warblers, a Eurasian Sparrowhawk, two newly arrived Common Stonechat, a couple of Chukar and a distant Cyprus Wheatear. A couple of the Soakaways still held water but the only birds we found on them were a couple of Common Moorhen and a young Grey Heron.  At Paphos Sewage Works we quickly found at least six Spur-winged Lapwing but it took us a bit longer to find and get decent views of the three Red-throated Pipit that we could hear feeding in the fields with the many White and several Yellow Wagtail. A juvenile Red-footed Falcon was migrating overhead as we left.

The three Red-throated Pipit in the fields near the sea at Mandria were more obliging and we had great views of them – still mainly in breeding plumage. We found three Northern Wheatear, a Tawny Pipit and a Whinchat, and then watched a Long-legged Buzzard fly over and perch on the top of a tall conifer while being mobbed by Hooded Crows. Two Eurasian Sparrowhawk were flying over as were four Northern Lapwing.  We were especially pleased to spend some time watching at least 35 Eurasian Stone Curlew on a ploughed field.

We then went to Petra tou Romiou and were treated to a flying display by four or five Eleonora’s Falcon. Another Eleonora’s Falcon gave us a surprise at Kouklia Soakaways when it flew up from the water in the river bed there. A Long-legged Buzzard was also flying in the valley and we saw another of those on the approach road to the Asprokremmos Dam being pursued by a flock of Hooded Crow.  Both darker birds than we had seen at Mandria. A male and female Cyprus Warbler played hide and seek behind the Dam but finally the female at least allowed us to see her well, the male giving only the briefest glimpses.

Our last stop was at Minthis Hills where we were hoping to get better views of the Cyprus Wheatear. We were very pleased to find one as soon as we turned into the area and then another a bit further along the track. Our final species were two Bonelli’s Eagle that gave us a great fly by and a fitting end to the day.

Total species seen 47

European Shag, Grey Heron, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Chukar, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Greater Sand Plover, Eurasian Golden Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Northern Lapwing, Whimbrel, Common Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Kingfisher, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Tawny Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Whinchat, Common Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit,  Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet

Eurasian Stone Curlew Mandria 15th October 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Stone Curlew Mandria 15th October 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


Leave a comment

Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Day’s Guiding Paphos 25th September 2015

It was good to meet up with Carl and Riss again and enjoy some friendly birding around Paphos. We checked out several locations that were new to them so they could visit themselves later in their holiday and found some good species on the way. It was much quieter than it has been over the last two weeks and we especially noted a big reduction in the number of European Bee-eaters around.

The star turns of the day were a male Western Marsh Harrier we saw with prey (probably a female Black Francolin) in its talons even though it then disappeared into an alfalfa field and defied all our attempts to relocate it; an Osprey we watched fishing at Asprokremmos Dam; and a lone male Red-footed Falcon on wires near the small church at Mandria.

Long-legged Buzzard were seen at Agia Varvara, Mandria and Kouklia Soakaways. We found a Cyprus and Isabelline Wheatear at Agia Varvara and several Greater Short-toed Lark and Tawny Pipit in the fields of Mandria where there were also many Yellow Wagtail, Whinchat and Northern Wheatear. In the wetter areas at Agia Varvara there were three Common Snipe. There we also heard a Water Rail and managed to see rather than hear two Cetti’s Warbler.

A juvenile Eleonora’s Falcon was perched in a tree at Petra tou Romiou where two Hooded Crow and three other Eleonora’s joined it for a while – it got a bit crowded! Other good birds included at least two Whiskered Tern on Asprokremmos Dam, two European Roller at Mandria, four Spur-winged Lapwing at Paphos Sewage Works and a Grey Wagtail at Kouklia Soakaways.

Species seen:

European Shag, European Honey Buzzard, Western Marsh Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Osprey, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Chukar, Water Rail (h), Common Moorhen, Spur-winged Lapwing, Common Snipe, Whiskered Tern, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Tawny Pipit, Yellow Wagtail inc feldegg and flava races, Grey Wagtail, Whinchat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet

Red-footed Falcon Mandria 25th September 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-footed Falcon Mandria 25th September 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


Leave a comment

Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Day’s Guiding around Akrotiri and Kouklia 23rd September 2015

The first of two day’s out with Julia and Pete was spent mainly around the Akrotiri Peninsula but the surprise of the day was found during a spur of the moment visit to Kouklia Soakways.

