Monday, 16 August 2021

CYPRUS MINI-BREAK 4th - 10th September 2021

It's been a long period of staying at home due to the global Covid-19 pandemic and most of us are tentatively looking towards the future and foreign birding trips. Cyprus is currently on the UK's Amber List and if you are fully vaccinated all that is required for entry is an online form to be filled out. Upon arrival, everyone will be tested by the local Cypriot authorities. And that is it! The FCO have cleared UK citizens to travel to Cyprus so your holiday insurance is not affected.  

That's the technical bit over with. And now for the good stuff......

We are staying at a private villa on the west coast of Cyprus where we will be catered for without the need of visiting local restaurants. This tour is only for a select group of 4 people, staying in 2x twin bedded rooms at our villa. We will have five and a half days birding where our primary focus will be on seeing the 3 endemics: Cyprus Pied Wheatear, Cyprus Warbler and Cyprus Scops Owl. We will also head up into the Troodos Mountains for a number of endemic subspecies and then spend the rest of our time visiting various sites such as Paphos headland, Akrotiri Salt Lake and others in search of a variety of species. Our trip is timed to coincide with the peak dates that Demoiselle Cranes stop off on their southward migration, and although a great deal of luck will be needed to see them this is the best site in the whole of the Western Palearctic for this particular species. Fingers crossed! We will aim to take a break in the middle of the day and take advantage of the pool and have lunch at the villa before heading out again in the late afternoon. 

Cyprus Scops Owl

As well as the 3 main endemics, there's a whole host of mouth-watering possibilities for us to look for such as Black Francolin, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli's Eagle, Greater Sandplover, Slender-billed Gull, European Roller, Eleonora's Falcon, Masked Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike and Cretzschmar's Bunting amongst many others.

Cyprus has all the elements of a classic birding destination with anything possible: there's flocks of shorebirds moving through, flocks of terns, hirundines, wheatears, shrikes, warblers, pipits and buntings. Add to this  great weather, great food and a fantastic private villa. Sounds horrible right? So for a first foray overseas after a while, then this could be just the ticket. Let's go birding.

See the full tour info here: