Still some winter visitors around – Eurasian Siskins, Hawfinches and Bramblings but migrant breeders are now in evidence – I found two male and one female Masked Shrike as well as a Common Hoopoe (see photo).
Found several Hawfinch, European Siskin, Woodlark and Red Crossbill today at Troodos, as well as the more usual Northern Wren, Common Chaffinch, Coal Tit, Eurasian Jay, Short-toed Treecreeper and Eurasian Blackbird.
Just a few hours around Troodos this morning before it got too hot. Birds seen included:
Red-rumped Swallow 4 juvs
Spotted Flycatcher 1
Northern Goshawk 1h and seen briefly in flight
Amiantos Botanical Gardens
Cyprus Wheatear 1 ad and 4 juvs
Red-rumped Swallow 6
Masked Shrike 1m, 1f and 2 fledged juvs
Common Hoopoe 1
Northern House Martin 20+
Red Crossbill (see photo) c8 (inc at least 1 male and 2 juvs)
European Serin 8 inc juvs
Common Chaffinch 10+ inc 3 juvs
Eurasian Blackbird 1m and 1f
Eurasian Jay 2
Coal Tit c15
Red-rumped Swallow 2
Northern House Martin 20+
Spent the day visiting several of the Troodos picnic sites which are usually a good area to find migrant and resident breeders and find some endemic sub-species. Some of the plumage of the breeding birds was looking very worn.
Spotted Flycatcher 1 ad and at least 4 juvs
Red-rumped Swallow 1
Eurasian Blackbird pair seen and 1 other male singing
Common Hoopoe 1
Masked Shrike 2m and 1f (1m having bath in stream)
Coal Tit 3 juvs
Northern Wren 1 having bath in stream
Livadi tou Pashia
Eurasian Blackbird 2m and 1f
European Serin 2+
Northern Wren 2
Eastern Olivaceous Warbler 4+
Masked Shrike 1 pair feeding unseen juvs and another feeding 3 fledged juvs
plus 3 other males
Eurasian Jay 3 juvs, one seen fighting with male Blackbird
Northern House Martin 100+
Masked Shrike 3m
Eurasian Blackbird 3 singing males
Red Crossbill 2
Eastern Olivaceous Warbler 2h
Platres Old Road and start of Caledonia Trail
Cyprus Wheatear 1m singing
Eurasian Blackbird 4m
Grey Wagtail 1 ad
Northern Wren 2
European Serin 1+
Troodos Botanical Gardens
Grey Wagtail 1ad
Cyprus Wheatear 1 ad
Red-rumped Swallow 2
Northern House Martin 30+
I picked up James and Lizzie from Kakopetria and we headed towards Troodos stopping at a few locations on the way to the Square. At Platania we found Red-rumped Swallow and at the Botanical Gardens at Amiantos we found our first of the Cyprus endemic sub-species – the Eurasian Jay as well as a large group of hirundines which although mainly Northern House Martin also included several more Red-rumped Swallow and two Eurasian Crag Martin. An Eastern Olivaceous Warbler sang out in the open on a small conifer so we spend some time watching it. A couple of male Cyprus Wheatear were also seen and at least one male Eurasian Blackbird was singing. As we left the area I spotted a large thrush on a rock and we were pleased to see a male Blue Rock Thrush as we got out of the car. I also heard a singing Cretzschmar’s Bunting but we couldn’t see it.
We then spent some time at the Livadi tou Pashia picnic site where we had good views of two other endemic sub-species – Coal Tit and Short-toed Treecreeper. Several Northern Wren and European Serin were heard and finally a male Masked Shrike flew into view. We then headed to Troodos Square seeing more Masked Shrike and Cyprus Wheatear on the way. At least eight Pallid Swift were in a large flock of swifts at the square.
The rest of the morning was spent in the Omodos area and especially on the road from there to Agios Nikolaos. The stars there were the singing male Black-headed Buntings but we also saw some Corn Bunting, more Masked Shrike and Cyprus Wheatear, a smart male Spanish Sparrow and finally a singing male Cyprus Warbler – strangely singing from some electricity wires. The last species for the day was Cretzschmar’s Bunting as we found two males near Agios Nikolaos.
A lovely way to spend a morning in the early summer catching up with the Cyprus endemics and migrant breeders.
Full species list:
Common Woodpigeon, European Collared Dove, Pallid Swift, Common Swift, Common Kestrel, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Jay, Eurasian Magpie, Hooded Crow, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Zitting Cisticola, Olivaceous Warbler, Northern House Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Barn Swallow, Eurasian Crag Martin, Cetti’s Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Short-toed Treecreeper, Northern Wren, Eurasian Blackbird, Blue Rock Thrush, Cyprus Wheatear, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, European Serin, Black-headed Bunting, Corn Bunting, Cretzschmar’s Bunting
All the usual suspects at Troodos today – plenty of Coal Tits, Winter Wren, Short-toed Treecreeper, Eurasian Jay, Common Chaffinch and Eurasian Blackbird. Of more interest was a male Yellowhammer and a Mistle Thrush at Almirolivado, two Goldcrest at Livadi tou Pashia and at least twelve European Siskin at Platania.
Photograph below of a Coal Tit at Livadi tou Pashia. One of the Cyprus endemic sub-species.
Back out guiding after the summer break, we chose Troodos as our destination as temperatures were still in the high thirties. I picked up Paul and Reem from their Nicosia base and we headed into the mountains with our first stops the Livadhi tou Pashia and Kampos tou Livadiou picnic spots.
We found several Spotted Flycatcher family parties, juvenile and moulting adult Cyprus Wheatear, an adult Masked Shrike, a male European Blackbird, an Eastern Olivaceous Warbler family and good numbers of the endemic sub-species Coal Tit, Short-toed Treecreeper and Jay. Around Troodos Square we added Common and Pallid Swift as well as Eurasian Hoopoe and European Serin. We found two adult male Masked Shrike – one of which perched really close to us. Again we found plenty of Coal Tit and Short-toed Treecreeper.
Leaving Troodos to go to Zakaki we detoured and had our lunch at Tzelefos Bridge. There we found a Grey Wagtail and Common Kingfisher in the stream and plenty of Common Chaffinch. At Omodhos we watched several Red-rumped Swallow and continuing southwards we stopped to watch a large raptor gliding over the area near the turn off to Agios Therapon – a Griffon Vulture and a nice surprise for us.
We ended the day out in the hide at Zakaki where we had good views of Little Egret, Glossy Ibis, Spur-winged Lapwing, Black-winged Stilt, Little Stint, Little Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Wood and Green Sandpiper, Reed Warbler and Black-headed Wagtail. Reem and Paul also had their first sighting of Collared Pratincole as an adult and a juvenile were roosting next to the many Mallards. Noting how much warmer it was down by the coast we were glad we had spent most of the day in the mountains birdwatching at a leisurely pace.
Total species seen – 43
Little Grebe, Little Egret, Glossy Ibis, Mallard, Griffon Vulture, Common Kestrel, Common Moorhen, Collared Pratincole, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Dunlin, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Swift, Pallid Swift, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Black-headed Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Common Kingfisher, Cyprus Wheatear, Eurasian Blackbird, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Short-toed Treecreeper, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Jay, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Goldfinch
Spent yesterday and today around Kalopanagiotis and Troodos. Plenty of European Serin and Winter Wren heard around the river bed at Kalopanagiotis as well as a couple of male Blackbirds, a Cyprus Wheatear and plenty of Chaffinch. After sunset there were at least fifty House Martin flying over the village.
This morning near the Venetian Bridge at Kalopanagiotis I found a juvenile Grey Wagtail and was pleased to find evidence of breeding again this year. Plenty of Eurasian Jay around the Mount Olympos and Troodos cafes picking up scraps and stale bread. Several male Masked Shrike and adult Cyprus Wheatear were still in the area as well as two Common Swift flying over. Plenty of Coal Tit and Short-toed Treecreeper were heard but only a few were seen. At Moutoullas there were around six Red-rumped Swallow and a Eurasian Crag Martin as well as more House Martin and plenty of Barn Swallow.
Went to Troodos for a few hours this morning. Full of people enjoying the unseasonally warm weather. Plenty of singing Short-toed Treecreeper and Coal Tit as well as Blackbird, Chaffinch and a lone Crossbill. More interestingly were the seven Yellowhammer that flew over the Meteorological Station, landing about 200m away from me near the houses there before flying off and refusing to be located. Got views of one through my bins for about twenty seconds and despite looking into the sun this confirmed the ID for me. Only my second sighting of these birds in Cyprus, which are not seen every year, but are probably present most winters. Last year a Pine Bunting was suspected to be with the small group seen in February. Now that would be nice!!