Marsh Sandpiper by Chris Townend

Tour Dates: Wednesday 26th March – Wednesday 2nd April 2025 (Paphos to Paphos)
Tour Price: £1,799pp plus flight
Estimated Flight Price: London / Bristol to Paphos approx. £300 return
Deposit: £400 per person
Conservation Donation from Wise Birding: £100 – £150
Minimum Number: 4 people
Maximum Group Size: 6 people

Target Endemic Birds:
Cyprus Scops Owl, Cyprus Wheatear and Cyprus Warbler.
Endemic/regional sub-species:
Coal Tit & Wren ssp. cypriotes, Eurasian Jay ssp. glazneri, Common Crossbill ssp. guillemardi & Short-toed (Dorothy’s) Treecreeper ssp. dorotheae 
Migrants / Breeders:  
Pallid Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Black Francolin, Little Crake, Spur-winged Plover, Greater Sand Plover, Slender-billed Gull, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Isabelline Wheatear, Ruppell’s Warbler, Eastern Orphean Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Eastern Subalpine Warbler, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, Collared Flycatcher, Masked Shrike and Cretzschmar’s Bunting. 

Tour Summary
Join Wise Birding leader Scott Reid for this one base holiday on the beautiful island of Cyprus, based at Paphos, one of the island’s premier migration hotspots! A week of fabulous early Spring birding enjoying the spectacle and excitement of migration and three endemics too! Also ideal for a non-birding partner to join as the apartments are well equipped with pool and facilities on site. 

This tour is all about migration and early Spring is the perfect time to see masses of migrant birds which pass through the island on their way from wintering grounds in Africa and the Middle East to their breeding grounds in eastern Europe. Aside form the spectacle and excitement of migration, Cyprus also has three endemic birds that we will make a special effort to see during our week, with Cyprus Warbler, Cyprus Pied Wheatears and the relatively recent addition of Cyprus Scops Owl.
You will be in the best hands as Wise Birding leader Scott Reid will guide you throughout the week. Perhaps better known as one of the resident birders living on the Isles of Scilly and his passion for seabirds and searching for rarities, but Scott previously lived on the island of Cyprus for three years and therefore knows many of the less visited birding hotspots on the islands.

Accommodation: 7 nights in Cyprus
Staying in spacious two bedroom apartments, very close to Paphos Headland
 Meals: Half-board

Day 1: Arrival Paphos
After arriving at Paphos airport we will head straight to our hotel which is just a short drive of around 20 minutes. Once checked in we will head staright out do some coastal birding at nearby Paphos Headland, just a 5 minute drive from our base and the primary migrant ‘hotspot’ in SW Cyprus! Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Ruppell’s warbler, Blue Rock Thrush, Greater Sand Plover, Hoopoe, Red-throated Pipit are all possible for our first day if weather conditions are suitable. Overnight Paphos Hotel Apartments

Collared Flycatcher by Chris Townend

Days 2: Paphos – Mandria – Asprokremmos Dam – Anarita
Each day we will make a plan as to which sites we visit based on the weather conditions and the arrival of birds. As we are so close to Paphos Headland, one of the best migrant hotspots on the island, we will most likely visit this site at the start and end of each day, as it will give us a good indication of what migration is occurring. During the mid-morning we will take a drive to Mandria to check the highly productive agricultural fields and coastline south of the village, including the famous ‘Lark Corner’. After lunch we will move just a couple of kilometres inland to Asprokremmos Dam, via Paphos sewage works fields which has become a reliable site for Spur-winged Plover. The lower pools below the dam wall can be excellent for crakes, herons and warblers. At the dam we will carefully check the reservoir for waterbirds and the wooded area around the car park can often be good for our first endemic, the Cyprus Warbler as well as Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler and maybe Collared Flycatcher.
During the afternoon we will drive a short distance west to Anarita Park and Quarry. It is a famous wintering site for Finsch’s wheatear, though most birds tend to depart in mid-March. However, there is always a chance of a lingering bird here, so always worth a check. It is also a good area for wheatears generally and we may well see our second endemic, Cyprus Pied Wheatear here. In addition there are sure to be numerous buntings, larks, Lesser Kestrel and it is a good place for Great-spotted Cuckoo. Overnight Paphos Hotel Apartments

