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|A Report from birdtours.co.uk|
Cyprus 4th to 18th April 2012,
Spectacled Warbler, Cape Greco, Ronnie Irving
This was our third spring visit to Cyprus and the second based at Protaras, handily placed for Cape Greco and Paralimni Lake where much of our birding was done. As on our last visit in 2007, this part of the island remained really under-watched and it suited us to search for our own birds. It proved to be another very enjoyable trip with highlights including White-throated Robin, Caspian Plover, Greater Sandplover, Thrush Nightingale, Pied Kingfisher, Citrine Wagtail, four species of harrier including good numbers of Pallid, Spotted and Little Crakes, Ruppell’s and Orphean Warblers, Ortolan and Cretzschmar’s Buntings and much more. Whilst quality was high, in general, migrant numbers were rather low with a dearth of larks, pipits, wagtails and flycatchers. Every spring is different; this one was characterised by high water levels following an especially wet winter and the late arrival of many migrants.
According to Birdlife Cyprus, 2011 was one of the worst years on record for illegal bird killing in Cyprus; it was estimated that over 2.8 million birds were trapped across the island, the highest yearly death toll of the last five years. We witnessed no incidents during our trip; all the suspicious looking activity turned out to be merely locals collecting wild asparagus. It was encouraging to see two uniformed officials at Agia Napa Sewage Works on the lookout for bird trappers.
Travel and accommodation
In the absence of any cheap flights allied to the fact that we would be predominantly based at one hotel, the best option was a package deal. We went with Olympic Holidays www.olympicholidays.com with return flights from Manchester to Larnaca, 14 nights’ self-catering in the Platomare Hotel in Protaras http://www.platomare.com at the bargain price of £250 per person. Flights were relatively hassle-free. The apartment was clean, spacious and comfy while the Platomare hotel itself pleasant and quiet with lots of facilities including 24 hour reception, shop, swimming pool, decent restaurant and bar. The English-speaking staff were very helpful and friendly and our only real complaint was a frequent lack of hot water. Whilst there was no birding in the immediate vicinity of the apartments, apart from an almost constantly calling Black Francolin, we were only about 15 minutes’ drive away from Cape Greco and a similar distance from Paralimni.
So as to bird some of the sites further west, we also spent a couple of nights at Pissouri where we stayed at the Kotzias Apartments http://www.kotzias.net booked over the phone whilst on Cyprus. A spacious, well-equipped apartment with twin beds cost us 50 euros a night though there was no maid service, perhaps because the complex wasn’t fully open. Pissouri was a pleasant village with some nice restaurants and handily placed about midway between the Akrotiri peninsula and the sites around Mandria and Asprokremnos.
Car hire was with AutoDirect, booked through Economy Car Rentals www.economycarrentals.co.uk and cost a total of £280 for a Ford C Max picked up at Larnaca airport on arrival. The pick-up was not ideal, involving a walk of c500 metres to a car-park where a shuttle bus took us to the car hire depot; this would not have been great in rain or heat. We also had problems with the car itself when the clutch failed after five days. The service from the hire company was less than satisfactory; we had to make three phone calls and then drive the vehicle, by then in an almost undriveable condition, from Protaras to Agia Napa where, with some reluctance, we were supplied with a Ford Fiesta (smaller than the class of vehicle we’d paid for) until our original car was repaired and returned to us a day and a half later. Finally, the car hire company had the cheek to demand two euros worth of fuel on our return. This was the first time we’d had any complaints about any car hire booked through Economy Car Rentals.
Predominantly dry, sunny and warm albeit breezy at times. Maximum daytime temperatures reached around 27C in the first week. The second week was a little cooler with a couple of cloudier, showery days. Birding light was from about 06.15 to about 19.30, leading to some long days in the field on occasions though we did also have days when we took a mid-afternoon break for a couple of hours.
Main Sites Visited
For details and directions to all the main sites we visited we used the knowledge gained on our previous trips plus the site guide found on the Birdlife Cyprus website http://www.birdlifecyprus.org/ which is a useful source of information on many aspects of birding on the island though the recent sightings section would benefit from more frequent updates.
