An exclusive opportunity to grab some winter sunshine & see in the New Year in Cyprus!
Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean. Its position on the north-south migration routes, the presence of two large salt lakes, marshes and other water bodies, and the mild winter climate make it a magnet of a large number of wintering birds, including tens of thousands of flamingos. In the pools that form near the Salt lake one will find Armenian, Yellow-legged, Slender bill and other gulls. On the edge of the salt lakes there will be plovers, Little stint, Dunlin, sandpipers, Black-winged stilts and the occasional Spoonbill. A good population of Spur-winged plovers overwinters as well as a few Greater sand plovers.
Of the 3 cypriot endemic birds all the Cyprus wheatears leave the island, whilst some of the Cyprus warblers and the Cyprus Scops owl remain and may be seen. Cyprus is the only european destination where Black francolins may be seen, along with the commoner Chukar partridge. Long-legged Buzzard and Bonelli’s Eagle are the two common large raptors. Marsh harriers are seen flying over the marshes.
Other interesting birds that overwinter are Finsch’s wheatear, Blue rock thrush, Bluethroat and usually a Wallcreeper.
The mountains host their own birds with Dorothy’s Short-toed Treecreeper, Red Crossbill, Hawfinch and the local races of Coal tit and Jay.
In Cyprus spring really begins with the coming of the autumn rains. By late December many bulbs have started flowering and there will be fields of Anemone coronaria and other plants such as Romulea tempskyana, Cyclamen persicum and the endemic Hyacinthella millingenii. We shall look at the plants we come across, as well as any other fauna.