TRAVELLING NATURALIST TRIP REPORT

Cyprus

17 - 24 March 2002

Tour leaders:- Graham Hearl & John Muddeman

Sunday 17th March Travel Day

We all met up at Heathrow airport. The flight from Heathrow was on time and smooth and we arrived at Larnaca on time. We saw Slender-billed Gull at Larnaca with House Sparrow, Hooded Crow and Jackdaw. The weather was sun, cloud with a short shower.

Monday 18th March Paphos headland

The weather was sun AM and cloudy PM going to sun again. We left at seven o'clock to see Black Francolin and we DID see it, in fact there were two males and a female on the mound.

Back to breakfast and we left at nine o'clock walking the Paphos headland. At first we saw a Desert Wheatear, a rarity but after we saw Northern and Isabelline Wheatear with a Meadow Pipit and a long distance Red-throated Pipit. We also saw a Black-headed Wagtail, two Alpine Swift plus Common Swift. We went into Paphos headland at eleven o'clock seeing very little so we went back to the harbour and dined at a restaurant on the quay side at just after twelvish.

After lunch we went back into the headland and saw a male Rüppell's Warbler somewhat difficult but we saw it extremely well when it went into a bush. We saw the mosaics and after a female Rüppell's Warbler. We also saw Red-rumped Swallow and Woodcock Orchid.

The headland was packed with Cypriots as it was a holiday, carnival, fiesta so we headed back to Kissos Hotel at four o'clock as it was hot and sunny. There were few birds as there were so many people around.

Tuesday 19th March Paphos headland, Asprokremnos pools, Kensington Cliffs

Phassouri reed bed, Akrotiri Salt Lake

The weather was cloudy with some wind to later sun in the afternoon. We started out at six thirty but saw little in the way of migrants so we headed back to breakfast.

After breakfast we started out to Asprokremnos pools where we saw Spectacled Warbler, a female Cyprus Warbler, two Black-headed Wagtails, four Shoveler, a Green Sandpiper and Common Moorhen and Common Coot. We also saw two Chukar and Common Kestrel but we also saw the pink endemic Gladioli.

We then headed for Pissouri where we had coffee, beer etc. and then headed for Kensington Cliffs where we saw four Griffon Vulture and a few Cyprus Warbler. We then headed for Phassouri reed beds. Here we saw an immature Saker which is a goody, four Marsh Harrier, three Cattle Egret, ten Ruff and here we had lunch which was excellent.

We then travelled to the south of Akrotiri Salt Lake where we saw hundreds of Greater Flamingo, Wigeon, Shoveler and a few Common Shelduck. We stopped a few hundred yards further on and saw Ophrys kotschyi, Ophrys scolopax, Ophrys fusca plus a few vetches and peas. At the south-east corner we saw four male Black-eared Wheatear and a female of the same species.

We then headed up Lady's Mile seeing Kentish Plover AND a Finsch's Wheatear which is a winter visitor plus a good group of Little Ringed Plover.

Wednesday 20th March Akamas peninsula and Troodos foothills

The weather was cloud to start but with sun at Akamas peninsula with cloud in Pano Panayia.

We did a pre breakfast walk seeing Black Francolin for Paddy and Raymond. We then went to the beach where we saw Kentish Plover and two Grey Plover, two Common Sandpipers and two Ruddy Turnstone with a Great White Egret flying over us. We also saw a male Rüppell's Warbler giving excellent views close to the hotel.

After breakfast we travelled to the Akamas peninsula. Here we saw lots of birds including Cretzschmar's Bunting, many Red-rumped Swallow, two Eastern Bonelli's Warbler, many Sardinian Warbler plus Chiffchaff. We also saw a Woodchat Shrike which Raymond pointed out to us.

We lunched at Smiyies picnic site seeing yet another Eastern Bonelli's Warbler, two Great Tit and two Serin.

After lunch we travelled only a short distance to see many orchids. Then we travelled quite a long way to go to Pano Panayia at the Monashilakas picnic site. We saw lots of Giant Orchid, Naked Man Orchid AND a pair of Masked Shrike.

We then traveled back to Kissos Hotel at Paphos seeing on the way two Long-legged Buzzard.

Thursday 21st March Paphos headland, Asprokremnos pools, Troodos mountains

At Paphos headland we saw a Sandwich Tern fishing but the wind was very sharp.

The weather was sunny and windy. After breakfast we travelled to Asprkremnos pools. Here we saw two Water Rail, two Common Snipe,two heard Moustached Warbler, a Marsh Harrier AND a ring-tailed Pallid Harrier.

We then headed for Troodos stopping for a beer, coffee etc. at North Wind at Kidasi. Here we saw Red-rumped Swallow and Spanish Sparrow. We then traveled to the lunch spot where we saw Rock Cress (Arabis purpurea) an endemic. At the picnic spot we saw a long distance Bonelli's Eagle but much too far away, but close too was Coal Tit and Cyprus Warbler.

After lunch we drove a long way to Mount Olympus seeing Cyprus Crocus, an endemic, and good views. We then headed back to Geroskipou where we went into the very old church and saw Pallid Swift and Garden Warbler.

We then headed back to Kissos Hotel where our log now totaled one hundred and six bird species.

