Cyprus Birding Tours

Offering guided bird watching tours around Cyprus


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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


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Waterbird Count Larnaca 18th May 2017

There seemed to have been a clear out of birds overnight and there were less around than yesterday but still some migrants around including a Broad-billed Sandpiper on the Salt Lake. Other birds included:

Larnaca Sewage Works
Grey Heron 2
Little Tern 7
Yellow-legged Gull 1
Black-crowned Night Heron 1 along coast being mobbed by Hooded Crow
Ruff 5
Little Stint 3
Common Sandpiper 1
Mallard 18 plus 1 female with 10 ducklings
Little Grebe 6
Common Coot 11
Sand Martin 20+
Barn Swallow 200+
Common Swift 50+
Northern House Martin 10+

Spiros Pool
Red-backed Shrike 1m
Greater Short-toed Lark 2

Larnaca Salt Lake
Little Owl 1
Eurasian Thick-knees (Stone Curlew) 1 h
Spur-winged Lapwing 16
Wood Sandpiper 5
Broad-billed Sandpiper 1
Little Stint 22
Temminck’s Stint 1
Glossy Ibis 8
Curlew Sandpiper 2
Ruff 9
Squacco Heron 1 (see photos)
Black-crowned Night Heron 2 over road near Airport


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Akamas today 10th May 2017

Seen in the Akamas area today were:

Droushia
European Golden Oriole 1m seen and heard
European Bee-eater 2
Eurasian Blackcap 1m subsong

Arodes
Black-headed Bunting 2m
Bonelli’s Eagle 2 ad
Cyprus Warbler 1m
Peregrine Falcon 1
European Roller 4
Great Spotted Cuckoo 1
Little Owl 1
Red-backed Shrike 1m
Woodchat Shrike 1

Ineia
European Roller 1

Droushia to Pittokopos Road
Black-headed Bunting 1m

Pittokopos to Androlikou Road
Black-headed Bunting 1m
European Roller 2

Androlikou
European Roller 4
Common Hoopoe 1
Red-backed Shrike 1m
Woodchat Shrike 1

Latchi
Squacco Heron 1 on breakwater

Neo Horio/Smygies
European Roller 2
Black-headed Bunting 1m
Red-backed Shrike 1f
Cretzschmar’s Bunting 2 bathing in stream
Thrush Nightingale feeding near stream
Common Redstart 1f bathing in stream
European Bee-eater 50+ see photo

Cretzschmar's Bunting, Agios Minas 10th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Agios Minas 10th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

European Bee-eater, Latchi 10th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

European Bee-eater, Latchi 10th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-backed Shrike, Arodes 10th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-backed Shrike, Arodes 10th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s Guiding 5th May 2017, Paphos and Akrotiri

Good to see John and Madeleine again for another day’s birding. We visited a few Paphos locations in the morning before spending the rest of the day around Akrotiri. Eight species of raptor seen including Red-footed Falcon, Lesser Kestrel and Montagu’s Harrier at Anarita early morning and later on a Peregrine Falcon and two Eleonora’s Falcon hunting the waders on Akrotiri Salt Lake where we were surprised to find a female Hen Harrier as well. We saw many different waders including Broad-billed Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper and Temminck’s Stint plus great views of Collared Pratincole and White-winged Tern.

Highlights per location visited:

Agia Varvara – Black Francolin 2, European Turtle Dove, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Lesser Kestrel, Eleonora’s Falcon, Spotted Flycatcher

Agia Varvara village reservoir- Ruff, Temminck’s Stint, Wood Sandpiper, European Roller, Red-rumped Swallow

Anarita Park – Montagu’s Harrier 1m, Long-legged Buzzard, European Bee-eater h, Lesser Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Cyprus Warbler, Corn Bunting

Kouklia village – Laughing Dove

Akrotiri Gravel Pits – Great Spotted Cuckoo 2, European Turtle Dove 4, Little Egret, Kentish Plover, Willow Warbler, European Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, Spotted Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher 1f

Phasouri Reed Beds – Ferruginous Duck, Glossy Ibis 6, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Ruff, Olivaceous Warbler, Black-headed Wagtail 1m, European Serin