As we drove into Phassouri Reed Beds Julia noticed two birds at the edge of the field – a male and female Black Francolin. Moving on to the soundtrack of the day –  the call of migrating European Bee-eaters – we saw several European Honey Buzzard fly over , a couple of Western Marsh Harrier and a female Red-footed Falcon. A male and a female Golden Oriole flew into a tall tree and we had brief glimpses of them. There were also several Eurasian Turtle Dove flying around together with several Yellow Wagtail. A lone Cattle Egret was present but the only waders we saw were two Common Snipe that flew over the area.

On the Gravel Pits we stopped near the church to watch a kettle of around fifty European Honey Buzzard on the thermalling up and disappearing into the clouds. We also had a Tree Pipit fly over calling and on one of the pools we found several Dunlin, Kentish Plover and a Common Sandpiper. We saw a couple of Whinchat and a Northern Wheatear as well as several juvenile Red-backed Shrike. We also had a single Lesser Grey Shrike on the road past Bishop’s Pool.

Lady’s Mile had Kentish Plover, a single Common Ringed Plover, several Dunlin and plenty of Little Stint. A Western Marsh Harrier flew over and then a juvenile Montagu’s Harrier. We were able to get great views of two Great Reed Warbler and several juvenile Yellow Wagtail (feldegg) from the hide at Zakaki Marsh due to the recent clearing work done by a BirdLife Cyprus volunteer. A hunting Western Marsh Harrier put a Northern Pintail, Garganey, Mallard, two Little Egret and a Grey Heron to flight.

After lunch we went to Kensington Cliffs where we were treated to a great flying display by around twenty Eleonora’s Falcon who were joined by seven Eurasian Griffon Vulture soaring over the cliffs and a single Long-legged Buzzard.  We finally left as the Griffon Vultures headed inland and then back again behind the cliffs and out of sight.

We decided to pop into Kouklia Soakaways on the way back to Paphos on the off chance of a Bonelli’s Eagle. No luck with that but we had two, maybe three, Long-legged Buzzard, another Western Marsh Harrier and a Peregrine Falcon. Again there were many European Bee-eater and we thought at first we were looking at another one on the wires over the road as we were leaving. Suddenly it dawned that we had a Cyprus rarity in front of us – a White-throated Kingfisher – recorded less than annually. Unfortunately before we were able to even get a quick photo for the record it flew off into the nearby orchard. We had no luck relocating it but the views we had were unmistakable.  A quick visit to Asprokremmos Dam added Spotted Flycatcher and Black-crowned Night Heron to the day’s list which contained some quality birds.

Species seen – 58

Little Grebe, European Shag, Black-crowned Night Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Garganey, European Honey Buzzard, Eurasian Griffon Vulture, Western Marsh Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Common  Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Little Stint, Dunlin, Common Snipe, Common Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, White-throated Kingfisher, European Bee-eater, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Sand Martin, Common House Martin, Tree Pipit, Black-headed Wagtail, Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet

 

 


Leave a comment

Larnaca area over the last two days, 30th April 2015

Early morning surveys in the Larnaca area provided some good birds which included several singing male Cyprus Warbler, Great Spotted Cuckoo, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Lesser Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Pallid Harrier, Little Owl, Calandra Lark, Woodchat  and Red-backed Shrike, European Bee-eater and a calling Eurasian Scops Owl. The numbers of Greater Flamingo on the Salt Lake has decreased but there are still plenty of Ruff, Little Stint and Wood Sandpiper passing through as well as Black-winged Stilt, Little Tern, Spur-winged Lapwing and a Little Gull. Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis and Black-crowned Night Heron have been passing by the coast and in the fields there are still small numbers of Yellow Wagtail and Red-throated Pipit and an occasional Northern Wheatear.

Kentish Plover Petounta Point April 30th 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Kentish Plover Petounta Point April 30th 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-crowned Night Heron Larnaca Salt Lake 29th April 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-crowned Night Heron Larnaca Salt Lake 29th April 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


Leave a comment

Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Day’s Guiding Paphos, 24th April 2015

The first stop of a day out with Peter and Marny was at Petra tou Romiou where we found two Eleonora’s Falcon – one unusually perched on a tree. A male Cyprus Wheatear was singing and we watched a Great Spotted Cuckoo fly over the area.  At least nine Alpine Swift were around and a lone Little Egret flew in off the sea. A couple of male Sardinian Warbler were singing, trying to attract our attention. A Peregrine Falcon speeded past the car as we left the area. The river at the Kouklia Soakaways had a good flow of water and we spent some time watching four Wood Sandpiper feeding there.

