Cyprus Bird Watching Tours - BIRD is the WORD - 2-day Tour - Paphos + Akrotiri 12+13/04/2019
Mike mentioned his target species were Bonelli's Eagle, Baillon's Crake and Cyprus Scops Owl. So we started in the foothills at a Bonelli's Eagle site. There were many Serin singing along the track, presumably nesting in the area this year. We had two Bonelli's Eagles close fly from the trees into the valley providing good low flight views. An Eastern Bonelli's Warbler showed in a shrub not far from where we were standing and on the way out we had a Wryneck sitting in a bare tree.
We managed to spot a few Cretzschmar's Bunting in song as we drove through Minthis and an Isabelline Wheatear. We dropped down checking a day roost for Cyprus Scops Owls on the way, seeing two scops sitting very close together with unobstructed views. The Peregrines were feeding on the cliff face and only flew briefly.
We saw a few newly arrived Turtle Doves on the wires down here and also an Eastern Olivaceous Warbler singing away. Many Cyprus Wheatears were showing on the way to Anarita Park, and a few Ortolan Bunting too feeding in the verge. Just before we got to Anarita Park I noticed a large raptor sitting on some rocks, a Long Legged Buzzard showing nicely but not with the suns direction in our favour and then great close views of it in flight.
Nearly every bird we saw at Anarita Park was an Ortolan Bunting, absolutely everywhere. We did see a few Little Owls and Great Spotted Cuckoos too, though the gsc's weren't being very vocal and so we assumed the eggs had already been deposited in the magpie nests. There was a few Hoopoe's knocking about and also we had Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat and Cyprus Warbler.
A Grey Heron as well as a Squacco Heron and many Little Egret with a few Cattle Egrets in with them were at the front of the wetland. Seemed that most of the waders had cleared out. We stopped here for our lunch.
Our next site was Asprokremnos dam car park for flycatchers. We ended up seeing a single male Collared Flycatcher and a Wood Warbler ... so fairly quiet here. We located a Purple Heron and some Yellow-legged Gulls on the dam.
Lastly we checked Mandria and had a male and female Eastern Black-eared Wheatear sitting next to each other. We also located a Laughing Dove and some Greater Short-toed Larks. As we were exiting the site a Black Francolin was on the edge of the road walking towards the car, providing great views but eventually scared by an oncoming truck. A good end to the day, good species count (73) and all target species and full breeding endemics met.
We drove up the gravel pits track and found a Great Spotted Cuckoo showing nearby in a tree and Black Francolin showing briefly. By the church we had a female Blue Rock Thrush, Common Cuckoo and a Woodchat Shrike plus a group of Turtle Doves flying in.
We then cut through to Ladies Mile (seeing Greater Flamingo and Slender-billed Gull on the salt lake as we drove past and a very late Starling) which had some Greater Flamingo on the pools and Little Egret. A few gulls were near the port, young Armenian Gulls, Yellow-legged and Caspian. Plus a single Black-headed Gull and a Whimbrel that flew in and landed close to the car.
By the port we had Squacco Heron and a Green Sandpiper.
At Zakaki we was treated to a male Little Bittern showing very close to us, which even hunted/fed infront of us meters away. A Common Kingfisher perched close to us too.
We then ate our Lunch at Bishop's Pool which was also fairly quiet, just a small party of Black-crowned Night Heron in the very corner on a bar tree overhanging the water.
Our next site was Kensington Cliffs where many Alpine Swifts were darting around very close at times. Unfortunately no Griffon Vultures showed again but we did see a Peregrine Falcon and many Cyprus Wheatear.
Western Marsh Harrier
Eurasian Stone Curlew
Little Ringed Plover
Great Spotted Cuckoo
Cyprus Scops Owl
Greater Short-toed Lark
(h)Eastern Olivaceous Warbler
Eastern Bonelli's Warbler
Eastern Black-eared Wheatear
Yellow Wagtail (Flava, Dombrowskii)
Eastern Dappled White
Striped Hawk Moth
Snake Eyed Lizard
Schreiber's Fringe-fingered Lizard