Cyprus Birding Tours

Offering guided bird watching tours around Cyprus

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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report – Day’s Guiding around Paphos 10th October 2017


We were made to work hard for the birds we saw today but David, Ann and I managed in the end to get a good variety of species and excellent views of two of David’s main targets – Greater Sandplover and Red-footed Falcon. This time of year is often very quiet bird-wise and today was no exception. We saw no large migrating raptors although we did see resident Long-legged Buzzard and Bonelli’s Eagle.

We started with a walk around Paphos Headland specifically to see the Greater Sandplover that overwinter there and have been present now for a few months. We found three of them and with them were two Ruddy Turnstone, a Common Ringed Plover and a Dunlin. A Common Kingfisher was hovering and fishing close to the shore. We then headed to the Paphos Sewage Plant where we had great views of several Spur-winged Lapwing, Spanish Sparrow and many Willow Warbler. The latter were everywhere we went today feeding mainly in trackside weeds. In the distance we saw a Long-legged Buzzard being mobbed by Hooded Crows and a group of nearly 50 migrating Great Cormorant.

The area behind Agia Varvara village was quieter than on recent visits there but we did see another Common Kingfisher, Spanish Sparrow bathing in a large puddle, several Spotted Flycatcher and Whinchat as well as a juvenile Red-backed Shrike. The Red-footed Falcon feeding in a ploughed field at Mandria were real stars and it was also interesting to watch around half of those present suddenly take off and, gaining height, move south. The rest remained on the field, some hunting and others just sitting on the field. In other fields we found more than two hundred Western Yellow Wagtail, around twenty Greater Short-toed Lark, several Northern Wheatear, a male Black Francolin, a European Turtle Dove and then a lone European Bee-eater was spotted sitting on a wire – always a popular species.

Moving on to the area behind Asprokremmos Dam we found a juvenile Cyprus Wheatear as well as more Whinchat and Western Yellow Wagtail. The Dam itself was quiet but a Bonelli’s Eagle brightened things up as it flew over us near the Dam wall. We decided to head for Armou Hills as our final destination A ‘Steppe’ Grey Shrike had been found there in late September and re seen again at the end of last week.  But there our luck run out. We didn’t find it and had to console ourselves with another Cyprus Wheatear, several Northern Wheatear, more Whinchat, a juvenile Red-backed Shrike and another fly past Long-legged Buzzard.

Total species seen: Black Francolin, Little Grebe, Common Woodpigeon, European Turtle Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, Grey Heron, European Shag, Great Cormorant, Common Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Greater Sandplover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Ruddy Turnstone, Common Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Bonelli’s Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, European Bee-eater, Common Kingfisher, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Red-backed Shrike, Eurasian Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Great Tit, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Zitting Cisticola, Barn Swallow, Willow Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Whinchat, European Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Western Yellow Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, European Greenfinch, Common Linnet, European Goldfinch.

European Turtle Dove, Paphos 10th October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

European Turtle Dove, Paphos 10th October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Greater Sandplover, Paphos Headland 10th October 2017  (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Greater Sandplover, Paphos Headland 10th October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-footed Falcon, Mandria 10th October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Red-footed Falcon, Mandria 10th October 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

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Waterbird Count Larnaca 18th May 2017

There seemed to have been a clear out of birds overnight and there were less around than yesterday but still some migrants around including a Broad-billed Sandpiper on the Salt Lake. Other birds included:

Larnaca Sewage Works
Grey Heron 2
Little Tern 7
Yellow-legged Gull 1
Black-crowned Night Heron 1 along coast being mobbed by Hooded Crow
Ruff 5
Little Stint 3
Common Sandpiper 1
Mallard 18 plus 1 female with 10 ducklings
Little Grebe 6
Common Coot 11
Sand Martin 20+
Barn Swallow 200+
Common Swift 50+
Northern House Martin 10+

Spiros Pool
Red-backed Shrike 1m
Greater Short-toed Lark 2

Larnaca Salt Lake
Little Owl 1
Eurasian Thick-knees (Stone Curlew) 1 h
Spur-winged Lapwing 16
Wood Sandpiper 5
Broad-billed Sandpiper 1
Little Stint 22
Temminck’s Stint 1
Glossy Ibis 8
Curlew Sandpiper 2
Ruff 9
Squacco Heron 1 (see photos)
Black-crowned Night Heron 2 over road near Airport

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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: A Morning’s Guiding around Nicosia 17th January 2017

The first guided trip of 2017 was a morning around two of the Nicosia birding spots. Josh and Toni were hoping to see Finsch’s Wheatear and Blue Rock Thrush so we headed straight to Agios Sozomenos where we had a good chance of both. Entering the area we had good views of Zitting Cisticola and heard and saw a singing Corn Bunting in the distance. We stopped to scan the area for Finsch’s Wheatear and as we saw a flash of white wheatear rump fly off, a brown bird started singing on the top of a thorny bush. We were pleased to see that it was a Bluethroat which very obligingly sat out in the open for several minutes. A Spectacled Warbler and several Chiffchaffs flitted in and out of the bush at the same time. When the Bluethroat flew off we searched again for the Finsch’s Wheatear but no joy. We moved along the road and a grey-brown bird flew across the rocks – a female Finsch’s Wheatear. We stopped and watched her and then continued around the corner where we came across a male Finsch’s Wheatear. One of our two target species seen and well watched. We returned to the deserted village where two Long-legged Buzzard and a Peregrine Falcon treated us to fly-bys.

In the fields, we found plenty of Meadow Pipit, Zitting Cisticola, Common Stonechat and a large flock of noisy European Serin that sat obligingly in a small tree next to the track. We watched a male Spanish Sparrow feeding while others flitted unseen between the bushes. Large flocks of the resident Western Jackdaw flew over the area. As we had not managed to find the Blue Rock Thrush we decided to spend a little longer re checking the cliffs and rocks. Still no joy with that species although we found the male Finsch’s Wheatear we had missed earlier (minus the Bluethroat this ime) and then, best of all – a pair of adult Bonelli’s Eagle that treated us to an aerial display for at least ten minutes. The highlight of the morning.

Moving on to Athalassa Dam we found most of the expected waterfowl including a Ferruginous Duck and six Tufted Duck (scarce for Cyprus). Here the highlights were three adult and two immature Black-crowned Night Heron and the unseasonal Whiskered Tern that has been in the area for most of the winter. A great morning out with a good list of species for a January morning out away from the coast, and thanks to Josh and Toni for their company.

Total number of species: 45

Little Grebe, Great Cormorant, Black-crowned Night Heron, Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Ferruginous Duck, Tufted Duck, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Common Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Whiskered Tern, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, European Robin, Bluethroat, Western Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Finsch’s Wheatear, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Serin, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Corn Bunting.

Bonelli's Eagle, Agios Sozomenos 17th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Bonelli’s Eagle, Agios Sozomenos 17th January 2017 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours


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Cyprus Birding Tours Trip Report: Days Guiding Paphos 15th October 2015

Pat, Val, Paul, Anne and I headed straight for Paphos Headland where a walk along the coast line produced four Greater Sand Plover, a Eurasian Golden Plover, a Whimbrel, a Ruddy Turnstone and two Common Sandpiper. Two Common Kingfisher squabbling over territory was great to see and we also found a Tawny Pipit in the scrub as well as a Zitting Cisticola and several Spanish Sparrow sitting in a couple of bushes. Two Northern Lapwing flew over – an unusual location for them.

Our next stop was the Ezousas Valley near Agia Varvara where we found many Willow Warblers, a Eurasian Sparrowhawk, two newly arrived Common Stonechat, a couple of Chukar and a distant Cyprus Wheatear. A couple of the Soakaways still held water but the only birds we found on them were a couple of Common Moorhen and a young Grey Heron.  At Paphos Sewage Works we quickly found at least six Spur-winged Lapwing but it took us a bit longer to find and get decent views of the three Red-throated Pipit that we could hear feeding in the fields with the many White and several Yellow Wagtail. A juvenile Red-footed Falcon was migrating overhead as we left.

The three Red-throated Pipit in the fields near the sea at Mandria were more obliging and we had great views of them – still mainly in breeding plumage. We found three Northern Wheatear, a Tawny Pipit and a Whinchat, and then watched a Long-legged Buzzard fly over and perch on the top of a tall conifer while being mobbed by Hooded Crows. Two Eurasian Sparrowhawk were flying over as were four Northern Lapwing.  We were especially pleased to spend some time watching at least 35 Eurasian Stone Curlew on a ploughed field.

We then went to Petra tou Romiou and were treated to a flying display by four or five Eleonora’s Falcon. Another Eleonora’s Falcon gave us a surprise at Kouklia Soakaways when it flew up from the water in the river bed there. A Long-legged Buzzard was also flying in the valley and we saw another of those on the approach road to the Asprokremmos Dam being pursued by a flock of Hooded Crow.  Both darker birds than we had seen at Mandria. A male and female Cyprus Warbler played hide and seek behind the Dam but finally the female at least allowed us to see her well, the male giving only the briefest glimpses.

Our last stop was at Minthis Hills where we were hoping to get better views of the Cyprus Wheatear. We were very pleased to find one as soon as we turned into the area and then another a bit further along the track. Our final species were two Bonelli’s Eagle that gave us a great fly by and a fitting end to the day.

Total species seen 47

European Shag, Grey Heron, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Chukar, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Greater Sand Plover, Eurasian Golden Plover, Spur-winged Lapwing, Northern Lapwing, Whimbrel, Common Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Kingfisher, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Tawny Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Whinchat, Common Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit,  Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet

Eurasian Stone Curlew Mandria 15th October 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Eurasian Stone Curlew Mandria 15th October 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

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Zitting Cisticola, Larnaca Sewage Works 18th July 2015

This Zitting Cisticola was one of a family party around the hide at Larnaca Sewage Works this morning. Also flying around the area were an adult and juvenile Little Tern and a Whiskered Tern which was still in breeding plumage.

Zitting Cisticola Larnaca Sewage Works 18th July 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours

Zitting Cisticola Larnaca Sewage Works 18th July 2015 (c) Cyprus Birding Tours