Cyprus Birding Tours

Offering guided bird watching tours around Cyprus


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Day’s Guiding around Larnaca 25th February 2016

Back from two weeks holiday in the UK and straight into the first day’s guiding of the season. Picking up Martin from his hotel in Larnaca, we decided to spend the day in the area catching up with as many Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus specialties likely to be found at this time of year.  Our first stop was at the somewhat unattractive drainage channel near the JUMBO toyshop at Oroklini which provided a good start to the day with Temminck’s Stint, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Ringed Plover, Water Pipit, Grey Wagtail and overflying Cattle Egret. Several Barn Swallow were flying around and we saw small numbers at all the locations we visited.

At Oroklini Marsh we were pleased to see two of the three female White-headed Duck that have been there since mid December, as well as a male and two female Red-crested Pochard, ten Black-winged Stilt, several Spur-winged Lapwing, a Black-tailed Godwit, several Northern Pintail and a tatty looking Western Marsh Harrier. There were just a few immature Greater Flamingo present, while numbers of Northern Shoveler and Eurasian Teal were reduced from earlier in the month.  There were just a couple of hundred Greater Flamingo on the main Larnaca Salt Lake with hundreds of Common Shelduck, many Common Black-headed Gull and at least twenty Slender-billed Gull, several with a lovely pinkish tinge. We found many singing Corn Bunting, a lone Kentish Plover, a few Spanish Sparrow, a singing Spectacled Warbler and in the north east corner heard a Eurasian Penduline Tit but were unable to find it in among the reeds.

Moving towards the coast there were several large gulls on the Airport Pools and we spent some time identifying Caspian and Armenian adult and immature birds as well as a Heuglin’s Gull and several Yellow-legged Gull. There was a small group of Greater Flamingo and Martin spotted three Eurasian Stone Curlew hidden in the vegetation near the edge. On the Sewage Pools we found two Spur-winged Lapwing, a Northern Lapwing and a Ruff and in among the Northern Shoveler and Eurasian Teal there were smaller numbers of Eurasian Wigeon and Gadwall.

Along the Airport Coast we found a Eurasian Hoopoe feeding which quickly flew inland. A small flock of Eurasian Skylark were also feeding. We found more in the fields near Pervolia but more interestingly we found a flock of at least twenty Calandra Lark, calling and flying in a ploughed field. An Isabelline Wheatear was in the same field and we had clear views of a calling male Black Francolin while two Chukar flew away as we approached.

Heading inland we drove through the Panagia Stazousa Valley where we had excellent views of at least three male Cyprus Warbler and one female and heard at least four others. There was a flock of Spanish Sparrow, some finches and several Corn Bunting and we could hear Chukar. A Long-legged Buzzard flew briefly into view before disappearing again over the hills. As we sat and drank a cup of tea to finish the day we heard both Little Owl and Eurasian Scops Owl calling. We headed into Nicosia so I could drop Martin off at a local hotel there – with an unscheduled stop in Marks and Spencer’s car park to watch a migrating flock of around 60 Greater Cormorant flying over!

Total number of species seen: 75

Little Grebe, Great Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Greater Flamingo, Common Shelduck, Eurasian Wigeon, Gadwall, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Red-crested Pochard, White-headed Duck, Western Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Northern Lapwing, Temminck’s Stint, Dunlin, Ruff, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Redshank, Common Black-headed Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Heuglin’s Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Caspian Gull, Armenian Gull, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Scops Owl h, Little Owl h, Eurasian Hoopoe, Calandra Lark, Crested Lark, Eurasian Skylark, Barn Swallow, Common House Martin, Meadow Pipit, Water Pipit, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, European Robin, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Eurasian Penduline Tit h, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Corn Bunting

Greater Flamingo, Larnaca 25th February 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Greater Flamingo, Larnaca 25th February 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

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East of Cyprus today, 22nd January 2016

Visited several of my favourite locations today around the east of the island. Several Greater Sand Plover on a couple of rocky coasts and the three White-headed Duck are still at Oroklini Marsh. More interesting sightings included:

