Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus

Wednesday 14th of February 2018 and We left the hotel at 7 fifteen. There wasn't really much at the breakfast so I had a quick breakfast and we could leave for our birding adventure a wee bit earlier than yesterday. And we will explore Laranaca + Agia Napa today so there will be a bit of driving. We will start at the Cape Greco, Kavo Gkreko National Forest Park

Kavo Gkreko

Cape Greco, also known as Cavo Greco (Italian for "Greek cape"; Greek: Κάβο Γκρέκο), is a headland in the southeastern part of the island of Cyprus. It is at the southern end of Famagusta Bay and forms part of Ayia Napa Municipality.

It lies between the towns of Ayia Napa and Protaras, both of which are tourist resorts. It is visited by tourists for its natural environment, and is a protected nature park.

According to local legend, it is also the home of the 'Ayia Napa sea monster'.

Cape Greco is a National Forest Park is under the administration of the Forestry Department of the Cyprus Ministry of the Interior

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

So we will drive past Agia Napa and according to my Guide this is the famous place for nightlife here on Cyprus. It is also the home for some of the famous beaches on the island. But we're not here for any nightlife. Birds and beautiful views so we just drove by and we were soon at Cape Greco.

To see the map in a full window click HERE

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus
Leaving Limassol early morning

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus
We're on the right way

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus
Tourists at Cape Greco

We could see the tourist busses when we arrived. They were parked at the Cape Greco Environmental Centre. We continued on the dust road and when we came to the fence around the British radar station we had to turn around. We parked the car at the “Blue Lagoon” and it was darn cold in the wind. Gloom and grey for as long as we could see and it was a strong cold wind. We spotted an Isabelline Wheatear but we never got any pictures. We went to check out the cliff edge and we spotted a beautiful Blue rock thrush

Birding/ Bird watching at Cape Greco, Cyprus
Driving down the Kavo Greko Road on a gloomy and grey morning

Birding/ Bird watching at Cape Greco, Cyprus
Driving down the Kavo Greko Road on a gloomy and grey morning

Birding/ Bird watching at Cape Greco, Cyprus
Reaching the British Radar Station

Birding/ Bird watching at Cape Greco, Cyprus
Parking at the Blue Lagoon

Birding/ Bird watching at Cape Greco, Cyprus
We look over the cliff edge

Birding/ Bird watching at Cape Greco, Cyprus - Blue Rock Thrush, Monticola solitarius
We look over the cliff edge and discover a Blue Rock Thrush

Blue Rock Thrush, Monticola solitarius

Crested Lark, Galerida cristata

House sparrow, Passer domesticus, Gråsparv

Birding/ Bird watching at Cape Greco, Cyprus
Exploring the cliff edge

Birding/ Bird watching at Cape Greco, Cyprus
Exploring the cliff edge

Birding/ Bird watching at Cape Greco, Cyprus
We see a Chukar

Birding/ Bird watching at Cape Greco, Cyprus
The bird is too far away

We walked up the coast line and we saw some birds, but the only picture we got was a Crested lark and a House Sparrow. On the way back to the car we ran in to a group of Chukars, but they are very shy so they just ran away. I thought it was three birds but when they were running I saw at there were at least 10 of them.

We went back to the car and we passed the Stone Arch on the way to the Agioi Anargiroi Church We got out of the car and we could hear the Cyprus Warbler from the Stone Arch. We saw a few of them but it was too far away. We got back in to the car and we continued towards the Agioi Anargiroi Church to see if we can see any birds.

Birding/ Bird watching at Cape Greco, Cyprus
Stone Arch

Birding/ Bird watching at Cape Greco, Cyprus
Stone Arch

Birding/ Bird watching at Cape Greco, Cyprus
European Stonechat

Birding/ Bird watching at Cape Greco, Cyprus
European Stonechat

We were lucky, a male European Stonechat was sitting just next to the road. But I was not lucky with the camera. The pictures turned out to be out of focus. We also managed to get close to one of the Spectacled warbler. 2 meters away but the bird was sitting in a bush so the pictures was all for nothing.

