Cyprus Birding Tours

Offering guided bird watching tours around Cyprus


Leave a comment

Akrotiri 14th October 2018

A spur of the moment visit to Akrotiri today. I didn’t see any raptor migration but had some good birds in any case.

Interesting sightings include:

Akrotiri Salt Lake/Zakaki run off area
Hen Harrier 1 ring tail
Ruff 6
Common Ringed Plover 26+
Common Snipe 2
Red-throated Pipit 8
Little Stint 24+
Western Marsh Harrier 6
Temminck’s Stint 1
Kentish Plover 150+
Greater Flamingo 400+ incl melanistic bird
Northern Wheatear 1
Spotted Crake 3 seen and another heard elsewhere
Collared Pratincole 1
Bluethroat 2
Sedge Warbler 1
Spanish Sparrow 40+
Eleonora’s Falcon 4

Zakaki Marsh hide
Black-headed Gull 6
Grey Heron 20+
Grey Wagtail 1
Water Rail 4
Spotted Crake 1
Bluethroat 1 with white on head
Squacco Heron 1
Little Egret 1
Spanish Sparrow 15

Phasouri Reed-beds Tower hide
Masked Shrike 1 juv
Western Marsh Harrier 1 maybe 2
Eurasian Reed Warbler 1
Common Kingfisher 1
Bluethroat 1
Little Bittern 1 juv

Akrotiri Gravel Pits
Northern Wheatear 1m

Bluethroat, Akrotiri Salt Lake 14th October 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Bluethroat, Akrotiri Salt Lake 14th October 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-throated Pipit, Akrotiri Salt Lake 14th October 2018-1

Red-throated Pipit, Akrotiri Salt Lake, 14th October 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Squacco Heron, Zakaki Marsh, 14th October 2018-1

Squacco Heron, Zakaki Marsh, 14th October 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Water Rail, Zakaki Marsh, 14th October 2018-1

Water Rail, Zakaki Marsh, 14th October 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Western Marsh Harrier, Zakaki Marsh, 14th October 2018-1

Western Marsh Harrier, Zakaki Marsh, 14th October 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Temminck's Stint, Akrotiri Salt Lake 14th October 2018-1

Temminck’s Stint, Akrotiri Salt Lake, 14th October 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


Leave a comment

Akrotiri area today 9th October 2018

A good day around Akrotiri with highlights two Spotted Crake, a juvenile Common Crane and three Little Swift plus my first Bluethroats, Common Stonechat and Common Buzzard of the winter. Raptor migration has slowed to a trickle but I did see small numbers of Red-footed and Eleonora’s Falcon, Eurasian Hobby, European Honey Buzzard, Western Marsh Harrier and a single Osprey.

Spotted Crake, Zakaki Marsh 9th October 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Spotted Crake, Zakaki Marsh 9th October 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Northern Lapwing, Akrotiri Salt Lake, 9th October 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Northern Lapwing, Akrotiri Salt Lake, 9th October 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


Leave a comment

Raptor Count, Cape Greco 13th September 2018

Raptor counts at Cape Greco this autumn have been quiet so far but there was more activity this morning with several Black Kite (photo), European Honey Buzzard, Western Marsh, Pallid and Montagu’s Harrier and Peregrine Falcon migrating south over the area.

Black Kite, Cape Greco 13th September 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black Kite, Cape Greco 13th September 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


Leave a comment

Akrotiri today 8th August 2018

The area is drying out but along with Larnaca Sewage Works, it is still probably the best birding location on the island at the moment. Plenty of Little Ringed Plover (see photo), Kentish Plover and Little Stint along with Glossy Ibis, Slender-billed Gull, a Broad-billed Sandpiper, a Spotted Redshank, Common Greenshank, Common Snipe, two Collared Pratincole, a Temminck’s Stint and a Gull-billed Tern. A female Western Marsh Harrier is putting the birds up frequently as she quarters the area and Elenora’s Falcon fly over from time to time.

