Cyprus Birding Tours

Offering guided bird watching tours around Cyprus


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s Guiding Paphos 14th September 2016

The day out with Joan and Keith started with a walk around the Headland with the aim of finding the Greater Sand Plover that overwinter there. We found four of them after a bit of searching in the rocks where they were hunkered down. We also watched a Common Kingfisher hovering over the sea and saw a Whimbrel, Common Sandpiper, a Northern Wheatear and two Crested Lark. Several of the fields around Paphos Sewage Works were being watered and at least twelve Spur-winged Lapwing were feeding there, as were many Hooded Crow and Western Jackdaw. Other birds of note there were a couple of Whinchat and Eurasian Hoopoe, a Eurasian Stone Curlew, at least ten Yellow Wagail, a Green Sandpiper and the first of many Willow Warbler that were at all locations visited.

At Mandria we got good views of a flock of migrating European Bee-eater which came down close to us and then headed out to sea. We watched a flock of more than 150 Yellow Wagtails in a field of cut alfalfa and in the ploughed fields found two Isabelline and two Northern Wheatear, several Whinchat, a Tawny Pipit and a mobile flock of at least thirty Greater Short-toed Lark. In the west of the area there was a European Roller and two Lesser Grey Shrike on some wires. A Spur-winged Lapwing seen on the beach could have been a migrant. An unusual bird sitting on the offshore rocks with the European Shag was later identified as nothing more interesting than a Muscovy Duck….not sure how it got there!

We ate our lunch under the trees in the amenities area of the Asprokremmos Dam. European Bee-eater passed over head and European Goldfinch, Spotted Flycatcher, Sardinian Warbler and a Masked Shrike were all flying around and feeding in the conifers. We had a quick scan of the dam itself but saw nothing until we spotted a Peregrine Falcon sitting near the Dam head. Moving onto Agia Varvara we found some water in a couple of the ‘soakaways’. There we found a very smart male Red-backed Shrike, several Yellow Wagtail including a male Black-headed, more Willow Warbler, two Tree Pipit, a Spanish Sparrow, Chukar, Zitting Cisticola and some more European Bee-eaters.

The current development at Minthis Hills appears to have disturbed the birds although we did see some more European Bee-eater, a Masked Shrike and a fly-by Eurasian Hobby.
A good day out in fun company – odd not to have seen any large raptors, migrant or resident –  but we had a good mixture of species.

Total birds – 46
European Shag, Common Kestrel, Eurasian Hobby, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar, Black Francolin, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Greater Sand Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Whimbrel, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Turtle Dove, Common Kingfisher, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Tawny Pipit, Tree Pipit, Yellow Wagtail inc flava and feldegg, Whinchat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet.

Whimbrel, Paphos Headland 14th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Whimbrel, Paphos Headland 14th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-backed Shrike, Agia Varvara 14th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-backed Shrike, Agia Varvara 14th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cape Greco raptor watch 13th September 2016

After the excitement of finding an Olive-tree Warbler in my garden yesterday (no photos – well I have lots of photos of out of focus bird and in focus branches..), I was hoping that the raptor count at Cape Greco would continue a good few days birding. No such luck. Very few raptors moving around and the interest was provided by three flocks of Greater Flamingo heading south along the east coast of the Cape. Main sightings of note:

Cape Greco 8.00am – 12.30pm
Western Marsh Harrier 2 (1m)
Eleonora’s Falcon 2
European Honey Buzzard 1
Greater Flamingo 48 + 68 + 30
Grey Heron 11
Black-crowned Night Heron 1 (with Grey Herons)
European Bee-eater 100+ (and others heard only)
Red-rumped Swallow 14
Barn Swallow 200+ over during the survey
Greater Short-toed Lark 1 over
Lesser Whitethroat 1
Yellow Wagtail 2 over W to E
Common House Martin 2
Isabelline Wheatear 1
Cyprus Wheatear 3
Whinchat 1
Spanish Sparrow 3
Tawny Pipit 2
Lesser Grey Shrike 1

Agia Napa Football Fields
Whinchat 4
Yellow Wagtail 12
Cattle Egret 11
Red-backed Shrike 1m and 3 juv
Lesser Grey Shrike 2
Eastern Black-eared Wheatear 1
Tawny Pipit 1
Eurasian Hoopoe 2
European Roller 1


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Polis Chrysochou Bay 9th and 10th September 2016

A chance to see some migrating birds off the north west coast of the island and to join the BirdLife Cyprus annual boat trip from Latchi to Cape Arnaouti. Highlight of that for local birders was a Eurasian Oystercatcher seen flying E along the rocky shore – never common here it has been five years since I last saw one in Cyprus, although at least one has been seen on this coast so far this autumn. Also seen over the two days were Purple and Grey Heron, Baltic Gull, Little and Cattle Egret, Garganey, White-winged Tern, Common Redshank, Peregrine Falcon, Western Marsh Harrier, a ring-tailed Harrier – probably a juvenile Pallid, Yellow Wagtail, Little Ringed Plover, Eurasian Shag and migrating Common Black-headed Gull. Plus several flying fish!


