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Post Info TOPIC: Cyprus Birding


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RE: Cyprus Birding


Sunday 11th to 18th June.
Paphos (Cyprus) with Michelle for a non-birding holiday wink

Between 32-36 degC all week. Tried to do a bit of birding as I just can't sit doing nothing in baking hot sun, and hired a car for a few days to see the regions beauty spots, that's how I disguised it to Michelle anyway.
Sightings were from around the hotel, the beach, surrounding orchards and scrubland, Paphos harbour, Polis, Kathikas Hills, The Baths of Aphrodite, and the mountainous roads in between.

- European Roller 6
May as well be Lifers as I had close ups numerous times mainly in the Kathikas Hills on the Polis road. The only Roller I've ever seen before was a quick fly-by at Gibraltar Point, Lincs, late last year whilst watching a Red-flanked Bluetail. I had my reasons for not posting it. These more than made up for it though.

- Spanish Sparrow (Lifer)
A few breeding pairs near the hotel. Their high pitched call gave them away.

- Crested Lark 5 (Lifer)
Heard singing first off, then found 4 on the beachside path, 2 on wires near Coral Bay and another on wires in Latsi. Lovely and very obliging birds.

- Calandra Lark 1 (Lifer)
Spotted this on rocks on hilly ground at the Baths of Aphrodite. Bigger than I thought they were, a big head and bill, and a black patch around the throat area.

- Golden Oriole 1 (Lifer)
Baths of Aphrodite, I was looking for the reported Wallcreeper recently, it just appeared in one of the trees above the Botanical Garden and true to form as Orioles are, as I reached for the camera it flew further away into another tree and evaporated, probable juv or immature as it was still fairly green.

- Spectacled Warbler 1 (Lifer)
Baths of Aphrodite. A cracking male came right up to me in a bush along the path up to the Baths, I just stopped in my tracks and watched it going about it's business, I slowly tried to reach for my camera but it moved on and flew down towards the Botanical Garden.

- Cyprus Warbler (Lifer)
A single bird seen moving through the edge of an orange grove near the hotel. Thought it was a Sardinian Warbler at first but it actually showed for a few seconds while I had my bins on it, the spotted breast was plain to see.

- Black Francolin 1 (Lifer)
Heard it from the car whilst driving back over the mountains from Polis to Paphos. Stopped the car and waited a few minutes, sure enough a belting male popped up on a stone wall dividing the upland fields, calling away.

- Black-headed Bunting 3 (Lifer)
1m + 2f, I stumbled upon a road sign in the hills "Protected area, Nature Reserve" so I pulled over and had a little walk around. Within minutes I saw a Turtle Dove, 2 Sardinian Warblers, and 3 yellow birds dropped into the straw like grass 20ft infront of me. Bins on them and there they were, a bright yellow male with a black hood, and presumably 2 less coloured females. I had a walk over but they'd gone, I couldn't relocate them for a record shot, like most of the birds I saw!!!

- Long-legged Buzzard 1 (Lifer)
Hopefully it's right as I'm sticking with it. Pulled up at a "Panorama" road sign up at the top of the mountain overlooking the whole Paphos and Coral Bay region. A Buzzard type on a low tree branch eyeing up something on the ground which was where it went next, just landed on the floor. Got a bit of a look and main features were a pale head with a reddish brown look to the body, and it's general jizz didn't seem right for Common Buzzard. It flew off low down the valley and I lost it but as I didn't see any other large raptors whilst in Cyprus I'm assuming this could be a Long-legged Buzzard. Certainly looked ok for it, and I'm sticking with my convictions.


- Coal Tit Cypriotes (Subspecies Lifer)
2 birds drew my attention calling in a small area of Pine trees a few minutes walk from the hotel. My initial thoughts were it's just more Great Tits, as I'd seen plenty, making plenty of different noises (as they do!).
Well what a great tit I would've been had I not stopped to take a closer look. Strangely not much, hardly any infact, of a white patch on the back of the head.

Other birds of interest...
- Hooded Crow absolutely everywhere
- Sardinian Warbler very Common too
- Eastern Olivaceous Warbler fairly common
- Masked Shrike 1 male near Aphrodite
- Red-rumped Swallow 2 over hotel
- Turtle Dove 1 in protected area
- Corn Bunting few in surrounding fields
- Yellow-legged Gull 2 Paphos Harbour
- Cormorant (Sinensis) 1 Paphos Harbour
- Shag (Desmarestii) 1 Paphos Harbour
- Common Kestrel few seen, males esp such a bright clean colour
- lots of Common Swift and House Martin...thought I had some Pallid Swift in the Kathikas Hills but I may have been mistaken
- lots of usuals inc Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Blackbird, Collared Dove, House Sparrow, Great Tit.

One other bird I must mention. Again in the Kathikas Hills area, an all black bird appeared on a small telegraph pole / power cable post at the roadside. I pulled over to get the bins on it, it was marginally smaller than Magpie size but not as robust looking, appeared to have longish legs, long cocked tail (at that moment I saw it) all black with no other obvious markings on it, it just flew off and surprisingly hardly flapped its wings as it just disappeared over the low thickets. My first time in Cyprus so assuming many more of you are regulars I welcome any comments or suggestions as to what it could be.
A small Melanistic Magpie perhaps???

Hope the photos are of sufficient quality for the forum, tried to include the more unusual birds.
Cheers







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Just spent 2 weeks in Pissouri, 15-29th Oct. 3 lifers were; Spanish Sparrow, Penduline Tit and Red-footed Falcon. Worst moment was being asked by another holiday maker to identify a bird he had photographed on his balcony the previous day, a Wryneck, I could have cried as I was sat by the pool at the time 100 feet away. I have still never seen a Wryneckcry.
Birds seen, mainly around resort were; 1. Collared Dove 2. House Sparrow 3. Hooded Crow 4. Chuckar 5. Stonechat(these were every where) 6. Kestrel 7. Eleonora's Falcon 8. Magpie 9. Sardinian Warbler 10. Great Tit 11. Jackdaw 12. Barn Swallow 13. Robin 14. Crested Lark 15. Eastern Olivaceous Warbler 16. Cyprus Warbler 17. Grey Wagtail 18. Chiffchaff 19. Wood Pigeon 20. Willow Warbler 21. Greenfinch 22. Spanish Sparrow 23. Zitting Sisticolla 24. Red-footed Falcon 25. Penduline Tit(salt marsh Akrotira) 26. Marsh Harrier(salt marsh) 27. Kentish Plover(salt marsh) 28. Dunlin(salt marsh) 29. Griffon Vulture(over Episkopi Garrison) 30. Moorhen(salt marsh) 31. Black-headed Gull 32. Goldfinch 33. Little Owl 34. White Wagtail 35. Blue Rock Thrush 36. Red-breasted Flycatcher(this bird had an injured wing and leg and was unable to fly) 37. Blackcap 38. Blackbird.
On my last day a local asked me if I was birdwatching and then said I needed to be careful the next day as it was the start of the hunting season and 50,000 guns would be shootin anything that moved disbelief.
Cheers Ian

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Well, the profanity filter still works

P. I. S. S. O. U. R. I

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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just got back from a week in ****ouri, managed to get out and about a few times. highlights were watching Eleonora's Falcons near Kensington cliffs. 5 in the air at one point, one was a dark morph, totally black, stunning bird. first one I've seen with no white on it at all biggrin.gif other birds included 2 Lesser Grey Shrikes on the road into ****ouri bay and 5 Red Backed Shrikes on the road from the bay up to the village, all juveniles (thanks to Ian for confirming there ID's for me) quite a few Chukers and a couple of Wheatears.

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Sorry but Ive been bleeped out again!!!


The missing letters are P i s s (honest and its a really nice place)
Cheers Ian

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Got back late last night after spending 2 weeks in Cyprus.
First thing to say is a big thanks once again to Ian, Tom and Rob; Gosneys guide was a big help, Kensington cliffs were spectacular and Phasouri reed beds quite amazing.
1) Birds seen around ****ouri where we stayed.
Swallow,house martin,hooded crow, house sparrow,wood pigeon,collared dove,cyprus wheater*,masked shrike*,cyprus warbler*,chuker,greenfinch,jackdaw,scops owl,eleonoras falcon,great tit,roller,red rumped swallow,kestrel,long legged buzzard(juv),linnet,hoopoe,zitting cisticola.
Most evenings from my balcony around 7.30 pm many swallows would fly over heading south max one night was around 400, every night at least 2 , 7 one night, eleonoras falcons would fly in to hunt them ,amazing to watch sat with a nice cold beer or three !
This area had many birds; chukar,cyprus wheater,masked shrike,cyprus warbler were all common.

2) Birds seen at Pafos
Shag,yellow legged gull.

3) Troodos
Jay

4) Asprokremmos damn
Crested lark

5) Kensington cliffs
Griffon vulture(1 visible),10 eleonoras falcons,peregrine falcon (cased off by 3 eleonoras);this site was easy to find following instructions in Gosneys guide.

6)Phasouri reedbed
Glossy ibis,little egret,kentish plover(many),yellow wagtail,white wagtail,reed warbler,swift,black winged stilt(many),kingfisher,mallard,spurwinged plover*,pied kingfisher*,short toed lark*,whiskered tern*,marsh sandpiper*,wood sandpiper,common sandpiper,hoopoe,little grebe,little ringed plover,redshank.
Birds marked(*) were all firsts for me.
Best bird was the Roller which was my second record ,last seen in 1985 in Spain.
Would also add that the distribution maps in Collins field guide need updating, one eg is that Chukars are not supposed to be found in Cyprus yet they were every where.

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Thanks Rob
Ive heard of Phassouri reedbed and hope I can find it in the Gosney guide book. Cape Greco is new to me and I will be looking it up. Thanks for your help and time. I will be really embarased if I see no birds at all after all this help !!!!!
Cheers again Ian.

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I was there 12 years ago - Phassouri Reedbed and surrounds remain of the best areas I've birded anywhere in Europe - just a great selection of birds.

Agree with Tom re Kensington.

Cape Greco was good for both the Wheatear and Warbler plus migrants such as Collared Flycatcher.

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Rob


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Thanks Tom
This is really helpful and much appreciated, just the sort of info I was after. Together with the Gosney guide which Ive just sent for and any other places Im advised about I should have a cracking time.
Cheers Ian

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Hi Ian, I haven't been since 1997 (so this could be out of date), but where you are should be pretty close to the Kensington Cliffs near to the Episkopi garrison. It was great for Griffon Vultures (best views I've ever had of them in fact), and although we went in April, Eleonora's Falcons are supposedly common there at the time you are going. Cyprus Warbler was also pretty common in the parking area there.

If you go for a daytrip to Troodos mountains (recommended) then on the way you will pass Arminou. Just past the village there is a steep gorge and a very sharp 180 degree bend. Park in the little layby as you go back uphill and then look back down to the gorge and across the other side of the valley - there was a Long-legged Buzzard nest there in both 95 & 97. Even if it's no longer there, stopping at good vantage points along the way may get you one elsewhere. And if you do go to Troodos then take a walk in the woods and make sure you see a Jay, Coal Tit and Crossbill as they're a different subspecies to ours.

The endemic Cyprus Wheatears are pretty common. If you're in Paphos then the area around the lighthouse had plenty of them.

This might help as well (though it's from a bit later in the year):

http://www.freewebs.com/richbonser/cyprusseptember2006.htm

-- Edited by Tom McKinney at 09:45, 2007-07-11

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Ian
Thanks for the info, thanks for your advice.


My daughter thinks its hilarious that Ive been bleeped on a birdwatching site.

Cheers Ian

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Sorry Ian, profanity filter! Don't you just love it smile.gif

Wrong side of Cyprus for me but one of the 'Finding Birds in Cyprus by Dave Gosney' books or similar might be a good bet to get the absolute most out of your holiday and to aviod those all too frequent getting lost/frustrated by poor directions etc. moments, especially with a non-birding partner when time can be precious. There is also a bird information telephone 'hotline' for Cyprus so you can find out what's about, check out the Birdlife Cyprus website (which also has some decent info itself) at www.birdlifecyprus.org/Birding.htm (cut and paste this link into your address bar wink.gif).

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Just booked two weeks in Cyprus first two weeks in August with lovely (non-birding wife). Staying at ****ouri which is on the south coast half way between Paphos and Limassol. I know its probably a bit to early for return migration but I have to be back for Citys first home match!. I would really appreciate any advice on places worth visiting or good bird site books to buy. Somebody PLEASE help me.
Cheers Ian

Just checked my request and discovered that Ive been bleeped!!!! ,the missing part of the resort is P i s s honestly!!!!!!!!

-- Edited by Ian Campbell at 18:10, 2007-07-10

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This forum is dedicated to the memory of Eva Janice McKerchar; rest in peace mum.