Cyprus 9-16 April 2001
Thomas Pettersson, Härnevigatan 3 A, SE-723 41 Västerås, Sweden
A family (me, my wife and our two daughters, 10 and 11 years old) vacation with some birding. Hotel Ermitage in the eastern outskirts of Lemesos (Limassol) on the south coast. A good starting-point for trips in the southern, south western and central parts of the island.
We pre-booked a car, a “category C” Ford Fiesta 1.2 at Avis, but what was delivered was a Daewoo Matiz! “Category E”, the representative said, because it was equipped with air condition! The car was pathetic, the smallest I’ve ever seen! If I have had time and energy I surely would have tried to have it exchanged for a proper one! On the sixth day we got a flat tyre. The car was certainly equipped with a spare wheel but with the tools supplied it was impossible to loose the bolts. Three people tried and failed! It was of course Easter Day and despite Avis 24-hour service no one came to help. Though they promised to on the phone. So, the early morning trip our last day, and my last chance on this trip to spot that Stone-curlew, was spoiled.
All cars in Cyprus have their steering-wheels on the right hand side, because one drives on the left hand side of the road. The traffic is intense, speedy and, I must say, hysterical. The otherwise so friendly and kind Cypriots become lunatics behind the wheel! The motorways have high standard, but many of the other roads, including main roads, are mediocre. Roadworks interrupt here and there.
Fine or fair weather all week. A couple of showers in the mornings of the 11th and the 14th, also thunder the latter day. A south-west wind predominated all week, more or less. Daily 20-23° C in the coastal areas, about 14° C in the Troodos area. Sunrise about 6:30 a.m. and sunset about 7:00 p.m.
The language is Greek, but most people speak very good English.
Alström, Per, Peter Colston & Ian Lewington. 1992. En fälthandbok över sällsynta fåglar i Europa. Domino Books. Jersey. ISBN 1-897583-00-1. This is the Swedish edition of a book, covering rare birds in Europe, which also is published in English (1991). A valuable field guide in case of any rarities.
Flint, Peter R. & Peter F. Stewart. 1992. The Birds of Cyprus. B.O.U. Checklist No. 6 (Second Edition). British Ornithologist’s Union. Tring. A useful and valuable comprehensive reference, but almost ten years old now.
Gosney, Dave. 1996. Finding Birds in Cyprus. Gostours. Sheffield. ISBN 1 898110 13 1. A rather thin booklet but the information given seems reliable. Little used by me.
Hollom, P. A. D., R. F. Porter, S. Christensen & Ian Willis. 1988. Birds of the Middle East and North Africa. T & AD Poyser Ltd. Calton. ISBN 0 85661 047 X. Not essential, but good anyway, although a little bit old now.
Oddie, Bill & Derek Moore. 1993. A Birdwatchers Guide to the Birds of Cyprus. Suffolk Wildlife Trust. Ipswich. ISBN 0 901588 03 2. Almost the same site descriptions as in Flint & Stewart. Not essential, especially if you already have Stagg & Hearl.
Stagg, Arthur & Graham Hearl. 1998. A Birdwatching Guide to Cyprus. Arlequin Press. Chelmsford. ISBN 1 900159 80 5. A very useful and up-to-date guide. I visited more than a dozen sites with the use of this guide, and it didn’t fool me once! Though there aren’t any descriptions of how to get to Mandria (Paphos) nor Larnaka Sewage Works. The map recommended in the book, ‘Road & Tourist Map of Cyprus’, which I saw in a shop in Lemesos, didn’t impress me. See below!
Svensson, Lars, Peter J. Grant, Killian Mullarney & Dan Zetterström. 1999. Fågelguiden. Europas och Medelhavsområdets fåglar i fält. Albert Bonniers Förlag. Stockholm. ISBN 91-34-51038-9. A field guide in Swedish, but I’m sure that there exists an English edition as well. In short: this field guide is simply the best!
Took, J. M. E. 1992. Birds of Cyprus. A simple, concise and fully illustrated guide. Char. J. Philippides & Son Ltd. Nicosia. ISBN 9963-577-12-1. Of limited value and not used by me.
Cyprus. Euro-Holiday Map. GeoCenter. Scale 1: 200 000. Year of print: 1994/95 (3rd edition). RV Reise -und Verkehrsverlag, Stuttgart, Germany. ISBN 3-575-16534-3. Out of date.