Little Ringed Plover juv, Akrotiri 8th August 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Little Ringed Plover juv, Akrotiri 8th August 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


Leave a comment

Limassol area today 10th February 2018

Spent most of the day birding around Limassol. Found a couple of singing Moustached Warblers at Zakaki Marsh where I also heard Eurasian Penduline Tit, Water Rail and Reed Bunting. There were two Reed Bunting at Phasouri Reed-beds and two Western Marsh Harrier, a ring-tail Hen Harrier and a Common Buzzard. Plenty of gulls on Lady’s Mile including Armenian, Caspian, Yellow-legged and Black-headed as well as a single adult Heuglin’s Gull, an adult and an immature Mediterranean Gull, an immature Slender-billed Gull and a Common Gull.

Also went to Germasogeia Dam where several Cyprus Warbler were singing and there was a very large flock of European Serin. Two Common Snipe flew up from the stream

No sign of any spring migrants anywhere that I visited.

Armenian Gull, Lady's Mile 10th February 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Armenian Gull, Lady’s Mile 10th February 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Mediterranean Gull, Lady's Mile 10th February 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Mediterranean Gull, Lady’s Mile 10th February 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


Leave a comment

Red-breasted Merganser today Akrotiri Gravel Pits 5th December 2017

I hadn’t been sure where to go birding today until I heard last night that local birder John East had found a female Red-breasted Merganser at Akrotiri Gravel Pits. The last record was in 2014 so not to be missed. The bird was keeping close company with a Great Crested Grebe and a Black-necked Grebe who had been on the pool for several days and I was pleased to get a few photos. Also around Akrotiri today:

Akrotiri Gravel Pits
Eurasian Sparrowhawk 1
European Serin 7
Woodlark 8
Red-breasted Merganser 1f
Great Crested Grebe 1
Black-necked Grebe 1
Little Grebe 1
Western Marsh Harrier 1f and 1 sub-ad male

Phasouri Reed-beds
Bluethroat 1
Eurasian Skylark 1

Zakaki Marsh
Water Rail 1h

Lady’s Mile
Black-headed Gull 300+
Armenian Gull 6+
Caspian Gull 1+
Greater Flamingo 48 juvs
Pied Avocet 2
Common Buzzard 1

Akrotiri Salt Lake
Greater Flamingo c1200
Common Buzzard 1


Leave a comment

Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s Guiding North of Paphos 10th November 2017

This was the third year that I had taken Peter and Jean out and we started the first of two days out this autumn at Mavrokolympos Dam, continued through Akoursos to Kathikas, spent a couple of hours in the valley behind Arodes before driving to Kannaviou Dam. We finished the day as light was fading at Evretou Dam after a drive through the Saramas Valley.

Highlights per location:
Mavrokolympos Dam – Chukar h, Rock Dove, Grey Heron, Woodlark, Cyprus Warbler 1m and 1f, Blue Rock Thrush 1f, Meadow Pipit 37 over in one group

Kathikas – Long-legged Buzzard

Arodes – Common Quail 1 flushed from under our feet, Great Cormorant c30 seen migrating in a flock heading S, Hen Harrier 1f, Bonelli’s Eagle 2 ad (pair), Northern Goshawk 1 (prob this species), Woodlark, Black Redstart, Corn Bunting

Kannaviou – Chukar, Coal Tit (Cyprus endemic sub-species), Common Chaffinch, European Serin

Saramas Valley – Song Thrush, Black Redstart, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chiffchaff c20, Corn Bunting 30+, White Wagtail

Evretou Dam – Western Marsh Harrier 1f hunting, Long-legged Buzzard 1 perched in tree overlooking village, Black Redstart

Bonelli's Eagle, 10th November 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Bonelli’s Eagle, 10th November 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


Leave a comment

Achna Dam and Oroklini Marsh 26th October 2017

Visited Achna Dam and Oroklini Marsh this morning after yesterday’s rain. Birds around included Hen and Western Marsh Harrier, Great Egret, Spur-winged Lapwing, Common Snipe, Common Kingfisher, my first Meadow Pipits of the winter and a Bluethroat. Photos of a female Northern Pintail and a Western Marsh Harrier from Achna.

