Thursday, 30 March 2017

Back home

"Us Birders" like a list. I'm no different... BUT it's not the main criteria. Far from it. Appreciation is the key.

Having said Cyprus trip total came in at a meaningless ( except to me)...160.

I'll post some pictures once I get my laptop fixed/replaced.

The best moment award goes to my discovery of a male ROCK THRUSH at Kidasi.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Cyprus 17 - Game over

I always promise myself...and Louise, that I'll slow down on holiday. Now physically I have to but I'm afraid that once I get going I find it hard to stop. She knows I'm a nutter, which helps and I'm eternally in her debt for being so understanding. No, she doesn't read the blog!

Sounds like some kind of confession!

I like to think I share our time fairly i.e. she has a lie-in while I stagger out of bed. I've always hated getting up early. Not an ideal scenario for a Birder!

I'm writing this in Paphos airport departure lounge...unfortunately.

Thought I might post a few initial reflections on the three weeks.

1. Loved it!
2. Definitely back next March.
3. More sites with potential than I realised...and I know where they all are now!
4. Met some great people, very friendly and helpful. Some VERY skilfull birders. I've learnt a lot. Learning by experience has always been the way for me.
5. Hotel was superb in every way.
6. Infrastructure is excellent, allowing easy and fast access to all sites...and there are plenty of street signs... unlike Spain, were you could easily spend 30 mins trying to get through a village.
There's also an excellent Motorway between Paphos and Larnaca.
7. Weather - better than Britain!
8. The Birds of course...

Time to go. I'll try not to be too repetitive when I add a few pics.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Cyprus 17 - Scops Owl

Well, time's nearly up!

Yesterday was a very looooong day over at the East of the island. We left at 5am and I drove to Lake Palalimni (for a VERY good reason) while Louise slept. Using the indispensable Gosney guide we arrived at Sorita at 7. I'd been to the lake last winter but still found the access points puzzling. We tried site 2 overlooking Sorita pools which gave a panoramic view of the pools and lake. Maybe I would spot a Birder...I did!

He was walking across the dry lake towards 3 more. A Cyprus twitch!


We made our way around to site 1 to access the lake. Louise read while I made my way out towards the group. After around 10 minutes I was looking at a stunning male through my scope. Very nice indeed. I thanked the 2 Irish lads(Joe Donaldson and John Lovatt) who had found the birds (3/4 last night). Other birds present were initially thought to be Lesser Sand Plovers but they turned out to be Greater. A special moment and a great bird to bring up my 150 for the trip. I got some pics but the birds were distant and I didn't want to harass them. Colin, Bill and his mate Pat Dwyer turned up around 30 mins later. It was Colin that texted me last night with the news. You could say I was quite... grateful!!!

After a pit stop at McDonalds we headed for Cape Greco. We parked the car behind another. It was the above...again! Small world, the Birding world. Even smaller when Lance Degnan came along shortly afterwards! Colin had told him about the CP so he was on his way. We shared views of an interesting Eastern Stonechat before he left. We also "had" a female Pallid Harrier.

He saw "the Plover" and got a great pic.

The fest of our day was spent visiting sites around the Larnaca area. I added Greenshank, Shelduck and Black-necked Grebe (153) to my trip list.

I'm writing this in Armou square as we wait in anticipation of a Scops Owl appearance. Lance again managed a photo the other night, so I thought I'd give it one last try.

Back at the hotel with the tinternet. THREE Owls SEEN!!!

Camera/Moi had a nightmare but who cares. Louise held the torch but we were treated to great views by streetlights and even had flight views of this tiny Owl. We also got the resonating one note "song". Amazingly loud and pure.

A great end to another great day...

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Cyprus 17 - Troodos

I had Paphos Headland to myself this morning, can't be bad. Still plenty of wildflowers and BIRDS!

Just a summary for now...