Akrotiri Salt Lake – Greater Flamingo, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Cuckoo, Black-winged Stilt, Grey Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Ruff, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Collared Pratincole, Little Tern, White-winged Tern, Hen Harrier 1f, European Bee eater, Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon

Lady’s Mile – Little Egret, Common Ringed Plover, Ruff, Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Common Greenshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Little Tern

Zakaki Marsh – European Bee-eater, Squacco Heron

Total species seen – 75

Black Francolin, Ferruginous Duck, Mallard, Little Grebe, Greater Flamingo, Common Woodpigeon, European Turtle Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, Laughing Dove, Common Swift, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Cuckoo, Common Moorhen, Common Coot, Glossy Ibis, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Black-winged Stilt, Grey Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit, Ruff, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Temminck’s Stint, Little Stint, Common Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Collared Pratincole, Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Little Tern, White-winged Tern, Hen Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Eurasian Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Great Tit, Crested Lark, Zitting Cisticola, Olivaceous Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Northern House Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Willow Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, Cyprus Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher, Cyprus Wheatear, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Black-headed Wagtail, European Greenfinch, Common Linnet, European Goldfinch, European Serin, Corn Bunting

Glossy Ibis, Phasouri 5th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Glossy Ibis, Phasouri 5th May 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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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

 


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Waterbird Count, Larnaca, 13th June 2016

Apart from the usual Mallards, Little Grebe and Eurasian Coot, there was a Whiskered and a White-winged Tern at the Sewage Pools as well as breeding Spur-winged Lapwing, the long-staying Ruddy Shelduck and two Ferruginous Duck. A small group of Kentish Plover flew in while I was there. The majority of bird life on the main Salt Lake was in the north east corner where I found more breeding Spur-winged Lapwing, some Black-winged Stilt, a Grey Heron, two Little Egret, two Cattle Egret and a Squacco Heron. A pair of Black-headed Wagtail were at Spiros Pool and the reeds near the Kamares aqueduct were full of Eurasian Reed Warbler families.

Black-winged Stilt, Larnaca 13th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-winged Stilt, Larnaca 13th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Barn Swallow, Larnaca 13th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Barn Swallow, Larnaca 13th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Athalassa Dam, Nicosia this morning 9th June 2016

A walk around the dam at Athalassa today which still has plenty of water. A couple of pairs of Black-winged Stilt were present as were four Ferruginous Duck, an adult Little Bittern, two Squacco Heron, two Black-crowned Night Heron, four Little Egret and several European Turtle Dove. Eastern Olivaceous and Eurasian Reed Warbler could be heard and seen flitting in the trees and reeds and there were several Cetti’s Warbler. Several Mallard had large duckling with them and Eurasian Coot were feeding young – ranging from recently hatched to larger birds. Plenty of Common Moorhen and Little Grebe but no young seen of either species. As usual the area was full of Common Woodpigeon and Hooded Crow.

Black-winged Stilt, Athalassa 9th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-winged Stilt, Athalassa 9th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

European Turtle Dove, Athalassa Dam, 9th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

European Turtle Dove, Athalassa Dam, 9th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Coot with young, Athalassa 9th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Coot with young, Athalassa 9th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Woodpigeon, Athalassa 9th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Common Woodpigeon, Athalassa 9th June 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Larnaca Waterbird count this morning, 16th May 2016

Out in the Larnaca area for the waterbird count with interesting species found listed below:

Meneou Pool
Little Tern 2
Greater Flamingo 3
Kentish Plover 3 ad

Larnaca Sewage Works pools and surrounds
Black Francolin 1 m and 1f
Black Tern 1
White-winged Tern 2
Curlew Sandpiper 5,
Black-winged Stilt 8
Ruff 17
Ferruginous Duck 1
Little Stint 5
Common Ringed Plover 1
Spur-winged Lapwing 15
Common Black-headed Gull 1
Ruddy Shelduck 1
Sand Martin 4

Spiros Pool
Kentish Plover 2
Spur-winged Lapwing 1

Larnaca Salt Lake
Kentish Plover 23
Black-winged Stilt 1f
Ruff 42
Glossy Ibis 6
Black-crowned Night Heron 5
Grey Heron 1
Little Bittern 1m.
Squacco Heron 2
Spur-winged Lapwing 3
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Yellow Wagtail feldegg 1h
Common Redstart 1f
Eastern Olivaceous Warbler 2
Eurasian Reed Warbler c10