Cyprus. Holiday Map. Allianz. Marco Polo. Scale 1: 200 000. Year of print: 2000. Mairs Geographischer Verlag, Ostfildern, Germany. ISBN 3-89525-573-4. This was the only map I used since it was the most up-to-date. It seemed reliable but some minor roads/tracks are not shown.
Cyprus. Road Map. Scale: 1: 250 000. Year of print: unknown. Freytag & Berndt, Vienna, Austria. Couldn’t find any ISBN! Of very limited use.
9th April (Monday). Arrived at Larnaka airport at 1:05 p.m. Transfer by mini-bus with a very generous driver who told us about things we saw along the way to Lemesos, some 70 km. Clear blue sky, light breeze from the south. No particular birding, but seven common species noted from the balcony of the hotel.
10th April (Tuesday). The “car” was delivered at 8:30 a.m. This day was mainly set aside for social activities and touristic things. A trip to Kolossi castle, back to Lemesos via Akrotiri Salt Lake, Ladies Mile and Zakaki. While my kids played with the cats at the cat sanctuary (a tip!) near Sylvana’s Restaurant in Akrotiri I managed to do some birding. This place gives you a rather good view of the lake and its southern shore. The sanctuary though have plans to move to Phassouri in a near future. In the heat haze it was difficult to see anything, but at least I saw that there was a lot of (several hundreds) Greater Flamingos in the salt lake. I didn’t know by then, but this day was the best day for waders at Ladies Mile during the whole week. It’s possible to drive very close to most of the pools at Ladies Mile which gives you good opportunities to watch the waders and other birds at a close range.
11th April (Wednesday). Early morning (6:30 a.m.) visit on my own to Asprokremmos Dam Pools and a few other sites along the coast between Paphos and Lemesos; Paphos airport, Mandria, Kouklia (between the highway and the sea), Quarry Beach/Kensington Cliffs. A couple of showers at Asprokremmos. It wasn’t that easy to see the birds in the pools, without disturbing them. I scared at least two Purple Herons and a Little Crake. One possibility is to use the car as a hide. The car is also useful when looking for migrants in the bush nearby. Or to study the singing and breeding ones; e.g. Spectacled and Cyprus Warbler. The calls of the Black Francolins were heard in the surroundings, very characteristic. So were also the Marsh Frogs. A short trip along a rough road towards Foinikas produced a Little Owl, roosting in a small cave. Paphos Airport seemed well guarded and I felt uneasy using binoculars, so I didn’t stay long. It was also difficult to look for larks along the way because of the heavy traffic. Someone told me that Mandria should be a good site for Stone-curlews, but in lack of further information I didn’t find any good areas for birding. In fact I got lost in the village, trying to reach the area between the village and the sea. Though rewarded with the one and only Hoopoe of the week. I had better luck when I tried to find the area between Kouklia and the sea, but the first part of the road was in a mess because of road works. A reed-bed close to the sea seemed worth checking. Above Quarry Beach there are good possibilities to view the Kensington Cliffs. Coming from west, turn right at the very first sign for the Sanctuary of Apollo, don’t go as far as the entrance. It was very windy this day and therefore it was hard to scan the cliffs properly. Though I managed to find a possible Peregrine’s nest with its inhabitants. In the afternoon together with my family at the cat sanctuary again. During that visit I saw a Spoonbill and a pair of Gadwall. I also took the time needed to roughly count the Flamingos – some 1200. My family appreciated a flock of eight Bee-eaters nearby. On the way back a bathe (just the kids!) at Ladies Mile Beach. While there a Northern Gannet surprisingly flew by at a moderate distance!
12th April (Maundy Thursday). Early morning until 1:00 p.m. on my own, to Akrotiri Salt Lake, Akrotiri Gravel Pits, Phassouri and Curium Beach. Good sight in the early morning with better possibilities to identify and count the birds in the lake. Among the ducks the Shovelers were predominant. A light morph Eleonora’s Falcon was surprisingly early, as I’ve understood. At Quarry Beach (I had to see those Peregrines again!) there were 12 Purple Herons circling above, seemed that they just came in from the sea and didn’t really know where to fly. I spent an hour in the bush close to the westernmost military observatory tower, south of the salt lake. There were many passerines, especially flycatchers. Of about 40 seen, half of them were Collared Flycatchers, the rest Pied and Spotted. Some of the Collared were even singing, but I heard no Pied Flycatchers singing. One of the male Pied Flycatchers I saw, differed clearly from the others in having a greyish-brownish plumage, perhaps indicating the F. h. sibirica subspecies. Also Ladies Mile and Zakaki Marshes on the way back to Lemesos. A Pallid Harrier was the most remarkable bird there besides two Marsh Sandpipers. By the way, it’s remarkable how scarce gulls are here, compared with e.g. Crete.