Friday 22nd March Paphos headland, Cape Drepanum, Avakas Gorge

The weather was sunny and windy AM with sun PM

The morning before breakfast was absolutely brilliant for birds for about twenty minutes. We saw a male Marsh Harrier very close to the sea and a Squacco Heron whichcame about and flew above us. There were plenty of White Wagtails and pipits which wer in enormous numbers. We saw Red-rumped Swallow plus a couple of Alpine Swift and nine Common Redshank with two Ruff, plus a Sandwich Tern with a flock of twenty out to sea.

After breakfast we went to Cape Drepanum, it was quite windy but the birds there were good numbers. We saw Greater Short-toed and Lesser Short-toed Lark, a Red-throated Pipit plus wheatears. We also saw a Eurasian Starling which I had not seen in years. We then had coffee, beer etc. and then had a terrific lunch prepared by Ulysses.

We then went to Avakas Gorge where we walked for some time. We saw Rüppell's Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, three Eastern Bonelli's Warbler, which gave us very good views, plus Jackdaws and Great Tit.

We did our log at six thirty and then went to a mezze at the restaurant Araouzos at Kathikas which was superb plus plenty of wine.

Saturday 23rd March Paphos headland, Asprokremnos pools & reservoir

The weather was cloudy and windy. We started out early and saw in the cabbage patch close to the hotel a Rüppell's and Subalpine Warbler.

We then went to Asprokremnos pools seeing Green Sandpiper, four male and a female Shoveler plus a Water Rail.

We then went to the village of Nata where we had beer, coffee etc. We then headed for the head of the reservoir and saw Orchis laxiflora in abundant numbers and they were very high. We then drove down a bumpy track to get almost to the village of Finikas which has been deserted since 1960s. We also saw many Common Teal, a male Garganey plus a few Mallard.

We then drove back to Asprokremnos pools where we saw two Cattle Egret who had just come in. We then drove back to Kissos Hotel where we did out log totaling one hundred and ten species.

Sunday 24th March Asprokremnos pools, Larnaca salt lake and north pools

The weather was cloudy and windy. At the cabbage patch we saw a Rüppell's and two Subalpine Warbler, both males, and three Spanish Sparrow.

We left at nine o'clock seeing a Blue-cheeked Bee-eater just before overhead by the Kissos Hotel.

We then went to Asprokremnos pools seeing a Purple Heron, two Green Sandpiper

the two Cattle Egret but it was windy so we left for Larnaca. At Larnaca we saw a lot of Greater Flamingo, forty plus Slender-billed Gull, Ruff and a Little Stint. We had our sandwich and after went to the Larnaca airport at about one fifteen so we could book in.

Acknowledgements

To all the party for their enthusiasm and wonderful good humour - Raymond for spotting birds, John Muddeman for hearing and spotting birds so well. Thanks to Ulysses and Christos for taking us around all the sites. I look forward to seeing you all again on yet another Travelling Naturalist tour.

Graham Hearl RSPB/GOB Representative, Somerset

Species Lists

BIRDS

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis): Heard at the Asprokremnos pools on 19th and 21st.

[Great] Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis): An imm. flying high over towards the Asprokremnos reservoir on 19th and 6 over Paphos on 20th.

Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea): Seen on 4 days: 10 on migration over Paphos headland on 18th, one or two flying over Lady's Mile on 19th, one at the Asprokremnos pools on 21st and one on the Asprokremnos Reservoir on 23rd.

Purple Heron (A. purpurea): A nice adult at Asprokremnos pools on 23rd.

Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis): 3 by the Phassouri reedbeds on 19th and 2 at Asprokremnos pools on 23rd and 24th.

Great (White) Egret (Egretta alba): One on migration over Paphos headland on 20th.

Little Egret (E. garzetta): Two at the Larnaca Salt Lakes on 24th.

Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides): An immature bird migrating over Paphos headland early on 22nd.

Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber): Several hundred adult birds on the Akrotiri salt lake on 19th and thousands at the Larnaca Salt Lakes on 24th.

Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna): A group of c. 10 very distantly on the Akrotiri salt lake on 19th and 5 a bit closer on the Larnaca Salt Lakes on 24th.

[Eurasian] Wigeon (Anas penelope): 20+ seen distantly (many more present) on the Akrotiri salt lake on 19th.

Mallard (A. platyrhynchos): Five males and two females at the Asprokremnos Reservoir on 23rd.

Common Teal (A. crecca): A female on the shore of the Paphos headland early on 19th and 3 males at Asprokremnos pools and later 15-20 at Asprokremnos Reservoir on 23rd.

Garganey (A. querquedula): A fine male on the Asprokremnos Reservoir on 23rd.

[Northern] Shoveler (A. clypeata): 5+ on the Asprokremnos pools and 100+ on the Akrotiri salt lake on 19th and 4m & 1f at the Asprokremnos pools on 21st and 23rd.

[Eurasian] Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus): 5 over the Kensington cliffs on 19th.

Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus): A female briefly near the Asprokremnos pools en route there and back during the day on 21st.

[Eurasian] Marsh Harrier (C. aeruginosus): One over the Paphos headland and 5+ over the Phassouri reedbeds on 19th, one-two female type birds near the Asprokremnos pools on 21st, a male at both Paphos headland and Cape Drepanum on 22nd was possibly the same individual, a juv. male and a second bird at the Asprokremnos pools on 23rd.

Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis): A large female from the back of the bus near Polemi on 20th.

Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo): Two en route from Larnaca on 17th, one over the Paphos headland on 19th and 1 at the Asprokremnos pools on 21st.

Long-legged Buzzard (B. rufinus): Just two rather distant birds en route back to Paphos on 20th.

Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus): One near the Baths of Aphrodite on 20th.

Bonelli's Eagle (H. fasciatus): One extremely distant bird from the lunch stop en route to Mt Olympus on 21st was not counted by the group... :-( .

Common/Eurasian Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus): Seen daily in small numbers, e.g. a few en route from Larnaca on 17th, 5+ around Paphos on 18th, plenty en route to Mt Olympus on 21st, 6+ at the Asprokremnos pools and Reservoir on 23rd, etc.

Saker Falcon (F. cherrug): A juvenile over the Phassouri reedbeds on 19th.

Chukar (Alectoris chukar): 2 pairs near the Asprokremnos pools on 19th, a pair flew alongside the bus en route to the Akamas Peninsula on 20th, singles en route and at the Asprokremnos dam and Reservoir on 23rd.

Black Francolin (Francolinus francolinus): 2+ calling males and a couple of females in a field near Paphos on 18th, 2+ calling males near the Phassouri reedbeds on 19th, 2+ calling males (with one perched in a tree!) in a field near Paphos on 20th, a male flew over the bus en route to Mt Olympus on 21st, one calling at Cape Drepanum on 22nd and a male near Paphos and a calling bird at Asprokremnos pools on 23rd.

Common Quail (Coturnix coturnix): 2+ calling males heard on Paphos headland on 18th, and a calling bird briefly at Cape Drepanum on 22nd and one flushed at Paphos headland on 23rd.

Water Rail (Rallus aquaticus): Two out in broad daylight at the Asprokremnos pools on 21st and 23rd.

Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus): Lots lurking in the Asprokremnos pools on 19th, 21st and 23rd.

Common Coot (Fulica atra): A few in the Asprokremnos pools and one along Lady's Mile on 19th, a few on the Asprokremnos pools on 21st, 23rd and 24th.

Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus): Five seen by Allan and Susan moving along the coast at Paphos headland on 24th.

Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola): Two on the rocky shore of Paphos on 18th, 20th, 21st and 22nd.

Common Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula): 2 on the pools along Lady's Mile on 19th.

Little Ringed Plover (C. dubius): 20+ in total along Lady's Mile on 19th, 6 at Asprokremnos pools on 21st, .

Kentish Plover (C. alexandrinus): 5+ along Lady's Mile on 19th, one on the rocky shore of Paphos on 20th and two there on 21st, and 2 at the Larnaca Salt Lakes on 24th.

Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa): 10 very distant birds (honest!) over the Phassouri reedbeds on 19th were not counted by the group... ;-) .

Common Redshank (Tringa totanus): Nine with two ruff flew along the shore at Paphos on 22nd.

Spotted Redshank (T. erythropus): Three at the Larnaca Salt Lakes on 24th.

Green Sandpiper (T. ochropus): One at the Asprokremnos pools on 19th and 6 there on 21st and 2 there and 3 at the Asprokremnos Reservoir on 23rd.

Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos): Two feeding along the Paphos headland shoreline on 20th and 21st, one there on 22nd, 2 there on 23rd and 1 there on 24th.

Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres): Four resting on the Paphos headland shoreline on 20th, flying there on 21st and feeding there on 23rd.

[Common] Snipe (Gallinago gallinago): Two at the Asprokremnos pools on 21st and 4 there on 23rd.

Little Stint (Calidris minuta): One flew past at Larnaca Salt Lake on 24th.

Ruff (Philomachus pugnax): 14 in flight at the Phassouri reedbeds and 2 at Lady's Mile on 19th, 2 along the Paphos shore with common redshank on 22nd and a few of a much larger flock at Larnaca Salt Lake on 24th.

Yellow-legged Gull (Larus (cachinnans) michahellis): c. 15 out to sea from Paphos headland on 18th, a few over Lady's Mile on 19th, several at Paphos and Baths of Aphrodite on 20th, a few off Paphos on 21st, more off there and of Cape Drepanum on 22nd, also seen at Asprokremnos Reservoir on 23rd and Paphos on 24th.

Black-headed Gull (L. ridibundus): A small flock in the Larnaca salt lake on 17th, 3 by Lady's Mile on 19th, an immature off Paphos on 22nd and 100+ Larnaca Salt Lake on 24th.

Slender-billed Gull (L. genei): At least three in the Larnaca salt lake from the moving vehicle on 17th, 4 past Paphos headland on 23rd and 40+ at Larnaca Salt Lake on 24th.

Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandwichensis): One in winter plumage just off Paphos beach on 21st, 22nd and 23rd and a flock of c. 25 passing offshore there on 22nd.

Rock Dove/Feral Pigeon (Columba livia): Feral pigeons on daily with some wild-type birds at Asprokremnos pools and Avakas Gorge.

Wood Pigeon (C. palumbus): 5+ over the Asprokremnos pools on 19th, a few en route to and from the Baths of Aphrodite on 20th, a few en route on 21st and 2+ again at the Asprokremnos pools on 23rd and 24th.

