Plenty of Red-backed and Masked Shrike at Cape Greco this morning as well as many Whinchat and some migrating raptors. Full list of the more interesting sightings: Cape Greco Northern Wheatear 3 Isabelline Wheatear 3 European Honey Buzzard 27 Cyprus Wheatear 9 Eastern Orphean Warbler 1 juv Whinchat 11 Black-eared Wheatear 3 Cyprus Warbler 4 Red-backed Shrike 11 (see photo of juvenile) Common Hoopoe 2 Greater Short-toed Lark 6+ Willow Warbler 12+ Spotted Flycatcher 2 Eleonora’s Falcon 2 Western Marsh Harrier 6 Montagu’s Harrier 1m Eurasian Hobby 1 Eurasian Wryneck 1 European Bee-eatear many passing over heard only
Agia Napa Sewage Works Masked Shrike 7ad and 1 juv (all within 1km of each other) Red-backed Shrike 7 Ortolan Bunting 2 Lesser Whitethroat 2 Isabelline Wheatear 1 Woodchat Shrike 1 Whinchat 3
Agia Napa Football fields Red-backed Shrike 3 Cattle Egret 11 Tree Pipit 2 Isabelline Wheatear 2 Lesser Grey Shrike 1
Second day out guiding for Birdwatching Breaks and we visited the Akamas area. Highlights were a tree full of warblers including this Wood Warbler (photo), two adult Bonelli’s Eagles one of which flew right over our heads, a female Pallid Harrier, lots of Cyprus Wheatear setting up territories, at least two calling Cyprus Scops Owl, a small flock of Tree Pipit, more than 100 migrating Red-rumped Swallow, two Ortolan Bunting, Collared and Pied Flycatcher and a Eurasian Wryneck.
Wood Warbler, Androlikou 12th April 2019 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Today the Travelling Naturalist group visited Akrotiri starting at Kensington Cliffs where we saw a Griffon Vulture and a male Cyprus Warbler. During the day we found many migrants in the area including Black-winged Stilt, Spur-winged Lapwing, Western Yellow Wagtail, Common Redstart, Ruppell’s and Subalpine Warbler, Little Ringed Plover, Eurasian Bittern, Common Hoopoe (photo). Black-eared Wheatear, Red-throated & Tree Pipit and ‘Steppe’ Buzzard.
Common Hoopoe, Phasouri 24th March 2019 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
David, Diane and I spent the day out birding around Larnaca visiting Achna Dam, Ormeidia, Oroklini, Larnaca Sewage Works area, Pervolia, Kivisili and Panagia Stazousa. We had a good selection of species including Greater Sandplover, the endemic Cyprus Wheatear and Cyprus Warbler, White-winged and Whiskered Tern, Red-footed Falcon, Montagu’s Harrier, Ferruginous Duck, Chukar and Spur-winged Lapwing.
Highlights per location:
Achna Dam – Squacco Heron, Great White Egret, Little Ringed Plover, Common Snipe, Whiskered Tern, Western Marsh Harrier, European Bee-eater, Common Kingfisher
Ormedeia Beach – Greater Sandplover, Kentish Plover, Whinchat, European Shag
Oroklini – Little Ringed Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Northern Lapwing
Meneou Pool – Eurasian Thick-knee, Masked Shrike
Larnaca Sewage Works area – Ferruginous Duck, Northern Pintail, Greater Flamingo, Black-winged Stilt, Grey Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Eurasian Curlew, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, White-winged Tern (inc 1 in breeding plumage), Whiskered Tern, Western Marsh Harrier, Red-backed Shrike, Sand Martin, Spotted Flycatcher, Western Yellow Wagtail
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
A day out around several Paphos sites with Rob who had the target species of Cyprus Warbler, Black Francolin and Ortolan Bunting. We had two good views of singing male Cyprus Warbler and briefer views of two Ortolan Bunting but although we heard several Black Francolin they all remained firmly out of sight. We did see some other good species though including a pair of Bonelli’s Eagle, eight female Lesser Kestrel, a stunning male Common Redstart, a Masked Shrike and two Woodchat Shrike, a male Ruppell’s Warbler, five Tawny Pipit, several Eastern Black-eared, Isabelline and Cyprus Wheatear, a couple of Great Spotted Cuckoo, Cretzschmar’s Bunting at several locations, male Semi-collared, Collared and Pied Flycatcher, singing Common Whitethroat, an Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, a Purple Heron and a Black-crowned Night Heron asleep in the pines of Asprokremmos Dam car park.