Eastern BE Wheatear
Ruppell's Warbler 5
Sub-Alpine Warbler 2
Nightingale 5
Cretzschmar's Bunting
Quail 4s

A wonderful couple of hours before breakfast. Back again tomorrow.

After brekky we headed for the hills... mountains to be precise. The village of Troodos is over 5000ft and obviously offers the opportunity to find different species.

Also Matt Smith a Paphos Birder had found a PINE BUNTING (9th record) yesterday which added some spice to the trip!! He was kind enough to give me directions.

We arrived around noon and had lunch. Then it was time to search.

Another VERY special moment occurred which I'd like to bore you with. However, I'm in the middle of a crucial game of knock-out whist with "she who must be obeyed" so I'll have to leave the full story until our return.

As I'm sure you're aware, searching for sightings among the conifers can be gruelling. Today bucked the trend in a BIG way!

I also had another of those "small world" moments when I got a shout..."Alan"!? It was Lance Degnan having lunch with his wife!!! We had a brief chat but they were in the middle of their we left them in peace. Good to see him though..nice guy.

Back to the cards.

Trip total 148

Friday, 24 March 2017

Cyprus 17 - Akrotiri re-visited

Re-visited the Akrotiri Peninsula today in search of migrants... retracing my route with Bill yesterday.

Today's additions were Caspian Gull, Great (White) Egret and Purple Heron which takes the trip list to 140.

It was a another beautiful day with the temperature hitting 23c. There was more evidence of migrants with larger numbers of common birds like Lesser Whitethroat and Chiffchaff.

I saw an interesting and very smart Redstart at Agios Georgios Church. It showed evidence of a white wing panel (Ehrenburg's) but not as much as illustrated in the Collins guide. I have some excellent photos which I'll post on return.

Another trip out onto the Salt Lake in search of Gull-billed Tern proved fruitless and confusing but we managed to find our way back! The journey wasn't wasted though as it produced the 2 GWE.

A good thrash around Paphos headland in the morning...

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Cyprus 17 - a day with Bill

I can't do justice to today until I get home. Suffice to say I had a wonderful time in the company of a true legend...Bill Stacey.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Cyprus 17 - Akamas Peninsula

Started at Agia Vavara hoping for a GS Cuckoo. I didn't find one but I did locate 2 Cretzschmar's Buntings in the same bush!

Then it was back to Anarita Park, curious to see if the Rock Thrush was still present. On my way in I had my first Spectacled Warbler singing on top of a bush... very nice. I then made my way down to the site I last saw the RT but it didn't show in the hour I spent there. Made it all the more special. I did see what was probably the same Eastern BE Wheatear though.

I also bumped into Ian Bloomer who had led the walk around Paphos headland on Saturday. We had an enjoyable chat about Birding and staying on Cyprus. Very interesting.

He then carried on his way and I mine. I was just about to go back for breakfast when another 4x4 appeared. It was another English couple out Birding. The chap told me about a Little Owl site and took me to it. Sure enough... there it was! Not a self-found this one but always nice to see.

After breakfast we had a drive north to the Akamas Peninsula, yet another great Birding area.

It's a bit early for the Flycatchers but I thought it was worth a visit besides it was a new area for Louise. We tried the Gosney sites in order.

Firstly Polis reedbed. As already mentioned I wanted to reccy as many sites as possible to see if they would be worth visiting again. The reedbed is extensive but access is limited. Probably worth another peep when visiting the area but I spared Louise an extended vigil today. As we were returning to the main road I noticed a bird on a wire that sent alarm bells ringing. It didn't fit. I asked my chauffeur to do a U-turn which put me on the viewable side. Now then...any ideas? Sightings are always in context...rare, scarce etc etc. You've already heard the RT eulogy​. It's a species that is VERY elusive. My text to Colin confirmed​ it to be "very scarce" especially this winter.

Hawfinch....on a wire some 30ft above the car! Extremely chuffed with this sighting... even though I say so myself lol!

We spent the next 3 hours strolling around the "Baths of Aphrodite" area. The caravan site is major migratory hotspot...but not today...too early. However, it didn't stop me getting great views and passable pics of an Eastern Bonelli's Warbler. It's characteristic fly-catching behaviour was clear to see. I also saw my first Whitethroat. Returning to the car a Peregrine zoomed by taking the trip total to 132.

Big day with Bill tomorrow...

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Cyprus 17 - Detention over!

Right...let me see if I could correct my error.

Left at 5.30 and was at Mandria Gardens for 6. I positioned the car so I had the rising sun behind me and then looked across to the area around the dead tree. Quite a few Wood Pigeons and Collared Doves were around.

Then at 6.10 a Dove flew in from the East over my car and landed in the tree.

There it was! I love my "interest".

I rattled a few shots off but the light was still poor. It was definitely a Turtle Dove sp lol! Quite a relief after yesterday's blunder.

As I'm sure you can appreciate I'm on holiday with my VERY understanding partner! I haven't got the time to study the finer points of Turtle Dove ID. A few of the island Birders are happy with it as a RTD meena. I've seen a few images that show contrasting features? Colin's pics on his Facebook site... Cyprus Birder" do show pale/white fringes to the coverts and no white on the neck. My impression of jizz this morning suggested a stocky (Stock Dove) bird but my time with the bird was very brief.

Time will tell...and it was time to leave for wouldn't start!!

Eventually it did. Sod it...I'm off!

Arrived at the hide at Zakaki around 7.15. Parked, forgot about the car... there's a BAILLON'S CRAKE to find. As I started to climb the steps...a movement to my right. BAILLON'S!!!
Images were obtained.

I was planning on meeting Bill at 9 but my thoughts now turned to the car. I couldn't start it! Not good to be stranded down Lady's Mile. Miraculously it eventually fired. I HAD to return to Paphos. I hadn't said which day to I'll return on Thursday.

So back for breakfast and a car change. Worked out a treat and we ended up with a new Ford Focus!

I took Louise for a walk from the hotel to Kato Paphos...NO Birding.

After lunch she chilled out by the pool and I headed for Anarita Park to follow up on the reported Rock Thrush (old school).

Arrived around 3 and scanned from the extremely comfortable car seat. As you know I'd already had my surprise moment with this iconic species... which will NEVER be bettered...but I'm greedy! I've invested days/weeks over the years trying to find this species.

After around 30 mins I was enjoying "crippling views" of my second male... down to 30 feet...and singing...softly.

All to myself and not a soul in sight. Wonderful.

Anything else is secondary for me...but I did have excellent views of a stunning Eastern Black-eared Wheatear.

Not a bad day...

Cyprus 17 - Schoolboy error!


Tried for the possible RUFOUS TURTLE DOVE (meena) at the Dove hotspot of Mandria this morning.

Colin Richardson had kindly texted me the info yesterday. I crept out of our room at 6.45am. Halfway down the corridor I
realised I didn't have my old Nokia with the Cyprus SIM card!?

I didn't want to wake Louise so I matched onward.6

I found the site of Mandria Gardens and started my search. Around 7.45 a small yellow car pulled up along side was Colin. "I've been texting and calling you, I've found the Dove!".

We made our way back to the spot, he located it as it departed.

Oh dear...or something like that!

I gave it a few sessions throughout the day but the bird didn't show.

A slightly different feeling than last night...and my own fault.

Got a pass out for the day tomorrow. I'm meeting Bill Stacy at Zakaki Marsh and he's going to show me some good spots on the Akrotiri Peninsula. Should be a great day. Chance of Baillon's Crake.

Might just pop back to Mandria first though...

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Cyprus 17 - Long day with a BIG finish

Early start at 5 this morning. Drove over to Akrotiri (45 mins) and sat in the hide at Zakaki for 4 hours!

No show on the Baillon's Crake but the Little showed well. I also saw a Penduline Tit again and even managed a horrendous pic. Other highlights included 2 pairs of Ferruginous Ducks and a pair of Garganey (my first). I also heard a strange "lapwing like" call. I couldn't pin it down so I got in the car and drove across to a patch of wasteland. Eventually I saw the source...a singing Black Francolin..very smart!

After a short break I drove down the first part of Lady's Mile. I added Med' Gull and Kentish Plover to my trip list. I also had extremely close views of Ruff (c40). Some of the Flamingos were very close also.

After lunch back at the hotel we headed for Kidasi. This site is good for Finsch's Wheatear and I'd seen them well there the previous Winter, you may recall?

We arrived around 2.30 and walked up the excellent track. It's a beautiful spot.

Cyprus Wheatear was soon seen, then very close views of a female Isabelline. Further up the track I saw my first male Northern but no sign of a FW.

We returned to the car then drove back up to the top of the valley. It was now 5pm but the sun was still shining on the eastern slope. I saw another black and white Wheatear high up the slope? I needed a better view so I made my way up as inconspicuously as I get these days!

I managed a few more pics before it departed. I was reasonably confident it was a Finsch's (confirmed Anyway, as I descended in my stealth-like manner something caught my eye. Oh no...I hear you cry...not another of his lucky connections!

I'm afraid so.

There not 30yds to my of my most wanted...



Again if you're into this game, you'll appreciate the satisfaction of finding a top bird unexpectedly. It's a scarce passage migrant in Cyprus, no big deal to locals But a massive deal to yours truly having searched extensively over the years in Europe for this species.

Off for a beer now... Marvelous

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Cyprus 17 - Paphos Headland

Joining the Bird group for the walk around the headland certainly paid off!  Nice to see some familiar faces from last winter. I also gleaned some excellent local tips regarding sites and access.

The birds...
Alpine Swift 2
Ruppell's Warbler 2
Cretzschmar's Bunting 3
Tawny Pipit
Short-toed Lark 8
Blue-headed Wagtail
Hoopoe 3

PLUS a Cyprus MEGA...Gannet!!! A tick for many of the stalwarts.

Not a bad 3 hours in glorious sunshine walking among a carpet of wildflowers.

I'll add more meat to my tales on return.

The afternoon involved a trip to Mav' Dam to twitch Tufted Duck! A Great crested Grebe was present and Cyprus Wheatear and Warbler were seen well.

On the way back we stopped at a Gosney site for Scops Owl and heard the familiar sound.

Back to Zakaki first thing tomorrow to look at more reeds...and maybe a Baillon's Crake?

Trip total 113

Friday, 17 March 2017

Cyprus 17 - Akrotiri Peninsula

Great day.

Started at Zakaki Pool after dropping Louise off at My Mall. Time to study some reeds. In view immediately was a pair of Ferruginous Ducks albeit asleep!. A Lesser Whitethroat bobbed around below me.

More scanning high and low. WOW...PENDULINE TIT!!! Not a bird I have had the opportunity to study very often. This was again the case...but at least I'd found one.

Another Birder arrived. Turned out to be a nice chap called Bill Stacey who's a regular visitor to the island.

We had a good chat and then we were joined by a local called Mario's who informed us a LITTLE CRAKE had been reported!!

The three of us grilled the reeds and after around 10 minutes we were all enjoying prolonged views of this tiny jewel. I even managed a record shot.

Marios soon departed but I stayed with Bill till 11.30 before I went back to the Mall to have lunch with the boss.

We then headed to the other side of the peninsula via Lady's Mile. I saw my first adult Armenian Gulls (2) and a superb Marsh Sandpiper at close range (pics). I also "had" 49 Ruff and 35 Black-headed Stilts. A Hoopoe zoomed North over the car.

More exploring ensued with mixed results! I won't bore you with the details but I saw three more Hoopoes and an impressive flock of Cormorants (146).

I ended up back at Zakaki (Louise returned to Costa). I had another sighting of the LC and added Water Rail (seen well) to my trip list. Three Reed Warblers were belting it out, a Little Egrets dropped in and the Heron count rose to 15.

The day concluded with the sound of a Curlew (scarce in Cyprus).

Tomorrow morning I head for Paphos headland to join the local group. Fingers crossed...

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Slow day.

Stayed local. We started after a late breakfast at Anarita Park. The weather is still inclement but it's a change!

Further cracking views of 2 Lesser Kestrels were obtained and some better pics. I managed a couple of perched views. Also seen was a dashing Cyprus Pied Wheatear but I still can't find a Finsch's.

Further quality included 2 Blue Rock Thrushes one of which was singing it's understated song. A Quail was also "wetting it's lips".

The main event came when I tracked down and photographed (from the car) a superb male Isabelline Wheatear. Great to have time to study the subtle differences in plumage and structure. A very upright and lanky species.

After lunch we were going to have a ride up to Kadasi, another Finsch's Wheatear site were I saw 3 last winter but the clouds looked heavy so we ended up back at Agia Vavara admiring a pair of Great Spotted Cuckoos.

Another big day out around Limassol at the Akrotiri headland tomorrow. Forecast looks promising and plenty of great sites to visit. Maybe I'll see my Great Black-headed Gull (Pallas's).

Species count 93

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

East is good! We started at Oroklini Marsh, arriving at 9am following an early breakfast. It's one of many superb sites at this end of the island. Highlights here included
Red-crested Pochard 2 males
Spur-winged Plover 4
Greater Flamingo 50
Ferruginous Duck male

Onto the nearby Achna Dam. We started at the dam end, parked the car and made for a convenient bench. There was a raft with a Cormorant resting on it. There was also a white "lump"...surely not...WHITE PELICAN!!! Very satisfying and very rare in March.

Flushed by this success we headed for the "shallow end". What a superb area with some outstanding habitat. I added...
Little Stint
Ruff 9
Little Ringed Plover 10
Water Pipit
As we were leaving we crossed a beautiful meadow carpeted with wild flowers. There were hundreds of White Wagtails, Swallows and Swift's present...a remarkable sight! Then I spotted it, a bird I was particularly keen to see. A stunning Black-headed Wagtail. Happy days indeed!! We also had great views of a Hoopoe as we approached the road.

Our final couple of stop were around Larnaca airport. Firstly Menou Pools. There were hundreds of Flamingos present, always a pleasure to see. They weren't my target on this occasion however. I pulled the car up by the edge of the pool and started to scan. Took a while but I don't eventually found 6 Stone Curlews. Nice!

Last stop was the hide overlooking the Sewage works. While I was setting my stall out I could hear the typical scratching noises of a Sylvia Warbler. This one was a fine Sub-Alpine in all it's finery. Yet another pair of Spur-winged Plovers were noted.

THEN...the strangest thing happened! There were hundreds of Swallows around the hide. Some were trying hard to enter obviously nest prospecting. They banged into it on more than one occasion! Then the sound of fluttering wings, I looked down expecting to see a Swallow on the hide floor...but no...I was looking at a...SWIFT!!!

The bird was stunned and lay there motionless. What to about pick it up! I walked down the stairs with it and showed it to Louise. When she'd recovered I asked her to take a pic. Then it was time for the big moment. It seemed to have recovered as it was now scratching my hand and screeching! I threw it gently into the air over some long grass
...and up and away it went... wonderful! A close encounter with one of the most enigmatic species and a personal favourite to boot. I should have videod the moment.

To finish off the best day of the trip so far we flushed a Black Francolin on the way back to the road.

Cyprus 17 - a good day locally

We spent the morning at Agia Vavara. Highlights were...
Gt Spotted Cuckoo
Red-rumped Swallows 4
Quail 3

I also had a brief visit to Anarita Park were conclusive views and photos of a stunning male Lesser Kestrel were obtained.

The afternoon was spent exploring more sites locally but other than four Green Sands together at Agia Vavara pools nothing else of note was seen.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Cyprus 17 - Day 5...a brighter day

Today's tale begins down at the Lower Ezouzas. There was actually a trickle of water present after the weekends much needed rain (over an inch).

Louise wasn't to impressed but it will improve the Birding habitat no end! The island looked wonderful today, green and covered with wild

The LE produced excellent views of Serin (8). Great to see these tiny finches well. I also saw my first trip Lesser Whitethroat. I spent the rest of the morning exploring some of Dave Gosney's sites from his indispensable guide. I had mixed results...finding them that is! I think some are not what they once were.

The sewage works produced a lovely pair of Spur-winged Plover, such an elegant species. I also added Green Sandpiper and Sparrowhawk. The rest of the morning was spent trying to find a Laughing Dove in Mandria..I failed.

After lunch we had a ride out to Aphrodite's Rock, a nice spot enhanced by the now brilliant sunshine and impressive surf.

To finish the day I tried to find Agia Carver's soakways... but got lost! All was definitely not lost when I found a couple of superb Great Spotted Cuckoos. Huzzah!!!

One of my "specials".

Trip list building nicely and some improvement of my local site knowledge...I think!

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Cyprus 17 - A special finish

Had a pre-breakfast stroll around Paphos headland. Bit of a reccy really to see if I could find any holes in the fence! Found a couple but not comfy with it so I just walked the perimeter.

I managed to find a single GREATER SAND PLOVER moving nicely into summer plumage. A Kingfisher was a nice surprise and I saw a couple more Red-rumped Swallows albeit distantly.

The forecast lived up to its poor billing so we headed for another Mall in Limassol. After dropping Louise off I continued towards Larnaca and Achna Dam. A White Pelican (rare in March and a Cyprus tick) had been present there for a few day...but alas, I couldn't find it. I DID add GC Grebe (8) to my island list though.

After lunch I tried Zakaki hide near the Mall while my other half continued bargain hunting. The weather was poor but I managed to sneak a brief view of a Bluethroat. My final stop before I called it off was along the northern part of Lady's Mile. It was more like a river than a road but a group of interesting Gulls...yes Gulls tempted me down the first section.

What could they be?


Yes I've got some pics...although my trusty camera is also playing up must be the weather!

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Cyprus 17 - Hello!

All sorts of fun and games with the hotel internet...including (possibly) the font lol!

Posting pics is impossible at the moment so my full report will have to wait until I return.

I will try to give a flavour of my visit if possible?

Three days in and things are going fine. I've visited some of the local sites including Mandria, Anarita Park, Timi Beach and an area adjacent to our Hotel which has already produced 4 Desert Wheatears a couple of Red-rumped Swallows and a Spanish Sparrow colony.

I also saw my first Long-legged Buzzard at Lower Ezouros Pools...that sadly don't have any water! Moustached Warbler was also seen well.

A Chukar sighting at Timi Beach this morning was a nice surprise.

This afternoons visit to Anarita Park produced 2 endemics in the form of Cyprus Warbler and Wheatears...very nice indeed. A pair of Bonelli's Eagle's was also rather nice!

48 species seen

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Cyprus 17...We're off!

Writing this while sat at "the Mothers" having just dropped the world class Potato and Apple pie combo! An early night then off in the taxi at 7am to Manchester Airport in preparation for our 9.55am flight to Paphos, Cyprus.

After a hectic couple of months sorting out our...or should I say my future it's time to take a deep breath and ...relax. Really looking forward to sampling the early part of the Eastern Mediterranean Spring migration. More than enough variety to keep me happy for the next three weeks plus the added benefit of an "ALL INCLUSIVE" Hotel which will DEFINITELY keep Louise happy! All areas of "Greek" Cyprus will be covered.

Anyway enough of the flannel, time to get on with it. Hope I can post something worth reading...

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Nearly there

Heard a familiar sound this morning which I hadn't heard for quite a while? A Woodpecker drumming on Taylor lane. I took the provisions into the house and then had a wonder. I got close but the bird was just a flash through the trees on School lane. GSW (P.86, H.60). A nice bonus came in the form of a single Siskin (P.87, H.61) in the same copse. Just for the record (I forgot) my first Snipe (P.88 of the year was finally seen disappearing north over Welwick Marsh the other day. Better late than later still.

Think I'm just about finished with the Cyprus planning. Time to enjoy now. Last shift tomorrow then we're over to my Mothers Tuesday afternoon ready to fly from Manchester on Wednesday morning.

Sunnier times ahead...

Friday, 3 March 2017

CYPRUS - Migration Magic

Sometimes an example can speak much louder than words. Especially in my case!

DEMOISELLE CRANE is mainly an Autumn migrant through Cyprus in numbers. Now and again though they arrive in March...big style...


Akrotiri Gravel Pits: 176 17-Mar (MKo)
Akrotiri Gravel Pits: 13 10 at 10.00h, 3 at 11.30h 19-Mar (CR)
Akrotiri Gravel Pits: 3 26-Mar (JS)
Akrotiri Gravel Pits: 3 together 31-Mar (SC)
Episkopi, Limassol: 20 flying NW @ 08:30 28-Mar (ADT)
Kantou, Limassol: 22 from S to N, possibly more in the V formation 29-Mar (JN)
M1 Pools, Limassol: 12 landed to SW of pools, closer to desalination plant 16-Mar (JN)
Paralimni Lake: 1 28 & 31-Mar (AKe)
Pegeia: 2+ heard, flying over in direction Kathikas, 19.05h, heard for 5mins 12-Mar (ATo)
Pegeia: 60 cranes' flying over westbound, 17.00h 12-Mar (KD)
Pegeia: 100 cranes' flying over westbound, 18.00h 12-Mar (KD)
Phasouri Reed-beds: 150 prob this sp. flying over heading north 7.30h 13-Mar (TH)
Phasouri Reed-beds: 199 largest flock 150 at 9.10 am, other groups thereafter 17-Mar (JN)
Phasouri Reed-beds: 15 moving North 22-Mar (JN)
Phasouri Reed-beds: 20 flying over 28-Mar (NBH)

Everything crossed...

Thursday, 2 March 2017

CYPRUS - Priorities

Disclaimer - As I've said many times before, plans can be VERY personal, like lots of topics I guess. So please feel free to move on if my choice of Birding venue isn't for you.


I've found it interesting while preparing my trip file (one of life's great pleasures) to see how I intend to "play" this visit. I have lots of time...but what to see and where to go on the Island? I have excellent contacts and superb online information...both on Sites and Species. Running through past March monthly sightings for the past 5 years I've built up a pretty good base of occurrences. I'm fairly familiar with the main sites although I'm sure I'll get lost and have access issues along the way. All good fun?

We're based in Paphos at the east end, which will allow me time to explore some less watched areas were I hope to "find my own"...especially before breakfast. I intend to check around the Hotel every morning.

Now...the Birds!

Cyprus is superbly placed to receive migrants (you probably knew that!). This will be my first "proper" stab at birding the early part. Plenty to go at and always the chance of a surprise or five. Even some of the later arrivals have occurred in late March e.g. ELEANORA'S FALCON.

Going through my list again I had a bit of fun trying to narrow down species I'd prioritize as wanting to see during my visit (8th - 29th). Very difficult. Anyway below is my personal priority list for various reasons. There are many debatable omissions...




CRAKES – Little, Spotted and Baillon’s

There we go then.
Temperatures should be between 17c and 20c, which is fine for me...and hopefully Louise! It will certainly be better than Holmpton! As stated before, I'm not a fan of excessive heat, especially when it's humid. No jungles for me! I'm at a stage in life now were I want great birding...and comfort. It's a holiday!!! This is a great way to shorten our Winter.
I will endeavour to post regularly during the trip, depending on the quality of the internet connection at our Hotel. I hope to give you something interesting to follow...