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February in Cyprus (1 Viewer)

Reader

Well-known member
I have a week booked in Paphos from Feb 1st to the 8th. It will be a mixture of birding and tourism but I was wondering what sites would be good to visit at that time of the year.

I do have a Cyprus site guide by Dave Gosney but it really covers the migration hot spots.

I have noticed at least three birds that would be lifers but not sure if they are resident or migratory.

Cyprus Warbler and Wheatear and Black Francolin. Those would be high on my list if possible (I know the airport is supposed to be a bit of a stronghold for the Francolin but possibly not wise due to Optics not really acceptable in the area).

Any advice on what could be seen and where would be gratefully received.

John
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
I have a week booked in Paphos from Feb 1st to the 8th. It will be a mixture of birding and tourism but I was wondering what sites would be good to visit at that time of the year.

I do have a Cyprus site guide by Dave Gosney but it really covers the migration hot spots.

I have noticed at least three birds that would be lifers but not sure if they are resident or migratory.

Cyprus Warbler and Wheatear and Black Francolin. Those would be high on my list if possible (I know the airport is supposed to be a bit of a stronghold for the Francolin but possibly not wise due to Optics not really acceptable in the area).

Any advice on what could be seen and where would be gratefully received.

John

Think its a bit early for early spring migration, so the wheatear and Warbler may be hard tho occasional birds are seen that early. The francolin should be seen with a bit of luck, as you say driving around Mandria and nearby airport fields also Agia Varvara village outskirts is good for this species. But they can be anywhere.

You might also want to check out Anarita Park for wintering Finsch's Wheatear, Paphos headland (by the concrete blocks) for Greater Sand Plover, and listen to Birdline Cyprus as you can often get goodies in Feb such as Pied or White-throated Kingfisher, or Wallcreeper at Avagas Gorge.

Usually plenty of raptors around such as Hen Harriers (bit early for Pallid), & Long Legged Buzzard and Bonelli's Eagle (Not such if the latter are migratory) by Asprokremnos Dam. The area right at the end of the small coppice by the dam can hold Cyprus Warbler. But they may be encountered anywhere.

Just ring Birdline Cyprus when you are there to ensure you pick up any goodies.

Even Phassouri Reedbeds (Limmassol area) is doable if necessary via the excellent road system.
 

Steve Lister

Senior Birder, ex County Recorder, Garden Moths.
United Kingdom
I would go a step further and say that it is possible to do the Larnaca sites from Paphos - excellent roads.

Steve
 

ApusApus

Well-known member
Hi John

Wolfbirder is right, Birdlife Cyprus will provide updates on recent sightings but they also provide a lot more information to help you.

If you go to their website www.birdlifecyprus.org and click on the Recent Sightings tab it will bring up sightings reported over the last few days and their location.

Next click on the Sightings Archive tab and this will provide you with comprehensive systematic lists for previous years. Check the sightings for Feb 2013 to compare what was seen 12 months ago.

Recording your Sightings tab may be of interest to you as well. It takes you to the Cyprus chapter of the Worldbirds database, Cypriaca. Click on "Cypriaca" to access the link which takes you to the system login. Click on "Are you a new user" if you are not already registered, it doesn't cost anything, and follow the instructions. Once in you can access a wealth of information on Cyprus Birding or Birding in other Countries. You are also encouraged to submit your own visit reports to add to the database.

One section that could be useful for you is the Top 50 tab in the left hand menu. Click on this, then the Top 50 Species for a list of species with most observations. Finally click on a species of interest, like No. 1 Cyprus Warbler, and run the Species Report to show all sightings in reverse date order. For example, Cyprus Warblers have been recorded mainly in Souni, Limassol so far in January and 1 at Asprokremnos Dam at the beginning of the month.

Good luck with your trip and let us know what you find?


Shane
 

Reader

Well-known member
Hi Steve

I'm taking a lady with me on this trip so it won't be wall to wall birding like you know is my norm.

The tip regarding the website is a good one from ApuApus plus some good tips from Wolfbirder as well.

Hopfully on the few short outings that I might manage they will be productive ones.

John

I would go a step further and say that it is possible to do the Larnaca sites from Paphos - excellent roads.

Steve
 

Reader

Well-known member
Thanks for those tips. BTW where is Avagas Gorge?

I am not only hoping to see my main three birds but if possible photograph them as well so I need to try and find out the sites where I have a chance of doing that.

John

Think its a bit early for early spring migration, so the wheatear and Warbler may be hard tho occasional birds are seen that early. The francolin should be seen with a bit of luck, as you say driving around Mandria and nearby airport fields also Agia Varvara village outskirts is good for this species. But they can be anywhere.

You might also want to check out Anarita Park for wintering Finsch's Wheatear, Paphos headland (by the concrete blocks) for Greater Sand Plover, and listen to Birdline Cyprus as you can often get goodies in Feb such as Pied or White-throated Kingfisher, or Wallcreeper at Avagas Gorge.

Usually plenty of raptors around such as Hen Harriers (bit early for Pallid), & Long Legged Buzzard and Bonelli's Eagle (Not such if the latter are migratory) by Asprokremnos Dam. The area right at the end of the small coppice by the dam can hold Cyprus Warbler. But they may be encountered anywhere.

Just ring Birdline Cyprus when you are there to ensure you pick up any goodies.

Even Phassouri Reedbeds (Limmassol area) is doable if necessary via the excellent road system.
 

