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Cyprus May 2017

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Old Monday 29th May 2017, 08:51   #1
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Cyprus May 2017

No a dedicated birding holiday but just a chance for some spring warmth !!
We stayed at the Aphrodite Hills resort 20 minutes east of Paphos, a resort surrounded by an immaculate golf course, (they even blew the fallen leaves off the pitch every morning !!)

I found a track on the south side of the course with open hillside to the sea, this was my patch for the next 2 weeks, park the wife on a sunbed after breakfast and wander the track for an hour each day.

The first thing I noticed was the complete lack of garden birds, no birdsong, very strange ?? Why ?? Was it the weather, hot and sunny, or was it the shooting policy in Cyprus ?? The birds i did find were very shy, except for he House Sparrows.
Cyprus Wheatear perched conspicuously, with at least 2 family parties in my little patch. The scrub held Cyprus Warbler, Sardinian Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat, a good opportunity to compare these similar species.
House Martin were nesting on the buildings in the resort and Swallow occasionally dropped to drink from the swimming pool. I had just one Red Rumped Swallow in the 2 weeks, but Common Swift and Alpine Swift were more common on the leading edge of weather fronts. One morning I had Black Francolin and Chukar in flight over one of the small valleys. Spotted Flycatcher and Red Backed Shrike put in one appearance each in the fortnight. The local Kestrel was continually pestered by the Hooded Crows, Elenoras Falcon sometimes drifted past over the sea and flocks of Bee Eater would noisily appear from nowhere over the swimming pool and be gone just as quickly.
The best find was a Nightjar singing in a small tree outside our balcony at dusk on our last night.

We had a few trips out in a hire car

Akrotiri were over 1000 Flamingo still resided, the reedbeds had Cettis, Reed and Sedge Warbler, and Glossy Ibis feed with the cattle

Larnaca were Spur Winged Plover and Black Winged Stilt were on the airport pools with one Ruff

Troodos for Roller, Turtle Dove, Masked Shrike and Serin

Kouklia for the resident flock of Mourning Dove mixed with Collared Dove.

Generally I found birding very hard work in Cyprus, whether it was the time of year, we were probably a month too late for migration, or the shooting policy on the island, cartridges everywhere, i don't know.

47 species in total could probably be doubled on a dedicated trip, and getting up earlier !!!
i looked at the website for Cyprus Bird Tours and they had more birds in some of the areas i'd been to, so maybe local knowledge is important too. In places like Akrotiri its difficult to find ways to get close to the birds, again local knowledge i suppose.
We enjoyed the sun and the hotel was excellent, the birding was however a challenge, but sometimes its like that.
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Old Monday 29th May 2017, 20:21   #2
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Mourning Dove?

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We ain't doin' nuthin' wrong
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Old Tuesday 30th May 2017, 14:36   #3
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For information, have a read of KenM's Cyprus visit report in April, under the Vacational Trip Reports in the sub-forum above!


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Old Friday 2nd June 2017, 08:11   #4
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Sorry, Laughing Dove at Kouklia !!! Thanks Dave !!!
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