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.
Visited several sites this morning before the heavens opened and the rain ruined any chance of birding in the afternoon.
Hen Harrier 1 ring -tail
Black-necked Grebe 2
Greater Sandplover 4 (see photograph)
Eurasian Shag 1
Common Starling 2
Hen Harrier 1 ring-tail
House Sparrow 500+
Spanish Sparrow 20+
Common Buzzard 2
Northern Wheatear 1m
Blue Rock Thrush 1m
House Sparrow 300+
Spanish Sparrow 50+
Eurasian Collared Dove 80+
Laughing Dove 4
Common Kingfisher 1
Audouin’s Gull 1
Common Shelduck 1 flying W
A sunny but cool winter’s day around some of the Paphos birding sites with Martin and Beverley produced a variety of species and showed that most of our regular winter visitors have arrived. Unfortunately for Martin and Beverly a lot of those are common in the UK but even so we picked up several new species for them and they were also pleased to see three female Hen Harriers which are not easy to see in England any longer.
We started at Paphos Sewage Plant where six Spur-winged Lapwing were feeding in a recently mown field along with four Northern Lapwing, plenty of Meadow Pipit, just two Red-throated Pipits and some Eurasian Skylark. Of course we saw many European Stonechat as well as the first of many of the day’s Black Redstart. In the valley behind Agia Varvara village we found a small group of Woodlark and then European Serin. Here we saw the first of our female Hen Harrier as well as a distant Long-legged Buzzard and Eurasian Sparrowhawk. Two Common Snipe were feeding in a small area of water. Also in the area was a very late Willow Warbler as well as several Common Chiffchaff, Sardinian Warbler and Spanish Sparrow.
Our next stop was Anarita Park where our target species was the Finsch’s Wheatear. A male was waiting for us – or so it seemed – as we arrived on one of the usual territories and then proceeded to keep us entertained for almost half an hour as it fed, flying from rocks down to the grass and back again. Another male was seen on a large boulder in the distance. A couple of flocks of Woodlark and Meadow Pipit were flying around. We then drove down to the coast and around the fields at the coast of Mandria. We had reasonable views of two Red-throated Pipits and watched several Eurasian Skylark in the fields. A Black Redstart entertained us while we ate our picnic lunch and several Yellow-legged Gull flew over. We decided to make a short stop near Kouklia Fish Farm where a pair of Slavonian Grebe had been offshore since late last week. Unfortunately we couldn’t find them but we did get great views of five Chukar that we had not managed at other locations.
We took the opportunity to visit Kouklia village where at least five Laughing Dove were found near the archaeological site there and then we moved to our last location of the day – Asprokremmos Dam. We spent some time on the dam wall where we watched another female Hen Harrier fly up stream and a lovely male Blue Rock Thrush feeding on the boulders. Driving up to the mast we found many Corn Bunting as well as more Woodlark, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch and a large flock of Common Linnet. On the water was a large group of Great Cormorant – another winter visitor – as well as some Common Teal and a single Northern Shoveler. Now the sun was setting the temperature started to drop and we called it a day and I drove Martin and Beverley back to their Paphos hotel.
Species seen – Chukar, Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Common Teal, Little Grebe, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Laughing Dove, Common Coot, Grey Heron, Great Cormorant, Northern Lapwing, Spur-winged Lapwing, Common Snipe, Yellow-legged Gull, Hen Harrier, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Eurasian Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Great Tit, Woodlark, Eurasian Skylark, Crested Lark, Zitting Cisticola, Willow Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Cetti’s Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, European Robin, Black Redstart, Blue Rock Thrush, European Stonechat, Finsch’s Wheatear, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Red-throated Pipit, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, Common Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, Common Linnet, European Goldfinch, European Serin, Corn Bunting
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
A day around Paphos with Ann and Peter – the third year running that we have been out together. We started at Timi Beach and Anarita Park and then went further inland to new sites for them – Episkopi (Paphos), Arodes and Evretou Dam. We had a total of 55 species with highlights from each location as follows:
European Shag, Caspian Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Chukar, Northern Wheatear, Red-rumped Swallow
Lesser Kestrel 2m and 2f, Little Owl 1, Red-rumped Swallow, Blue Rock Thrush, Isabelline Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Finsch’s Wheatear 1m, Cyprus Warbler 3 singing males, Ruppell’s Warbler 1m, Spanish Sparrow, European Serin, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting, Common Nightingale h, Woodlark
Peregrine Falcon 2, Cyprus Wheatear 1, Sardinian Warbler, Red-rumped Swallow
Bonelli’s Eagle, Cyprus Wheatear
Eurasian Hoopoe, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Chukar
Total species – 55
European Shag, Eurasian Teal, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Eurasian Coot, Yellow-legged Gull, Caspian Gull, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Little Owl, Common Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Woodlark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, Common Nightingale, European Robin, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Finsch’s Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Ruppell’s Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Eurasian Magpie, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Goldfinch, European Greenfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting
The first day out of what promises to be a busy spring season for Cyprus Birding Tours, was with Peter and Sian. We had arranged to go to Anarita Park and Akrotiri to show Peter those locations. Our target species were Cyprus Warbler, Cyprus Wheatear and Finsch’s Wheatear. After heavy rain over night the weather was mainly sunny if hazy as we headed for Anarita Park. Flocks of finches – Common Linnet, European Serin, European Goldfinch and Greenfinch greeted us as did a Eurasian Hoopoe. Corn Bunting were singing and we heard a Great Spotted Cuckoo although we didn’t see one there. After a few false starts we found both Cyprus and Finsch’s Wheatear as well as a couple of Isabelline and Northern and a very smart Eastern Black-eared. We were told by a local birder that a male Lesser Kestrel was hunting near the road and we passed by there and had good views of it. We briefly saw a male Cyprus Warbler as well as a Chukar, two male and a female Blue Rock Thrush, some male Spanish Sparrow and a few Woodlark.
