Cyprus Bird Watching Tours - BIRD is the WORD Half day Tour Paphos 21/03/2018
The bird was clearly visible on arrival sitting on top of the Jolly Roger pirate ship. After some great scoped views it flew towards the headland, so we got to see it in flight not too far away and hear its calls.
Cracking start to the day. We drove through the Sewage works and got the Spur-winged Lapwing and Cattle Egrets. Steve had Black Francolin and Stone Curlew down as target species, both of which are present here. Sadly we didn't see or hear any Black Francolins here but we did see a Stone Curlew and got some great scoped views. A Common Whitethroat showed briefly and we had a fly past of a Red-throated Pipit calling in flight. Here we also managed to pick out a Red-rumped swallow coming off the sea with a group of Barn Swallow.
We continued on to Timi beach where a Desert Wheatear was present as well as Isabelline and Northern Wheatear. Steve had actually managed to find a Desert Wheatear in Coral Bay not long ago but was more than happy to be seeing another of these smart scarce migrants in Cyprus. A Cattle Egret in summer plumage sat on one of the signs next to the main road in and there was a little egret patrolling beach. A couple of Common Kingfisher showed well too. We got incredibly close to the Desert Wheatear providing amazing views. On the way out we was treated to a Stone Curlew sitting very close to the car ... quite a few times, a Crested Lark was picking at a caterpillar on the other side of the path.
The sand bowl was quite devoid of life which was unusual considering it was teeming with birds just days before. A couple of tawny Pipits flew in quite close but seemed to be the only birds in the area. Behind the Picnic area Steve spotted a Hoopoe in the distance.
Further down and many Wheatears later there was a small group of yellow wagtails in with some white wagtails but were unfortunately flushed by dogs off their leash in a potato field before we could get a clear view. Sadly this is happening more and more with the authorities seemingly becoming very complacent with dogs in wildlife concentrated areas.
Coming out of Mandria we saw quite a few House Martins and Barn Swallow low and also two Marsh Harrier, one young male and one female.
At Anarita Park we managed to find the 2 Lesser Kestrels, 2 females flying together with one perched briefly on a wire. Another target species, though a tricky one to identify.
Here we managed to see the two Little Owls out on their nesting rock and a third Little Owl on the opposite side of the site. No sign of the Finsch's Wheatear, though we did see Northern, Isabelline and Eastern Black-eared Wheatear. A Female Blue Rock Thrush provided lengthy scoped views as it searched for food and returned to the same rock many times. Under usual circumstances most would be bummed out to be just seeing a drab female, though Steve had only ever seen the males before which worked out quite nicely. There was quite a few Common Swifts above us with a few Alpine Swifts among them and below was a Cyprus Warbler close to the car. In the distance we managed to both spot a male Pallid Harrier hunting over the hills and watched it for quite some time. As we went in for a better view point he started to ascend and then was joined by another, but the other was darker with much more black on the wing tips .... a Male Hen Harrier. Extraordinary to see both species together like that. They both ascended and went their separate ways. A fantastic end to a fantastic half day tour! Managing 54 species in just 4 hours.
Black francolin (h)
Western Marsh harrier
Eurasian Stone curlew
Common Wood pigeon
Eurasian Collared dove
Common house martin
Red-throated pipit (flight view + Call)
Cetti's warbler (h)
Blue rock thrush
Eastern Black-eared wheatear