Ruddy Shelduck , Larnaca Sewage Works 16th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Ruddy Shelduck , Larnaca Sewage Works 16th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Squacco Heron Larnaca Salt Lake 16th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Ruddy Shelduck , Larnaca Sewage Works 16th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Day’s Guiding Larnaca area 9th May 2016

A late spring trip with Neil and Julie following on from an autumn trip with just Neil last October. We started at Oroklini Marsh where as well as breeding Black-winged Stilt and Spur-winged Lapwing we had fifteen White-winged Tern. There was a good selection of heron species as well with ten Purple Heron flying in and landing on trees to the west, a single Squacco Heron and immature Black-crowned Night Heron, two Little Egret and many Cattle Egret – several on nests in the tamarisks. A European Roller flew nearby and we watched a male and female Red-footed Falcon gain height to the west of the water. We then moved to the nearby storm water drain next to Jumbo toy shop where there were a couple of Spur-winged Lapwing, a Little Ringed Plover, two Wood Sandpiper and four Temminck’s Stint. The last was the reason for stopping there so I was pleased they were still around.

As we approached the hide at Larnaca Sewage Works we saw three White-winged Tern flying over the area. That was a good start but better was to come. From the hide itself we found there were at least twenty White-winged Tern and eight Black Tern – the latter not common in Cyprus. We were entertained by them for a while and then ten Collared Pratincole flew over but unfortunately didn’t appear to land. On the water there was a single Ferruginous Duck in with the Mallard and Eurasian Coots and Ruff, Wood Sandpiper and Little Stint feeding around the edge. Two Common Black-headed Gull were unusual for May. We found a female Red-backed Shrike and got fleeting views of Spectacled Warbler. Around Meneou Pool we watched two European Roller and on the water’s edge found Kentish Plover with two small chicks, a Curlew Sandpiper, a Common Greenshank, some Little Stint, six Little Egret and a couple of Greater Flamingo.

We checked the fields near Pervolia for Calandra Lark and after a while had good views of at least eight in the stubble. Moving onto Kiti Dam we watched a Spotted Flycatcher and a female Common Redstart while we ate our lunch and then at Kivisilli we watched a hunting female Red-footed Falcon and saw a Chukar with twelve recently hatched young.

We spent the rest of the day in the Panagia Stazousa Important Bird Area. There we found Long-legged Buzzard, European Roller, European Bee-eater, Masked Shrike, Cyprus Warbler, Cyprus Wheatear, Eurasian Hoopoe, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Eurasian Turtle Dove and heard Eurasian Scops Owl all within a short drive. A lovely location to finish an enjoyable day out, although we managed to add a new species to our day list on the drive back – two Eurasian Stone Curlew in fields near Vrysoulles.

Total species – 66

Little Grebe, Black-crowned Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Purple Heron, Greater Flamingo, Mallard, Ferruginous Duck, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Collared Pratincole, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Temminck’s Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Ruff, Common Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Black-headed Gull, Black Tern, White-winged Tern, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Eurasian Scops Owl h, Little Owl, Common Swift, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Calandra Lark, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Common House Martin, Common Redstart, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch

Cattle Egret, Oroklini Marsh, 9th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Cattle Egret, Oroklini Marsh, 9th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Two mornings guiding, 3rd & 6th May 2016, around Paphos

Two mornings out with Jean, Ray and Mair were spent at different Paphos locations where we had good views of many migrant breeders and migrating herons, hirundines, waders, Lesser Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon and European Bee-eater. We also got excellent views of the vagrant Amur Falcon – looking rather cross as he dried out after a downpour – and a displaying European Roller.