We found a male and a female Cyprus Warbler near to the mast behind Asprokremmos Dam where there were also five Tawny Pipit, two Ortolan Bunting, a Whinchat, a Little Owl and a Sardinian Warbler family party. We were having a good day for raptors and here we saw a female Western Marsh Harrier, a male Montagu’s Harrier, an unidentified ring-tail harrier and two Bonelli’s Eagle. On the water were several Yellow-legged Gull and through the ‘scope we spotted one with a darker grey mantle which we identified as the ‘heuglin’ race of the Lesser Black-backed Gull. Mandria was very windy and disappointing bird-wise so we moved onto Paphos Sewage Works where we found eight Spur-winged Lapwing and three Cattle Egret in the fields. It took us some time to locate any Yellow Wagtail but we found several in a bare tree including Blue-headed flava and Black-headed feldegg, several females and a xanthophrys intergrade. Near the Ezousas river we saw a Eurasian Turtle Dove, a Squacco Heron and heard an Eastern Olivaceous Warbler singing.

At Agia Varvara we found a Woodchat Shrike, a Purple Heron and more Wood Sandpiper.  Our last stop was Anarita Park where at least twelve Red-footed Falcon resting on a field was the sight that greeted us. The first of the five European Roller that we saw in the area joined them. Driving through the area we found at least twenty more Red-footed Falcon flying and feeding over the hills sides. Around ten Lesser Kestrel were also present as were several Common Kestrel. A Long-legged Buzzard flew in but two Western Jackdaw soon chased it away. Two male Montagu’s Harrier were also seen. An impressive array of raptors in a small area concluded a good day out.

Number of different birds seen – 57

Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Western Marsh Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Common Moorhen, Spur-winged Lapwing, Wood Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Heuglin’s Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, European Roller, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Common House Martin, Blue-headed Wagtail, Black-headed Wagtail, xanthophrys Yellow Wagtail, Common Nightingale, Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Ortolan Bunting, Corn Bunting

Red-footed Falcon female Anarita Park 24th April 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-footed Falcon female Anarita Park 24th April 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


Leave a comment

Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Morning’s Guiding Paphos, 20th April 2015

Today was the second morning out with Mike and Nancy and meant visits to Anarita Park, Agia Varvara and Minthis Hills. A quieter morning than that of last Thursday but with some excellent species seen. At Anarita Park we found two Great Spotted Cuckoo on the track in front of us as we drove in and later saw another pair and heard one more. There were at least five European Roller and more than ten Lesser Kestrel flying and feeding in the area. Three, maybe four, Red-footed Falcon headed north over the goat farm as did a female Montagu’s Harrier. We also had good views of a Little Owl, Red-rumped Swallow, two Spotted Flycatcher, a Woodchat Shrike and a Eurasian Hoopoe and spent some time watching a male Cyprus Wheatear singing. The area was full of Corn Bunting as well as several Ortolan Bunting and Whinchat.

At Agia Varvara we found another female Montagu’s Harrier migrating over and were able to compare a female with a male Cyprus Wheatear. Two Long-legged Buzzard flew to the north of Minthis Hills where we finished our morning out. Two singing male Cretzschmar’s Bunting brought the species total for the morning to thirty seven and that for our two mornings out to fifty seven. Quality rather than quantity!

Total species seen: 37

Little Egret, Montagu’s Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Chukar h, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Whinchat, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Ortolan Bunting, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting


Leave a comment

Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Day’s Guiding Limassol and Anarita, 14th April 2015

As we left Paphos, seven Black-crowned Night Heron flew over the road outside Gareth’s hotel. On arrival at Phassouri we stopped to find several European Serin singing in the eucalyptus plantation and then a Black Francolin at the start of the reed beds. Two Squacco Heron, several Little Egret and a Purple Heron were feeding on the edge of the reeds where we could hear Eurasian Reed and Sedge Warbler singing. A large snipe flew out of the reeds and into some low vegetation near to us and we were delighted to realise it was a Great Snipe. To aid our ID a Common Snipe also flew over and the differences were obvious. In among the many Common Swift flying over we picked out at least three Pallid Swift and several Red-rumped Swallow were also seen. A male Common Redstart was in the plantations.

The pool near the deserted sheds was drying up and we found Little Stint, Little Ringed Plover, Wood Sandpiper, Ruff, Common Redshank and Dunlin feeding there. Two Woodchat Shrike were in the nearby tamarisks. On the Gravel Pits we found more than ten Whinchat and several Northern Wheatear as well as a singing Common Nightingale and a resting Common Buzzard. In the church gardens there were two Lesser Whitethroat, a Tree Pipit, an Ortolan Bunting, an Eastern Orphean Warbler, a couple of Willow Warbler and male and female Blackcap.