[Eurasian] Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto): Seen daily in small number, e.g. 5+ en route from Larnaca on 17th, 2+ around Paphos on 18th and 19th, several at various sites on 20th, a few on 21st to 24th.

Alpine Swift (Apus melba): One high over Paphos headland on 18th, lots along the Kensington cliffs on 19th, 4+ over the Paphos headland and 4 over Cape Drepanum on 22nd and 25+ at Asprokremnos pools on both 23rd and 24th.

Common Swift (A. apus): Noted daily, with a few en route from Larnaca on 17th, several over Paphos headland on 18th, several along the Kensington cliffs and lots over Paphos en route on 19th, several along the cliffs at the Baths of Aphrodite on 20th, several at a few sites on 21st, plenty moving through, especially early, on 22nd, and a few on 23rd and 24th.

Pallid Swift (A. pallidus): At least two over Geroskipou on 21st, 2+ in off the sea at Paphos headland on 22nd.

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater (Merops persicus): A single moving along the coast over the hotel just before we left on 24th seen by Dave and Bill.

[Eurasian] Hoopoe (Upupa epops): One tricky-to-see bird by Smiyies Track on 20th, but one seen by Alan at the Asprokremnos pools and two on the Paphos headland p.m. on 23rd.

Eurasian Wryneck (Jynx torquilla): One briefly in carobs by the Baths of Aphrodite on 20th.

(Greater) Short-toed Lark (Calandrella brachydactyla): 5-6 on Paphos headland briefly on 18th, 2 flying over there on 20th and 2 briefly on the ground and 6 in flight on 21st and small flocks totalling 25+ at both Paphos headland and especially Cape Drepanum on 22nd.

Lesser Short-toed Lark (C. rufescens): One fly-over on the Paphos headland early on 19th and one feeding next to greater short-toed larks at Cape Drepanum on 22nd.

Crested Lark (Galerida cristata): Very common and widespread allowing close approach.

[Eurasian] Sky Lark (Alauda arvensis): One flying over Paphos headland on 18th, 2 over fields near Paphos on 20th and 12 over Paphos headland and 6+ at Cape Drepanum on 22nd.

Sand Martin (Riparia riparia): 3+ over Paphos headland on 18th.

[Eurasian] Crag Martin (Hirundo rupestris): One briefly along the cliffs by the Baths of Aphrodite on 20th.

Barn Swallow (H. rustica): Common and widespread, seen daily in variable numbers.

Red-rumped Swallow (H. daurica): At least 5 over Paphos headland on 18th, 15+ along the Kensington cliffs on 19th, 30-50 along the cliffs by the Baths of Aphrodite on 20th, plenty en route to Mt Olympus, especially by the drinks stop at Kidasi on 21st and heavy passage early over Paphos headland on 22nd.

[Common] House Martin (Delichon urbica): Seen daily: e.g. several at Larnaca airport on 17th, and 25+ over the Paphos headland on 18th, plenty on 19th at various sites, plenty at various sites on 20th, various at several sites on 21st, plenty on passage early over Paphos headland on 22nd, and even one outside the departure lounge at Larnaca airport.

Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava): All of the ssp. flava unless otherwise listed: a male and a 'superciliaris'-type male in fields near Paphos on 20th, a male at the Asprokremnos pools on 21st, 2+ fly-by males at Paphos headland and a settled male at Cape Drepanum on 22nd and a single male by the hotel on 24th.

Black-headed Wagtail (M. flava feldegg): At least 3 males on Paphos headland on 18th, 2 males and a female in the Asprokremnos pools on 19th, 3 males in fields near Paphos on 20th, 2+ males at the Asprokremnos pools on 21st, 100+ birds on passage at Paphos early and 35+ later at Cape Drepanum on 22nd, 4 over Paphos on 23rd and 3+ there on 24th.

White Wagtail (M. alba): Seen almost daily: several around Paphos on 18th, 100s on passage on 19th, lots on passage at various sites on 20th, plenty on 21st, many hundreds on passage at Paphos, Cape Drepanum and the Avakas Gorge on 22nd, many fewer on 23rd and 24th.

Tawny Pipit (Anthus campestris): One in the Paphos headland quarry on 18th.

Meadow Pipit (A. pratensis): 50+ in the Paphos headland grassland on 18th, 50+ on passage over the Paphos headland early on 19th and a few later in the day, several at various sites on 20th, a couple at the Asprokremnos pools on 21st, a few over Paphos headland and 35+ at Cape Drepanum on 22nd and 2+ at the Asprokremnos pools on 23rd.

Red-throated Pipit (A. cervinus): We finally connected with one at Cape Drepanum after a short 'chase' on 22nd.

Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator niloticus): A fine male found by Raymond at the Baths of Aphrodite on 20th.

Masked Shrike (L. nubicus): A gorgeous pair in an orchard near the Monashilakas picnic site (Pano Pania) on 20th.

Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius): A female hiding from the crowds in the Paphos headland quarry on 18th and fine male in the ruins of Finikas (=Foinikas) on 23rd.

[Common] Blackbird (Turdus merula): One or two males in fields near Paphos on 20th, .

Song Thrush (T. philomelos): One en route from Larnaca on 17th, one looking a little lost in the Roman ruins on Paphos headland on 18th, a couple in scrub near the Asprokremnos pools on 19th, a few in fields near Paphos on 20th and 23rd, at least one at the Asprokremnos pools on 21st and odd ones on 22nd.

