Saturday, 6 February 2016

Cyprus - summary


Well, I've tried both ends of the island. Thing is, it's not just about birds. We've reached a stage in our lives were Winter sun is definitely high on the agenda. We tried Mallorca last March and really enjoyed it. It's a beautiful island. On Cyprus this time we were blessed with great weather and an average of 15c. In December we were also blessed with great weather during our Paphos break, averaging 18c. This trip started fresh (12c) but each subsequent day got warmer and we ended up with 20c. All better than here!

On reflection I'd say that the east of the island has better water sites and migrant potential. The west of the island is better for keeping your partner happy and the Birding's still good! Don't get me wrong Louise never complained but did comment on the lack of scenery around Larnaca and Limossol ...and I agree. It's very industrial.

Cyprus has an excellent (and quiet) motorway. It's possible to drive from Paphos to Larnaca in an hour and a half with an extra 30 mins to Cape Greco. Paphos to Akrotiri being a mere 45 minutes.

We've decided to make this island our base for winter trips in the future. There are excellent connections at reasonable prices through Ryanair and Easyjet as well as some superb deals on "out-of-season" hotels. It's also approx' 4c warmer than Mallorca on average at any comparable date. I also like the idea of connecting with a few eastern birds that Mallorca doesn't get


Really enjoyed it to say it was winter with no movement. As already stated the idea of these 2 mini-breaks was weather inspired rather than bird. It would obviously be more rewarding to visit in late March/April with all the migrants streaming through. These days I prefer to be in Britain at this time of year to be ready for our "MEGAS". I've missed too many in the past!

There's plenty to keep you busy as well as the chance of a few rarities. Present on the island during my visits were:-

Ruddy Shelduck
Ferruginous Duck
Pied Kingfisher
Griffon Vulture
Spur-winged Plover
Finsch's Wheatear
Greater Sand Plover
Slender-billed Gull
Moustached Warbler
Spectacled Warbler
Spanish Sparrow

Also present but not seen:-

White-breasted Kingfisher
Trumpeter Finch
Rock Sparrow

That's it for this year but an extended visit in March next year could well be on the cards. I'll crunch a few numbers tomorrow...

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