Day 1 ARRIVAL IN PAPHOS
Arrival in the evening and you will be met and transferred to our villa, some 40 minutes drive away where you will be greeted with a cold beer or cool glass of wine or three!
Days 2 - 6 PAPHOS - AKROTIRI SALT LAKE - TROODOS MOUNTAINS
Waking up abroad on the first morning is always one of the most exciting aspects of any birding trip, so we'll head to a nearby reservoir just a few minutes away and follow a dirt track for maybe a kilometre. This walk will give us a good introduction into the bird life of Cyprus and the eastern Mediterranean and we could see Chukar, European Turtle Dove, Long-legged Buzzard, European Roller, European Bee-eater, Eurasian Crag Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Crested Lark, Sardinian Warbler, Hooded Crow, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Spanish Sparrow and Corn Bunting amongst others.
If we didnt see either of the star endemics Cyprus Pied Wheatear and Cyprus Warbler on our first morning excursion. we will then visit a number of sites that are good for both species and hopefully get our first views of them. Don't worry though, as we will work on improving our views of these stunners during the course of the week.
Probably the next major spot we will explore will be the Troodos Mountains to find a few endemic subspecies (for insurance purposes) - Short-toed Teecreeper, Coal Tit, Eurasian Jay and Common Crossbill. And whilst up in the hills we could also see Bonelli's Eagle, European Honey Buzzard, Northern Goshawk, Masked Shrike, Pallid Swift and Blue Rock Thrush.
A visit to the famous migration site of Paphos Headland is a must and we'll hope to see some interesting passage migrants in the right weather conditions. If the weather isn't conducive to good migration we will probably visit at first light just in case, and we should hopefully connect with a Greater Sandplover if we are very lucky and maybe a Red-backed Shrike or something scarcer like Spectacled Warbler, Eastern Bonelli's Warbler or a Cretzschmar's Bunting.
There are numerous reservoirs and other migration sites within 45 minutes of our villa and we could realistically see Little Owl, Montagu's Harrier, Bonelli's Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, European Roller, the stunning Masked Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Black-headed Bunting and a full assortment of other more common Mediterranean birds.
A little further away is Akrotiri Salt Lake with its Greater Flamingo's, and where shorebird migration will be in full swing with species such as Dunlin, Kentish Plover, Wood, Green, Marsh and Curlew Sandpipers, Little and Temminck's Stints, and sometimes even Greater Sandplover all possible. It's a place i'd like to get to early on at least one morning as the site can be alive with numerous species such as Black Francolin, Purple Herons, Cattle and Little Egrets, Little Bittern, Glossy Ibis, Black-winged Stilt, Eurasian Hoopoe, Western Yellow Wagtails, Zitting Cisticola, Crested Lark and Cetti's Warbler, whilst Western Marsh Harriers, Eurasian Hobby and even Eleonora's Falcon patrol the skies. If we are in luck there's always a chance of bumping into a flock of Demoiselle Cranes that may have stopped off on their southward migration as this is the peak time for them to appear - and this is the best site in the Western Palearctic to see this species, so let's keep our fingers crossed. Around the area we could also find Slender-billed Gull, Little Crake, Spur-winged Lapwing, Yellow-legged Gull, Black or White-winged Tern, Greater Short-toed Lark, possibly Citrine Wagtail and Serin. This site is amazing and literally anything is possible and may well provide our best hope of finding a rarity.
We will also make an evening excursion to Kensington Cliffs, which should give us exceptional views of nesting Eleonora's Falcons amidst a spectacular setting.
There's a lot to see and do during our time on the island but we aim to keep it very relaxed and above all safe. There will be daily house cleaning, daily car valeting and we will do everything possible to make this as enjoyable and as safe as possible.
Day 7 CYPRUS - END OF TOUR
A full morning's birding will allow us to attempt to catch up with any species we still need, followed by lunch back at the villa. Around 4/5pm we will take you to the airport for your flight back to the UK.
All photos copyright Zoothera Birding unless otherwise stated.