I picked up Martin and his father from their Paphos hotel and we headed to Minthis Hills to try and see one of Martin’s target species – Cretzschmar’s Bunting. We heard a pair calling almost as soon as we arrived and found another pair higher along the track. We also had a female Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, a couple of Cyprus Wheatear, a singing male Cyprus Warbler, two fly over Red-throated Pipit, a Common Cuckoo, a Woodchat Shrike and several Corn Bunting.
I had taken Martin out previously in late 2013 and we had failed to find a Black Francolin so on our way to Akrotiri we headed to Avdimou where we found a male singing on the edge of a small olive grove. At first he was hard to see but with some patience Martin and Herbert got some decent views. In the area we also found a Great Spotted Cuckoo, a couple of singing Common Nightingale and more Cyprus Warbler and Cyprus Wheatear.
A drive around Akrotiri Gravel Pits produced several migrant passerines including more Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Northern and Isabelline Wheatear, Ruppell’s Warbler, Collared and Spotted Flycatcher, Common Redstart, Tawny Pipit, Whinchat, Greater Short-toed Lark and more Woodchat Shrike. On the shore we found six resting Black-crowned Night Heron. At Phasouri Reed-beds we found a Glossy Ibis and a Eurasian Hoopoe.
Along Lady’s Mile there were several Kentish Plover , Little Stint and Dunlin as well as five Greater Flamingo and a Spotted Redshank. Near the port we found Lesser Whitethroat and a Wryneck in a tamarisk.
We finished the day in the hide at Zakaki where the male Little Crake gave us brief views. We also saw Purple Heron, Ferruginous Duck, Little Egret and heard Eurasian Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler and Sedge Warble. A couple of Black-headed Wagtail flew over as we finished our day and returned to Paphos. Once again a very interesting day out with Martin with a good variety of species.
Total species – 77
Little Grebe, Black-crowned Night Heron, Little Egret, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Ferruginous Duck, Western Marsh Harrier, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Quail (h), Water Rail (h), Little Crake, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Little Ringed Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Little Stint, Dunlin, Spotted Redshank, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Cuckoo, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Eurasian Wryneck, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Tawny Pipit, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Black-headed Wagtail, White Wagtail, Common Nightingale, Common Redstart, Whinchat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Ruppell’s Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Spotted Flycatcher, Collared Flycatcher, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting
Whinchat, Akrotiri, 6th April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Spent two days on the Karpasia Peninsula and had a good variety of migrants including Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Pallid Harrier, Masked Shrike, Tawny Pipit, Greater Short-toed Lark, Northern, Isabelline and Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Eastern Subalpine Warbler, Tree and Red-throated Pipit, an ‘eastern’ Stonechat (female), Purple Heron, a lone Demoiselle Crane, Wryneck, Common Redstart, Common and Lesser Whitethroat, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Whinchat, Eurasian Hoopoe, Common Nightingale, Lesser Kestrel, Cretzschmar’s Bunting and Common Quail.
Two record shots taken in the gloomy dust haze below:
Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Karpasia 26th March 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Demoiselle Crane, Kouklia Dam 25th March 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Three days out with Alan and Marilyn gave a good opportunity to catch up with many different resident and migrant species. They wanted the chance to get as many photos as possible and although not all the birds we saw were photo-friendly we found a wide variety of species and ended up with a three day total of 107 different birds: 59 on 24th, 51 on 26th (when the afternoon was very quiet at the sites we visited) and 71 on 27th.