Northern Pintail, Achna Dam 26th October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Northern Pintail, Achna Dam 26th October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Western Marsh Harrier, Larnaca 26th October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Western Marsh Harrier, Larnaca 26th October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


Leave a comment

Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Morning’s Guiding 12th October Achna Dam, Oroklini Marsh & Panagia Stazousa

Peter, Pat, Paul and Janet were staying in Nicosia so we had a bit of a drive before we could start our morning’s birding. We headed to Achna Dam where water levels are still good and where I had seen some good birds on a trip there last week. We spent some time there getting good views of three Great White Egret, an immature Whiskered Tern, a Common Kingfisher and two Northern Pintail. A group of five Glossy Ibis feeding on the far shore left the area after a while – probably continuing their migration south. Ten newly arrived Northern Lapwing flew into the area from the north. Several Cattle and Little Egret and Grey Heron were also present and a couple of Willow Warbler were feeding in the shorter reeds. As we returned to the car we spotted two Dunlin, a Little Stint and a Little Ringed Plover feeding in a muddy area. A juvenile Western Marsh Harrier was quartering the area and we saw it fly up from the ground with something in its talons. Unfortunately although we heard several European Bee-eater flying over the area they were too high for us to see.

We searched the rocky beach at Ormedeia for a Greater Sandplover but had no joy so we had to make do with a single Kentish Plover and three more Northern Lapwing. A quick stop at Oroklini Marsh enabled us to see a large group of almost forty Spur-winged Lapwing as well as a couple of Common Redshank, a Little Ringed Plover and a Ruff.

We finished our morning driving through the valley of Panagia Stazousa as we headed back to Nicosia. We were hoping that there would still be some Cyprus Wheatear around and we were not disappointed. At least four were still present and dutifully obliged by sitting out in the open on the top of low bushes. While watching one of them we spotted a juvenile Red-backed Shrike and when it flew further away we were pleased to also see a juvenile Masked Shrike in another bush. Several Whinchat were seen resting as they migrated through the island. We also had brief views of a Spotted Flycatcher and a female Eurasian Blackcap but a female Common Redstart was more co-operative and sat low in a shrub enabling us to watch her through the telescope. An unexpected bird to finish the morning on. A morning on which we managed to see a good variety of species – a few more than I had anticipated.

Total species – 40

Northern Pintail, Little Grebe, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Coot, Glossy Ibis, Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Great White Egret, Little Egret, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Northern Lapwing, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruff, Dunlin, Little Stint, Common Redshank, Whiskered Tern, Western Marsh Harrier, European Bee-eater (h), Common Kingfisher, Common Kestrel, Red-backed Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Hooded Crow, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Willow Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Sardinian Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Common Redstart, Whinchat, Cyprus Wheatear, House Sparrow, White Wagtail, European GoldfinchGreat Egret, Achna Dam 12th October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

 


Leave a comment

Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s Guiding Larnaca area 3rd October 2017

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

Pervolia area – Montagu’s Harrier 1 juv, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Red-rumped Swallow, Sand Martin, Tawny Pipit, Northern Wheatear

Kivisilli fields – Common Hoopoe 1, Red-footed Falcon 1 juv, Tree Pipit, Northern Wheatear, Whinchat

Panagia Stazousa – Cyprus Warbler, Cyprus Wheatear, European Stonechat, European Bee-eater

Total number of species seen – 74

Chukar, Ferruginous Duck, Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Common Teal, Little Grebe, Greater Flamingo, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Moorhen, Common Coot, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Great White Egret, Little Egret, European Shag, Eurasian Thick-knee, Black-winged Stilt, Grey Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Greater Sandplover, Northern Lapwing, Spur-winged Lapwing, Eurasian Curlew, Ruff, Dunlin, Little Stint, Common Snipe, Common Sandpiper, Common Redshank, Wood Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Whiskered Tern, White-winged Tern, Western Marsh Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier, Common Hoopoe, European Bee-eater, Common Kingfisher, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Great Tit, Crested Lark, Red-rumped Swallow, Barn Swallow, Sand Martin, Willow Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Whinchat, European Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Tawny Pipit, Tree Pipit, Western Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, European Greenfinch