We then headed to the Agia Varvara valley hoping to get better views of the Cyprus Warbler. We were in luck and found a male singing there which kept us entertained for a while until we were interrupted by a fox dashing through the undergrowth nearby being chased by three dogs. We then moved on to Kourio Stadium where we ate our lunch in the shade of a carob tree watching Isabelline, Northern and Cyprus Wheatear and added Red-rumped Swallow to our list of species.
Two Eurasian Hoopoe flew over Phasouri Reed-beds but we didn’t find much else there. We drove to check the coast of the Gravel Pits and assumed we had found Garganey floating on the sea. Putting the scope on them it was a surprise to see five Gadwall and around twenty Eurasian Teal. Driving through the Gravel Pits area we came across five Little Ringed Plover, a Ruff and a Green Sandpiper, two Kentish Plover, a Great Spotted Cuckoo, two Isabelline Wheatear, a male Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, five Lesser Whitethroat, a Woodchat Shrike and many mosquitos. A quick scan over the Salt Lake revealed a couple of hundred Greater Flamingo and a Western Marsh Harrier quartering the shore.
On Lady’s Mile we found just a couple of Kentish Plover and Ruff, a Black-winged Stilt, a Spotted Redshank and a Common Redshank. A couple of Slender-billed Gull with a lovely pink tinge to their plumage were floating offshore with some Common Black-headed Gull and at least one Armenian and Caspian Gull. We then spent a short time in the hide at Zakaki Marsh where we could hear Eurasian Penduline Tit calling. Finally two males were spotted by Peter feeding in a tamarisk bush to the left of the hide. Also present were a Little Egret, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot and five Common Starling.
The last stop was Kensington Cliffs but unfortunately we were too late to see any Eurasian Griffon Vulture but we did see at least six Alpine Swift. We returned to Paphos happy with our days birding.
Total species – 72
Little Egret, Grey Heron, Greater Flamingo, Gadwall, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Western Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Kentish Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Ruff, Common Snipe, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Green Sandpiper, Common Black-headed Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Caspian Gull, Armenian Gull, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Woodlark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, European Robin, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Finsch’s Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Eurasian Penduline Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Corn Bunting
A day out on Tuesday with many of the sightings reminiscent of a UK birding day out. After popping in quickly to Zakaki I got a quick view of the Red Knot there – a rare and irregular winter visitor and passage migrant to Cyprus – I headed to Paphos where many of the birds were familiar northern European birds wintering here. A Eurasian Griffon Vulture flying over the motorway and Black Francolin, Long-legged Buzzard and Finsch’s Wheatear were the best reminders that I was actually in Cyprus!
Red Knot 1
Eurasian Griffon Vulture 1
Long-legged Buzzard 1
Black Francolin 1
Asprokremmos Dam area
Water Pipit 4
Long-legged Buzzard 1
Corn Bunting 1h
Eurasian Golden Plover 2
Common Linnet c60
Paphos Sewage Works
Cattle Egret 1
Common Buzzard 1
Eurasian Teal 1 in flight
European Serin c80
Red-throated Pipit 3
Finsch’s Wheatear 1m & 1f
Cyprus Warbler 1m
Corn Bunting 1 singing
A morning around a few Paphos sites with Stephen and Lorraine. The main target species was the wintering Finsch’s Wheatear but first we headed to Paphos Headland for a short walk to track down the Greater Sand Plover that winter there. They were not easy to find this morning but eventually we found three of them feeding close to the water’s edge. A fly-by first winter Mediterranean Gull was a surprise – never seen in Cyprus in large numbers it is rarely seen in the west of the island. Twenty ducks flew offshore heading SW which we decided were probably Northern Pintail. Other wintering waders were good Cyprus birds although familiar to British birders – around fifty Eurasian Golden Plover, a Whimbrel and two Ruddy Turnstone. Small flocks of Eurasian Skylark were flying around as were European Goldfinch and Common Linnet – and of course there were plenty of Common Stonechat.
