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Cyprus,Israel,Eygpt,Turkey Cruise

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Old Thursday 8th April 2010, 18:48   #1
pratincol
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Cyprus,Israel,Eygpt,Turkey Cruise

Cyprus,Israel,Egypt,Turkey Cruise

31/03/10 – 7/4/10


This was our 5th cruise and one of the best we have done in terms of birdwatching.
My plan was to spend a relaxing holiday and see as many birds along the way without having to travel far.
I saw a great variety of birds without too much effort especially in Israel where we spent 2 wonderful days.
We went on the Thompson Spirit,a good value for money ship.

Limmasol Cyprus


The ship began and ended the cruise here so there was ample opportunity to see some birds just outside the port area.
There is an extensively long and thin reed bed area just by the entrance.
Here I saw a Purple Heron,3 Reed Warblers and heard 2 Cetti’s Warblers.
There were 8 Red Throated Pippets on the manicured large roundabout at the port entrance.
Saw a lot of House Martins,Barn Swallows,Swifts and 1 Red Rump Swallow.
The usual Hooded Crows, and House Sparrows abounded.

Haifa Israel

The next day we had a very long interesting day In Haifa.
It has lots of green areas especially towards the western area.
The Sculpture Park was interesting and there were several Blackcaps,2 Palestine Sunbirds, a few Gracelful Prinias,Spectacled Bulbuls,Collared Doves and 2 Great Tits.
Moving on to the Carmelite Monastry we found a small quiet chidren’s park just opposite.
Saw a Syrian Woodpecker,Collared Flycatcher,Masked Shrike,Sardinian Warbler[Momus],Graceful Prinia,Blackcap,Hooded Crow,Collared Dove,1 Blackbird,Great Tit and a House Sparrow.
A remarkably lively place for such a small park.
In the afternoon I took a walk up to the top of the cable car station along the steepish road out of the town.
There was a Jay [attricapillus],in the extensive wood below. At first I was puzzled by its appearance until I checked Collins to verify the exact species.In addition I found Sardinian warblers,Blackcaps and many of the other common birds already seen.
On the way back there were Hoopoes in the wasteland behind the German Quarter as well as a male and female Palestine Sunbird and Graceful Prinias.


Ashdod Israel


This was even better than Haifa.
This is a modern town with nothing going for it except if you are a birdwatcher.
From the docks to the Marina there is a long promenade with a perfectly pleasant beach.Behind this there is a long area of flat wasteland and in between the modern flats extensive areas of shrubs and trees.
There were some Northern and Isabelline Wheatears along the wasteland area as well as a Spur Winged Plover and a White Wagtail.
I looked in the green areas between the flats and found Spectacled Bulbuls,Common Minah Birds,Graceful Prinias,Laughing Doves,Hooded Crows,a Blackbird,several Blackcaps and a Whitethroat.
Even better I walked on to near the marina area and found a large area of likely looking bird habitat.
Apart from many of the above there was a White Throated Woodpecker perched in a tree. Also I saw a Syrian Woodpecker,Masked Shrike,Kestrel,Greenfinch ,Great Tit and several Sardinian Warblers.

Port Said Eygpt

After 3 great days I was not expecting too much in Port Said or Alexandria our next port in terms of birds. I was not to be proved wrong but there were some birds to be seen.
They have built a very long hassle free promenade beyond the fishing port.
Along the beach we saw several Northern Wheatears and an Isabelline Wheatear.
A noisy flock of 10 Slender Billed Gulls appeared at a feeding frenzy with some Common Terns close to the shore.
There were lots of Hoopoes,Hooded Crows,Laughing Doves and House Sparrows as well as 3 Spur Winged plovers and a Woodchat Shrike.
At the Suez entrance and around the Fishing Harbour there were plenty of Common Terns,Yellow Legged Gulls and some Lesser Black Baked Gulls.

Alexandria Eygpt


This was hard work birdingwise but an interesting city to look around.
Again very little hassle.
There were some Yellow Legged Gulls,Lesser Black Back Gulls and Common Terns in the harbour as well as Hoopoes in the manicured terminal building lawns.
Found a 2 Rollers in the Armenian Cemetary as well as Hoopoes,Laughing Doves and the usual Hooded Crows.
There was a Collared Flycatcher in the park on the way back to the ship.