We left Cape Greco do go look for birds at the Agia Napa Football Fields and we stopped to have a look at the Sea Caves. We saw some birds, of course the Crested Lark. I was out of the car to chase a few warblers in a bush but they got away. I saw a Common Kestrel sitting on a wire, but I have had better pictures.

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus
Driving towards the Agia Napa Football Fields leaving Cape Greco behind

Of course, when we came to the soccer fields there was a tournament or something going on so they were playing on all the fields. So no birds and we left for the Oroklini Lake, just outside Larnaca. There is a bird hide and plenty information. A very nice place, well could have been. But they have placed the bird hide so you have the birds between you and the sun and it is impossible to take any pictures with the sun shining at you.

Natura 2000
Oroklini Lake

Oroklini (Greek: Ορόκλινη), or less commonly Voroklini (Βορόκληνη), is a village in Larnaca District, Cyprus, to the north-east Natura 2000of Larnaca. Its population in 2011 was 6,134.

Oroklini lake is designated as a Special Protection Area (SPA) The lake is designated as a Special Protection Area (SPA) (CY6000010) and was subject to a three-year project starting in January 2012 to bring the lake to “favourable conservation status”

Black-winged stilt (Himantopus himantopus) and the Spur-winged Lapwing (Vanellus spinosus) were the main target species along with fifty-eight bird species that migrate through, or overwinter within the SPA. The shallow salt lakes are also home to greater flamingo.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Natura 2000
Natura 2000

In a nutshell

Stretching over 18 % of the EU’s land area and almost 6 % of its marine territory, it is the largest coordinated network of protected areas in the world. It offers a haven to Europe's most valuable and threatened species and habitats.

ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/natura2000.htm

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Oroklini Lake
You just know that you have come to the right place

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Oroklini Lake
You just know that you have come to the right place

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Oroklini Lake
You can see the hide from the road

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Oroklini Lake
You can see the hide from the road

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Oroklini Lake
Enough information

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Oroklini Lake
Enough information

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Oroklini Lake
They offer a little bit of fun as well

There were many birds in the lake and we could hear many birds in the bushes in front of the hide. We walked around for a bit and we decided to cross the road to check out the reeds across the road. Moorhens, afraid so no pictures. We spotted a White Wagtail in the reeds, and of course, Mallards. Otherwise there wasn't much in the reeds and we walked back to the car.

There were plenty of the Greater Flamingos in the Oroklini Lake. My guide got excited when he spotted two White-winged Terns in Summer Plumage. He told me that they were very early, they usually don't arrive to Cyprus until closer to the summer.

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Oroklini Lake
Looking over Oroklini Lake against the sun

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Oroklini Lake
Enough space to park your car

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Oroklini Lake
Enough space to park your car

Greater Flamingo - Phoenicopterus roseus
Greater Flamingo

Spur-winged lapwing, Spur-winged plover, Vanellus spinosus
Spur-winged lapwing or Spur-winged plover

We were getting hungry and we will have our picnic down at the beach. But first we want to check out a small stream and the other bird hide. We spotted a Sandpiper and mallards. There were also two Spur-winged lapwings in the reeds. We left the stream and we drove to the other bird hide on the other side of the Oroklini Lake.

We spotted some warblers and coots... but none of them wanted to be on picture. We could see some other birds across the wetland, but I don't know what it was. And I didn't really care as they were too far away for any pictures. Well, anyway, time to leave to have some lunch.

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Oroklini Lake
The other hide

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Oroklini Lake
View from the hide

We drove down to the Dolphin Rocks beach. There were several gulls and terns on the beach. But I started by checking out the restaurant, the Beach Place. And yes, they had Diet Pepsi in the mini mart. I bought a bag that I will keep in the car for the remaining days. 2 more days as we had decided to go bird watching on Friday as well.

We will do a trip to Troodos in the mountains and then to the capital Nicosia. My Guide will drop me at the airport in the afternoon. So I will get 4 days of bird watching instead of 3.

Anyway, on the beach we saw a big group of sea gulls and there were 5 Sandwich Terns among all the sea gulls. The birds was resting and bathing in the water just a few meters from the beach. The sea gulls were Black-headed gull that I have seen on the River Ganges in Varanasi.

There were 3 Mediterranean Gulls among them, and I noted that the Mediterranean Gulls, well, one of them was the only gull with a black head. None of the Black-headed gulls had any black head. One of the reasons I don't care about sea birds, unless I have a guide that know how to identify them.

Sandwich tern, Thalasseus sandvicensis
Sandwich tern at Dolphin Rocks beach

Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås
Black-headed gull at Dolphin Rocks beach

Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås
Black-headed gull at Dolphin Rocks beach

Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås
Black-headed gull at Dolphin Rocks beach

Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Skrattmås
Black-headed gull at Dolphin Rocks beach

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Menou Pools
We stop at the Menou Pools

We ate our picnic lunch while driving as we had a few more places to explore. Much to see and not so much time. We drove towards Larnaca Airport where we will check out the Sewage Pools. We made a stop at the Menou Pools. The pool/ slat lake was full of flamingos. But a wee bit far away. We took off towards the Sewage Pools at Larnaca Airport.

Let me quote my Guide from his TRIP REPORT: The Sewage Pools were the quietest I had seen them. Only species of note here were 2 Northern Pintail, a few Common Pochard and around 30 Black-necked Grebe. Some in full summer plumage but too far for photo. As we were leaving a few Caspian Gulls flew in, also a Eurasian Curlew flew in and landed nearby.

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Larnaca Airport Sewage Pools
Approaching the bird hide at Larnaca Airport Sewage Pools

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Larnaca Airport Sewage Pools
Not much happening at the Larnaca Airport Sewage Pools

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Larnaca Airport Sewage Pools
They start to fire some guns down at the beach

Actually, the only interesting thing happening was gun shots. My Guide thought I was getting
Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stimpatient and restless jumping up and down behind him. On the wood floor in the flimsy bird hide. The whole bird BOOMhide was shaking. But it turned out that it was the military shooting with guns down at the beach.

We got in to the car to go check it out. And believe me! It was nice to get in to Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stthe car, it was a very strong and cold wind and I was freezing cold. Yes, as we have read above, there wasn't much to see at the Larnaca Airport Sewage Pools. A few exciting birds and I don't think about the weather. But now... take me out of here!

We were going to the Kamares Aqueduct, our last site for the day before returning to Limassol. We were going to drive along the Larnaca Salt Lake. We drove back along the coast until we reached the Menou Pools. We stopped and I decided to get out of the car trying to get down on the beach to get some pictures of a flamingo with two babies from last year.

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Greater Flamingo
My Guide is taking pictures from the car

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Greater Flamingo
My Guide is taking pictures from the car

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Greater Flamingo
My Guide is taking pictures from the car

Greater Flamingo - Phoenicopterus roseus
Greater Flamingo - Phoenicopterus roseus

Greater Flamingo - Phoenicopterus roseus
Greater Flamingo

Greater Flamingo - Phoenicopterus roseus
Greater Flamingo

We left the coast and the Greater Flamingos behind. My Guide had taken some pictures from the car while I was down on the beach. He use a 400mm lens and I use 300mm and it is quite a difference so I'm thinking about buying a 400mm lens. But it is a lot of equipment to carry around. So I will see what I will do.

Anyway, we left the highway B4 and we drove on Tekke Road towards the Hala Sultan Tekke on the west side of the Larnaca Salt Lake.

Hala Sultan Tekke

or the Mosque of Umm Haram (Turkish: Hala Sultan Tekkesi ; Greek: Τεκές Χαλά Σουλτάνας) is a Muslim shrine on the west bank of Larnaca Salt Lake, near Larnaca, Cyprus. Umm Haram (Turkish: Hala Sultan) was the wife of Ubada bin al-Samit, a companion of the Prophet Muhammed.

Hala Sultan Tekke complex is composed of a mosque, mausoleum, minaret, cemetery, and living quarters for men and women. The term tekke (convent) applies to a building designed specifically for gatherings of a Sufi brotherhood, or tariqa, and may have referred to an earlier feature of the location. The present-day complex, open to all and not belonging to a single religious movement, lies in a serene setting on the shores of the Larnaca Salt Lake, which appears to be an important site also in prehistory. Hala Sultan Tekke is a listed Ancient Monument.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

We spotted many Golden Finches, Crested Larks and Magpies along the dust road. The Magpie is a very shy bird and I have tried many times but I had come up with zero pictures of the Magpie. We drove along the dust road but we were soon realising that we would never reach the Kamares Aqueduct on this road. So we turned around driving back to the B6 highway.