Reader

Well-known member
Hi Shane

Thanks for the link to the site and the tips on how to get the best out of it. That could be very ueful as long as the WiFi works in the hotel we are staying in.

John

Hi John

Wolfbirder is right, Birdlife Cyprus will provide updates on recent sightings but they also provide a lot more information to help you.

If you go to their website www.birdlifecyprus.org and click on the Recent Sightings tab it will bring up sightings reported over the last few days and their location.

Next click on the Sightings Archive tab and this will provide you with comprehensive systematic lists for previous years. Check the sightings for Feb 2013 to compare what was seen 12 months ago.

Recording your Sightings tab may be of interest to you as well. It takes you to the Cyprus chapter of the Worldbirds database, Cypriaca. Click on "Cypriaca" to access the link which takes you to the system login. Click on "Are you a new user" if you are not already registered, it doesn't cost anything, and follow the instructions. Once in you can access a wealth of information on Cyprus Birding or Birding in other Countries. You are also encouraged to submit your own visit reports to add to the database.

One section that could be useful for you is the Top 50 tab in the left hand menu. Click on this, then the Top 50 Species for a list of species with most observations. Finally click on a species of interest, like No. 1 Cyprus Warbler, and run the Species Report to show all sightings in reverse date order. For example, Cyprus Warblers have been recorded mainly in Souni, Limassol so far in January and 1 at Asprokremnos Dam at the beginning of the month.

Good luck with your trip and let us know what you find?


Shane
 

ApusApus

Well-known member
John

For Avagas Gorge take the Tomb of the Kings road past Coral Bay to Agios Georgios. As you enter Agios G look for a brown road sign saying Akamas Peninsula which takes you right. Follow this road which turns into a typical Cyprus dirt track past a fish restaurant until you get to a fork in the track with a large stone sign saying Viklari Last Castle. For Avagas Gorge take the right fork up the hill and it's on your right.

Free WIFI is everywhere in Pafos, in every hotel and bar so you shouldn't have a problem.


Shane
 

Reader

Well-known member
Thanks Shane.

How hard to find are the Wallcreepers there?

John

John

For Avagas Gorge take the Tomb of the Kings road past Coral Bay to Agios Georgios. As you enter Agios G look for a brown road sign saying Akamas Peninsula which takes you right. Follow this road which turns into a typical Cyprus dirt track past a fish restaurant until you get to a fork in the track with a large stone sign saying Viklari Last Castle. For Avagas Gorge take the right fork up the hill and it's on your right.

Free WIFI is everywhere in Pafos, in every hotel and bar so you shouldn't have a problem.


Shane
 

ApusApus

Well-known member
That's going to be a tough find John. There were 2 recorded sightings in November and 1 on 26 December. Sorry but I don't know whereabouts in the gorge these were. On top of this there have only been 19 recorded sightings since 2000!


Shane
 

Reader

Well-known member
Oh well. That looks a no go then. If it were a total birding holiday then I would put the time in but it isn't.

I'm taking a lady that has never done birding before so I want to introduce it to her gently.

John

That's going to be a tough find John. There were 2 recorded sightings in November and 1 on 26 December. Sorry but I don't know whereabouts in the gorge these were. On top of this there have only been 19 recorded sightings since 2000!


Shane
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
I kno wyou are now just about to return John, but there havebeen reports of 5 Finsch's Wheatear at Anarita Park in the last week in january (surely still present) as well as a Red-fronted Serin there (without any directions would be very hard to find tho).
 

Reader

Well-known member
I didn't use the internet whilst there. Th hotel we stayed in wanted nearly a fiver for 90 minutes use sdo I didn't bother.

Just got back. Did a little birding each day but the birding is hard there at this time of the year. Did Akrotini and all there was there were 100+ Flamingoes 6, Shelduck and a Hen Harrier. Phasouri Reedbeds turned up a couple of Long-legged Buzzard, Marsh Harrier and Cattle Egret but not much else. Paphos Lighthouse did produce a Greater Sand Plover. Troodos area was very quiet but we did see 3 Crossbill. I did get one lifer with Cyprus Warbler at Mavrokolympus Dam and also near Latchi where we also found a lone Spanish Sparrow. No Black Francolin seen or heard although I did see a probable Cyprus Wheatear on the way to Troodos but didn't get a long enough look to nail it.

We also did Asprokremmos Dam area, all around the airport, including Mandria and Timri.

Only 50 species in total seen.

The weather was good, although a little cold. If I go there again it would not be this time of the year but I can see the potential once the migrants arrive.

John
 

Reader

Well-known member
I didn't take too many photos on this trip but here's a few of them.

1. Cattle Egret
2. Crested Lark
3. Long-legged Buzzard
4. Chukar
5. Female Stonechat.

John
 

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Reader

Well-known member
Two I'm not sure of.

1,2 &3. Chiffchaff?
4 & 5. Lesser Short-toed Lark? (although I didn't think ythey were on the island)

John
 

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Steve Lister

Senior Birder, ex County Recorder, Garden Moths.
United Kingdom
Hi John

I think your photos show a Woodlark rather than LST, which is 'very scarce and irregular' on the island.

Steve
 

Reader

Well-known member
Your probably right Steve. I did see a few Woodlark a few miles away from this bird but on the brief look I had with this bird I didn't notice the supercillium going round to the neck and that's why I initially dismissed it as one.

John

Hi John

I think your photos show a Woodlark rather than LST, which is 'very scarce and irregular' on the island.

Steve
 
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