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Morning’s Guiding Paphos 6th September 2016

A few hours out with Malcolm around Paphos. We started at Paphos Headland where four Greater Sand Plover were obligingly standing on the rocky shore and easily visible. A Common Snipe flying in from the sea and over the archaeological site calling was unusual. Apart from a few Crested Lark the other birds we saw were familiar to a British birder if good birds for Cyprus – a Whimbrel and a Ruddy Turnstone.

We then visited Mavrokolympos Dam with the specific purpose of finding the endemic Cyprus Wheatear and Cyprus Warbler. We had good views of both and also found migrant Lesser Grey Shrike, Masked Shrike and Whinchat. We could hear many Chukar on the surrounding hills as well as some European Bee-eater migrating over head. There were also plenty of migrating Lesser Grey Shrike at both Mandria and Paphos Sewage Works – out next two stops. At Mandria we also found a smart male Red-backed Shrike, a flock of at least 300 Yellow Wagtail feeding on recently cut alfalfa, around twenty Greater Short-toed Lark, two Northern Wheatear and an Isabelline Wheatear. A Black Kite floated over and out to see as a Hooded Crow mobbed it and a Western Marsh Harrier put all the Yellow Wagtail to flight.

There were more Yellow Wagtail at Paphos Sewage Works again feeding in the recently cut fields. At least six Spur-winged Lapwing were also there and unusually we found two Glossy Ibis and a Eurasian Curlew also feeding in nearby fields. A few Red-rumped Swallow flew over and a Purple Heron passed over the area and headed out over the sea. Also seen here were a Eurasian Hoopoe, Willow Warbler, Chukar, Eurasian Stone Curlew and a Spotted Flycatcher,

A good mixture of different species found during an enjoyable morning’s birding.

Total species seen: 47

European Shag, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Black Kite, Western Marsh Harrier, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Greater Sand Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Whimbrel, Common Snipe, Eurasian Curlew, Common Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Bee-eater, Eurasian Hoopoe, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Blue-headed Wagtail, Grey-headed Wagtail, Black-headed Wagtail, Whinchat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch

Lesser Grey Shrike, Mandria 6th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Lesser Grey Shrike, Mandria 6th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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East of the island this morning, 5th September 2016

Another four hours raptor count at Cape Greco this morning with more, mainly Western Marsh Harriers, passing over. Followed up with a visit to Agia Napa Football fields.

Cape Greco 7:45 – 11.45
Western Marsh Harrier 16 (3m)
Pallid Harrier 1m and 1 juv
Montagu’s Harrier 3 juv
Ring-tailed Harrier 1
Eleonora’s Falcon 3
Purple Heron 9
Grey Heron 4
European Bee-eater 39
European Honey Buzzard 9
Lesser Grey Shrike 3
Cyprus Wheatear 2
Tawny Pipit 3 straight out to sea
Whinchat 1
Isabelline Wheatear 1

Agia Napa Football Fields
Lesser Grey Shrike 19
European Roller 1
Yellow Wagtail 9
Cattle Egret 14
Red-backed Shrike 2m and 1f
Isabelline Wheatear 2
Spotted Flycatcher 2
Whinchat 1
Eurasian Hoopoe 2

Western Marsh Harrier, Cape Greco 5th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Western Marsh Harrier, Cape Greco 5th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Whinchat, Cape Greco 5th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Whinchat, Cape Greco 5th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Isabelline Wheatear,  Cape Greco 5th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Isabelline Wheatear, Cape Greco 5th September 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Day’s Guiding Akamas area 2nd April 2016

A day out with Margaret, Susan, Judy and Shelley at sites to the north of Paphos gave us a good variety of species and a very enjoyable day out. We started at Cape Drepanum which was quiet apart from the Yellow-legged Gulls, Rock Dove and Western Jackdaw breeding on Geronissos Island offshore. In the scrub we found many Sardinian Warbler, two Northern and an Isabelline Wheatear. We moved quickly north and into the area behind Arodes. Many singing Corn Bunting were around and we stopped to watch a Woodchat Shrike. We heard the first of the areas Great Spotted Cuckoo calling and soon located it in the company of a pair of Eurasian Magpie.  As we moved on we then found two other pairs and spent almost an hour watching one pair flying around the area and ‘torturing’ another pair of Magpies. An enjoyable way to spend an hour in the spring Cyprus sunshine. We also found a Masked Shrike, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Common Nightingale, a Blue Rock Thrush, some Tree Pipit, Lesser Whitethroat and Eurasian Blackcap, several singing Cyprus Wheatear and Sardinian Warbler.

