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Monday, 28 March 2016

Cyprus Spring 4

There were so many Corn Buntings proclaiming territory everywhere I went,they would be rattling out their jingly call from fence posts,tops of bushes,wires,just about anything they could hold a lofty perch from!I wish that we had them over here in the UK,but with farming as it is,we are lucky to have them in a few very isolated pockets!

Fan tailed warbler or its other name Zitting Cisticola.A pretty much bland, non descript bird that again was never too far away!

Another common warbler to Cyprus is theSardinian,this particular bird had paired up with a female and was searching out territory!

The Black Francolin somewhat resembles a pheasant type of game bird,but believe me, you are very lucky to get anywhere near to these super wary birds and they are  always hidden within dense vegetation/crops.You do certainly hear them calling from the fields,but they are very skulky.

I was just lucky to be in the right place this time as a few males seemed to be competing for territory!Being within the car helped me to obtain a good few images!

One of the only times that I've seen one out in the open!

Never to far from cover though!

The quest to attract a female brought these birds out of cover!

On the marshes were a few waders including the smart looking Kentish Plover!

One of three Hoopoe that we came across.Not often you see three together,obviously just migrated in off the sea!

A red throated pipit called from a lofty perch,you can just see the coloration on the breast!
So thats all from my trip to Cyprus earlier this month,I used to grab a few hours out at first light every morning with the odd couple of hrs towards evening.A very good array of birds on show,but still too early for Rollers,Shrikes,Bee eaters,harriers,lesser kestrel etc but I wasn,t at all complaining!Again thank you for dropping in on the blog and take care.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Cyprus Spring 3

I was very lucky to have the camera in the car, as this greater spotted cuckoo made its presence known by calling loudly.Myself and the mrs were walking through a small village when we stumbled across the bird being mobbed by magpies.I quickly returned to the car and grabbed the lens and luckily it stayed put,a  welcome bonus as I only saw 2 all week and they were fly bys!

 Now this dove was a real surprise for the list.Only the 4th record ever for Cyprus.Namaqua dove.Take its tail away and its only the size of a sparrow.It has been flitting around the greenhouse areas of Mandria for the last few weeks I believe!
 The Namaqua dove is pretty widespread in Africa,south of the sahara and Arabia but breeds within southern Israel.
 A pretty confiding bird and giving pleasure to the many birders that visit cyprus!

 They spend a lot of the time feeding on the ground.Many thanks to Albert Stoecker, (whose blog by the way, is called 'The nature of cyprus') for showing me this bird,a nicer bloke you could not wish to meet!
 Plenty of these around the scrub and maquis,..Sardinian Warbler!
 More images of Isabelline wheatears of which there were numerous around the coast of Mandria!I think Wheatears are surely one of the most photogenic birds there are,always very obliging and a real pleasure to see!
A grey Heron comes in to land at Zakaki marsh.There are a few species of heron around Cyprus,Purple,black crowned night heron,and squacco but it was a bit early in the Spring for these!
I do hope you have enjoyed more images from Cyprus,thanks for taking the time to view and hope that you all keep well.I'll post one final blog to conclude 'Springtime in Cyprus'!!!

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Spring in Cyprus 2

Like in the British Isles,wheatears are usually one of the first migrants back from Africa,these Isabelline wheatears were to be found in really good numbers at Mandria!

They were always around the coastlines and hillsides whenever I was out and about!

The Cyprus wheatear were also back on territory,this male was advertising his presence to any passing females! 

Ferruginous duck were among the pools at Zakaki marsh towards Limassol!

These 5 birds had been around for quite some time!

A bird that I had heard so many times, but never managed to photograph, was this Cettis warbler,their explosive song echoing from the reed beds.Always reminds me of a large Wren to be honest!This one was amongst the Penduline tit flock and turned out to be quite a showy bird,but always at range.

Blue rock thrush were difficult to get near with the lens,this one was about 50 metres away.In the same area a rufous tailed rock thrush was about,but I was never able to find him!

This was one of the warblers that I had hoped to find on this trip,,,,Ruppells.They are quite common throughout Turkey but they rest up on Cyprus before heading north,a very distinct bird with the white moustacial stripes!

A female Ruppells warbler was also found around Paphos headland.I had it down as a female Cyprus warbler at first but my trusty collins guide gave me the right id in the end!

To finish off this part of the blog is a lovely Hoopoe that I found amongst the Olive groves .I came across another 3 of these later on, feeding along a dirt track.Thanks for looking in at the blog and I,ll post more photos of the birds of Cyprus later!

Monday, 21 March 2016

Spring in Cyprus!

Thought that I,d post a few images of some of the bird species that I encountered on my latest trip to Cyprus.The little owls were an ever present hiding away in the hawthorn bush,I think that they were used to people passing by,as a track ran right in front of them.A pair were on territory here and will soon be incubating eggs!

They were always enjoying the early morning sun whenever I passed!

I could have spent hours photographing these individuals,but I was happy to take a few shots on my way into the park!

Literally 300yds further on, another pair had set up territory amongst the boulders,these too were happy taking in the early morning sun! 

Penduline tit was a species that I hadn,t seen before,so I was over the moon to find up to 10 birds at Zakaki marsh near Limmasol.They were feeding amongst the reed beds there giving me excellent views!

They are birds that over winter in Cyprus,so i don,t expect them to be there much longer!

The coloration of the birds has been strongly resembled to Red backed shrike,here you can see why!

Stonechat were ever present,this fine male shows off his true colours.I,ll post some more images in my next blog of the birds from Cyprus!