We passed the Hala Sultan Tekke again and we spotted a few Common wood pigeons. We stopped to take a picture, not a very good picture, but better than nothing and the only picture from Larnaca Salt Lake. I really would like to have a picture of the Magpie and the Hooded Crow.

Common Wood Pigeon, Columba palumbus, Ringduva

We left the Hala Sultan Tekke behind and we drove along the highway B6 towards the Kamares Aqueduct. We drove through the city and suddenly we spotted the Kamares Aqueduct. Compare with the picture from Wikipedia from 1973 below.

Kamares Aqueduct

Kamares Aqueduct, also known as the Bekir Pasha Aqueduct, is an aqueduct near Larnaca, Cyprus. Located outside the city, near the old road to Limassol, it was built starting in 1747. Tassos Mikropoulos has described it as the most prominent water supply built in Cyprus.

History
The aqueduct was financed by Ebubekir Pasha (also known as Koca Bekir Pasha or Abu Bakr Pasha) who was the Ottoman Governor of Larnaca. The structure was in operation until 1939 and consists of 75 arches.

The construction of the aqueduct commenced in 1747 and was completed in 1750, costing a total of 50,000 qirsh which was paid by Ebubekir Pasha. Foreign travellers have often counted it as one of the most important monument constructed during the Ottoman period in Cyprus. In 1754, Alexander Drummond noted that:

For the honour of Bekir Paşa I must communicate an instance of the old gentlemen’s public spirit. While he was Paşa of this land, in the year 1747, he formed the noble design of bringing water from the river at Arpera, and occasional springs on the road about six miles from hence, to supply the people of Larnaca, Salines and the shipping. A work worthy of great and good man, which might have cost him above fifty thousand piasters of six thousand pounds.

I found an interesting picture on Wikipedia - Larnaca, Cyprus, the aqueduct known as Karmares, general view in 1973 before modern developments in the area. Now it is city all around the Aqueduct.

Kamares Aqueduct
Click HERE for bigger photo
By User:Shirazibustan


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

We parked the car and we went down to check out the area. There is a pond south of the Kamares Aqueduct but impossible to look over the pond as it is covered with reeds. We could see a pair of Spur-winged lapwings. But this is a very scared bird so there were no pictures. We could see mallards flying over the reeds so we could tell that there must be water in there behind the reeds.

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Kamares Aqueduct

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Kamares Aqueduct

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Kamares Aqueduct

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Kamares Aqueduct

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Kamares Aqueduct

The area around the Kamares Aqueduct seemed to be a disappointment. We decided to go check out the area on the other side of the reeds. A beautiful area, or could have been. As on all the other places I have been on here on Cyprus. Garbage and every place looks like a construction site. What a shame!

A paradise around the Kamares Aqueduct, well, a destroyed paradise. What a waste and it wasn't really enjoyable to do the bird watching here. We spotted a Little Egret sitting on a high fence, a few Common Kingfishers and some pipits. I tried to sneak up on two Moorhens but as with the other Moorhens, they disappeared in to the reeds.

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Kamares Aqueduct
Little Egret

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Kamares Aqueduct
Seems like the Cypriotes like to destroy everything they get their hands on

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Kamares Aqueduct
Can you see the Common Kingfisher?

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Kamares Aqueduct
Moorhens

Spur-winged Lapwing or Spur-winged Plover, Vanellus spinosus
Spur-winged Lapwing or Spur-winged Plover

Spur-winged Lapwing or Spur-winged Plover, Vanellus spinosus
Spur-winged Lapwing or Spur-winged Plover

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Kamares Aqueduct
Moorhen

It was time to drive back to Limassol. I never got any good pictures of the Moorhen. And the Hooded Crow and Magpie had managed to escape every time. But it had been a gorgeous day. And I can't help but being happy that I have picked up the bird watching hobby.