13th April (Good Friday). A family trip to Troodos, via Asprokremmos Dam (I just had to show my family the Little Owl from the other day!), the wonderful Diarizos Valley and Pano Platres. Seemed to be a good day for a trip, very little traffic, because of the Good Friday, I presume. The valley was as wonderful as we remembered it from our last visit, almost exactly four years ago. We stopped at a couple of places and had good views of Rollers and a male Black Francolin. When we approached the top of the valley, I instructed (not as serious, as it might sound like!) my family to look for soaring raptors. Of course I had Long-legged Buzzard in mind. No such, but two different Griffons were spotted. Good anyway! We had a wonderful lunch in Pano Platres, where we sat on a restaurants veranda. Above us flew Pallid Swifts all the time and gave good views. In Troodos we parked where the Persephone trails starts. Coal Tits of the endemic subspecies were literally all over the place, some singing, some just calling. Very distinctive plumage. When I had walked for a few minutes along the trail, I found out that the Short-toed Treecreeper were numerous too. Although hard to get in sight – shy? Jays revealed themselves a couple of times by their calls. No Crossbills during the visit, but one Wren. Back to Lemesos via B8.
14th April (Easter Eve). Early morning on my own, from Curium Beach, of course gazing for landed Stone-Curlews, via Phassouri and Akrotiri Gravel Pits to Akrotiri Salt Lake. Not only birders prefer early mornings, fishermen also do. They were posted along Curium Beach and therefore any migrants were already flushed, I presume. Also Ladies Mile and Zakaki Marshes, four Marsh Sandpipers today, on the way back to Lemesos. Also a detour to Quarry Beach and a nice trip through an unexploited countryside in Avdimou Valley to Melanda Beach. Pretty much passerines, especially on a newly ploughed field. In a small olive grove there seemed to be one territory in each tree of a flycatcher, Redstart, Wood Warbler and others. Except for one, where a Little Owl was roosting. Not so many Barn Swallows, but one of them came twice at a close range to me and showed to be of the subspecies H. r. transitiva – underparts clearly reddish-brown! The Melanda Beach is protected since it’s a breeding ground for turtles, but it’s allowed for bathing I think.
15th April (Easter Day). Early morning visit on my own to Asprokremmos Dam Pools, Diarizos Valley up to Kedares and back, and Kouklia (same area as on 11 April). Tried desperately the Kouklia area once again for Stone-Curlews – no luck! I scanned and walked the Diarizos riverbed and also along the beach. A flock of Glossy Ibis, heading west, was a nice sight. Then I tried the upper Diarizos Valley for Long-legged Buzzard, and eventually I had a wonderful sight of one. It was mobbed by a Crow and because of that the bird manoeuvred so I could see it very well, showing all parts of its plumage. Perhaps my most impressive observation during the week! Also Ladies Mile on the way back. Although the number of birds is low, it seems worth checking the pools every day, perhaps even several times a day. At every occasion there were at least some new birds and today e.g. Curlew Sandpiper.
16th April (Easter Monday). No birding because of a flat tyre, which couldn’t be changed and Avis wasn’t able to help!
Annotated species list
I follow the systematic adopted by Josep del Hoyo, Andrew Elliot & Jordi Sargatal. 1992-2001. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. I – VI. Lynx Ediciones. Barcelona.
Stanley Cramp & C. M. Perrins. 1985-1994. Handbook of the Birds of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Vol. IV – IX. Oxford University Press. Oxford.
Northern Gannet /Havssula/ Sula b. bassana (Linnaeus 1758).
1 immature (4th year) heading south off Ladies Mile Beach in the afternoon 11/4.
Great Cormorant /Storskarv/ Phalacrocorax carbo (Linnaeus 1758).
1 immature (2nd year) flew south from Akrotiri Salt Lake in the afternoon 10/4. The most likely subspecies to occur in this area is Ph. c. sinensis (Blumenbach 1798).
European Shag /Toppskarv/ Phalacrocorax aristotelis desmarestii (Payraudeau 1826).