Agia Trias (Paralimni)
Greater Sand Plover 2
Grey Plover 4
Cape Greco
Blue Rock Thrush 2m
Cyprus Warbler 3m singing plus others heard
Song Thrush 8
Audouin’s Gull 1
Spanish Sparrow c200
Kermia Beach
Greater Sand Plover 2
Grey Plover 1
Macronissos Beach
Common Sandpiper 1
Chukar 16 together in one field
Agia Thekla
Common Sandpiper 2
Great Cormorant 2
Potamos Liopetri
Common Kingfisher 1
Little Egret 1
Common Sandpiper 1
Audouin’s Gull 1
Dhekelia
European Shag 8
Oroklini Beach
Sandwich Tern 2
European Shag 3
Oroklini Marsh
White-headed Duck 3
Black-winged Stilt 4
Black-tailed Godwit 1
Common Pochard 1m
Northern Pintail 2
Blue Rock Thrush Cape Greco 22nd January 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Blue Rock Thrush Cape Greco 22nd January 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Greater Sand Plover Agia Trias 22nd January 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Greater Sand Plover Agia Trias 22nd January 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Grey Plover Agia Trias 22nd January 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Grey Plover Agia Trias 22nd January 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Oroklini Marsh, late afternoon 15th December 2015

 

The three fem/juv White-headed Duck were still at Oroklini at dusk this evening. I also noticed a couple of Northern Pintail, over forty Northern Lapwing, at least fifty Spur-winged Lapwing, four Common Ringed Plover, an Armenian Gull as well as the usual Eurasian Teal, Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Coot, Little Grebe, Common Moorhen and more than 200 Cattle Egret coming into roost. On the nearby beach gull numbers were lower than I would expect in December. Three Armenian Gull were in the water with around 150 Common Black-headed Gull.


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Agios Sozomenos and Oroklini Marsh this morning, 14th December 2015

 

Visited Agios Sozomenos for a quick birdwatch this morning and found two male and one female Finsch’s Wheatear, several Red-throated Pipit, a Long-legged Buzzard and a lovely male Hen Harrier. My time there ended abruptly on receipt of a message from local birder, Matt Smith, saying he had found three White-headed Duck on Oroklini Marsh. So a quick dash there and although they were sleeping and on the far side of the lake, I spent some time enjoying this rare visitor floating around. Also on the lake were Northern Lapwing, Spur-winged Lapwing, some Common Redshank, two Common Snipe, lots of Eurasian Teal, Northern Shoveler and Eurasian Coot, and three Northern Pintail. As I left I spotted a Moustached Warbler in the reeds. Some good birds for my first birding in Cyprus for a few weeks!

Record shot of three White-headed Duck, Oroklini Marsh 14th December 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Record shot of three White-headed Duck, Oroklini Marsh 14th December 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Finsch's Wheatear, Agios Sozomenos 14th December 2015 (C) Cyprus Birding Tours

Finsch’s Wheatear, Agios Sozomenos 14th December 2015 (C) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Two rarities Larnaca area this morning, 6th December 2014

The star bird on the Larnaca Sewage Pools this morning was a female/juvenile type White-headed Duck. A rare winter visitor, its a couple of years since one has been seen although that site is often favoured when one does appear. Also present were eight Greater White-fronted Geese, at least four Gadwall, several Eurasian Wigeon, a male Common Pochard, two Black-necked Grebe and the long staying lone Common Shelduck.

Around 150 Greater Flamingo were on Meneou Pool where a Western Marsh Harrier was on the mud with the remains of something it caught earlier. A Eurasian Curlew was on the coast near the airport and in the fields there were a couple of hundred Eurasian Skylark, some Meadow Pipit and Corn Bunting and at least one Red-throated Pipit.

But the morning got better when I got a tip off from a local birder of a juvenile Black-legged Kittiwake on Larnaca Sea front.  It was still there when I arrived. Only six previous records of this bird in Cyprus. Great morning in Larnaca!

Black-legged Kittiwake Larnaca Sea Front 6th December 2014 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-legged Kittiwake Larnaca Sea Front 6th December 2014 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Western Marsh Harrier Meneou Pools 6th December 2014  (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Western Marsh Harrier Meneou Pools 6th December 2014 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours