Saturday, 12 October 2013

Cyprus birds - Autumn 2013

September 28-October 3, 2013:
Another visit to the west of Cyprus proved worthwhile for seeing many birds, especially raptors and bee-eaters in large numbers.

Very good views of Eleonora's Falcons (photos above and below) were obtained from the top of the Kensington cliff system. Cyprus, with over 200 pairs, is one of the main nesting grounds for these birds which overwinter in east Africa.

From the same vantage point, nine Griffon Vultures could be seen in the far distant haze circling above Paramili. A closer view of a Griffon was made later from the species' stronghold near cliffs close to Arminou. The Cyprus population recently shrank to only about eight pairs and a project is now underway to introduce birds from Crete onto the island.

Good views were got of a female and juvenile Red-footed Falcon perched on wires at Mandrea. The juvenile was quickly harried by a Hooded Crow and flew off but the female remained for a long while and eventually started to preen.

At the Asprokremnos dam a Black Kite was seen on more than one occasion.


Several large groups of Bee-eaters, sometimes comprising up to a hundred, fed over newly ploughed land at Asprokremnos and Anarita whilst many smaller groups could be seen at///// other parts of the island.

At Fassouri a juvenile Red-backed Shrike was seen in the reed beds and there was another one near to Kouklea fish farm.

Other birds photographed included a Whinchat at Akrotiri, a Wood Sandpiper and a distant Marsh Harrier at Fassouri, an unidentified eagle and a Little Egret at the Evretou dam, and a young Kestrel at Ezousas.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Cyprus birds - Spring 2013

May 4-9, 2013:
A visit to the western side of the island yielded several interesting birds over this period. Places visited included the Asprokremnos dam area and its associated pools, Ezousas pools, Kouklea fish farm, Anarita park, Fassouri reed beds, Tunnel Beach and the adjacent cliffs, Akrotiri pools and church, Smygies, and the Teletria valley. Photographs of some of the birds seen are below.

Roller, top two at Anarita, lower at Teletria

Ortolan Bunting, Smygies

The endemic Cyprus Pied Wheatear, Smygies

Woodchat Shrike, Anarita park

Adult female Red-backed Shrike, Akrotiri
Eleonora's Falcon, distant view from the Kensington cliffs

Yellow Wagtail, Fassouri reed beds

Turtle Doves, near Fassouri

Spur-winged Lapwing, Ezousas pools

Ruff, Ezousas pools

Little Stint, Ezousas pools

Unidentified Harrier sp, Anarita park

Bee-eater (unfortunately against the light and distant), Latchi