Alanya Turkey


In the harbour there were several Yellow Legged Gulls and 3 Sandwich terns
Walked up to the Kale[Castle].Well worth the effort.
Apart from the usual Hooded Crows,House Sparrows, and Collared Doves I heard several Blackaps on the way.
Just before the castle entrance I walked along the ledge of the guarding walls and looked down the steep drop to the sea below.
Saw 3 Blue Rock Thrushes,a Red Footed Falcon,1 Lesser Kestrel,a Black Eared Wheatear[Melanoleus], and 2 Hoopoes.

After a day at sea we returned to Limmasol were I saw the above mentioned birds.

A very enjoyable cruise with lots of birds along the way.
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Old Friday 9th April 2010, 18:26   #2
wolfbirder
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Thats an interesting report, some very nice birds without wandering far!

Cruise reports are certainly different. I appreciate this info !
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Favourite birds:- Pallid Harrier, Hen Harrier, Gyrfalcon, Great Grey Owl, Snowy Owl, Wryneck, Blue-Cheeked Bee-eater, Sib Rubythroat, Firecrest, Redstart, Hawfinch, Bearded Tit, Smew, GN & BT Diver, Pom Skua, Warblers especially colourful American ones.
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Old Saturday 10th April 2010, 08:46   #3
pratincol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfbirder View Post
Thats an interesting report, some very nice birds without wandering far!

Cruise reports are certainly different. I appreciate this info !
Israel in particular was brilliant.Not having been there before I was amazed by the numnber of green spaces in between the buildings.The birds were literally in your face.Not only the common ones but some rare birds too.

When I have time I will upload some other cruise trip reports.
Its a great way of seeing the world and some great birds.
The Carribean cruise we did last year was brilliant
Just get off the ship and pick up some lifers.Go back on board and grab a buffet then go back ashore for some more.
Not as expensive as you may think.

Give it a go.You only live once.
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Old Saturday 10th April 2010, 08:55   #4
wolfbirder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pratincol View Post
Israel in particular was brilliant.Not having been there before I was amazed by the numnber of green spaces in between the buildings.The birds were literally in your face.Not only the common ones but some rare birds too.

When I have time I will upload some other cruise trip reports.
Its a great way of seeing the world and some great birds.
The Carribean cruise we did last year was brilliant
Just get off the ship and pick up some lifers.Go back on board and grab a buffet then go back ashore for some more.
Not as expensive as you may think.

Give it a go.You only live once.
My mrs keeps going on about a cruise, hadnt really considered they could be potentially good for birds other than sea-watching. But such reports give much food for thought altho within realistic price range.
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Favourite birds:- Pallid Harrier, Hen Harrier, Gyrfalcon, Great Grey Owl, Snowy Owl, Wryneck, Blue-Cheeked Bee-eater, Sib Rubythroat, Firecrest, Redstart, Hawfinch, Bearded Tit, Smew, GN & BT Diver, Pom Skua, Warblers especially colourful American ones.
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Old Saturday 10th April 2010, 10:41   #5
pratincol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfbirder View Post
My mrs keeps going on about a cruise, hadnt really considered they could be potentially good for birds other than sea-watching. But such reports give much food for thought altho within realistic price range.
Go for it!
The beauty of cruises is that you can always go birding whilst the wife can go on a trip or go back on board for lunch whilst you go off birdwatching.The ships are ussuall in port for at least 10 hours.
If you want any advice let me know.The cruise companies vary.
Thoroughly recommend the Faroes,Iceland Greenland run.
Brilliant for Skuas,Shearwaters,Auks,Petrels etc.Every day is interesting.
You will also see lots of whales and dolphins on the way.
Any cruise which includes Spitzbergen is definitly worth doing.Spitzbergen is at the northerly end of breeding birds and is a wonderful unspoilt habitat.
Would do Carribean again.Thompsons do a great cruise and stay package.You stay in hotel in Dominican Rep for a week.It is fantastic for birds there.Then you go around 6 islands on a cruise.Every island has different species.
Alternativly you can just do the cruise.You will still see a lot as there is ample opportunity to birdwatch around the port in the Domminican Rep before and after the cruise.

Mark
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