Cape Greco, Dave Thexton
This was our regular morning venue. Though at times seeming almost birdless at first sight, it seldom failed to produce something of interest. Birds seen here included Little Egret, Purple Heron, Garganey, Pallid Harrier, Marsh Harrier, Lesser Kestrel, Hobby, Quail, Black Francolin, Chukar, Stone Curlew, Audouin’s Gull, Alpine Swift, Crag Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Hoopoe, Wryneck, Bee-eater, Red-throated Pipit, Tawny Pipit, Short-toed Lark, Spanish Sparrow, White-throated Robin, Black-eared Wheatear, Cyprus Pied Wheatear, Isabelline Wheatear, Spectacled Warbler (abundant here), Sardinian Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Ruppell’s Warbler, Orphean Warbler, Olivaceous Warbler, Masked Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Rock Thrush, Blue Rock Thrush, Ortolan Bunting and Cretzschmar’s Bunting.
Agia Napa Sewage Works
Agia Napa Sewage Works, Derek McAlone Warbler habitat next to Agia Napa Sewage Works, Derek McAlone
Birds here included Long-legged Buzzard, Hobby, Black Francolin, Chukar, Alpine Swift, Crag Martin, Bee-eater, Red-throated Pipit, Icterine Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, Wood Warbler, Cyprus Pied Wheatear, Rock Thrush, Blue Rock Thrush, Masked Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Ortolan Bunting and Cretzschmar’s Bunting plus a few passage waders.
Paralimni Lake (with Demoiselle Crane), Ian Kinley
Much wetter than on our last trip, making it an even more productive site. Our visits were pretty much restricted to the area known as Sotira Pools and we frequently ended our birding day here, the light being best in the evenings from the Sotira side. In the course of a number of visits, species found here included Great White Egret, Little Egret, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Garganey, Montagu’s Harrier, Marsh Harrier, Peregrine, Hobby, Demoiselle Crane, Spotted Crake, Little Crake, Black Francolin, Caspian Plover, Spur-winged Plover, Temminck’s Stint, Marsh Sandpiper, Gull-billed Tern, Red-rumped Swallow, Tawny Pipit, Water Pipit, Citrine Wagtail, Cretzschmar’s Bunting.
In the wildly optimistic hope of finding a Great Black-headed Gull – or more realistically because it was a good site for Audouin’s Gull on our last trip, we made a couple of visits that produced, in addition to the Audouin’s, fly-past Glossy Ibis, Black Francolin, Short-toed Lark and Isabelline Wheatear.
Oroklini Marsh, Ian Kinley Oroklini Marsh Pied Kingfisher pool), Ian Kinley
As was the case at most wetland sites, water levels were much higher than on previous visits; indeed some areas that we were able to drive into last time were under water. Don’t neglect the pools on the northeast side where we found one of the highlights of the trip, a very obliging Pied Kingfisher. These pools are not visible from the car park area but can be accessed by driving further on across some bare ground that apparently hosts a market on Sundays. Other birds at Oroklini included Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Squacco Heron, Greater Flamingo, Garganey, Red-crested Pochard, Peregrine, Black Francolin, Little Crake, Spur-winged Plover, Temminck’s Stint, Marsh Sandpiper (plus a good variety of commoner waders), Citrine Wagtail, Short-toed Lark and Spectacled Warbler.
Larnaca Sewage Works and nearby wetlands
We were slightly disappointed by the relative lack of birds at the sewage works pools but this was amply compensated for by the productivity of the nearby wetland sites where water levels were exceptionally high, particularly in the area of Spiros Pool. Larnaca Airport Pool and Meneou Pools were fairly unproductive. Species in the area as a whole included Black-necked Grebe, Cattle Egret, Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo, Garganey, Pallid Harrier, Hen Harrier, Marsh Harrier, Black Francolin, Spur-winged Plover, Greater Sand Plover, Marsh Sandpiper, Collared Pratincole (plus a good variety of commoner waders), Audouin’s Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Little Gull, Whiskered Tern, Pallid Swift, Bee-eater, Black-eared Wheatear, Isabelline Wheatear, Cyprus Pied Wheatear, Ruppell’s Warbler, Spectacled Warbler and Thrush Nightingale.