C. 20 at Kensington Cliffs 11/4; c. 5 there 12/4.
Purple Heron /Purpurhäger/ Ardea p. purpurea Linnaeus 1766.
2 flushed at Asprokremmos Dam Pools 11/4; 12 circling above Kensington Cliffs 12/4; 11 circling above Asprokremmos Dam Wall 13/4; 1 at Asprokremmos Dam Pools 15/4.
Squacco Heron /Rallhäger/ Ardeola ralloides (Scopoli 1769).
1 at Asprokremmos Dam Pools 11/4; 1 at Akrotiri Salt Lake 12/4.
Glossy Ibis /Bronsibis/ Plegadis falcinellus (Linnaeus 1766).
C. 25 heading west at Kouklia Beach 15/4, app. 8:00 a.m.
Eurasian Spoonbill /Skedstork/ Platalea l. leucorodia Linnaeus 1758.
1 at Akrotiri Salt Lake 11/4.
Greater Flamingo /Större Flamingo/ Phoenicopterus ruber roseus Pallas 1811.
Several hundreds at Akrotiri Salt Lake all week; only one count: c. 1200 11/4.
Gadwall /Snatterand/ Anas strepera Linnaeus 1758.
One pair, male and female, at Akrotiri Salt Lake 11/4 and 12/4.
Northern Pintail /Stjärtand/ Anas a. acuta Linnaeus 1758.
Seen all occasions at Akrotiri Salt Lake, but difficult to count; at least 50 12/4.
Northern Shoveler /Skedand/ Anas clypeata Linnaeus 1758.
Seen all occasions at Akrotiri Salt Lake, but difficult to count; at least 100 12/4.
Eurasian Griffon /Gåsgam/ Gyps f. fulvus (Hablizl 1783).
1+1 between Kidasi and Kedares 13/4.
Western Marsh Harrier /Brun kärrhök/ Circus ae. aeruginosus (Linnaeus 1758).
7 sightings involving possibly 8 different individuals: 1 female at Asprokremmos Dam Pools 11/4; 1 male at Paphos Airport 11/4; 2 females at Akrotiri Salt Lake 11/4; 1 female Phassouri Reed Beds 12/4; 1 male Curium Beach 14/4; 1 female Akrotiri Salt Lake 14/4; 1 male at Nikoklela 15/4.
Pallid Harrier /Stäpphök/ Circus macrourus (S. G. Gmelin 1770).
1 2nd year Ladies Mile 12/4.
Long-legged Buzzard /Örnvråk/ Buteo r. rufinus (Cretzschmar 1827).
1 ad. (intermediate morph), mobbed by a Carrion Crow, in Diarizos Valley between Kidasi and Kedares 15/4.
Common Kestrel /Tornfalk/ Falco t. tinnunculus Linnaeus 1758.
C. 60 sightings during the week: 10/4: 1; 11/4 c. 20; 12/4: c. 10; 13/4: 3; 14/4: 5; 15/4: c. 20. Mating observed 15/4 at Asprokremmos Dam Wall and Fasoula, respectively.
Eleonora’s Falcon /Eleonorafalk/ Falco eleonorae Gené 1839.
1 light morph at Akrotiri Salt Lake 12/4.
Peregrine Falcon /Pilgrimsfalk/ Falco peregrinus brookei Sharpe 1873.
Seen at every occasion at Quarry Beach, e.g. 2 ad. at nest 12/4.
Chukar /Berghöna/ Alectoris chukar cypriotes Hartert 1917.
Not uncommon in the south-west. I have notes (incomplete) from Asprokremmos Dam Wall and Episkopi.
Black Francolin /Svart frankolin/ Francolinus f. francolinus (Linnaeus 1766).
Not uncommon in the south-west. I have notes (incomplete) from Asprokremmos Dam Wall, Phassouri Reed Beds (2 singing 12/4), Diarizos Valley (c. 10 singing 13/4) and Melanda Beach (1 singing 14/4).
Little Crake /Mindre sumphöna/ Porzana parva (Scopoli 1769).
1 female at Asprokremmos Dam Pools 11/4 and 15/4.
Common Moorhen /Rörhöna/ Gallinula ch. chloropus (Linnaeus 1758).
3 at Asprokremmos Dam Pools 11/4 and 15/4.
Common Coot /Sothöna/ Fulica a. atra Linnaeus 1758.
4 at Asprokremmos Dam Pools 11/4; 7 there 15/4.
Common Ringed Plover /Större strandpipare/ Charadrius hiaticula Linnaeus 1758.
