Managed to avoid the storms that were around most of the day just inland from Akrotiri and had a relaxing birding day with highlights:
Black-headed Gull c300 (flying between here and Zakaki Marsh)
Mediterranean Gull 1 1st winter
Slender-billed Gull 3
Armenian Gull 20+
Caspian Gull c2
Eurasian Skylark 1 over calling
Kentish Plover 6
Hen Harrier 1 ring tail
Eurasian Sparrowhawk 1f flew over area four or five times putting gulls to flight
Eurasian Wigeon 1m
Reed Bunting 3
Eurasian Penduline TIt 2+ h
Moustached Warbler c5
Bluethroat 3 (one with white on head, one white spot and one red spot)
Water Rail 2
Spanish Sparrow 6
Common Kingfisher 2
Akrotiri Gravel Pits
Western Marsh Harrier 1f
Common Starling 1
Cattle Egret 2
Western Yellow Wagtail 3
Eurasian Penduline Tit 1+h
Common Kingfisher 1
Water Rail 1h
Griffon Vulture 10 flying over cliffs together 14:40 – 14:55
Cyprus Warbler 2 (1 h only)
Long-legged Buzzard 1
Eurasian Magpie 21 in one flock flying together
Bluethroat, Zakaki 23rd November 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Water Rail, Zakaki 23rd November 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
White Wagtail, Zakaki 23rd November 2018 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours
Was too late getting to Zakaki Marsh this morning to catch sight of the three Little Swift that had been feeding there earlier. Although I also returned there later in the day, there was no further sign of them. I did see a Jack Snipe, several Water Pipit, Common Kingfisher and hear a Water Rail though. The Eurasian Bittern at Phassouri Reed Beds came out from the reeds briefly, but more interesting there were the Hawfinch that were flying in the area together with large flocks of Common Chaffinch and European Serin. I saw at least four but other birders had found up to ten. At least three Western Marsh Harrier and four Common Buzzard were around and a Eurasian Curlew was near the coast.
At Lady’s Mile there was at least one Mediterranean Gull in with all the Common Black-headed Gull, about ten Armenian Gull and six first winter Caspian Gull. Along the port road two Laughing Dove were sitting on the wires and a Eurasian Sparrowhawk was flying over being mobbed by two Hooded Crow. Great to get out birding again!!
Back out guiding after the summer break, we chose Troodos as our destination as temperatures were still in the high thirties. I picked up Paul and Reem from their Nicosia base and we headed into the mountains with our first stops the Livadhi tou Pashia and Kampos tou Livadiou picnic spots.
We found several Spotted Flycatcher family parties, juvenile and moulting adult Cyprus Wheatear, an adult Masked Shrike, a male European Blackbird, an Eastern Olivaceous Warbler family and good numbers of the endemic sub-species Coal Tit, Short-toed Treecreeper and Jay. Around Troodos Square we added Common and Pallid Swift as well as Eurasian Hoopoe and European Serin. We found two adult male Masked Shrike – one of which perched really close to us. Again we found plenty of Coal Tit and Short-toed Treecreeper.
Leaving Troodos to go to Zakaki we detoured and had our lunch at Tzelefos Bridge. There we found a Grey Wagtail and Common Kingfisher in the stream and plenty of Common Chaffinch. At Omodhos we watched several Red-rumped Swallow and continuing southwards we stopped to watch a large raptor gliding over the area near the turn off to Agios Therapon – a Griffon Vulture and a nice surprise for us.
We ended the day out in the hide at Zakaki where we had good views of Little Egret, Glossy Ibis, Spur-winged Lapwing, Black-winged Stilt, Little Stint, Little Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Wood and Green Sandpiper, Reed Warbler and Black-headed Wagtail. Reem and Paul also had their first sighting of Collared Pratincole as an adult and a juvenile were roosting next to the many Mallards. Noting how much warmer it was down by the coast we were glad we had spent most of the day in the mountains birdwatching at a leisurely pace.
Total species seen – 43
Little Grebe, Little Egret, Glossy Ibis, Mallard, Griffon Vulture, Common Kestrel, Common Moorhen, Collared Pratincole, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Dunlin, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Swift, Pallid Swift, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Common House Martin, Black-headed Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Common Kingfisher, Cyprus Wheatear, Eurasian Blackbird, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Short-toed Treecreeper, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Jay, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Goldfinch
As well as two small Black-winged Stilt chicks there were three slighty bigger ones and two that were almost adult size. A small Spur-winged Lapwing chick was feeding near the hide. There were two Black-tailed Godwit that spent most of the time fighting each other. A Little Tern was sitting on a mound and four adult Little Ringed Plover were feeding in the mud as were two juvenile birds. Also present were some Little Egret, a couple of Ruff, a Common Sandpiper and two Common Redshank, two adult Spur-winged Lapwing, a couple of Ferruginous Duck and Mallard, Coots and Little Grebe. Several Reed Warbler could be seen flitting around the base of the reeds and a male Black-headed Wagtail was also present.