Highlights per location:
Agia Varvara – Purple Heron, Western Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, Tree Pipit, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Nightingale, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Masked Shrike, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, Collared Flycatcher, Cyprus Warbler
Anarita Park – Bonelli’s Eagle pair, Lesser Kestrel, Tawny Pipit, Common Redstart, Whinchat, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear and Warbler, Ruppell’s Warbler, Lesser and Common Whitethroat, Ortolan and Cretzschmar’s Bunting
Asprokremmos Dam – Black-crowned Night Heron, Black-headed Wagtail, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Semi-collared, Collared and Pied Flycatcher, Woodchat Shrike, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Kingfisher, Cretzschmar’s Bunting
Mandria – Red-throated Pipit, Yellow Wagtail
Paphos Sewage Works – Spur-winged Lapwing, Meadow Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Little Egret
Total species and forms seen – 67
Black-crowned Night Heron, Little Egret, Purple Heron, Western Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin h, Common Moorhen, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruff, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Kingfisher, Common Swift, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Common House Martin, Tawny Pipit, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Black-headed Wagtail (feldegg race), White Wagtail, European Robin, Common Nightingale, Common Redstart, Whinchat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbker, Cyprus Warbler, Ruppell’s Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Semi-collared Flycatcher, Collared Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Ortolan Bunting, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting
Little Owl, Anarita Park, 4th April 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
The day out with Joan and Keith started with a walk around the Headland with the aim of finding the Greater Sand Plover that overwinter there. We found four of them after a bit of searching in the rocks where they were hunkered down. We also watched a Common Kingfisher hovering over the sea and saw a Whimbrel, Common Sandpiper, a Northern Wheatear and two Crested Lark. Several of the fields around Paphos Sewage Works were being watered and at least twelve Spur-winged Lapwing were feeding there, as were many Hooded Crow and Western Jackdaw. Other birds of note there were a couple of Whinchat and Eurasian Hoopoe, a Eurasian Stone Curlew, at least ten Yellow Wagail, a Green Sandpiper and the first of many Willow Warbler that were at all locations visited.
At Mandria we got good views of a flock of migrating European Bee-eater which came down close to us and then headed out to sea. We watched a flock of more than 150 Yellow Wagtails in a field of cut alfalfa and in the ploughed fields found two Isabelline and two Northern Wheatear, several Whinchat, a Tawny Pipit and a mobile flock of at least thirty Greater Short-toed Lark. In the west of the area there was a European Roller and two Lesser Grey Shrike on some wires. A Spur-winged Lapwing seen on the beach could have been a migrant. An unusual bird sitting on the offshore rocks with the European Shag was later identified as nothing more interesting than a Muscovy Duck….not sure how it got there!
We ate our lunch under the trees in the amenities area of the Asprokremmos Dam. European Bee-eater passed over head and European Goldfinch, Spotted Flycatcher, Sardinian Warbler and a Masked Shrike were all flying around and feeding in the conifers. We had a quick scan of the dam itself but saw nothing until we spotted a Peregrine Falcon sitting near the Dam head. Moving onto Agia Varvara we found some water in a couple of the ‘soakaways’. There we found a very smart male Red-backed Shrike, several Yellow Wagtail including a male Black-headed, more Willow Warbler, two Tree Pipit, a Spanish Sparrow, Chukar, Zitting Cisticola and some more European Bee-eaters.
The current development at Minthis Hills appears to have disturbed the birds although we did see some more European Bee-eater, a Masked Shrike and a fly-by Eurasian Hobby.
A good day out in fun company – odd not to have seen any large raptors, migrant or resident – but we had a good mixture of species.