1 at Ladies Mile 15/4. Probably Ch. h. tundrae (Lowe 1915) on size and plumage.
Little Ringed Plover /Mindre strandpipare/ Charadrius dubius curonicus Gmelin 1789.
1+5 at Akrotiri Salt Lake 11/4; 1 at Akrotiri Salt Lake 12/4; 10 at Ladies Mile 12/4; 3 at Ladies Mile 14/4; 7 at Ladies Mile 15/4.
Kentish Plover /Svartbent strandpipare/ Charadrius a. alexandrinus Linnaeus 1758.
7 at Akrotiri Salt Lake 12/4; c. 15 at Ladies Mile 12/4; 2 at Ladies Mile 14/4; 3 at Ladies Mile 15/4.
Black-tailed Godwit /Rödspov/ Limosa l. limosa (Linnaeus 1758).
1 in winter plumage Akrotiri Salt Lake 12/4.
Marsh Sandpiper /Dammsnäppa/ Tringa stagnatilis (Bechstein 1803).
2 at Ladies Mile 12/4; 2+2 at Ladies Mile 14/4.
Common Greenshank /Gluttsnäppa/ Tringa nebularia (Gunnerus 1767).
1 at Akrotiri Salt Lake 12/4; 1 at Asprokremmos Dam Pools 15/4.
Green Sandpiper /Skogssnäppa/ Tringa ochropus Linnaeus 1758.
4 at Akrotiri Salt Lake 12/4.
Wood Sandpiper /Grönbena/ Tringa glareola Linnaeus 1758.
1 at Kouklia Beach 11/4; 2 at Akrotiri Salt Lake 12/4; 2 at Asprokremmos Dam Pools 15/4.
Common Sandpiper /Drillsnäppa/ Actitis hypoleucos (Linnaeus 1758).
1 at Kouklia 11/4; 1 at Ladies Mile 12/4; 1 at Germasogeia Dam 14/4; 1 at Diarizos River Bed 15/4.
Little Stint /Småsnäppa/ Calidris minuta (Leisler 1812).
C. 10 at Ladies Mile 10/4; c. 20 at Ladies Mile 12/4; 1 at Ladies Mile 15/4.
Curlew Sandpiper /Spovsnäppa/ Calidris ferruginea (Pontoppidan 1763).
2 at Ladies Mile 15/4. Both of them were in winter plumage, one had commenced moult to summer plumage.
Ruff /Brushane/ Philomachus pugnax (Linnaeus 1758).
C. 200 at Ladies Mile 10/4; common (hundreds) at Akrotiri Salt Lake 11/4; c. 50 at Ladies Mile 12/4; c. 15 at Ladies Mile 14/4; c. 20 at Ladies Mile 15/4. All males were in winter plumage, thus no “collars” seen.
Yellow-legged Gull /”Kaspisk trut”/ Larus cachinnans michahellis J. F. Naumann 1840.
Seen in small numbers along the coast all days, and a small party at Asprokremmos Dam 15/4.
Common Black-headed Gull /Skrattmås/ Larus ridibundus Linnaeus 1766.
1 at Curium Beach 12/4; 3 at Akrotiri Salt Lake 12/4.
Slender-billed Gull /Långnäbbad mås/ Larus genei Brème 1839.
C. 100 at Akrotiri Salt Lake 11/4; c. 10 there 12/4; c. 30 there 14/4.
Rock Dove /Klippduva/ Columba l. livia J. F. Gmelin 1789.
Ferals very common. Perhaps a few “true” Rock Doves were seen at Kensington Cliffs 12/4.
Common Woodpigeon /Ringduva/ Columba p. palumbus Linnaeus 1758.
Rather common throughout.
European Turtle Dove /Turturduva/ Streptopelia t. turtur (Linnaeus 1758).
1 at Melanda Beach 14/4.
Eurasian Collared-dove /Turkduva/ Streptopelia d. decaocto (Frivaldszky 1838).
Common in towns and villages.
Great Spotted Cuckoo /Skatgök/ Clamator glandarius (Linnaeus 1758).
1 at Akrotiri Salt Lake 14/4; 2 at Asprokremmos Dam Pools 15/4.
Common Cuckoo /Gök/ Cuculus c. canorus Linnaeus 1758.
1 (grey morph) at Asprokremmos Dam 11/4.
Little Owl /Minervauggla/ Athene noctua lilith Hartert 1913.
1 roosting in a small cave just north-west of Asprokremmos Dam 11/4 and 13/4; 1 roosting in an olive tree at Melanda Beach 14/4.
Alpine Swift /Alpseglare/ Tachymarptis melba (Linnaeus 1758).
1 at Quarry Beach 11/4; 3 heading west at Kouklia Beach 15/4. The subspecies is unknown, but could be either T. m. melba or T. m. tuneti (Tschusi 1904).
Common Swift /Tornseglare/ Apus a. apus (Linnaeus 1758).
Common. A couple of notes: c. 50 at Asprokremmos Dam 11/4; a few at Akrotiri Salt Lake 12/4;
Pallid Swift /Blek tornseglare/ Apus pallidus (Shelley 1870).
Common in Platres and Troodos 13/4. The subspecies should be A. p. brehmorum Hartert 1901.
European Bee–eater /Biätare/ Merops apiaster Linnaeus 1758.
8 at Akrotiri Salt Lake 11/4; 12 there 12/4.
European Roller /Blåkråka/ Coracias g. garrulus Linnaeus 1758.
1 at Asprokremmos Dam Pools 11/4; 1 at Akrotiri Salt Lake 12/4; 2 in Diarizos Valley near Fasoula 13/4; 1 at Melanda Beach 14/4; 2 at Asprokremmos Dam Pools 15/4.
Eurasian Hoopoe /Härfågel/ Upupa e. epops Linnaeus 1758.
1 at Mandria 11/4.
Crested Lark /Tofslärka/ Galerida cristata cypriaca Bianchi 1907.
Sand Martin /Backsvala/ Riparia r. riparia (Linnaeus 1758).
A few seen at Akrotiri Salt Lake 12/4.
Barn Swallow /Ladusvala/ Hirundo r. rustica Linnaeus 1758.
Seen in moderate numbers throughout the week. 1 of the subspecies H. r. transitiva (Hartert 1910) at Melanda Beach 14/4.
Red-rumped Swallow /Rostgumpsvala/ Hirundo daurica rufula Temminck 1835.
1 heading north at Akrotiri Salt Lake 12/4; common in Diarizos Valley 13/4.
Common House Martin /Hussvala/ Delichon u. urbica (Linnaeus 1758).
Seen in moderate numbers throughout the week. Seemed to breed in Lemesos.
Tree Pipit /Trädpiplärka/ Anthus t. trivialis (Linnaeus 1758).
Heard and seen every day at most sites, in increasing numbers during the week.
Red-throated Pipit /Rödstrupig piplärka/ Anthus cervinus (Pallas 1811).
1 at Kouklia Beach 11/4.
Yellow Wagtail /Gulärla/ Motacilla flava Linnaeus 1758.
A few at Akrotiri Salt Lake 12/4. M. f. flava: c. 50 at Avdimou Valley 14/4. M. f. feldegg Michahelles 1830: 1 male at Akrotiri Salt Lake 12/4; c. 5 at Avdimou Valley 14/4.
White Wagtail /Sädesärla/ Motacilla a. alba Linnaeus 1758.
A few at Akrotiri Salt Lake 12/4; c. 10 at Avdimou Valley 14/4.
Winter Wren /Gärdsmyg/ Troglodytes troglodytes cypriotes (Bate 1903).
1 singing in Troodos 13/4.
Common Nightingale /Sydnäktergal/ Luscinia m. megarhynchos C. L. Brehm 1831.
1 seen at Asprokremmos Dam Pools 11/4; 1 singing at Kedares 13/4; 1 singing at Kidasi 15/4.
Common Redstart /Rödstjärt/ Phoenicurus phoenicurus (Linnaeus 1758).
1 female at Melanda Beach 14/4. According to the call this specimen was of the subspecies Ph. ph. phoenicurus.
Whinchat /Buskskvätta/ Saxicola rubetra (Linnaeus 1758).
Incomplete notes, but: 3 (2 males, 1 female) Akrotiri peninsula 11/4; c. 15 at Avdimou Valley 14/4; 2 (male and female) at Asprokremmos Dam Pools 15/4.
Isabelline Wheatear /Isabellastenskvätta/ Oenanthe isabellina (Temminck 1829).
1 at Ladies Mile 12/4; 1 at Avdimou Valley 14/4.
Northern Wheatear /Stenskvätta/ Oenanthe oenanthe (Linnaeus 1758).