Amazingly, plenty of water here. Species included Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Squacco Heron, Marsh Harrier, Quail, Black Francolin, Spur-winged Plover, Bee-eater, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Olivaceous Warbler and Great Reed Warbler.
Kiti Dam, Ian Kinley Akhna Dam (shallow end), Ronnie Irving
Another site with high water levels. Species we recorded here included Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Little Bittern, Black Francolin, Little Crake, Spur-winged Plover, Collared Pratincole, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Bee-eater and Olivaceous Warbler.
Highlights included Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Garganey, Ferruginous Duck, Marsh Harrier, Black Francolin and a good selection of waders including Spur-winged Plover and Marsh Sandpiper. In addition, driving across the nearby Akrotiri Gravel Pits area brought fly-over Spoonbills, Sardinian warbler and Woodchat Shrike.
Phassouri Reedbeds, Derek McAlone
Kensington Cliffs, Ian Kinley
A couple of relatively brief visits produced Griffon Vulture, Eleanora’s Falcon, Peregrine, Black Francolin, Chukar, Alpine Swift, Pallid Swift, Crag Martin, Cyprus Pied Wheatear, Sardinian Warbler and Cyprus Warbler.
Flood-damaged pools at Asprokremnos Dam, Ronnie Irving
Heavy rains and release of water from the dam had obliterated the pools, reducing the attractiveness of the site considerably. Our two visits here produced such species as Pallid Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier, Marsh Harrier, Black Francolin, Alpine Swift, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Ruppell’s Warbler, Cyprus Warbler and Sardinian Warbler.
We also paid single visits to:-
Ladies Mile/Zakaki Marsh Water levels were quite high. Species seen on our one visit included Night Heron, Purple Heron. Cattle Egret and a few waders.
Bishops Pool Virtually birdless.
Petra Tou Romanou Just one brief morning stop produced Ruppell’s Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler and Cyprus Pied Wheatear.
Mandria Very quiet. Highlights included Shag, Marsh Harrier, Peregrine, Black Francolin, Stone Curlew and Isabelline Wheatear.
Paphos Sewage Works Our first visit to a site that’s produced some very good birds in the past proved a great disappointment; the attractive (to birds!) area of sewage outside the perimeter fence was no longer in evidence and we saw nothing of note here.
Dhiarizos Valley An hour or two in the lower end of the valley brought Long-legged Buzzard, Black Francolin, Chukar and Great Spotted Cuckoo.
Nata Ford One brief visit brought Black Francolin, Stone Curlew and Sardinian Warbler
Kouria River A brief spell of birding en route from Pissouri to Phassouri resulted in sightings of Hoopoe, Cyprus Warbler, Serin and Ortolan Bunting.
4th April. Travel from Manchester to Larnaca with arrival after dark so too late for birding. Overnight at Protaras.
5th April. Birding at Cape Greco, Agia Napa Sewage Works and Paralimni Lake. Overnight at Protaras.
6th April. Birding at Kermia Beach, Cape Greco, Agia Napa Sewage Works and Paralimni Lake... Overnight at Protaras.
7th April. Birding at Oroklini Marsh, Larnaca Wetlands, Kiti Dam and Paralimni Lake. Overnight at Protaras.
8th April. Birding at Cape Greco, Agia Napa Sewage Works and Paralimni Lake... Overnight at Protaras.
9th April. Birding at Cape Greco, Akhna Dam and Paralimni Lake... Overnight at Protaras.
10th April. Birding at Oroklini Marsh, Larnaca Wetlands and Cape Greco. Overnight at Protaras.
11th April. Birding at Cape Greco, Zakaki Marsh/Lady’s Mile, Phassouri Reedbeds/Akrotiri G.P., Bishop’s Pool and Kensington Cliffs. Overnight at Pissouri.
12th April. Birding at Petra Tou Romanou, Mandria, Asprokremnos Pools and Dam, Paphos Sewage Works, Dhiarizos Valley and Nata Ford. Overnight at Pissouri.
