Cyprus Bird Watching Tours - BIRD is the WORD Tour - Paphos & Akrotiri 01 & 03/05/2018
The Spur-winged lapwings weren't outside the fence at this early time so we checked the pools to which we found Glossy Ibis, Squacco Heron and quite a few Spur-winged lapwing. Towards the solid waste area we got better views of Spur-winged Lapwing and was amazed to find they had a chick already. On the way out we spotted a Stone Curlew in flight but failed to find the point in which it landed.
Then on to Mandria where we had good views of Laughing Dove, Hoopoe, Red-backed and Lesser Grey Shrike. There wasn't much movement out at sea as now the migration has slowed right down and so we didn't stick around. We headed to Agia Varvara which held little and then onto Anarita Park where we was treated to many great views of Red-footed Falcon, Lesser Kestrel, Cyprus Warbler, European Roller, Montagu's Harrier and Red-rumped Swallow.
We moved on through to Episkopi in hope of getting Great Spotted Cuckoo which is a nightmare bird to find this year unfortunately, undoubtedly there being some problems in their wintering grounds considering the sharp decline in populations visiting Cyprus over the past 3 years. Sadly we couldn't locate any Great Spotted Cuckoos, though we did see Eastern olivaceous warbler, Cyprus Wheatear and some more Rollers. Moving up to higher ground we got great scoped views of Peregrine Falcon chicks and briefly heard the calls of a Cyprus Scops Owl echoing against the cliff face.
We drove to Kathikas from here and managed to get incredible views of Black-headed Bunting, with all of them singing and even had close views of 2 males fighting on at least 3 occasions. There was a harrier in the distance but too far to identify.
As we headed out and journeyed to Evretou Dam we came upon a Long-legged Buzzard perched in a tree very close providing incredible views and an inevitable take-off.
We stopped to eat our lunch at Evretou near the waters edge where Yellow Wagtails approached us and we enjoyed many flocks of Bee-eater flying over. Highlights here was a few Night Heron, Purple Heron, Squacco Heron and a Black-tailed Godwit which was well spotted by David partly concealed in the grass. We also watched a Long-legged Buzzard soaring over the hills and watched the extremely large nesting group of Spanish Sparrow in a large tree. A great day with some very colourful birds totaling 68 species.
to us at times. The majority of waders were Ruff and Little Stint, though we did pick out a Dunlin and also quite a few Curlew Sandpipers. Seeing a few Black-headed Gull here was a bit of a surprise considering how late into spring we are.
Some Baltic gull showed well in flight and on the ground. There was a decent group of Greater Flamingo at the waters edge that were in display which was great to see especially so close as well. A few Northern Shoveler were among them.
The water levels at Lady's Mile had reduced dramitically since last being there and seemed ripe for waders now. Though there actually wasn't many around. We did get some more ruff, marsh sandpiper and a greenshank. Also a Black-tailed Godwit among Ruff. Little Tern were in abundance here fishing.
After checking some of Akrotiri Gravel Pits (of which the highlight was seeing two Little Terns plunging into the water around 4 meters from the car and then feeding each other in display) and Phassouri Marsh we stopped for our lunch.
After lunch we headed to Kensington cliffs where we got incredible views of many Eleonora's Falcons playing, hunting and also mobbing the Griffon Vultures that were active on arrival. We also saw lots of Alpine Swift with some flying quite low.
It was quite windy by this point so getting the Griffon Vultures closer to us in flight was not going to happen, though they still provided a good show and ended the tour on a high note. We managed 78 species for the day and brought the total number of species to 100.
(h) Black Francolin
(h) Little Bittern
Western Marsh Harrier
Eurasian Stone Curlew
Common Ringed Plover
(h) Cyprus Scops Owl
Lesser Grey Shrike
Eurasian Golden Oriole
(h) Eurasian Reed-warbler
(h) Eastern Olivaceous Warbler
(h) Common Nightingale
Eastern Black-eared Wheatear
Yellow Wagtail (flava, feldegg)