Highlights per locations:

Tuesday 3rd May

Evretou Dam –  Purple Heron 1, Chukar, Little Ringed Plover, Little Stint, Ruff, Common Snipe, Curlew Sandpiper 3, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, European Bee-eater, Red-rumped Swallow, Cyprus Wheatear, Spotted Flycatcher, Eurasian Hoopoe

Androlikou – Eurasian Turtle Dove, Little Owl, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Cyprus Wheatear, Spotted Flycatcher

Neochorio – Smygies – European Bee-eatear, Red-rumped Swallow, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Cretzschmar’s Bunting

Friday 6th May

Anarita Park – Lesser Kestrel 2, Red-footed Falcon c20, Amur Falcon 1m, Eleonora’s Falcon 1, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, European Bee-eater, European Roller

Agia Varvara – Squacco Heron, European Bee-eater, Sand Martin

Paphos Sewage Works – Cattle Egret, Spur-winged Lapwing, Sand Martin 40+

Arodes (near village) – Golden Oriole 3, Black-headed Bunting 1 singing male

Two day list of species: 55 in total

Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Amur Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin, Little Ringed Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Ruff, Common Snipe, Curlew Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, 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, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Black-headed Bunting, Corn Bunting

Amur Falcon drying off in the rain, Anarita Park, 6th May 2016

Amur Falcon drying off in the sun, Anarita Park, 6th May 2016


Black-headed Bunting, Arodes, 6th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-headed Bunting, Arodes, 6th May 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Day’s Guiding around Limassol 7th April 2016

As the temperature slowly creeps up on a daily basis and the water on the coastal sites begins to evaporate, I decided to split the day out with Lynne and Kevin between the Akrotiri sites and two inland areas close to Limassol. We started the day at Germasogeia Dam where we headed for the Finikaria end of the dam, stopping on the way to watch a Cyprus Wheatear  and a flock of Spanish Sparrow. At Finikaria we spotted two Little Owls in a carob tree and then stopped to enjoy a calling Black Francolin by the trackside. We then watched a singing male Sardinian Warbler which was chased off its singing perch by a male Cyprus Warbler which then took over. All around us we could hear Zitting Cisticola and calling Cetti’s Warbler. A Cetti’s called from a fig tree near to where we were standing and for once we were able to watch this elusive species. Near the water we heard Eurasian Reed Warbler and saw two Water Pipit in their pinkish summer plumage. A Squacco Heron was feeding on the water’s edge. We heard calling Great Spotted Cuckoo and were pleased when the pair finally flew close to us.

We then headed to the coast and spent a while in the hide at Zakaki. We checked the reed edges for crakes but no joy so we watched a large flock of hirundine coming down to drink there. They were mainly Common House Martin but they were joined by a few Red-rumped Swallow and Sand Martin as well as the usual Barn Swallow. Six Cattle Egret and six Little Egret were resting there and a lone Ferruginous Duck was present.

Lady’s Mile was even quieter than the day before. We saw Lesser Whitethroat and a lone Northern Wheatear while the Spotted Redshank was still on the water together with five Greater Flamingo, some Black-winged Stilt, Little Stint, Dunlin and Kentish Plover. At the entrance to Bishop’s Pool we found a male and a female Eurasian Pied Flycatcher in the acacias. Around the Gravel Pits we found more Northern Wheatear and two female Eastern Black-eared Wheatear as well as a female Blue Rock Thrush. Four Greater Short-toed Lark flew over as did six migrating Grey Heron.  Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat and Eurasian Blackcap were feeding in the  tamarisks and we saw a couple of Whinchat and heard two singing Common Nightingale.

We then headed inland again to Prastio Kellakiou. There we finished our day out surrounded by calling Cretzschmar’s Bunting, courting Masked Shrike, singing Cyprus Warbler, Cyprus Wheatear and Eastern Olivaceous Warbler and some fly-by Red-rumped Swallow. There were several European Serin, European Chaffinch and Spanish Sparrow around and we watched an adult Great Tit feeding a couple of young fledglings in a fig tree. I was surprised to hear a couple of calling Coal Tit but our final bird of the day – a calling Eurasian Scops Owl was more expected but very welcome.