We could only find about fifteen Greater Flamingo on the Salt Lake and in the waterlogged area along the south side of the lake we saw a Black-tailed Godwit and several Glossy Ibis. A couple of Eastern Olivaceous Warbler could be heard singing. On Lady’s Mile we quickly found several Slender-billed Gull which had been one of Gareth’s targets. In the end we counted around 40 of these birds and also two Common Black-headed Gull, a couple of second calendar year Armenian Gull, a scruffy second calendar year Caspian Gull and several Yellow-legged Gull. A Spotted Redshank attaining its black breeding plumage was the star of the waders there which included Common Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Ruff and Kentish Plover.

We didn’t have to wait long in the Zakaki Marsh hide before we saw a male Little Crake and then a female also appeared to our right. Five Ferruginous Duck were on the water with two sleeping Northern Shoveler and a Green Sandpiper. Little Egret, Common Moorhen and Glossy Ibis were feeding on the mid between the reed stands where Sedge and Eurasian Reed Warbler were seen. Two Laughing Dove flew into the port area as we drove by but we couldn’t relocate them for better views.

We decided to make a quick visit to Kensington Cliffs on our way back to Paphos and Anarita Park. It proved to be a good decision as we found six Eleonora’s Falcon, newly arrived and flying around the area. Both Cyprus Wheatear and Cyprus Warbler were singing on bushes below us as was a Sardinian Warbler. After some searching we finally located at least two Alpine Swift. As we drove past Pissouri a Great Spotted Cuckoo flew across the motorway in front of us. We found another one on a rock at Anarita Park – our last location of the day. Here we found around ten Lesser Kestrel and a lone male Red-footed Falcon as well as three European Roller, a Common Whitethroat and two Tawny Pipit. Unfortunately only I managed to see a male Pallid Harrier flying low and then out of sight being followed by a couple of Hooded Crows. A good location at which to finish a great day’s birding.

Total number of species seen – 90

Black-crowned Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Ferruginous Duck, Pallid Harrier, Common Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin, Little Crake, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Little Stint, Dunlin, Ruff, Great Snipe, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Common Black-headed Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Baltic Gull,Yellow-legged Gull, Caspian Gull, Armenian Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Laughing Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Swift, Pallid Swift, Alpine Swift, European Roller, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Tawny Pipit, Tree Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Common Nightingale, Common Redstart, Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Eastern Orphean Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Ortolan Bunting, Corn Bunting

Red-footed Falcon  Anarita Park 14th April 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-footed Falcon Anarita Park 14th April 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


Leave a comment

Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report, Akrotiri and Paphos 9th October 2014

As soon as Richard, Lynda and I arrived at Phassouri Reed Beds, our attention was drawn to the small falcons in the trees and on the aerial wires in the distance. A flock of Red-footed Falcons of all sexes and ages; and in just ten minutes they stared to circle over the area and head southwards on their migration. A wonderful site and we had great views of them. Large raptors were thinner on the ground although we saw several Western Marsh Harrier (including an adult male), a few European Honey Buzzard, a couple of European Sparrowhawk and a Lesser Kestrel. European Bee-eater were passing over as were flocks of Barn Swallow. A surprise find was a Common Nightingale that flew out of a road side hedge and onto the road in front of us.

There were many Whinchat and Red-backed Shrike and we also found a European Stonechat and a large flock of White Wagtail – winter visitors that will soon be very common. A more elusive winter visitor was found in the reeds – a Bluethroat.  A Common Kingfisher and Squacco Heron were also present.  A couple of Tree Pipits were present, a late juvenile Masked Shrike was by the roadside and we had good views of Spotted Flycatcher and Zitting Cisticola. On the lake in the Gravel Pits area there was a Ruddy Turnstone – not a common bird to Cyprus.

We drove along Lady’s Mile where we found Spectacled Warbler, Northern Wheatear and yet more Whinchat in the scrub. On the mud flats were Kentish Plover, Dunlin and Little Stint. An adult and a juvenile Greater Flamingo were also there and we were able to watch the grey juvenile feeding. As we approached the hide at Zakaki I noticed a flock of egrets and was surprised to find when we got nearer that it was of eighteen Great Egrets and not the more usual Little Egrets. They were very flighty and soon disappeared further into the channel and out of sight from the hide. Also present were several Grey Heron, a couple of Little Egret and a very smart Eurasian Spoonbill. Mallard, Teal and Garganey were present. In the reeds we saw Cetti’s Warbler, another Bluethroat and a Great Reed Warbler. A couple of Yellow Wagtail were also around.