[European] Robin (Erithacus rubecula): One in scrub on the Paphos headland on 18th, one in trees near the Baths of Aphrodite on 20th, one seen by Raymond at the lunch stop en route to Mt Olympus on 21st and one in scrub at the Asprokremnos pools on 23rd.

Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros): 3+ females on the Paphos headland on 18th, one female Paphos headland on 19th and two females in fields near Paphos on 20th.

[Common] Stonechat (Saxicola torquata): 2 females at Paphos headland and a pair at Lady's Mile on 19th, a female at Cape Drepanum on 22nd and 2 females Paphos headland on 23rd.

Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe): At least 3 males and 5 females on the Paphos headland on 18th, 3+ on the Paphos headland on 19th, a male on the Paphos headland on 20th, 2 females on the Paphos headland on 21st, a female again there and a male at the Avakas Gorge on 22nd, 1 male and 3 females at Paphos headland on 23rd and 2 females there on 24th.

Finsch's Wheatear (O. finschii): A female along Lady's Mile on 19th was an unexpected bonus!

Cyprus Wheatear (O. cypriaca): Raymond noted a male from the minibus at Episkopi on 19th, but 2 pairs delighted us in orchards along the cliffs at the Baths of Aphrodite on 20th, 2+ from the bus en route on 21st, one at Cape Drepanum and 3+ in the Avakas Gorge on 22nd and a pair at Nata and 1 en route on 23rd.

E Black-eared Wheatear (O. hispanica melanoleuca): At least 4 males and 3 females on the military barbed-wire fence to the S of Akrotiri Salt Lake on 19th were a fine sight.

Desert Wheatear (O. deserti): Despite being a very scarce migrant, a female was the first wheatear we saw on the Paphos headland on 18th!

Isabelline Wheatear (O. isabellina): At least three different birds on the Paphos headland on 18th, one there on 19th and 21st, one again there and also 2 at Cape Drepanum on 22nd and 2 on the Paphos headland on 23rd.

Fan-tailed Warbler [Zitting Cisticola] (Cisticola juncidis): Several in grassland around Paphos on 18th, at Paphos and Phassouri reedbed on 19th, several in fields near Paphos on 20th, a few at odd sites on 21st to 24th.

Cetti's Warbler (Cettia cetti): 2+ heard by both the Asprokremnos pools and the Phassouri reedbeds on 19th, 2+ heard in streamlines near the Baths of Aphrodite on 20th, 1+ singing at the Asprokremnos pools and a couple of others en route on 21st, heard singing at both Cape Drepanum and Avakas Gorge on 22nd, one seen by Raymond at the Asprokremnos pools on 23rd and birds singing there on 24th.

Moustached Warbler (Acrocephalus melanopogon): Two singing from deep in reeds at the Asprokremnos pools on 21st and 23rd.

European Reed Warbler (A. scirpaceus): One in quiet song in scrub near the Asprokremnos pools on 19th.

Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus): 3+ on the Paphos headland on 18th and one in the Avakas Gorge on 22nd.

Common Chiffchaff (P. collybita): 6+ on the Paphos headland on 18th, 1+ there and 5+ at the Asprokremnos pools on 19th, several around Paphos and lots in trees near the Baths of Aphrodite on 20th, several at different sites especially by the hotel from 21st to 24th.

Eastern Bonelli's Warbler (P. orientalis): One in trees near the Baths of Aphrodite and another by the Smiyies Track picnic site on 20th and 3+ including one giving tremendous views in the Avakas Gorge on 22nd.

Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla): One on the Paphos headland on 18th, 1 at the Asprokremnos pools and 2 overlooking the Akrotiri Salt Lake on 19th, a few in different places on 20th and 2+ in the grapefruit orchard in the Avakas Gorge on 22nd.

Garden Warbler (S. borin): Singles very briefly at Geroskipou on 21st and in the Avakas Gorge on 22nd.

Lesser Whitethroat (S. curruca): Singles near Paphos and the Baths of Aphrodite on 20th, 3+ in the Avakas Gorge on 22nd, 2 by the hotel on 23rd and 1 at the Asprokremnos pools on 24th.

Rüppell's Warbler (S. rueppelli): 2 males and a female on the Paphos headland on 18th, 1 male by the Hotel Kissos on 20th, 3+ males in the Avakas Gorge on 22nd and a male by the hotel on 23rd.

Sardinian Warbler (S. melanocephala): A female on the Paphos headland on 18th, lots near the Baths of Aphrodite on 20th and 5+ in the Avakas Gorge on 22nd.

Cyprus Warbler (S. melanothorax): A female at the Asprokremnos pools and a singing male at the Kensington cliffs viewpoint on 19th, a couple at the lunch stop en route to Mt Olympus on 21st, a superb male in the Avakas Gorge on 22nd, 3 males at the Asprokremnos pools on 23rd and one male seen by Raymond there on 24th.

Subalpine Warbler (S. cantillans albistriata): 2 males by the hotel on 23rd.

Spectacled Warbler (S. conspicillata): At least 2 singing males at the Asprokremnos pools on 19th and 1 there on 23rd.

Coal Tit (Parus ater cypriotes): 4+ of this remarkably dark and boldly-marked subspecies by the Monashilakas picnic site at Pano Pania on 20th, 1+ by the lunch stop en route to Mt Olympus and 4+ on the peak there on 21st.

Great Tit (P. major): A pair on the Paphos headland on 18th, 2 at the Asprokremnos pools on 19th, 6+ at various sites on 20th, 2+ in the Avakas Gorge on 22nd and 1 heard at the Asprokremnos pools on 23rd.

[Black-billed] Magpie (Pica pica): Small to moderate numbers daily in various places.

[Western] Jackdaw (Corvus monedula) : Plenty en route on 17th, a couple around Paphos on 18th, a few near the Asprokremnos dam on 19th, lots including two large flocks on 20th, several on 21st, lots on 22nd, 23rd and a few on 24th.

Hooded Crow (C. corone cornix): Common and widespread.

Corn Bunting (Miliaria calandra): At least 8 on the Paphos headland on 18th, 2 there on 19th, 2+ singing by Smiyies Track on 20th, 3 at Kidasi on 21st, 2+ at Cape Drepanum on 22nd and 2+ on Paphos headland and 1 at the Asprokremnos pools on 23rd.

Cretzschmar's Bunting (Emberiza caesia): At least four near the Baths of Aphrodite on 20th, one fly-by at the Asprokremnos pools on 21st and 2+ at Cape Drepanum on 22nd.

[Common] Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs): At least 2 females on the Paphos headland on 18th, several around the Asprokremnos pools on 19th, a few on 20th and 2 at the Asprokremnos pools on 23rd.

[European] Serin (Serinus serinus): A pair by the Smiyies Track picnic site on 20th and two calling by the lunch stop en route to Mt Olympus on 21st.

[European] Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris): 20+ on the Paphos headland on 18th, several near the Asprokremnos pools on 19th, plenty on 20th, 1+ in the Avakas Gorge on 22nd and several at Paphos headland on 23rd.

[European] Goldfinch (C. carduelis): 10+ on the Paphos headland on 18th, one there on 19th, a few on 20th at various sites, a few at various sites including at the Avakas Gorge, Asprokremnos pools etc. from 21st to 24th.

[Common] Linnet (C. cannabina): 10+ on the Paphos headland on 18th, one there on 19th, a couple at the Monashilakas picnic site at Pano Pania on 20th, several at the Asprokremnos pools on 21st, 5+ in the Avakas Gorge on 22nd and a few at the Asprokremnos pools on 23rd.

Common Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra): 3+ in flight over Mt Olympus on 21st.

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus): Very common and widespread.

Spanish Sparrow (P. hispaniolensis): A male in bushes by the drinks stop at Kidasi on 21st, another in trees in the Avakas Gorge on 22nd, 3 males by the hotel on 23rd and 2 or 3 males again there on 24th.

BUTTERFLIES:

Swallowtail (Papilio machaon) : 2+ on the Paphos headland on 18th and singles at the Asprokremnos pools on 23rd and 24th.

Eastern Festoon (Zerynthia cerisy) : One in flight near the drinks stop at Kidasi on 21st.

Large White (Pieris brassicae) : Several on the Paphos headland on 18th and one in the Avakas Gorge on 22nd.

Eastern Dappled White (Euchloe ausonia) : Several on the Paphos headland on 18th, 2+ in the Avakas Gorge on 22nd and 1+ at the Asprokremnos pools on 23rd.

Orange-tip (Acanthocharis cardamines) : A few males along the coastal path by the Baths of Aphrodite on 20th and in the Avakas Gorge on 22nd.

Clouded Yellow (Colias croceus) : Several on the Paphos headland on 18th, at the Asprokremnos pools on 21st and a male in the Avakas Gorge on 22nd.

Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra) : A male in the Avakas Gorge on 22nd.

Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) : One on the Paphos headland on 18th and one at the Asprokremnos pools on 23rd.

Lesser Fiery Copper (L. thersamon) : One by the Asprokremnos pools on 21st.

**Green-underside Blue (Glaucopsyche alexis) : One above the Kensington cliffs on 19th, 1+ female in the Avakas Gorge on 22nd and 1+ female in the Avakas Gorge on 22nd were all presumably actually Paphos Blues as green-underside blue is not known to occur in Cyprus.

Paphos Blue (Glaucopsyche paphos) : Two above the Kensington cliffs on 19th and two at the Asprokremnos pools on 21st were the only ones positively identified, though see above.

Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus) : A few on Cape Drepanum and lots in the Avakas Gorge on 22nd.

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) : One briefly over the Paphos headland on 18th, one at the lunch stop overlooking Mt Olympus on 21st, one in the Avakas Gorge on 22nd and one at Nata on 23rd was a fine total for a reportedly very scarce species on the island.

Painted Lady (V. cardui) : 2+ on the Paphos headland on 18th, one on 19th, one at the Baths of Aphrodite on 20th, 2+ briefly in the Avakas Gorge on 22nd and one early on the Paphos headland on 24th.

Large Wall Brown (Lasiommata maera) : Two attractive females in the Avakas Gorge on 22nd.

Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus alceae) : 2 on the Paphos headland on 18th.

OTHER INVERTEBRATES

Pine Processionary Moth (Thaumetopoea pityocampa): Seen in the pines on a couple of days.

Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura ?elegans): Lots, of several colour forms, at the Asprokremnos pools on 23rd.

Freshwater crab (Potamon or possibly Pseudothelphusa sp.): Two were walking across the paths near the Asprokremnos pools on 19th. This is an uncommon relict species in Armenia (the only info I have on it at all!) so quite what it's doing in Cyprus I don't know.

"Large, nasty centipede" (Scolopendra cingulatus): One was under a large rock above the Kensington cliffs on 19th.

AMPHIBIANS & REPTILES

?Cypriot Tree Frog (Hyla sp.) : One was heard calling outside the hotel on 18th, but best was a beautiful individual caught in grass by the Akrotiri salt lake track on 19th - brown with green stripes above and an incomplete dark lateral line. Later, singles were also heard calling near the Baths of Aphrodite on 20th and at the Asprokremnos pools on 21st and 23rd.

Marsh Frog sp. (Rana ?ridibunda): Heard at the Asprokremnos pools on 19th, 21st and 24th.

Turkish Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus): One above the hotel door on 23rd.

Agama (Agama stellio): Plenty on the Paphos headland on 18th, several near the Baths of Aphrodite on 20th and a couple in the Avakas Gorge on 22nd.

Wall lizard sp. (?Podarcis sp.): Plenty on the Paphos headland on 18th, in the Avakas Gorge on 22nd and at the Asprokremnos pools on 23rd and 24th.

Lizard sp. 1 (?Podarcis sp.): An orange-undersided male, grey female and young individual near the Baths of Aphrodite on 20th were possibly the same species as above.

Lizard sp. 2 (?Podarcis sp.): A moderately large pale lizard, striped above, with spotted hind legs and a reddish flush to the tail was frequent in the Avakas Gorge on 22nd., looking not totally dissimilar in pattern to Peloponnese wall lizard (but this is only found in S Greece).

Large Whip Snake (Coluber jugularis): A moderately sized black individual at Cape Drepanum on 22nd lived up to its local island name of ´black snake´.

OTHER VERTEBRATES

Brown Hare (Lepus europaeus): Two on the slopes above the Asprokremnos pools on 23rd.

Black Rat (Rattus rattus): One in scrub in the Avakas Gorge on 22nd.

Common Eel (Anguilla anguilla): 3 in Aphrodite's Bath on 20th!

PLANTS

I have not supplied these in date or site order. Sorry! Numbers refer to Blamey & Grey-Wilson's "Mediterranean Wild Flowers" book, while where appropriate orchids are also given the taxonomic status offered by P. Delforge in "The orchids of Britain and Europe" Collins Photo Guide, 1995. Regerence is also made to G. Sfikas's "Wild Flowers of Cyprus" where appropriate.

Aleppo Pine Pinus halepensis 1 - common, e.g. at Akamas

Calabrian Pine Pinus brutia 2 - the one listed in the Troodos by Sfikas

?Austrian Pine Pinus nigra 4 - possibly also this species in the mountains

Phoenicean Juniper Juniperus phoenicea 17

Kermes Oak Quercus coccifera ssp. calliprinos 24a - one at the Monashilakas picnic site in the Troodos

White Mulberry Morus alba 41 - the tree propped-up by the car at Nata!

Fig Ficus carica 42 - common tree in orchard edges

Roman Nettle Urtica pilulifera 48

Papery Paronychia Paronychia argentea 136

Yellow Pheasant's-eye sp. Adonis dentata 223

Turban Buttercup Ranunculus asiaticus 257 - white & yellow forms we called anemones in the field!

Common Poppy Papaver rhoeas 283

Rough Poppy Papaver hybridum 290

Fumitory spp. Fumaria spp. - 300+! Anyone who names Fumaria species is brave...

Cyprus Rockcress Arabis cypria (=purpurea) 323

Sea Stock Matthiola sinuata 326

Biscutella Biscutella didyma 341

Wild Mignonette Reseda lutea 376

Corn or Oriental Mignonette Reseda phyteuma / orientalis 378/9

Plane Tree Platanos orientalis 400

Almond Tree Prunus dulcis 421

Judas Tree Cercis siliquastrum 430

Carob / Locust Tree Ceratonia siliqua 431

Acacia / Wattle sp. Acacia sp. 432+ - there are lots, native from Africa through to Australia, and they need to be keyed for proper ID.

Lathyrus ?blepharicarpus 548 - an orange-flowered vetch

Bird's-foot Trefoil sp. Lotus cytisoides 633

Reversed Clover Trifolium resupinatum 657

Starry Clover Trifolium stellatum 662

Winged or Asparagus Pea Tetragonolobus purpureus 682 (the bright red pea flower)

Bermuda Buttercup Oxalis pes-caprae 735

Tuberous Crane's-bill Geranium tuberosum 738 - or possibly Geranium molle ?grandiflorum

Pale Flax Linum bienne 777

Fringed Rue Ruta chalepensis 827

orchards of Lemon Citrus limon 832, Orange Citrus sinensis 836 and Grapefruit Citrus paradisi 839

"Small-flowered Cistus" Cistus parviflorus 964 - rockrose with small pink flowers

Sage-leaved Cistus Cistus salvifolius 965 - rockrose with small white flowers

Tamarisk spp. Tamarix hampeana / tetrandra / smyrnensis / tetragyna 1020 to 1022, 1024 - we saw a couple of species I think, especially along the various rivers.

Squirting Cucumber Ecballium elaterium 1032

Prickly Pear Opuntia ficus-indica 1040

Shepherd's Needle sp. Scandix sp. 1097+ - one of the commonest arable weeds

Giant Fennel Ferula communis 1141

Scarlet Pimpernel (red & blue forms) Anagallis arvensis 1198

Cypriot Sowbread Cyclamen cyprium 1206

Persian Sowbread Cyclamen persicum 1210

Winged Sea Lavender or Statice Limonium sinuatum 1220

Oleander Nerium oleander 1256 - e.g. in the stream in the Avakas Gorge

Mallow-leaved Bindweed Convolvulus althaeoides 1331

Gromwell sp. Lithodora hispidula ssp. versicolor 1353

Cyprus Golden Drop Onosma fruticosa 1357 - an endemic, the shrub with hanging narrow, yellow, bell-like flowers

Eastern Anchusa Anchusa aegyptiaca 1412 - a small, pale-flowered, bristly-leaved 'weed'

Ground Pine Ajuga chamaepitys 1425

Prasium Prasium majus 1444

Jerusalem Sage spp. Phlomis fruticosa / lunariifolia / cypria 1455, 1457, 1458 - I think we saw two different species, probably the first two, given the flower size and the fact that the last usually flowers from April onwards.

Broomrape sp. Orobanche orientalis 1660 - one of the three purple-flowered spp. we saw in the Paphos headland area.

Broomrape sp. Orobanche ?amethystea 1660 - probably the other of the three purple-flowered spp. we saw in the Paphos headland area.

Broomrape sp. Orobanche crenata 1675 - the large, purple-flowered species in abundance on the broad beans growing behind the hotel on 24th.

Cretan Plantain Plantago creticum 1704 - the odd plantain with head of flowers and long stems

Carmel Daisy Scabiosa prolifera 1750 - the pale cream-coloured scabious flowers in abundance, e.g. at Asprokremnos pools

Evax sp. Evax eriosphaera 1810 - a tiny rosette plant in bare areas

Phagnalon rupestre 1831

Pallenis spinosa 1847

Crown Daisy Chrysanthemum coronarium 1895

Galactites Galactites tomentosa 1971 - a narrow-leaved 'milk-thistle'

Milk Thistle Silybum marianum 1982

Yellow Star-thistle Centaurea solstitidus 1994

Centaurea aegialophila 1994 - stemless endemic thistle of the Paphos headland dunes

Tragopogon hybridum 2056 - like a small-flowered salsify

Common Asphodel Asphodelus aestivus 2089

"Greek Gagea" Gagea graeca 2102 - the common small heads of dark-lined starry white flowers

Bellevalia Bellevalia trifoliata 2198

Garlic spp. Allium neapolitanum 2225 and/or Allium trifoliatum 2226

Barbary Nut Iris Gynandriris sisyrinchium 2305

Field Gladiolus Gladiolus italicus 2307 - the common gladiolus of arable fields

Cyprus Gladiolus Gladiolus triphyllos 2312 - the beautiful pale-flowered endemic

Cyprus Crocus Crocus cyprius 2342 - one of the three endemic crocuses in Cyprus

Friar's Cowl Arisarum vulgare 2377

Dense-flowered Orchid Neottinea maculata 2392

Green-winged Orchid Orchis morio ssp. libani (= O. syriaca in Delforge 1995) 2403(a)

Italian / Naked Man Orchid Orchis italica 2409 - by the way, there is a form longipenis, described from Mallorca...!!!

Lax-flowered Orchid Orchis laxiflora 2420

Ophrys sicula 2423a - the Cypriot version of the Yellow Ophrys O. lutea per Delforge 1995.

O. iricolor 2425 - what we considered to be Dull Ophrys / Sombre Bee Orchid O. fusca apparently refer on Cyprus to this species per Delforge 1995 (the pictures in Blamey & Grey-Wilson are not good for separating the species).

Ophrys israelitica 2424b - the Cypriot version of O. dyris per Delforge 1995.

Ophrys sintenisii - this is the common species that we called Early Spider Orchid Ophrys sphegodes 2428 (looks very like the b&w illustration in Blamey & grey-Wilson) in the field, but it actually belongs to the O. mammosa group according to Delforge 1995.

Ophrys mammosa - the large, dark-flowered species with parallel blue lines on the labellum (per Delforge 1995). Formerly O. sphegodes ssp. mammosa 2428d.

O. elegans - what we called Eyed Bee Orchid Ophrys argolica 2433, but the one on Cyprus is this per Delforge 1995.

O. rhodia - the Woodcock Orchid Ophrys scolopax 2436 representative on Cyprus by per Delforge 1995 (his photos exactly as we saw them).

Cyprus Bee Orchid Ophrys kotschyi 2438 - the small, green-sepalled endemic (Delforge 1995).

Ophrys lapethica cf. 2438 - we found one pink-sepalled one quite similar to the previous species, which was this species (Delforge 1995), also an endemic!

Giant Orchid Barlia robertiana 2446

Pyramidal Orchid Anacamptis pyramidalis 2447

Long-lipped Serapias Serapias vomeracea 2450

Large Quaking-grass Briza maxima 2460

Maidenhair Fern Adiantum capillus-veneris 2522


© The Travelling Naturalist 2002