1 male at Akrotiri Gravel Pits 14/4. The subspecies is unknown, but could be either Oe. oe. oenanthe or Oe. oe. libanotica (Hemprich & Ehrenberg 1833).
Pied Wheatear /Nunnestenskvätta/ Oenanthe pleschanka cypriaca (Homeyer 1884).
Very common. By most (?) authors considered an own species: Oe. cypriaca.
Cetti’s Warbler /Cettisångare/ Cettia c. cetti (Temminck 1820).
Common, but I have notes only from Asprokremmos Dam Pools.
Zitting Cisticola /Grässångare/ Cisticola juncidis neurotica Meinertzhagen 1920.
Common. I have notes from Akrotiri Salt Lake (south shore), Zakaki Marshes and Asprokremmos Dam Pools.
Sedge Warbler /Sävsångare/ Acrocephalus schoenobaenus (Linnaeus 1758).
1 (seen and heard singing) at Asprokremmos Dam Pools 15/4.
European Reed Warbler /Rörsångare/ Acrocephalus scirpaceus fuscus (Hemprich & Ehrenberg 1833).
1 singing at Zakaki Marshes 12/4; 1 singing at Kouklia Beach 15/4.
Great Reed Warbler /Trastsångare/ Acrocephalus a. arundinaceus (Linnaeus 1758).
2 (one of them singing from time to time) at Asprokremmos Dam Pools 15/4; 1 singing at Diarizos River Bed 15/4.
Olivaceous Warbler /Eksångare/ Hippolais pallida elaeica (Lindermayer 1843).
Rather common, increased in numbers during the week. I have notes from Asprokremmos Dam, Kouklia and Akrotiri Salt Lake.
Spectacled Warbler /Glasögonsångare/ Sylvia c. conspicillata Temminck 1820.
1 singing at Asprokremmos Dam Pools 11/4.
Cyprus Warbler /Cypernsångare/ Sylvia melanothorax Tristram 1872.
Orphean Warbler /Mästersångare/ Sylvia hortensis crassirostris (Cretzschmar 1826).
1 male singing at Asprokremmos Dam Pools 15/4.
Lesser Whitethroat /Ärtsångare/ Sylvia c. curruca (Linnaeus 1758).
5-10 at Akrotiri Salt Lake 12/4. No song heard.
Common Whitethroat /Törnsångare/ Sylvia c. communis Latham 1787.
1 at Melanda Beach 14/4. This specimen just called, not sung.
Blackcap /Svarthätta/ Sylvia a. atricapilla (Linnaeus 1758).
Incomplete notes, but: 2 (male and female) at Asprokremmos Dam Pools 11/4; c. 5 at Akrotiri Salt Lake 12/4; 1 female at Asprokremmos Dam Pools 15/4. No song heard.
Bonelli’s Warbler /Bergsångare/ Phylloscopus bonelli orientalis (Brehm 1855).
1 at Akrotiri Salt Lake 12/4. Song heard once.
Wood Warbler /Grönsångare/ Phylloscopus sibilatrix (Bechstein 1793).
2-3 at Akrotiri Salt Lake 12/4; 1 at Melanda Beach 14/4; 1 at Asprokremmos Dam Pools 15/4. No song heard.
Spotted Flycatcher /Grå flugsnappare/ Muscicapa striata (Pallas 1764).
1 at Akrotiri Salt Lake 11/4; c. 10 at Akrotiri Salt Lake 12/4; at least 3 at Melanda Beach 14/4; 2 at Asprokremmos Dam Pools 15/4. The subspecies is unknown, but most probable M. s. striata. None were seen in Troodos, where M. s. neumanni Poche 1904 is breeding.
Collared Flycatcher /Halsbandsflugsnappare/ Ficedula albicollis (Temminck 1815).
C. 20 at Akrotiri Salt Lake, some singing, 12/4; 2 (male and female) at Melanda Beach 14/4. Song heard at several occasions.
Pied Flycatcher /Svartvit flugsnappare/ Ficedula h. hypoleuca (Pallas 1764).
3 (2 males, 1 female) at Akrotiri Salt Lake 11/4; c. 10 at Akrotiri Salt Lake 12/4; at least 6 at Melanda Beach 14/4. 1 male at Akrotiri Salt Lake 12/4 was grey-brownish, indicating the subspecies F. h. sibirica (Khakhlov 1915). No song heard.
Coal Tit /Svartmes/ Parus ater cypriotes Dresser 1888.