13th April. Birding at Kensington Cliffs, Kouria River mouth, Phassouri Reedbeds/Akrotiri G.P. Overnight at Protaras.
14th April. Birding at Cape Greco, Agia Napa Sewage Works and Paralimni Lake. Overnight at Protaras.
15th April. Birding at Cape Greco, Agia Napa Sewage Works and Paralimni Lake. Overnight at Protaras.
16th April. Birding at Oroklini Marsh, Larnaca Wetlands, Kiti Dam and Paralimni Lake. Overnight at Protaras.
17th April. Birding at Cape Greco, Agia Napa Sewage Works and Akhna Dam. Overnight at Protaras.
18th April. Birding at Cape Greco, Agia Napa Sewage Works, Oroklini Marsh and Larnaca Wetlands. Flight back from Larnaca to Manchester departing at 23.25.
We recorded a total of 149 species, listed below. The figures in brackets represent the number of days each species was recorded e.g. (4/14) means that a species was seen on four days during our 14 day trip (disregarding the first day when no birding at all was done) and gives a crude indication of how easy each species was to see. More details are given of the rarer or more interesting species.
Cattle Egret, Akhna Dam, Ronnie Irving
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis (12/14)
Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis (4/14) Up to four at Larnaca Sewage Works on each visit.
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo (1/14).
Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis (1/14) Two on rocks off Mandria on 12th.
Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus (1/14) A male at Akhna Dam on 17th. Rather bizarre to be watching this bird while the strains of “Donkey Riding” blasted out at full volume from the nearby donkey sanctuary.
Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax (2/14) Two at Oroklini and nine over Larnaca Wetlands on 7th; four at Zakaki on 11th.
Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides (4/14) One by the Kouria River and one at Phassouri on 13th; eight at Larnaca Wetlands and three at Kiti Dam on 16th; six at Akhna Dam on 17th; One at Oroklini on 18th.
Cattle Egret Bulbulcus ibis (7/14) Two at Oroklini on 7th; 42 at Akhna Dam on 9th; one at Oroklini on 10th; one at Zakaki on 11th; 12 at Phassouri Reed Beds on 11th;; 10+ at Phassouri on 13th; 30+ at Akhna Dam on 17th; two at Larnaca Wetlands on 18th.
Little Egret Egretta garzetta (14/14) Present in small numbers at most wetland sites. Most noteworthy records comprised a flock of 18 flying east past Cape Greco on 6th and 25 at Larnaca Wetlands on 18th.
Spoonbills, Akrotiri, Dave Thexton
Great White Egret Ardea alba (4/14) A single at Paralimni Lake on most visits.
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea (9/14)
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea (9/14) Two at Paralimni Lake on 5th; one at Kiti Dam on 7th; 26 (including a flock of 24) at Paralimni Lake on 8th; four at Zakaki on 11th; one at Akrotiri G.P. on 13th; two at Cape Greco on 15th; one at Kiti Dam on 16th; 89 with at least 78 roosting in bushes at Akhna Dam on 17th; one at Oroklini on 18th.
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus (8/14) Two at Paralimni Lake on 5th and 6th; five past Kermia Beach on 6th; 31 flying east at Larnaca Wetlands on 7th; five at Larnaca Wetlands on 10th; 37 at Phassouri on 11th; 30+ at Phassouri on 13th; 30 at Paralimni Lake on 15th; 35 at Larnaca Wetlands, three at Kiti Dam and 10 at Paralimni Lake on 16th.
Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia (1/14) A flock of 18 flew over Akrotiri G.P on 11th.
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus (6/14) Several hundred on Larnaca Wetlands and Akrotiri Salt Lake with smaller numbers at Oroklini.
Teal Anas crecca (7/14)
Purple Herons, Akhna Dam, Dave Thexton
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos (5/14)
Garganey Anas querquedula (11/14) Records included up to 20 at both Oroklini and Paralimni Lake plus a flock of 20 on the sea off Cape Greco on 6th.
Shoveler Anas clypeata (4/14)
Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina (4/14) Seen only at Oroklini where up to three pairs plus a female with young were seen.
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca (2/14) Two at Phassouri on 11th and 13th.
Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus (1/14) One perched on Kensington Cliffs on 13th.
Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus (10/14) Widespread in small numbers.
Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus (2/14) A male at Larnaca Wetlands on 7th and 10th.
Pallid Harrier, Cape Greco, Dave Thexton
Pallid Harrier Circus (6/14) Frequent, good views of this species undoubtedly provided one of the highlights of the trip. Passage was restricted to the first week with a male at Cape Greco on 5th; two males at Cape Greco on 6th; a ringtail at Larnaca Wetlands on 7th; a male and a ringtail at Cape Greco on 8th; a male and a ringtail at Agia Napa Sewage Works on 8th, a ringtail at Cape Greco on 9th, a ringtail at Asprokremnos Dam on 12th.
Montagu’s Harrier Circus pygargus (2/14) An adult male near Asprokremnos Dam on 12th.and a first-summer male at Paralimni Lake on 15th.
Common Buzzard Buteo buteo (3/14)
Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus (4/14) A 2nd calendar year bird seen at Agia Napa Sewage Works on most visits and four together in the lower Dhiarizos Valley on 12th.
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni (3/14) At Cape Greco three on 6th; 14 on 10th and a single on 15th.
Kestrel Falco tinnunculus (14/14)
Hobby Falco subbuteo (3/14) Singles at Agia Napa Sewage Works on 14th; Paralimni Lake on 16th and Cape Greco on 17th.
Eleanora’s Falcon, Kensington Cliffs, Ronnie Irving
Peregrine Falco peregrinus (5/14) Seen at Cape Greco, Agia Napa Sewage Works, Paralimni Lake, Kermia Beach, Oroklini and Mandria.
Eleanora’s Falcon Falco eleonorae (1/14) A dark morph at Kensington Cliffs on 11th.
Chukar Alectoris chukar (13/14) Widespread, numerous, noisy and very obvious.
Black Francolin Francolinus francolinus (14/14) Found at most sites we visited and they were often to be heard calling throughout the day. Recorded at Protaras, Cape Greco, Agia Napa Sewage Works, Paralimni Lake, Kermia Beach, Oroklini Marsh, Larnaca Wetlands, Phassouri, Kensington Cliffs, Mandria, the lower Dhiarizos Valley, Nata Ford and Asprokremnos Dam. Most were just heard but we did have superb close views of calling males on a couple of occasions at Oroklini and Larnaca Wetlands.
Quail Coturnix coturnix (2/14) Two inadvertently flushed at Cape Greco on 15th and one heard at Kiti Dam on 16th.
Water Rail Rallus aquaticus (4/14) Singles at Paralimni Lake on 6th and 9th and at Oroklini Marsh on 7th and 10th.
Black Francolin, Oroklini Marsh, Ronnie Irving
Spotted Crake Porzana porzana (3/14) One at Paralimni Lake on 6th and 8th, with two there on 9th.
Little Crake Porzana parva (8/14) At Paralimni Lake, there were a female on 5th; three (a male and two females) on 6th; six (three males and three females) on 8th; two (a male and a female) on 9th, a single female on 14th. Elsewhere, a female at Zakaki Marsh on 11th, two males at Akhna Dam on 17th and a single male at Oroklini on 18th. Goodness knows how many more went undetected.
Moorhen Gallinula chloropus (13/14)
Coot Fulica atra (13/14) Max of c.30 at Phassouri Reedbeds on 13th.
Demoiselle Crane Anthropoides virgo (5/14) A single bird was seen on every visit to Paralimni Lake from 5th to 14th.
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus (10/14) Present at most wetland sites in relatively small numbers.
Collared Pratincole, Akhna Dam, Ian Kinley
Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta (1/14) Six at Larnaca Wetlands on 7th was our only record.
Stone Curlew Burhinus oedicnemus (2/14) One flushed near the refuse tip at Cape Greco on 6th; two in a potato field at Mandria and two at Nata Ford on 12th.
Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola (3/14) Singles at Akhna Dam on 9th and on the beach near Larnaca Wetlands on 10th followed by a flock of 51 birds commuting between Larnaca Wetlands and a nearby ploughed field on 18th.
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius (12/14) Widespread in small numbers.
Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula (5/14)
Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus (9/14) Widespread in small numbers. Max. of 27 at Paralimni Lake on 14th.
Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultia (1/14) One on the beach near Larnaca Wetlands on 10th.
Caspian Plover Charadrius asiaticus (3/14) A female at Paralimni Lake from 14th to 16th was one of the undoubted highlights of the trip. Thanks to Irish birder Joe Donaldson for both finding and telling us about it.
Greater Sandplover, Larnaca, Dave Thexton
Spur-winged Plover Vanellus spinosus (13/14) Widespread and numerous. Recorded at Paralimni Lake (max. 20), Akhna Dam, Oroklini Marsh (max. 20), Larnaca Wetlands (max. 20), Kiti Dam and Phassouri. Stunning views at times.
Little Stint Calidris minuta (12/14) Records included c50 at Paralimni Lake on 6th and 9th; c.30 at Larnaca Wetlands area on 7th and 18th, with smaller numbers were seen at Oroklini Marsh.
Temminck’s Stint Calidris temminckii (4/14) At Paralimni Lake one on 5th and 6th and two on 8th plus two at Oroklini Marsh on 10th.
Dunlin Calidris alpina (4/14) Max. of c.30 at Paralimni Lake on 6th.
Ruff Philomachus pugnax (13/14) Records included several hundred at both Paralimni Lake and Larnaca Wetlands.
Snipe Gallinago gallinago (7/14)
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus (2/14) One at Larnaca Wetlands on 10th and four there on 18th.
Spur-winged Plover, Oroklini Marsh, Dave Thexton
Curlew Numenius arquata (1/14) One at Larnaca Wetlands on 10th
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythopus (4/14) Relatively small numbers seen.
Redshank Tringa tetanus (2/14)
Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis (7/14) Four at Paralimni Lake on 5th; one at Paralimni Lake on 6th; two at Larnaca Wetlands on 7th; one at Oroklini Marsh on 10th; one at Phassouri Reed Beds on 11th and 13th; one at Larnaca Wetlands on 16th.
Greenshank Tringa nebularia (13/14) Relatively small numbers seen.
Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus (9/14) Small numbers seen at Paralimni Lake, Kiti Dam, Agia Napa Sewerage Works and Ladies Mile Beach.
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola (13/14) Common. Max 100+ at Akhna Dam on 17th.
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos (12/14)
Marsh and Wood Sandpipers, Larnaca, Ronnie Irving
Baltic Gull Larus fuscus (2/14) Single adults at Larnaca Sewage Works on 7th and off Cape Greco on 18th.
Little Gull Hydrocoloeus minutus (1/14) Two, an adult and a first-summer, at Larnaca Wetlands on 7th.
Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus (2/14)
Slender-billed Gull Chroicocephalus genei (4/14) 100+ at Larnaca Wetlands on 7th and smaller numbers there on subsequent visits.
Audouin's Gull Larus audouinii (5/14) Four adults at Cape Greco on 5th; an adult at Kermia Beach on 6th; one adult at Cape Greco on 9th, a second-summer on the beach at Larnaca Wetlands on 16th and18th two adults at Cape Greco on 18th.
Pied Kingfisher, Oroklini Marsh, Ronnie Irving
Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis (10/14)
Armenian Gull Larus armenicus (1/14) A third-summer bird at Larnaca Wetlands on 10th.
Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica (1/14) Two at Paralimni Lake on 15th.
Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis (1/14)
Little Tern Sternula albifrons (3/14)
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida (1/14) Five at Larnaca Wetlands on 16th.
Feral Pigeon Columba livia (14/14)
Woodpigeon Columba palumbus (6/14)
Hoopoe, Cape Greco, Derek McAlone
Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto (14/14)
Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur (6/14)
Great Spotted Cuckoo Clamator glandarius (4/14) One heard at Kiti Dam on 7th; at least five at Akhna Dam on 9th; one near Asprokremnos Dam and several in the lower Dhiarizos Valley on 12th; two at Kiti Dam on 16th.
Cuckoo Cuculus canorus (4/14)
Common Swift Apus apus (13/14)
Pallid Swift Apus pallidus (2/14) Singles at Kensington Cliffs on 11th and Larnaca wetlands on 18th.
Alpine Swift Apus melba (5/14) Three at Cape Greco and one at Agia Napa Sewage Works on 5th; two at Cape Greco on 6th; seven at Kensington Cliffs on 11th; three at Asprokremnos Dam on 12th; at least seven at Kensington Cliffs on 13th.
Kingfisher Alcedo atthis (5/14)
Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis (2/14) A female at Oroklini on 7th and 10th gave brilliant, prolonged views perched on wires and occasionally fishing.
Wryneck, Cape Greco, Derek McAlone
Bee-eater Merops apiaster (3/14) Rather scarce. A flock heard in flight at Larnaca Wetlands on 7th then none until several at Cape Greco, Agia Napa Sewage Works and Akhna Dam on 17th and eight at Larnaca Wetlands on 18th.
Hoopoe Upupa epops (9/14) Widespread in small numbers.
Wryneck Jynx torquilla (6/14) Ones and twos at Cape Greco on most visits.
Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla (3/14) Much scarcer than on previous spring trips with just 18 near Kermia Beach on 6th, eight at Oroklini on 7th and two at Cape Greco on 17th.
Crested Lark Galerida cristata (14/14) Common
Sand Martin Riparia riparia (6/14)
Crag Martin Ptyonoprogne rupestris (4/14) One at Cape Greco on 6th and 9th; two at Kensington Cliffs on 11th; one at Agia Napa Sewage Works on 14th.
Swallow Hirundo rustica (14/14)
Cyprus Pied Wheatear, Cape Greco, Derek McAlone
Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica (2/14) Scarce with just two near Petra Tou Romanou on 12th and one at Paralimni Lake 14th.
House Martin Delichon urbicum (13/14)
Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris (7/14) Up to three seen at Cape Greco on most visits and two at Paralimni Lake on 8th.
Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis (3/14)
Red-throated Pipit Anthus (3/14) Uncommon with just single fly-overs at Cape Greco on 9th, 14th and 17th and at Agia Napa Sewage Works on 17th.
Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta (1/14) Three at Paralimni Lake on 6th.
Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava (13/14) Much smaller numbers than on previous spring trips with the largest flocks containing only about 30 birds at Cape Greco on 10th and Akhna Dam on 17th. Most were of the Black-headed race feldegg although birds resembling flava and thunbergi were also seen.
Citrine Wagtail Moticilla citreola (2/14) A male at Oroklini on 7th and a female at Paralimni Lake on 8th.
Cyprus Warbler, Petra Tou Romanou, Dave Thexton
White Wagtail Motacilla alba alba (13/14) Max. of c.30 at Paralimni Lake on 5th.
Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos (13/14)
Thrush Nightingale Luscinia luscinia (1/14) One seen at close range and heard singing at the edge of a small caravan site near Larnaca Wetlands on 18th.
White-throated Robin Irania gutturalis (1/14) A male seen briefly in bushes near the rubbish tip at Cape Greco by one lucky/sharp-eyed (delete as appropriate) member of the group on 15th was the find of the trip.
Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus (2/14)
Whinchat Saxicola rubetra (3/14)
Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina (8/14) Up to three seen on virtually every visit to Cape Greco with a maximum of six on 6th plus singles at Mandria on 12th and Larnaca Sewage Works on 16th.
Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe (13/14) Records included up to 30 in the Rubbish Tip/Sea Caves area of Cape Greco Cyprus Warbler, Petra Tou Romanou, Dave Thexton and at least 20 on Kermia Beach on 6th.
Ruppell’s Warbler, Cape Greco, Ronnie Irving
Cyprus Pied Wheatear Oenanthe cypriaca (13/14) Common, widespread and very obvious.
Black-eared Wheatear Oenanthe hispanica (7/14) Very few seen in comparison to previous trips with just single males at Cape Greco on 6th and 8th; a male at Agia Napa Sewage Works on 8th; two at Cape Greco on 10th, 11th,14th and 15th and a male at Larnaca Wetlands on 16th.
Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius (7/14) A male at Agia Napa Sewage Works on 6th and 8th; a female at Cape Greco on 10th; a female at Cape Greco on 14th, a male at Cape Greco on 15th and single females at Agia Napa Sewage Works on 17th and 18th.
Rock Thrush Monticola saxatilis (2/14) Single males at Cape Greco on 15th and Agia Napa Sewage Works on 18th.
Cetti's Warbler Cettia cetti (13/14)
Fan-tailed Warbler Cisticola juncidis (14/14)
Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus (6/14)
Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus (4/14) Heard singing at several wetland sites.
Masked Shrike, Agia Napa Sewage Works, Ronnie Irving
Eastern Olivaceous Warbler Hippolais pallida (4/14) First heard at Akhna Dam on 9th then gradually becoming more widespread though still relatively scarce even at the end of the trip. Max four at Akhna Dam on 17th.
Icterine Warbler Hippolais icterina (1/14) One seen at Agia Napa Sewage Works on 8th.
Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicillata (12/14) Widespread and numerous, especially at Cape Greco. Where a pair were feeding fledged young on 17th.
Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillans (2/14) Single males at Cape Greco on 5th and 9th.
Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala (3/14) This species is evidently still increasing and seemed more widespread than on our last trip. A male Cape Greco on 8th, a pair at Petra Tou Romanou on 12th and a female as far east as scrub near Protaras on 13th.
Cyprus Warbler Sylvia melanothorax (2/14) Seems to have declined. Recorded in small numbers at Petra Tou Romanou, Kensington Cliffs, Asprokremnos Dam and Nata Ford.
Ortolan Bunting, Agia Napa Sewage Works, Dave Thexton
Ruppell's Warbler (9/14) At least five males at Cape Greco on 5th; single males at Larnaca Wetlands on 7th; Cape Greco on 6th,10th, 11th, 14th and 15th; Petra Tou Romanou and Asprokremnos Dam on 12th. A male was singing in suitable habitat at Cape Greco with a female in close attendance on 17th.
Orphean Warbler Sylvia hortensis (2/14) A male at Cape Greco on 5th and a female there on 17th.
Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca (10/14)
Whitethroat Sylvia communis (1/14)
Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla (12/14)
Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix (4/14) One at Protaras on 13th; five at Agia Napa Sewage Works on 14th; one at Cape Greco and at least three at Agia Napa Sewage Works on 17th and one at Agia Napa Sewage Works on 18th.
Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler Phylloscopus orientalis (1/14) At least two at Agia Napa Sewage Works on 17th.
Cretzschmar's Bunting, Cape Greco, Ronnie Irving
Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita (5/14)
Great Tit Parus major (3/14)
Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator (6/14) Recorded in ones and twos at Cape Greco, Agia Napa Sewage Works and Akrotiri G.P.
Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus (4/14) One at Agia Napa Sewage Works on 6th; one at Cape Greco and three at Agia Napa Sewage Works on 8th; singles at Cape Greco on 14th and Agia Napa Sewage Works on 17th.
Magpie Pica pica (5/14)
Jackdaw Corvus monedula (10/14)
Hooded Crow Corvus cornix (14/14)
House Sparrow Passer domesticus (14/14)
Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis (13/14)
Serin Serinus serinus (1/14) A single male by the Kouria River on 13th.
Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs (1/14)
Greenfinch Carduelis chloris (1/14)
Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis (14/14)
Linnet Carduelis cannabina (10/14)
Ortolan Bunting Emberiza hortulana (5/14) Two at Cape Greco on 5th; three at Agia Napa Sewage Works on 6th; at least four by the Kouria River on 13th; singles at Cape Greco and Agia Napa Sewage Works on 15th; two at Agia Napa Sewage Works on
Cretzschmar's Bunting Emberiza caesia (3/14) One at Cape Greco and two at Paralimni Lake on 8th; two at both Cape Greco and Agia Napa Sewage Works on 14th; three at Cape Greco on 15th. Some, not in full breeding attire, proved tricky to separate from Ortolans.
Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra (11/14)