Autumn Birdwatching in Cyprus
Thinking of Autumn birdwatching on Cyprus?
Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean. (Sicily and Sardinia take the top two spots).
With an area of about nine thousand square kilometres, the island is modest in size. That said, it has significance for migratory birds. It lies on one of the major migration routes across the Mediterranean.
Africa lies to the South. Turkey and Central Europe off to the North. Then to the East, we have Lebanon, Syria, Israel and the Middle East.
Given its position, Cyprus is a significant staging post. Twice a year we see birds moving between Africa, Europe and Eurasia, arriving on the island. It is a huge treat to hear or see the first <name of species here> arriving back after a few months away.
Autumn migration usually includes a variable passage of raptors. These include Egyptian Vultures, Lesser Spotted Eagles, good numbers of Honey Buzzards, Black Kite, as well as Red-footed and Lesser Kestrels. Black and White Storks are also seen. The migration continues into October when winter visitors also start to arrive.
The island has several established sites that you can visit for birdwatching.
Cyprus list totals over 400 species. This illustrates the significance of the island to visiting birds.
Over 200 species are regular passage migrants in varying numbers.
Of the 400 species, around 60 species are resident and around 40 are migrant breeders who regularly or occasionally breed in Cyprus.
The sheer number of birds stopping over during the autumn migration is impressive. Literally millions of birds pass through the island.
Cyprus has two endemic species, the Cyprus Wheatear Oenanthe cypriaca and the Cyprus Warbler Sylvia melanothorax.
Inspired? Cyprus is a unique destination for birding. Why not visit during October.