Cyprus trip report

11.04.2002 25.04.2002

By Dr. Michael Riffel

My non-birding wife and my not yet birding son Tom (20 months) wanted a family holiday in Cyprus. Never havent visited Cyprus before we selected the Elia Latchi Hotel village in Latchi to be our base for 14 days. We have chosen this resort on the basis of its location in a small village close to the birding hot spots of Evretou dam, Bath of Aphrodite, Neo Chorio and Polis reeds which all were within 15 min drive by car from the hotel. Generally I did pre-breakfast walks around the hotel which yielded almost all species we saw by driving with our hired car. We hired a 4x4 car for 10 days to visit the more distant areas such as Phassouri and Stavros tis Psokas. At all we saw 90 species of birds. Birding more intensively would probably have resulted in quite a number of additional species.

The weather was ok throughout with regular showers and cool days especially in the mountainous areas.

Our field guide was: Field Guide to the Birds of the Middle East, Porter, Christensen & Schiermacker-Hansen. For sites we used Finding Birds in Cyprus, Dave Gosney, priced £5 (cheques payable to Birdguides Ltd), post free, from Gostours, Jack House, Ewden, Sheffield S30 5ZA; and A Birdwatchers Guide to the Birds of Cyprus, Oddie & Moore (Suffolk Wildlife Trust). We also used the great variety of trip reports available on the various sites in the internet.

From the point of view of a family holiday the trip was enjoyed by the whole family.

List of species (English name, German name, Scientific name)

1. Grey Heron Graureiher Ardea cinerea

6 flew across the affluent end of Evretou dam close to Evretou villane at 13/4. 2 were seen at Phassouri reeds at 16/4.

2. Purple Heron Purpurreiher Ardea purpurea

1 at Polis reed at 14/4; 2 at Phassouri reeds at 16.4.; 1 at Asprokremos dam pool at 17/4.

3. Squacco Heron Rallenreiher Ardea ralloides (Scopoli 1769)

1 at Evretou dam at13/4. 1 on an offshore rock at Mandria beach at 16/4 and several at Phassouri reeds at 16/4.

4. Little Bittern Zwergdommel Ixobrychus minutus

1 at Asprokremos dam pool at 21/4.

5. Glossy Ibis Brauner Sichler Plegadis falcinellus (Linnaeus 1766).

1 flying along Mandria beach at 16/4 and about 100 at Phassouri reeds at 16/4.

6. Greater Flamingo Rosaflamingo Phoenicopterus ruber

Several hundreds at Akrotiri salt lake at 21/4.

7. Mallard Stockente Anas platyrhynchos

A pair at Evretou dam at 21/4.

8. Garganey Knäkente Anas querquedula

One at Evretou dam at 14/4 and a pair at Phassouri reeds at 16/4.

9. Long-legged Buzzard Adlerbussard Buteo rufinus

1 at Asprokremos dam mobbed by a hooded crow at 17/4 and 1 seen between Polis and Paphos at 22/4.

10. Western Marsh Harrier Rohrweihe Circus aeruginosus

1 female at Evretou dam at 13/4; 1 female hunting over arable land close to Elia Latchi Hotel, Latchi at 15/4 and 21/4. 1 female close to Mandria beach south of Paphos.

11. Northern Hen Harrier Kornweihe Circus cyaneus

1 female at Lara north of Polis at 15/4.

12. Montagu´s Harrier Wiesenweihe Circus pygarcus

1 male at Phassouri reeds at 16/4 and 1 male hunting over arable land close to Elia Latchi Hotel, Latchi at 21/4.

13. Peregrine Falcon Wanderfalke Falco peregrinus

1 at Aphrodite rock at 16/4.

14. Eleonora´s Falcon Eleonorenfalke Falco eleonorae

6 at Kensington cliffs at 21/4 and 1 at Bath of Aphrodite at 24/4

15. Kestrel Turmfalke Falco tinnunculus

1 male close to Elia Latchi Hotel at 13/4 and 14/4. Several observed in Dhiarizos valley at 17/4 and 1 at Kensington cliffs at 21/4.

16. Chukar Chukarhuhn - Alectoris chukar cypriotes Hartert 1917.

Common in the arable fields around Latchi and at Evretou dam. Almost seen daily.

17. Black Francolin Halsbandfrankolin Francolinus f. francolinus (Linnaeus 1766).

Common in the arable fields around Latchi and at Evretou dam. Seen daily.

18. Quail Wachtel Coturnix coturnix

At 13/4 one seen in a meadow between near the road between Panavia and Polis. One seen 14/4 from the road between Polis and Steni.

19. Moorhen Teichhuhn Gallinula chloropus

Several seen at Evretou dam at 13/4, 14/4, 19/4 and 21/4 and at Asprodemnos dam at 16/4, 17/4 and 21/4.

20. Coot Blässhuhn Fulica atra

Several seen at Asprodemnos dam at 16/4, 17/4 and 21/4.

21. Black-winged stilt Stelzenläufer Himantopus himantopus

One seen at Polis reedbed at 15/4 and one seen at Asprodemnos dam at 20/4 and 21/4.

22. Stone Curlew Triel Burhinus oedicnemus

One seen on the beach at Cape Drepanum at 15/4.

23. Little ringed Plover Flußregenpfeifer Charadrius dubius

One seen at Asprodemnos dam at 17/4.

24. Little stint Zwergstrandläufer Calidris minuta

One seen at Evretou dam at 20/4 and 2-3 seen at 21/4.

25. Ruff Kampfläufer Philomachus pugnax

Several seen at Phassouri reeds at 16/4.

26. Great snipe Doppelschnepfe Gallinago media

One seen at Evretou dam at 20/4.

27. Wood sandpiper Bruchwasserläufer Tringa glareola

One seen at Evretou dam at 21/4.

28. Green sandpiper Waldwasserläufer Tringa ochropus

Several seen at Asprodemnos dam at 16/4 and 17/4.

29. Common sandpiper Flussuferläufer Tringa hypoleucos

Several seen at Evretou dam at 19/4 and 21/4.

30. Yellow-legged Gull Weißkopfmöwe Larus cachinnans

Regularly seen in low numbers along the coast

31. Rock Dove Felsentaube Columba livia

Seen at Petra tou Rominou at 16/4 and at the rocks above Bath of Aphrodite at 23/4.

32. Wood Pigeon Ringeltaube Columba palumbus

Seen around the hotel Elia Latchi at 12/4, reedbeds of Polis at 14/4 and at Evretou dam at 21/4.

33. Eurasian collared dove Türkentaube Streptopelia decaocto

Regularly seen around settlements

34. Great spotted cuckoo Häherkuckuck Clamator glandarius

Seen at 14/4 on the road north of Skoulli in bushes; one specimens flew across the beach at Cape Drepanum at 15/5; a family group was observed at 16/4 at Phassouri reeds during pouring rain. At 20/4 a single specimen was seen in the hotel gardens at Latchi.

35. Common cuckoo Kuckuck Cuculus canorus

Several were seen at Akrotiri salt lake at 21/4

36. Scops owl Zwergohreule Otus scops

Regularly heard in the hotel gardens at Latchi. One specimen was found injured on the road to the bath of Aphrodite at 21/4.

37. Little owl Steinkauz Athene noctua

One was seen sitting in a crevice in rocks above bath of Aphrodite at 23/4.

38. Common swift Mauersegler Apus apus

Regularly seen at many places

39. Pallid swift Fahlsegler Apus pallidus

Several were observed at Bath of Aphrodite at 12/4 hunting with common swifts.

40. Kingfisher Eisvogel Alcedo atthis

One observed on the beach between Latchi and Polis at 15/4. One each at Asprodemnos dam at 16/4 and 17/4 and at Evretou dam at 19/4.

41. Blue-cheeked Bee-eater Blauwangenspint Merops superciliosus

Two individuals were observed sitting on wires over agricultural land adjacent to the hotel Elia Latchi in Latchi at 24/4 and 25/4. During 24/4 they were together with a group of European bee-eaters which travelled on.