We then headed inland to check out Anarita Park which is a well-known wintering site for Finsch’s Wheatear. We quickly found a female flitting between rocks and plant stalks and after some perseverance we had good views of a male in another area. We also saw three Little Owl and several Woodlark. Our last stop was at the Paphos Sewage Plant where the fields were full of Meadow Pipit. Eighteen Northern Lapwing were feeding in a recently harvested field and two Spur-winged Lapwing also found. Large flocks of Common Woodpigeon were flying around. We found a Western Black Redstart in the olive trees as well as wintering European Robin and Common Chiffchaff.
Although most of the species seen on a Cyprus winter’s day were well known to Steven and Lorraine, our great views of Greater Sand Plover, Finsch’s Wheatear and Spur-winged Lapwing made up for that.
Full list of species:
Great Cormorant, Common Kestrel, Northern Pintail, Greater Sand Plover, Eurasian Golden Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Northern Lapwing, Whimbrel, Ruddy Turnstone, Mediterranean Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Little Owl, Woodlark, Eurasian Skylark, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, European Robin, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Finsch’s Wheatear, Sardinian Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet
A few hours out with Rose who is over in Cyprus for several days. She had visited the Archaeological Site the day before so we headed to Paphos Sewage Works, Asprokremmos Dam and Anarita Park – Mandria, our other option, was out of bounds due to an army exercise.
There were a few migrants around – although not in large numbers. We found Red-rumped Swallow, Eurasian Hoopoe, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Isabelline and Northern Wheatear. At Anarita Park we found both Cyprus Warbler and Cyprus Wheatear as well as a female Finsch’s Wheatear although disappointingly no sign of a male. Several Blue Rock Thrush were also in the area and we had good views of Long-legged and Common Buzzard. The Little Owl was on its usual rock and many Corn Buntings were singing. At the Sewage Works we watched at least eight Spur-winged Lapwing and three Cattle Egret. Plenty of winter visitors were still around including Woodlark and at Asprokremmos Dam we watched singing male Sardinian and Spectacled Warbler.
Total species: 43
Great Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Spur-winged Lapwing, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Little Owl, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Woodlark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, European Robin, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Finsch’s Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Goldfinch, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting
As I had to be in Paphos by 6pm I decided to do some birding on the way visiting Germasogeia Dam, Kouklia Soakaways, Asprokremmos Dam and Kefalos Beach (Paphos Headland). Highlights were:
Moustached Warbler 2
Common Snipe 1
Water Pipit 1+
Cyprus Warbler 1
Long-legged Buzzard 1
Common Buzzard 1
Asprokremmos Dam area
Cyprus Warbler 2m (1 singing)
Spectacled Warbler 2+
Slender-billed Gull 1 imm (photographed)
European Shag 2 offshore
Common Kingfisher 1
Red-throated Pipit 1h
A quick ‘spur of the moment’ visit to the Cape Greco area this morning produced four Grey Plover and three Common Kingfisher at Agia Trias; two over flying Great Black-headed Gull at Cape Greco where there was also a Blue Rock Thrush, six Woodlark and a female Cyprus Warbler; and thirteen Eurasian Stone Curlew roosting on the beach at Kermia Beach.
The second day out with Mark and Sally saw us find several of Mark’s target species, enjoy two rare visitors to Cyprus at close quarters and was a fitting end to a great year of guided tours for me. We visited Lower Ezousas Pools (morning and late afternoon), Paphos Sewage Works, Asprokremmos Dam and Mandria and brought the total of species seen on the two days out to sixty four.
Highlights today included:
Lower Ezousas Pools: Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Water Rail 3+, Common Kingfisher, Woodlark 10, Grey Wagtail 1, Bluethroat 1, Moustached Warbler 4+, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler 2, Bearded Reedling 2, Spotted Crake (seen by me).
Paphos Sewage Works – Spur-winged Lapwing 14, Northern Lapwing 18
Asprokremmos Dam area – Little Owl, Common Kingfisher, Woodlark 2, Spectacled Warbler 4, Cyprus Warbler 2m and 1f, European Serin c50, Corn Bunting 7
Mandria – Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Chukar, Northern Lapwing 1, Yellow-legged Gull c70, Eurasian Skylark 150+
Total species seen today – 51
Little Grebe, Great Cormorant, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Water Rail, Spotted Crake, Common Moorhen, Spur-winged Lapwing, Northern Lapwing, Common Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Little Owl, Common Kingfisher, Crested Lark, Woodlark, Eurasian Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, European Robin, Bluethroat, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Moustached Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Great Tit, Bearded Reedling, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Corn Bunting