I go around looking for birds and we get to see all the sceneries and historical sites. And the Guide provide the car so it is an excellent way of touristing. Imagine sitting on a coach and you would have seen duck all. My Guide Matt at the CYPRUS BIRD WATCHING TOURS - BIRD IS THE WORD www.birdingtourscyprus-bitw.com had made yet another day interesting. This is a tour operator that I can recommend if you ever come to Cyprus. Check out his web page and book a tour. I paid 150 € per day. Very cheap:

• Excellent guide
• Guide that identify all the birds for you
• No need to rent a car
• No need to drive the car
• Just to sit down relaxing enjoying the sights


Check out CYPRUS BIRD WATCHING TOURS - BIRD IS THE WORD on You Tube and Flickr

      

CYPRUS BIRD WATCHING TOURS - BIRD IS THE WORD is Highly recommended by Aladdin! So if you ever come to Cyprus, and he is also making trip reports with all the birds we had seen. Well, I only count the birds I have got on photo. Anyway, here is Matt's trip report for the second day. Click HERE for Day 2 Trip Report.


We passed Pepperoni Pizza on the way back to my hotel. Not too far away so I decided to go there for my dinner in the evening. I said good bye to my Guide. He will be here at 07:15 tomorrow and we will go to the Paphos area to look for birds.

I checked today's pictures in my room and at 7 I went to have my dinner at Pepperoni Pizza, turned out to be a disappointment. This was not what I had expected.

Pepperoni Pizza in Limassol
Pepperoni Pizza

Pepperoni Pizza in Limassol
Pepperoni Pizza

Pepperoni Pizza in Limassol
Tea from the pot

Pepperoni Pizza in Limassol
Spinach crepes

Pepperoni Pizza in Limassol
Chocolate cake

Pepperoni Pizza in Limassol, I will not come back. OK, tea from the pot and it was a plus. I had asked for spinach crepes for starter, they were drenched in cheese, and not any good tasting cheese. The pizza, it was huge, but the cheese was burnt on the top, not what you want on a pizza. The chocolate cake was OK, but the whipped cream was from a spray can.

I went to bed early and I'm kind of excited over tomorrows birding adventure. Click HERE to find out if we find any birds in Paphos and the surrounding areas.

Sverigedemokraterna


       
                  
OK, it has come to my knowledge that we have senior citizens visiting my web page. How hard can it be? So it's not very easy for them to see the blue coloured links to the next page.
Jiffy (also jiff)

noun [in SING.] informal a moment: we'll be back in a jiffy.

ORIGIN late 18th cent.: of unknown origin.

So as you understand, in a jiff pretty much depends on your internet.
So I put a “Next” button here and I hope that there isn't any problem to understand how to use that one. So just CLICK the “Next” button on your left hand side and you will be on the next page in a jiff!

Marunong ka mag-tagalog? Walang problema! Magpunta sa kabilang pahina pindutin ang “NEXT” button sa itaas

Faites vous parlez le français? Pas de problème! Pour arriver à la page suivante faites s'il vous plaît un déclic le bouton “Next” ci-dessus!

Haga usted dice el español? No hay problema! Ver la siguiente página sólo hacer clic el botón “Next” encima!

Farla parla l'italiano? Non problemi! Per vedere la prossima pagina lo scatto per favore giusto Il bottone “Next” sopra

Sprechen sie Deutsch! Kein problem! Wenn Sie die folgende Seite sehen wollen gerade klicken der Knopf “Next” oben!

คุณพูดภาษาไทยได้ไหม ไม่มีปัญหา ถ้าคุณต้องการไปหน้าถัดไป ให้กดปุ่ม “Next” ข้างบนนี้

Вы говорите по-русски? Просто нажмите синюю кнопку "Next" с левой стороны и Вы моментально переместитесь на следующую страницу!

E ni Svenskar och inte förstår Engelska så ska ni skämmas. J och Björn, med det menar jag inte att alla mina stavfel ska ältas varje gång vi träffas.

Flag of Skåne / Skånska flaggan Well, the flag of Skåne, just a BONUS flag.


                                       

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