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).
Decided to make what will probably be last visit to Troodos for a while before migration gets underway and the coastal sites become the best birding spots. Spent a leisurely day at Livadi tou Pashia picnic site where I found at least three Brambling, two Hawfinch, many Eurasian Siskin (photo) – several feeding on pine cones – , many Coal Tit chasing and calling, lots of Common Chaffinch, a fly over Red Crossbill, and singing Northern Wrens. Also seen were Eurasian Blackbird and European Greenfinch (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
A collection of photos taken yesterday at Troodos. The Coal Tit is a Cyprus endemic sub-species. Hawfinch is an almost annual winter visitor to Cyprus in variable numbers. A former winter visitor, Eurasian Blackbird now breed in Troodos although their numbers are swelled by winter visitors at this time of year. Mistle and Song Thrush are winter visitors in variable numbers each year.
Spent several hours at a few Troodos picnic sites. As well as the usual enedemic sub-species Coal Tit, Eurasian Jay and Short-toed Tree Creeper there was a good selection of winter visitors around including this Yellowhammer (see record shot photo). Until recently Yellowhammers were vagrants but small numbers are recorded most years now.
A male and two female Hawfinch spent at least an hour hiding behind branches and leaves at Troodos today, finally coming down the drink as the light faded!
Platania Picnic Site
Eurasian Siskin c12
Grey Wagtail 1
Strange day at Troodos! Found some interesting birds including a Yellow-browed Warbler at Platania and a Brambling at Almyrolivado. Fourteen Water Pipit on the road near the start of the Artemis Trail was an odd site – in fact it was hard not to run them over. Several Song and Mistle Thrushes too as well as plenty of resident Coal Tit and Eurasian Jay. Pine Bunting and Hawfinch were seen in the area by others.
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 the day in Troodos yesterday. Found family parties of Masked Shrike, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Winter Wren, Spotted Flycatcher, Short-toed Treecreeper, Coal Tit, Chaffinch and Cyprus Wheatear. Also a lone Hoopoe at Livadhi tou Pashia and several male Blackbirds. I heard at least one Red Crossbill fly over Troodos Square. There were a couple of Pallid Swift in with around twenty Common Swift flying around together with at least fifty House Martin and several Barn Swallow. A Scops Owl called a couple of times.
Went to the Myllomeris Waterfall to see if Grey Wagtail were breeding there again this year. I saw a male fly off but as I mistimed my visit there and it coincided with the arrival of several jeep loads of other visitors, there was unfortunately no chance to find any birds at all let alone juvenile Grey Wagtails.
I stopped at Zakaki Marsh on the way home and found two juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron and a Black-tailed Godwit. The Black-winged Stilt young are growing. A Great Reed Warbler was seen climbing among the reeds as well as several Eurasian Reed Warbler.