Common in Troodos (Persephone trail) 13/4.
Great Tit /Talgoxe/ Parus major aphrodite Madárász 1901.
Not uncommon. 1 singing near Hotel Ermitage, Lemesos, 9/4.
Short-toed Treecreeper /Trädgårdsträdkrypare/ Certhia brachydactyla dorotheae Hartert 1904.
Common in Troodos (Persephone trail) 13/4.
Woodchat Shrike /Rödhuvad törnskata/ Lanius senator Linnaeus 1758.
1 male at Melanda Beach 14/4; 1 male at Asprokremmos Dam Pools 15/4. The subspecies is unknown, but could be either L. s. senator or L. s. niloticus (Bonaparte 1853).
Eurasian Jay /Nötskrika/ Garrulus glandarius glaszneri Madarász 1902.
2+2 in Troodos (Persephone trail) 13/4.
Common Magpie /Skata/ Pica p. pica (Linnaeus 1758).
Western Jackdaw /Kaja/ Corvus monedula soemmerringii Fischer 1811.
Rather common along the coast.
Carrion Crow /Kråka/ Corvus corone pallescens Madarász 1904.
Commonly seen throughout.
House Sparrow /Gråsparv/ Passer domesticus biblicus Hartert 1904.
Very common throughout.
Spanish Sparrow /Spansk sparv/ Passer h. hispaniolensis (Temminck 1820).
For sure only seen at Akrotiri Salt Lake, near the western military observatory tower.
Common Chaffinch /Bofink/ Fringilla coelebs syriaca Harrison 1945.
1 singing in Phassouri 11/4. Common in Troodos 13/4.
European Serin /Gulhämpling/ Serinus serinus (Linnaeus 1766).
Common in Troodos 13/4.
European Greenfinch /Grönfink/ Carduelis chloris muehlei Parrot 1905.
Common. One note from Ladies Mile Beach 11/4.
European Goldfinch /Steglits/ Carduelis carduelis niedecki Reichenow 1907.
Commonly seen throughout.
Common Linnet /Hämpling/ Carduelis cannabina (Linnaeus 1758).
Rather common. The subspecies is unknown, but could be either C. c. cannabina or C. c. bella (C. L. Brehm 1845).
Ortolan Bunting /Ortolansparv/ Emberiza hortulana Linnaeus 1758.
1 male at Akrotiri Salt Lake (western military observatory tower)14/4.
Cretzschmar’s Bunting /Rostsparv/ Emberiza caesia Cretzschmar 1826.
1 male at Avdimou Valley 14/4.
Corn Bunting /Kornsparv/ Miliaria c. calandra (Linnaeus 1758).
1 singing in Phassouri 11/4; a few singing in Diarizos Valley 13/4; 1 at Melanda Beach 14/4.
A total of 102 bird species during the week. Of all the dips, my most regrettable were Stone-curlew Burhinus oedicnemus saharae (Reichenow 1894) and Calandra Lark Melanocorypha c. calandra (Linnaeus 1766).
Common Tree Frog /Lövgroda/ Hyla arborea (Linnaeus 1758).
Heard in Lemesos, near Hotel Ermitage most evenings.
Marsh Frog /Sjögroda/ Rana ridibunda Pallas 1771.
Several seen and heard in Asprokremmos Dam Pools 11/4 and 15/4, and in Germasogeia Dam 14/4.
Wall Gecko /Murgecko/ Tarentola mauritanica (Linnaeus 1758).
1 at Kolossi 10/4. 1+1 at Diarizos Valley 13/4.
Eastern Hedgehog /Östlig igelkott/ Erinaceus concolor Martin 1838.
Only a few (c. 5) car-killed specimens seen.
Brown Hare /Fälthare/ Lepus europaeus Pallas 1778.
1 at Asprokremmos Dam Pools 11/4.
In addition: bats of unknown species (gave a light brown impression) at Hotel Ermitage, Lemesos, all evenings, and a lizard (small, greyish) at Germasogeia Dam 14/4. Also a car-killed viper Vipera sp. at Germasogeia 14/4.
First of all to my family who patiently let me pursue my studies of the avifauna. A great thank you to all who provided useful information prior my trip, in particular Jeff Gordon, Paphos. Birdline Cyprus ( 270447), run by Jeff, is an invaluable resource! Thanks also to all of you who bothered to put together trip reports, useful to me in one way or another, and that you also made them available to others on the internet.