Total species – 69

Little Grebe, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Greater Flamingo, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Ferruginous Duck, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Water Rail (h), Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Kentish Plover, Little Stint, Dunlin, Spotted Redshank, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Eurasian Scops Owl, Little Owl, Common Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Tree Pipit, Water Pipit, White Wagtail, Common Nightingale, Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Eurasian Pied Flycatcher, Great Tit, Coal 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

Cretzschmar's Bunting, Prastio April 7th 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Prastio April 7th 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Masked Shrike, Prastio 7th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Masked Shrike, Prastio 7th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Lavender, Prastio April 7th 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Lavender, Prastio April 7th 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s guiding around Limassol, 12th May 2015

For our second day out this spring, I met John and Madeline at Avdimou and we headed for Kensington Cliffs. We stopped to watch a singing male Sardinian Warbler and then scanned the bay. We quickly found several Eleonora’s Falcon on the cliffs and then watched as others flew close to us and around the bay. On some rocks in the bay five Squacco Heron were resting. Both that species and strangely Common House Martin were present at most of the coastal sites we visited during the day. Spotted Flycatcher were also present in good numbers around the Akrotiri Peninsula and we found our first of the day at Phassouri Reed Beds where we also had at least five Squacco Heron, a Cattle Egret, several Little Egret, six Glossy Ibis , a juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron, up to sixteen Wood Sandpiper and a single Ruff. Five Eurasian Turtle Dove flew over as did a Western Marsh Harrier. In the reeds were several Eurasian Reed Warbler and also a Woodchat Shrike, while two female Black-headed Wagtail were feeding in the footsteps of one of the grazing cattle.

The Gravel Pits were quieter but we did find a Purple Heron, Kentish Plover, Whinchat and Spotted Flycatcher. In the gardens of Agios Georgios Church we found another Woodchat Shrike and at least five Spotted Flycatcher. Madeline located a yellowish warbler in one of the pines which then started singing. The ID was then obvious – an Icterine Warbler – the star bird of the day and a lifer for John and Madeline.  We could see around a hundred Greater Flamingo on the main Salt Lake and spotted a Great Egret feeding at the edge with several Little Egret. A female Montagu’s Harrier flew over the area. We had our lunch in the shade of the trees near Bishop’s Pool watching European Bee-eater and yet another Spotted Flycatcher. As we drove on a male Golden Oriole flew in front of us.

There had been a clear out of waders on Lady’s Mile since I was last there although on the eastern end we found nearly twenty Common Ringed Plover, several Ruff, many Little Stint and some Wood Sandpiper. Another good find was a Little Gull and six Squacco Heron were migrating along the coast. At the Zakaki Marsh hide we watched more Wood Sandpiper and female Black-headed Wagtail. We also found another Squacco Heron together with six Little Egret and a Grey Heron. We then visited the east side of the Salt Lake to get better views of some of the waders we had seen there when watching the Greater Flamingo. The light and heat haze were against us but we did see four Little Tern, several Black-winged Stilt and more Ruff, Common Ringed Plover and Little Stint. In the distance we could see a hazy flock of terns feeding – it was impossible to ID them with any certainty but it is likely they included White-winged and Whiskered.

We then headed inland to our final location at Kellakiou. On the way a Collared Flycatcher was seen from the side of the road. At Kellakiou we found a couple of Cyprus Wheatear and a single Cyprus Warbler. Eastern Olivaceous Warbler were singing and European Bee-eater migrating over the area. Eurasian Turtle Dove, European Serin, Common Chaffinch, Spanish Sparrow and juvenile European Goldfinch were coming down to drink at a small pool of water. Four Red-rumped Swallow were also flying down to drink there. At least three male Black-headed Bunting were singing and we were able to get close views of two of them as well as of at least seven Cretzschmar’s Bunting. A lone Masked Shrike was seen flying across the valley. This great experience, both listening and watching both migrant and resident breeders setting up territories ended our day out.

Total species seen – 68

Little Grebe, Black-crowned Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Great Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo, Mallard, Western Marsh Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier, Common Kestrel, Eleonora’s Falcon, Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Little Stint, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Little Gull, Common Black-headed Gull, Tern spp, Little Tern, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Eurasian Scops Owl (h), Common Swift, European Bee-eater, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Black-headed Wagtail, Whinchat, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Icterine Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Collared Flycatcher, Great Tit, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Woodchat Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Goldfinch, European Greenfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Black-headed Bunting.DSCN1615