I decided to return to Phassouri to eat our lunch and watch for any more raptors passing over early in the afternoon. More Red-footed Falcon and Western Marsh Harrier were around as were European Bee-eater. But we were in the right place at the right time, as we were told by other local birders that a Lesser Spotted Eagle had been seen a few minutes earlier near the bee-hives. We headed there and joined them in watching the bird fly up from the eucalyptus plantation and continue its journey. We also found a Common Buzzard and saw a Steppe Buzzard migrating before we left to return to Paphos.

On the way back we visited Asprokremmos Dam where we found a flock of Spanish Sparrow and saw a Long-legged Buzzard being mobbed by a Hooded Crow. There were not many birds at Paphos Sewage Works other than White Wagtail in the alfalfa fields so we went to check out the Ezousas Soakaways. There were many Willow Warbler in the vegetation in the area but we also found two Common Snipe, a Garganey, a Squacco Heron, a female Blackcap and a Common Kingfisher. A Water Rail was heard and there were three Turtle Doves flying around as two Red-footed Falcon passed over.

Thanks to Richard and Lynda for a good day’s birding with a good variety of interesting raptors.

Total species seen – 65

Little Grebe, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Great Egret, Grey Heron, Eurasian Spoonbill, Greater Flamingo, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Garganey, European Honey Buzzard, Western Marsh Harrier, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Steppe Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Black Francolin, Water Rail h, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Kentish Plover, Little Stint, Dunlin, Common Snipe, Ruddy Turnstone, Common Wood Pigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Common Kingfisher, European Bee-eater, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Tree Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Bluethroat, Common Nightingale, Whinchat, European Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Great Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet

 


Leave a comment

Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s Guiding Paphos and Akrotiri, 25th September 2014

The weather had an autumn feel this morning when I picked up Howard for a day around Paphos and Akrotiri. The wind, that at least lowered the temperature, also seemed to affect the birds that we saw with very little raptor movement noted.

We had one Honey Buzzard circling up over Paphos Sewage Works and a Western Marsh Harrier putting the many Yellow Wagtail to flight. Red-backed, Lesser Grey and a very pale juvenile Masked Shrike were found as were a couple of Spotted Flycatcher, several Whinchat, lots of Willow Warbler and a few Zitting Cisticola. We also had great views of two male Black Francolin.  One was creeping along the side of one of the fields and the other emerged from the track side vegetation. At the Ezousas Soakaways we found at least four Turtle Dove and a flock of migrating European Bee-eater together with a juvenile European Roller. At least one Eurasian Reed Warbler was spotted and a Water Rail was heard.

Another Honey Buzzard greeted us as we arrived at Mandria where again there were plenty of Yellow Wagtail in the fields. We also found a couple of Northern Wheatear and at least one European Stone Curlew was in one of the ploughed fields. A couple of European Shag were offshore and two Yellow-legged Gull floated past. As we approached nearby Asprokremmos Dam we saw a Long-legged Buzzard fly over which landed on the slope opposite us enabling us to examine it through the ‘scope. More European Bee-eater were around as were many Sardinian Warbler, at least six Chukar and at least three Spotted Flycatcher.

We then headed for Phassouri Reed Beds where we ate our lunch as we checked for migrating raptors. No Honey Buzzards during our watch but we did see a European Sparrowhawk and a couple of Western Marsh Harrier. Howard managed to get some photographs of the European Bee-eaters in the trees but the strong winds were hindering both us and the birds. We went to Zakaki Marsh and from the new hide saw the immature Great White Pelican that has been there for several weeks now. A White Stork was also present with the Little Egret and Grey Heron on the opposite shore. We were treated to a flying display by at least five Whiskered Tern and also watched a Spotted Redshank and Common Kingfisher. Another Western Marsh Harrier was quartering the area and put most of the birds to flight.

Our final point of call was Lady’s Mile. An Eleonora’s Falcon flew westwards over the sand dunes and then we spotted a female Red-footed Falcon heading straight out to sea. Checking the waders we found a Sanderling in with the many Kentish Plover and Little Stint. A couple of Dunlin were also present. We had a good variety of species seen on a day made difficult by the strong winds. Nevertheless an enjoyable day out.

Total 53 species seen:

European Shag, Great White Pelican, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, White Stork, Mallard, Eurasian Teal, European Honey Buzzard, Western Marsh Harrier, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin, Water Rail, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Kentish Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Sanderling, Little Stint, Dunlin, Spotted Redshank, Yellow-legged Gull, Whiskered Tern, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Common Kingfisher, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Barn Swallow, Yellow Wagtail, Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, European Goldfinch

Great White Pelican, Zakaki Marsh, September 25th 2014 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Great White Pelican, Zakaki Marsh, September 25th 2014 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours