Cyprus April 2009
Having been to Cyprus in April 2005 we said we would be back. With all of the main attractions out of the way, we could bird as birders should, this was to be educational from an identification point of view.
We flew direct to Paphos and stayed five minutes walk from the main birding site Paphos lighthouse, every morning we birded this area to see what was new in (migrant wise), while it was poor some days, after drizzle or rain migrants were in evidence. Birds of note were Barred Warbler, Nightingale and one Thrush Nightingale, Ortolan and Corn Buntings. Woodchat Shrike, Pied and Collard Flycatchers, Bonelli's, Wood, Chiffchaff's, Blackcaps, White and Lesser Whitethroat's. Orphean, Cyprus, Sardinian, Spectacled Warblers just to name a few daily sightings.
Asprokremmos Dam was good for Isabeline Wheatear, Spotted Crake, Scop's Owl, Both Great Spotted and Common Cuckoo and Lesser Kestrel.
Akrotiti reedbed for Montagu's and Pallid Harriers. Waders were best here including Marsh Sandpiper and Kentish Plover although these and more waders could be seen at Lady's Mile.
Lady's Mile was super for Golden Oriole, all three Flycatchers including Semi collared, Cuckoos, Sylvia and Pholloscopus Warblers, the whole area was just teeming in migrants, certainly worth several visits as the turnover is consistent to say the least.
Kensington Cliffs were superb for migrants and of course early Eleonora's Falcons, we saw three. Alpine Swifts were common too.
Mandria was to be our best birding as here we saw our lifers in the form of two magical Caspian Plovers, adult female on day one then next day a stunning male!. Breeding Calandra and Short toed Larks, including migrating Lesser Short toed Larks.
Car hire is on par with Ireland, food and drink is also priced similar. birdwatcing is accepted as the norm with the friendly locals. UK birdwatchers are always present. Cyprus is not as busy with birders as Lesvos for example, so finding ones own space is not a problem, although meeting the odd birder is handy for any rarity news, there is a local birdline set up for bird news.
used A Birdwatching Guide To Cyprus by Arthur Stagg & Graham Hearl.
Below a list of birds of interest and roughly the status of birds as we saw them, Common-(C). Local-(L).
Heron (C): Squacco Heron (3). Cattle Egret (12). Purple Heron (3).
Would we recommend Cyprus for birding, safety, food and drink, accommodation and driving, we have been there twice and certainly will be back again. RECOMMENDED!
Paul & Andrea Kelly 2013.