42. European Bee-eater Bienenfresser Merops apiaster

One was heard and later seen adjacent to Latchi at 20/4. Flocks of up to 100 bee-eaters passed the hotel at 22/4, 23/4 and 24/4.

43. Roller Blauracke Coracias garrulus

At 16/4 one was seen sitting on a wire south of Paphos. At 20/4 and 21/4 two were seen above the orange groves on the way to Evretou dam. A further two were seen flying over orange groves close to Polis reeds at 22/4.

44. Hoopoe Wiedehopf Upupa epops

Hoopoe, mostly one or two were seen at Bath of Aphrodite (12/4, 18/4, 23/4), Cape Drepanum (15/4) and Phassouri reeds (16/4).

45. Wryneck Wendehals Jynx torquilla

One was seen in low bushes close to the beach of Mandria south of Paphos airport at 16/4.

46. Short-toed lark Kurzzehenlerche Calandrella brachydactyla

One at Cape Drepanum at 15/4. Several dozens on the beach of Mandria south of Paphos airport at 16/4 and five to six on a ploughed field adjacuent to the hotel at 23/4.

47. Crested lark Haubenlerche Galerida cristata

Regularly observed in agricultural areas.

48. Sand martin Uferschwalbe Riparia riparia

Several were observed hunting over fields adjacent to the hotel Elia Latchi at 23/4.

49. Barn swallow Rauchschwalbe Hirundo rustica

Common at many places, observed daily.

50. Red-rumped swallow Rötelschwalbe Hirundo daurica

Several were observed amongst barn swallows close to the hotel at 12/4 and 23/4.

51. Northern House-Martin Mehlschwalbe Delichon urbica

Several individuals were observed at Evretou dam (14/4), the bath of Aphrodite (18/4) and onver the fields adjacent to the hotel (23/4).

52. Tawny pipit Brachpieper Anthus campestris

One foraged in a ploughed field adjacent to the hotel at 11/4.

53. Yellow wagtail Schafstelze Motacilla flava

Regularly seen on migration in flocks of up to several thousand. Mostly blue-headed (M. f. flava) grey-headed (M. f. thunbergi) and black-headed (M. f. feldegg). Thousands at Cape Drepanum beach at 15/4.

54. White wagtail Bachstelze Motacilla alba

One was seen on the lawn of the hotel at 12/4 and 23/4.

55. Wren Zaunkönig Troglodytes troglodytes

One was heard singing and seen at the mufflon enclose in Stavros tis Psokas at 19/4.

56. Redstart Gartenrotschwanz Phoenicurus phoenicurus

A male was seen at the camping ground of Bath of Aphrodite at 24/4.

57. Winchat Braunkehlchen Saxicola rubetra

Regularly seen at many places

58. Northern Wheatear Steinschmätzer Oenanthe oenanthe

Several were observed at Mandria beach south of Paphos airport at 16/4.

59. Cyprus wheatear Zypernsteinschmätzer Oenanthe cypriaca

Regularly and almost daily observed at many places

60. Black-eared wheatear Mittelmeersteinschmätzer Oenanthe hispanica

One each was observed close to the hotel at 14/4 and in Dhiarizos valley at 17/4. Several were seen south of Latchi at 21/4.

61. Cetti´s Warbler Seidensänger Cettia cetti

Regularly seen and commonly heared at wet places such as Polis reeds and Bath of Aphrodite.

62. Fan-tailed Warbler Zistensänger Cisticola juncidis

Commonly seen in cereal fields between Latchi and Bath of Aphrodite

63. Spectacled Warbler Brillengrasmücke Sylvia conspicillata

One was heard and seen in the bushes close to Asprodemnos pools at 21/4.

64. Subalpine Warbler Weißbartgrasmücke Sylvia cantillans

A male was seen on the camping ground of Bath of Aphrodite at 18/4.

65. Sardinian Warbler - Samtkopfgrasmücke Sylvia melanocephala

Seems to be the most common warbler in western Cyprus and obviously outcompetes the closely related Cyprus warbler. Seen daily.

66. Cyprus Warbler Schuppengrasmücke Sylvia melanothorax

A single male was observed singing in a game reserve behind the hotel in Latchi from 12/4 to 25/4. All other warblers in the area proved to be Sardinian warblers.

67. Garden Warbler Gartengrasmücke Sylvia borin

One was seen at Neo Chorio at 17/4.

68. Blackcap Mönchsgrasmücke Sylvia atricapilla

Small flocks on migration were seen regularly. Singing males were heard at the hotel gardens daily.

69. Wood Warbler Waldlaubsänger Phylloscopus sibilatrix

Several were seen at Bath of Aphrodite at 23/4.

70. Spotted Flycatcher Grauschnäpper Muscicapa striata

Several dozens were sitting in the willows and bushes surrounding Asprodemnos pools at 16/4. Several were seen at Neo Chorio at 20/4 and in the hotel gardens at 22/4. A single bird was seen at bath of Aphrodite at 23/4.

71. Collared Flycatcher Halsbandschnäpper Ficedula albicolla

A male was seen at 21/4 on a tree south of Latchia. Several males and females on the trees of the camping ground at bath of Aphrodite (23/4). A single male in the hotel gardens (23/4, 24/4).

72. Pied Flycatcher Trauerfliegenschnäpper Ficedula hypoleucos

Several males and females at Neo Chorio (20/4), a single male each at bath of Aphrodite (22/4) and the hotel garden of Elia Latchi hotel (23/4).

73. Great tit Kohlmeise Parus major

Great tits were seen at Monashilakas restplace close to Panayia (13/4), Neo Chorio (15/4) and Evretou dam (21/4).

74. Golden Oriole Pirol Oriolus oriolus

Flocks of up to 15 males were seen above Latchi (20/4) and in the game reserve behind the hotel (22/4).

75. Masked shrike Maskenwürger Lanius nubicus

A single male was seen at Monashilakas restplace close to Panayia (13/4) and on the road to Kato Pyrgos (18/4):

76. Woodchat Shrike - Rotkopfwürger Lanius senator

Woodchat shrikes were observed at Phassouri reeds (16/4), Neo Chorio (17/4), bath of Aphrodite (18/4), Latchi (20/4) and in the hotel garden at 22/4.

77. Eurasian Jay Eichelhäher Garrulus glandarius

Several jays were observed in the pine forest around Stavros tis Psokas at 19/4

78. Magpie Elster Pica pica

Observed daily

79. Jackdaw Dohle Corvus monedula

Regularly observed in small numbers

80. Hooded crow Nebelkrähe Corvus corone

Observed daily

81. House sparrow Haussperling Passer domesticus

Observed daily

82. Spanish sparrow Weidensperling Passer hispaniolensis

Observed daily, as there was a colony in the palm trees of Elia Latchi hotel

83. Chaffinch Buchfink Fringilla coelebs

Single males were observed at Monashilakas Restplace close to Panayia at 13/4 and in the pine forest around Stavros tis Psokas at 19/4.

84. Serin Girlitz Serinus serinus

One was observed at Monashilakas Restplace close to Panayia at 13/4

85. Greenfinch Grünfink Carduelis chloris

Regularly in the hotel gardens of Elia Latchi hotel

86. Goldfinch Stieglitz Carduelis carduelis

Small flocks were observed at bath of Aphrodite (12/4, 18/4), Neo Chorio (20/4) and the hotel garden (12/4, 24/4).

87. Linnet Bluthänfling Carduelis cannabina

Several were seen at Mandria beach south of Paphos airport at 16/4.

88. Ortolan bunting Ortolan Emberiza hortulana

One was seen at Evretou dam at 14/4 and a small flock of 5-6 individuals was observed at 14/4 between Kios and Filousa. A single specimen at Neo Chorio at 15/4 and several above Latchi at 20/4.

89. Cretzschmar's Bunting Grauortolan Emberiza caesia

A single specimen was observed foraging in an abandoned vineyard at Monashilakas Restplace close to Panayia at 13/4. A male was singing from a telephone wire between Kato and Pano Pyrgos at 18/4.

90. Corn bunting Grauammer Miliaria calandra

Very common throughout the open areas visited.
 
 

If anyone wants further information, my email is michael.riffel@rifcon.de

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