Cyprus Bird Watching Tours - BIRD is the WORD - 3 Day Tour - Paphos, Akrotiri and Larnaca 06+07+08/05/2019
Starting out in Paphos (on a very dusty day) we headed to Kathikas in hope of getting Black-headed Bunting, in which we saw a migrating Marsh Harrier on the way. Indeed we saw many in song showing high on the wires and low in the vegetation. Heading to Pano Arodes we got great views of a pair of Roller near the entrance to the village. There wasn't overly much life at Arodes, though we did see a beautiful leucistic Long-legged Buzzard perching close by and also hunting in a valley quite close to us.
We then dropped down to Minthis hills for Cretzschmar's Bunting of which we managed to locate one singing.
Heading further down we had one of the Cyprus Scops Owl at the roost showing very well. Arriving at the Peregrine Falcon site, one adult was just flying off, but we was treated too great views of 3 of the fledgling chicks.
We then headed to Anarita Park, seeing plenty of Roller and Cyprus Wheatear en route.
At Anarita Park we had great views of Cyprus Warbler and also a Little Owl. There was many Kestrels hunting together, very similar behaviour to Lesser Kestrels, though they were common's after a good look through. Red-rumped Swallows were flying low and sadly no Red-footed Falcons were around still.
Agia Varvara held no water birds, but we did get Spotted Flycatcher, Eurasian Hobby and recently colonized Laughing Doves here.
We didn't see much at Mandria, just some Greater Short-toed Lark, a Whinchat and also a Black Francolin calling from a bush nice and close.
We finished up at the Sewage Plant seeing Spur-winged lapwing, Black-winged Stilt and a Glossy Ibis, managing 47 species for the day.
Our first site was Phassouri. Serin and Chaffinch were singing and calling at the entrance, and a few Turtle Dove moving around in the orchard.
Many Glossy Ibis, Cattle Egret and Squacco Heron were on the marsh, and a Great Reed Warbler sung in a clump of reeds next to the car.
At the Rabbit shed pools we had common and pallid swift coming down for water, Bee-eaters overhead and a calling Great Spotted Cuckoo. On the water we had many Wood Sandpiper and Common Sand Piper. Kentish Plover were showing close as were Little Stint and a pair of Temminck's Stint. Ruff, Spur-winged lapwing, Black-winged Stilt and a pair of Greenshank were also present.
After a quick look around the Gravel Pits we headed to Ladies Mile. Ladie's Mile held good numbers of Little terns plunging into the water and resting on the salt flats. We had many Little Stint here and also 8 Broad-billed Sandpiper which would be Manfred's star bird of the 3 day tour.
We then went to the run-off which was fairly quiet. We didn't pass the mound entrance part of the salt lake as the Greater Flamingo were very close to the edge with many courting, so we watched those from a concealed point and then headed back.
Then we headed to Bishop's pool for Ferruginous Duck. At the entrance there was many European Bee-eaters showing very well. On the pool there was little, but we managed to find 2 Ferruginous duck and many Little Grebe with dabchicks. A Golden Oriole flew over in the distance, we couldn't find it in the fur trees it went down to but did flush a Long-eared Owl.
Next site was Kensington cliffs, where we had fantastic views of Griffon Vulture, Alpine Swift and Eleonora's Falcon.
We started in the Menou area, getting coffee en-route and seeing Eurasian Stone Curlew.
Greater Flamingo, Black-winged Stilt, Spur-winged Lapwing and Little Terns were on the pools and a Common Cuckoo flew low over the car ... a nice welcoming. We also scoped a pair of Slender Billed Gull.
As we headed to the hide we had smashing views of Spectacled Warbler. On the sewage pools there was only Mallard and a few Common Sandpiper. Heading towards the sewage plant we had views of Common Ringed Plover and Kentish plover on the beach and a single Caspian Gull. A Black Francolin showed well very close to us on a hay stack, calling for a lengthy amount of time.
A disappointing number of species so we headed to Oroklini, which was also low on species, but we did get great views of Laughing Dove and distant views of a female Red-crested Pochard.
We decided to visit Achna, from which the shallow end was off limits due to very high water levels. We ventured around the side of the dam from the main entrance, seeing Grey Heron, Squacco Heron, Little Egret and a Roller, but not much else.
We barely saw a bird at the Aquaduct (just a Marsh Harrier) and the Salt Lake was devoid of life.
We headed back to Paphos and stopped at Agia Varvara in hope of seeing a Great Spotted Cuckoo. We didn't manage to but we did see many Wood Sandpiper nice and close, and also a White Wagtail. We finished the day with 56 species bewildered in not seeing more Tern species for this time of year.
Our total for the 3 day tour was 93 species.
Chukar Partridge (a.c.cypriotes)
Black-crowned Night heron
Peregrine Falcon (F.p.Brookei)
Western Marsh Harrier
Eurasian Griffon Vulture
Eurasian Stone Curlew
Common Ringed Plover
(h)Great Spotted Cuckoo
Cyprus Scops Owl
Eurasian Golden oriole
Great Tit (P.m.aphrodite)
Greater Short-toed Lark
Crested Lark (G.c.cypriaca)
(h)Great Reed Warbler
Eastern Olivaceous Warbler