Cyprus Wheatear by Scott Reid

Day 3: Akrotiri Area
After an early breakfast, we will drive one-hour east to Akrotiri  and check the various birding sites at Kensignton Cliffs, M1 Pools, Phassouri Reed Beds, Akrotiri gravel pits, Bishop’s Pool, Lady’s Mile, Zakaki Marsh. There is plenty to keep us busy here for most of the day and we will be looking for Griffon Vultures, larks, pipits, waders, gulls, Greater Flamingos, herons, kingfishers and more across an exceptional mosaic of habitats. It should be a really varied day and always exciting to see what migrants have arrived. After dinner we will head out to one of several reliable sites for the third and final of our endemics,  Cyprus Scops Owl. We will spend time listening and looking for the birds and should we fail to see the birds on this first attempt, and no day roosting birds are discovered in the meantime, we will make another nocturnal trip later in the week. Overnight Paphos Hotel Apartments

Masked Shrike by Chris Townend

Day 4: Troodos Mountains
Another morning checking our local patch at Paphos Headland before heading inland to the Troodos Mountains. We will spend the whole day here and visiting a number of sites throughout the day including Pano Platres and Troodos Village where we are likely to see Cyprus Pied Wheatear. We will also make a number of roadside stops to look for raptors and any early-returning migrant breeders. The endemic ssp. of Coal Tit, Eurasian Jay and Treecreeper can all be found here in addition to the regional endemic ssp. of Crossbill and Wren.  Overnight Paphos Hotel Apartments

Cretzschmar’s Bunting by Chris Townend

Day 5: West Cyprus
We will spend the morning checking our local patch at Paphos Headland and the local coastline before we head out west for the day. The West of Cyprus has a number of differnet birding hotspots and we will visit Cape Drepanum and work our way across to Polis. The sites around Baths of Aphrodite and Evretou Dam are also on the list for birding today. We will visit the distinctive “Mediterranean” Shag colony and check for any passage of gulls offshore and also check for Scopoli’s Shearwater  too. There are a number of migrant hotspots in this area which should keep us more than busy for the day and we will check a couple of reliable sites for Long-legged Buzzard. The hills here are good for many early-returning breeding birds and can be good for other raptors. Overnight Paphos Hotel Apartments

Day 6: South East Cyprus
We will take another early breakfast as we have a 2 hour drive east. The sites we will visit today include Paralimni Lake and Cape Greco. If time allows, we may also have time to visit Larnaca Sewage Works and Larnaca Salt Lake. This whole part of Cyprus is another migrant hotspot and like Paphos, can be great for migrants and rarities in spring. Overnight Paphos Hotel Apartments

Baillon’s Crake by Chris Townend

Day 7: Paphos Area / Flexible Day
Today is very much a flexible day dependent on which species we are missing or if there are any sites that we wish to re-visit. This day will also allow us to twitch any particular rarities that may be around on the island. Otherwise we will spend our last full day staying local and moving between all the key sites and enjoy a final day birding around the Paphos area. Overnight Paphos Hotel Apartments

Day 8: Paphos and Airport
We will enjoy a final morning birding around the Paphos headland and Mandria before having lunch and slowly making our way to Paphos airport for a mid afternoon return flight back to the UK.

Please note this is a flexible itinerary which may need to be adjusted slightly dependent on arrival / departure times, weather conditions and the most recent information from our local guides

Leader: Wise Birding leader Scott Reid
Included in cost: Accommodation in two bedroom apartments, breakfast and evening meals at our hotel, ground transport, any park fees and services of leader.
Not included in cost: International airfare, travel insurance, all drinks and any airport/visa fees.
Single Supplement: We do recommend sharing on this tour as the two bedroom apartments are very spacious at 68m2. Alternatively single occupancy is £350.
Transport: Minivan or Minibus dependent on group size
Difficulty: Easy. Walking is easy going with short leisurely walks on open trails and walking distances of up to 8Km a day.
Climate: The average daily temperatures in Cyprus in March range between 12°C to 18°C . During the daytime, temperatures can reach 16°C to 22°C. Rain is of course possible.
Tour Start Point: Paphos airport, Cyprus 
Tour End Point: Paphos airport, Cyprus
Suggested Airlines: Jet2 From London Stansted or Bristol

Rupell’s Warbler by Chris Townend