Total birds – 46
European Shag, Common Kestrel, Eurasian Hobby, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Greater Sand Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Whimbrel, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Turtle Dove, Common Kingfisher, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Tawny Pipit, Tree Pipit, Yellow Wagtail inc flava and feldegg, Whinchat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet.
Whimbrel, Paphos Headland 14th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
The fourth and final trip out with Ann and Peter this spring was back in Paphos for a four hour catch up with what was around. No Cyprus firsts today but we did have a good selection of migrants at Anarita Park although Mandria and Agia Varvara were quieter.
Two Lesser Kestrel greeted us as we entered the area and then we saw a female Woodchat Shrike and the first of five males. A couple of Tawny Pipit were feeding on one of the slopes and small groups of Tree Pipit were flying around. As we drove around the area we found two more Lesser Kestrel, a Little Owl, an Ortolan Bunting, several male and female Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, a couple of Northern and Isabelline Wheatear, a Great Spotted Cuckoo, two Whinchat and a male Blue Rock Thrush. We heard a male Eastern Subalpine Warbler singing from deep inside a bush but it did not emerge into the open. We did see a couple of Lesser and Common Whitethroat though as well as many of the resident Sardinian Warbler. We also heard a male Cyprus Warbler singing and found several Cyprus Wheatear setting up territory. Three Alpine Swift flew over as well as several Red-rumped Swallow.
It was quieter down at both Agia Varvara and Mandria although we did see a Common Quail come in off the sea and fly down into a barley field and find a Yellow Wagtail intergrade – superciliaris.
Total species -46
Common Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Black Francolin, Common Quail, Common Moorhen, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Tawny Pipit, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Yellow Wagtail – superciliaris, White Wagtail, Whinchat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear 3m and 2f, Blue Rock Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eastern Subalpine Warbler 1h, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Woodchat Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Serin h, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Ortolan Bunting, Corn Bunting
Tawny Pipit, Anarita Park 28th March 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Woodchat Shrike, Anarita Park 28th March 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Spent two days on the Karpasia Peninsula and had a good variety of migrants including Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Pallid Harrier, Masked Shrike, Tawny Pipit, Greater Short-toed Lark, Northern, Isabelline and Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Eastern Subalpine Warbler, Tree and Red-throated Pipit, an ‘eastern’ Stonechat (female), Purple Heron, a lone Demoiselle Crane, Wryneck, Common Redstart, Common and Lesser Whitethroat, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Whinchat, Eurasian Hoopoe, Common Nightingale, Lesser Kestrel, Cretzschmar’s Bunting and Common Quail.
Two record shots taken in the gloomy dust haze below:
Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Karpasia 26th March 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Demoiselle Crane, Kouklia Dam 25th March 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Two days out with Martin and Rosemary to several of the Paphos hotspots gave us several lifers for Martin, despite the strong winds and lack of numbers of migrants around at the moment which limited the species we could have seen. However we were pleased with our species list in the end, although we felt we had worked hard to get some of the birds!
Highlights from locations visited:
Saturday 19th March:
Baths of Aphrodite: Long-legged Buzzard, Cyprus Wheatear, European Serin, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Yellow-legged Gull
Back again this morning at Cape Greco with an easterly wind, the birds arriving later than yesterday and only around 50 Barn Swallow migrating with no martins at all today. Raptors were a juvenile Montagu’s Harrier and another distant ring-tail, six Western Marsh Harrier, six European Honey Buzzard, a Black Kite and a Long-legged Buzzard which may be a local bird. Twenty Purple Heron left their roost in some eucalyptus trees and headed south around 10.00 am. Other birds seen included two Greater Short-toed Lark, two Tree Pipit, three Spotted Flycatcher, a Common Whitethroat, a Cyprus Wheatear and two male Red-backed Shrike with a single juvenile.
Ten Eurasian Hoopoe were feeding on the Agia Napa Football Fields were there was also a small flock of Yellow Wagtail, some Cattle Egret, a Northern Wheatear, two Lesser Grey Shrike and two Red-backed Shrike.