Dunlin, Achna Dam 3rd October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Dunlin, Achna Dam 3rd October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


Leave a comment

Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s Guiding Paphos Plain area 21st September 2017

Spent an enjoyable day out with Tony and Greta at several of the Paphos birding locations. We started at Paphos Sewage Plant where there were several Spur-winged Lapwing, including a couple of juveniles, feeding in the fields. A male Red-backed Shrike and a European Turtle Dove were sitting on wires and at the same time as a large flock of migrating European Bee-eater starting migrating over the area we also saw a juvenile Montagu’s Harrier, a European Honey Buzzard and a Western Marsh Harrier gaining height and heading out over the sea. In the fields were a couple of Whinchat, a covey of Chukar and a large flock of Western Yellow Wagtail. After watching a flock of Spanish Sparrow we then found a Long-legged Buzzard perched on the top of a pylon which we then saw dive down into the dry river bed nearby – it didn’t fly up while we were there so we guessed it had caught something and was eating it out of sight.

More European Bee-eaters were in the Agia Varvara valley as were juvenile Red-backed Shrike, Willow, Sardinian and Cetti’s Warbler, Whinchat and a Northern Wheatear. The best birds here though were two European Golden Oriole which flew into the same eucalyptus trees under whose shade we were taking a quick coffee break! On to Mandria and down near the coast at Lark Corner we watched some Greater Short-toed Lark, Whinchat, Nothern Wheatear and also a Tawny Pipit feeding. Behind us were three juvenile Collared Pratincole feeding in another field close to the water sprinklers. In another area we found three European Roller, a Lesser Grey Shrike and yet more European Bee-eater passing over.

The area near Anarita Mast behind Asprokremmos Dam was full of European Bee-eater as well and we found several Whinchat, more Yellow Wagtail, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Northern Wheatear, a couple of Tawny Pipit and another Lesser Grey Shrike all perched on the perimeter fence there. As we turned to leave a juvenile Montagu’s Harrier flew into view and we spent some time watching it quartering the area and feeding on at least one lizard that it caught as we watched – probably the day’s highlight. A pair of Cyprus Warbler were not so obliging and although we had very brief views of a male and a female they were disappointing. A Black-eared Wheatear close by was much easier to see.

We finished the day in and inland from Kouklia Village. We had good views of several Laughing Dove that now breed there and found another  Northern Wheatear. We then moved inland to see if we would have more luck with the other endemic – the Cyprus Wheatear. Things didn’t look promising even though we visited an area I had seen many a few weeks previously, until finally one flew across the road in front of us – another brief view but at least this time we could see it properly!

List of species seen –

Chukar, Common Woodpigeon, European Turtle Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, Laughing Dove, Great Cormorant, European Shag, Spur-winged Lapwing, Collared Pratincole, Yellow-legged Gull, European Honey Buzzard, Western Marsh Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Common Kingfisher, Common Kestrel, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Great Tit, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Zitting Cisticola, Barn Swallow, Sand Martin, Willow Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Black-eared Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Tawny Pipit, Western Yellow Wagtail, European Goldfinch

Spur-winged Lapwing juvenile , Paphos Sewage Plant 21st September 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Spur-winged Lapwing juvenile , Paphos Sewage Plant 21st September 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


Leave a comment

Raptor Count, Cape Greco 20th September 2017

Migrating raptor numbers still seem to be low all over the island this autumn but at least I had a few at Cape Greco this morning. No where near what I would expect usually but good to get a European Honey Buzzard pass close over my observation point. Eleven others headed east further inland and I also spotted a male Western Marsh Harrier, a Peregrine Falcon, a Eurasian Sparrowhawk and an Eleonora’s Falcon. A European Roller headed southwards out to sea and a small number of Grey and Purple Heron migrated offshore.

European Honey Buzzard, Cape Greco 20th September 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

European Honey Buzzard, Cape Greco 20th September 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours