Cyprus Bird Watching Tours - BIRD is the WORD - Paphos, Limassol, Trooodos, Larnaca, Famagusta, Nicosia, Agia Napa 12-16/02/2018
After having little luck with anything else showing at Zakaki marsh mostly due to the shockingly bad site maintenance we moved on to Lady's Mile where the large flock of gulls had all been scared off by an abandoned hunting dog, we found a few black-headed gull behind the restaurant along with a Mediterranean Gull and some Armenian. Along the strip we found a Little Stint. Heading onto the outskirts of the Salt Lake we tracked down a few Isabelline wheatears, newly arrived migrants. We also found a group of Ruff joined by some Kentish Plover on the salt flats.
We then moved onto Bishops Pool which was extremely quiet. The 3 Black-necked Grebes were still present though and a young male Marsh Harrier was hunting over the water. A Gadwall and Wigeon were also present as well as many Ferruginous duck which were our target species here.
On the other pool there was a big group of gulls, mostly Armenian but with a few Heuglin's Gulls.
The Sewage Pools were the quietest I had seen them. Only species of note here were 2 Northern Pintail, a few Common Pochard and around 30 Black-necked Grebe. Some in full summer plumage but too far for photo. As we were leaving a few Caspian Gulls flew in, also a Eurasian Curlew flew in and landed nearby.
We then ventured around the Salt Lake of which as we joined back on to the motorway a Northern Goshawk flew over the car very low coming from the direction of the Salt Lake, a female bird that I though was a buzzard at first due to her size. An odd place to see this arboreal species, but then they do move around a bit in winter.
We then finished at the Kamares Aquaduct which has some construction going on. The aquaduct area was pretty good, here we had Spur-winged lapwing, a young Peregrine Hunting pigeons, flocks of Teal, many Water Pipit, around 4 Common Snipe and our first Little Egret.
The East held 64 Species.
were in large numbers here and we managed a very close photo opportunity with a male European Stonechat here as promised.
There was a Grey Wagtail on the waste area singing away but sadly no Bluethroat yet but a suprise show was a very early Common Nightingale very briefly seen flying into some dense vegatation on the side of the road as leaving the site.
We got a few more Cyprus Warbler here and Chukar and quite a few Woodlark. We also had great photo opportunities with singing Corn Bunting. We had a quick look around Agia Varvara, target here was the Zitting Cisticola for good photos ... we managed to get quite close to a few perched, one was flying quite erratically here and diving towards the other which could have been a display or forcing another male from its territory. Here we also got another Isabelline Wheatear providing frame filling photo opportunities.
We stopped in at Episkopi to try for the Vultures again. This time we had one sitting on the cliffs and flew very close as we were heading back. I then noticed one sitting in a pine tree as we were leaving the site... fantastic!
The west held 56 species.
We searched the Atlante Trail for Short-toed Treecreeper of which we found many but all staying near the tops of the trees. I heard a Mistle Thrush here but sadly we couldn't locate it.
In the Square we had a few Crossbill, an Adult male and Female sitting at the top of a small pine tree. Unfortunately a Search and Rescue helicopter decided to inconveniently fly past very low at this precise time flushing them before we could get into the best position for photographs.
We then headed into Livadi tou Passia where many birds were singing and squabbling. I heard a yellowhammer singing too but also couldn't locate it. Here there were two Jays providing good photo opportunities and quite a few Short-toed Treecreepers.
We moved on to Almyrolivadou were we saw two Wrens fighting and also a small party of Coal Tits fighting.
We headed to Platania to eat our food and were treated to a small group of Siskin feeding in the Alder Trees in front of us.
Western Marsh harrier
Water rail (h)
Eurasian Stone curlew
Common Wood pigeon
Eurasian Collared dove
Eurasian wren (T.t.cypriotes)
Mistle thrush (h)
Blue rock thrush
Western Black redstart
Coal tit (P.a.cypriotes)
Dorothy's (Short-toed) treecreeper (C.b.dorotheae)
Eurasian penduline tit (h)
Eurasian jay (G.g.glaszneri)
Reed bunting (h)
Common crossbill (L.c.guillemardi)