Mavrokolympos Dam – Long-legged Buzzard 2, Chukar 3+, Cyprus Wheatear 3, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Common Whitethroat 1
Akoursos Valley – Eurasian Scops Owl 1h, Common Nightingale 1h, Cyprus Warbler 2m
Cape Drepanum – Great Cormorant 4, European Shag 3, Yellow-legged Gull 30+, Greater Short-toed Lark 4, Barn Swallow 30+ migrating N along coast, Subalpine Warbler 1m
Friday 27th March:
Zakaki Marsh – Little Egret 1, Little Crake 1m, Eurasian Reed Warbler 2+h, Sedge Warbler 1h
Phassouri Reed Beds – Squacco Heron 2, Cattle Egret 1, Purple Heron 3, Western Marsh Harrier 1, Common Crane 3 flying over heading N, Black Francolin 1+h, Common Quail 1h, Black-winged Stilt 1, Spur-winged Lapwing 1, Common Nightingale 1, European Blackcap 3
Flooded Phassouri old rabbit farm area – Great Egret 1, Black-winged Stilt 1, Little Ringed Plover c10, Kentish Plover 1, Ruff c50, Common Snipe 1, Marsh Sandpiper 2, Sand Martin 1, Yellow Wagtail inc Black and Blue headed and ‘dombrowski’ intergrade, Masked Shrike 2
Akrotiri Gravel Pits and coast – Great Egret 3 in from sea over area, ‘Baltic’ Gull 1 migrating with 10 Yellow-legged Gull offshore, Common Black-headed Gull c60 in bay, Eurasian Hoopoe 4, Common Redstart 1f, Desert Wheatear 1m, Cyprus Warbler 1h, Masked Shrike 1, Ortolan Bunting 1
Bishop’s Pool – Black-crowned Night Heron 3, Ferruginous Duck 2
Lady’s Mile – Black-winged Stilt 29, Kentish Plover, Greater Sand Plover 1+ flew with flock of Kentish Plover, Marsh Sandpiper 1, Common Greenshank 4, Slender-billed Gull 8
Little Grebe, Great Cormorant, European Shag, Black-crowned Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Great Egret, Purple Heron, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Ferruginous Duck, Western Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Quail, Little Crake, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Common Crane, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Greater Sand Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruff, Common Snipe, Green Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Common Black-headed Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, ‘Baltic’ Gull (Lesser Black-backed Gull), Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Cuckoo, Eurasian Scops Owl h, Little Owl, Common Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Eurasian Wryneck, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Tawny Pipit, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Blue-headed Wagtail, Black-headed Wagtail, ‘dombrowski’ Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Common Nightingale, Western Black Redstart, Common Redstart, Common Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Desert Wheatear, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler h, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Rüppell’s Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Hawfinch, Ortolan Bunting, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting
Michael had already seen some of his Cyprus target birds out birding before we met but we still had several to try and find on our day out. We visited Kouklia Soakaways, Asprokremmos Dam, Mandria, Agia Varvara and Anarita Park. We saw some interesting birds and had especially good views of an obliging male Cyprus Warbler near the Asprokremmos Dam who can and sang on bushes near us and a Great Spotted Cuckoo (one of at least seven in the area) at Anarita Park that walked along the track towards the car which we were standing next too.
We also found a Spectacled Warbler family at Asprokremmos; saw a pair of Stone Curlew at Kouklia where there were also at least two Great Reed Warbler and we had a fly past from a Long-legged Buzzard. A singing male Eurasian Blackbird was an unusual find. There were two Ortolan Bunting there and then another three at Asprokremmos Dam where we also found a Collared, Pied and Spotted Flycatcher and two European Bee-eater. On the water’s edge was a Purple Heron, a Black-winged Stilt and a couple of Great Cormorant.
Michael had hoped to see an Isabelline Wheatear and after finding a couple of female Northern Wheatear we were pleased to find a lone Isabelline Wheatear. We also found some Greater Short-toed Lark and a male and female Eastern Black-eared Wheatear. A male Black Francolin was very obliging, sitting on a small building out in the open and calling. As with everywhere else we visited there was at least one Woodchat Shrike and many Whinchat.
Although one of the soakaways at Agia Varvara had water we only managed to find a Wood Sandpiper so we moved on to Anarita Park. We were treated to at least twelve Lesser Kestrel and a male Montagu’s Harrier as soon as we arrived and moving into the area we also found a Little Owl, a couple of European Roller, a female Red-footed Falcon and a Wryneck. Our last target bird for the day was a Great Spotted Cuckoo and we were in for a treat. Not only did we find at least seven (and definitely no double counting!) in the fields near the rubbish tip but one of them decided to feed on the track where we were parked moving slowly towards us completely oblivious of our present. A really great end to a good day’s birding.
Species seen – 63
Little Grebe, Great Cormorant, Purple Heron, Mallard, Montagu’s Harrier, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Wood Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Common Swift, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Eurasian Wryneck, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Common House Martin, Tree Pipit, Yellow Wagtail feldegg race, Whinchat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, European Blackcap, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Spotted Flycatcher, Collared Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Ortolan Bunting, Corn Bunting
Great Spotted Cuckoo Anarita Park 17th April 2014 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Plenty of migrants today at Cape Greco and even my raptor count produced raptors – a European Hobby, a Peregrine Falcon, a female Hen Harrier and at least five Pallid Harrier – two female and three (maybe four) males. Every bush seemed to have something in it and the sound of singing Common Nightingale could be heard throughout the area.
Species around included – Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, Ruppell’s Warbler, Eastern Orphean Warbler, Tree and Tawny Pipit, Isabelline, Northern, Eastern Black-eared and Cyprus Wheatear, Cyprus and Spectacled Warbler, Masked Shrike, Common Cuckoo, thunbergi Yellow Wagtail, Eurasian Hoopoe, Cretzschmar’s and Ortolan Bunting, Wryneck, Whinchat, Common Redstart, Blue Rock Thrush, Masked Shrike, Black-crowned Night Heron and Pied Flycatcher.