After our picnic lunch outside Droushia we headed for Smygies and the surrounding area. We stopped to watch some large birds of prey gaining height. We counted sixteen but they were too distant to be really sure of their ID. They were definitely Buzzards but given the number could have been ‘Steppe’ Buzzard . In the end we put them down as Buzzard spp. Three Long-legged Buzzard were easier to ID. We spent some time trying to locate the source of an unusual contact call and were pleased when we realized it came from an Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler. Unfortunately only I managed to spot a Cretzschmar’s Bunting before it flew from its pine tree vantage point. We also had European Serin, Willow Warbler, Common Chiffchaff and more Lesser Whitethroat and another Blue Rock Thrush for the day.

We ended the day at Evretou Day. A large flock of at least fifty Spanish Sparrow were feeding on the track as we got down to the water. At the water’s edge we found three Little Ringed Plover, a Common and a Green Sandpiper and a Little Egret. Sand Martin and Red-rumped Swallow were coming down to feed off insects on the water. In the nearby grassy vegetation we found several White and Yellow Wagtail. The latter were mainly male Black-headed but we found at least two Blue-headed. A Tawny Pipit and at least twelve Greater Short-toed Lark were also feeding there. A Little Owl and several Black Francolin were calling as we left to head back to the ladies’ holiday accommodation but we were unable to see them.

Total species seen 60

Little Egret, Common Buzzard, Buzzard spp (poss Steppe), Long-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Chukar, Black Francolin, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Eurasian Scops Owl (h), Little Owl, Common Swift, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Tawny Pipit, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Blue-headed Wagtail (flava), Black-headed Wagtail (feldegg), White Wagtail, Common Nightingale, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Eurasian Blackcap, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Corn Bunting

Droushia 2nd April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Droushia 2nd April 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

 


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Larnaca Water Bird Count, 16th March 2016

Around the Larnaca wetlands today. Very few Greater Flamingo around but there are still a couple of hundred Northern Shoveler and Eurasian Teal on the Sewage Pools. One Black-necked Grebe is still present as is a Ruddy Shelduck, five Ferruginous Duck, four Northern Pintail and two male and a female Red-crested Pochard. Most of the pools had double figures of Black-winged Stilt and plenty of Common Black-headed Gull and some Slender-billed Gull. Four hundred Slender-billed Gull were on the main Salt Lake as were four male Garganey and a large flock of Ruff, more than forty Common Redshank, some Dunlin and LIttle Stint and Kentish Plover. Several pairs of Spur-winged Lapwing were around as was a Common Snipe and some Green and Common Sandpiper.

Several Yellow Wagtail were in the area – mainly feldegg but also a couple of flava and a few intergrades. A Cyprus Wheatear was near Tekke Mosque and several Isabelline and Northern Wheatear were around. At Petounta Point two Sandwich Tern were offshore and three Little Ringed Plover and a Kentish Plover were in the flooded area.

After a storm in the early afternoon there were many Common Swift, Red-rumped Swallow and Barn Swallow in the area of Meneou Beach.

Black-winged Stilt, Meneou Pool, 16th March 2016  (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-winged Stilt, Meneou Pool, 16th March 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Black-headed Wagtail 2, Petounta Point 16th March 2016

Black-headed Wagtail, Petounta Point 16th March 2016

Little Ringed Plover, Petounta Point, 16th March 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Little Ringed Plover, Petounta Point, 16th March 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Corn Bunting, Larnaca Salt Lake 16th March 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Corn Bunting, Larnaca Salt Lake 16th March 2016 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

 


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Birding around Paphos area, 10th August 2015

Spent today out in the Paphos area. Rain was a pleasant relief from the heat when I got to Arodes but it didn’t put off both the Long-legged Buzzard and Eurasian Hobby that were flying over the area. There were at least four European Roller in the area and two Eurasian Turtle Dove.

Off shore I saw thirteen Grey Heron, three Little Egret, at least 75 Glossy Ibis, around fifty Garganey and six Gull-billed Tern as they migrated over Polis Chrysochou Bay. A Woodchat Shrike was at Neochorio and Masked Shrike were at Androlikou and Minthis Hills with several European Roller at both those locations.

A quick visit to Paphos Sewage Works on my way home produced 12 migrating Yellow Wagtail .

European Roller Arodes 10th August 2015  (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

European Roller Arodes 10th August 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Woodchat Shrike Neochorio 10th August 2015  (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Woodchat Shrike Neochorio 10th August 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours