Tour At A Glance

Cost:

1225.00

Deposit:

200.00

Single Room Supplement:

150.00

Tour Code:

Fairly intensive with long hours in the field and some steep walks in the mountains.

Group Size:

Seven plus Leader

Northern Cyprus - Migrants and Endemics of The Karpaz Peninsula

Date: Tour Not Currently Operating
Leaders: Steve Cale

Itinerary

 

DAY ONE
Fly London Stansted to Ercan in Northern Cyprus via Turkey where we will be met by our driver and we will transfer to the Malibu Beach Hotel on the beautiful Karpaz Peninsula, where we base ourselves for the next five days. The Hotel is set just a little way east of the little village of Yenerirenkoy and is on the North coast of the Panhandle. It is ideally situated with a small headland within walking distance. Dawn bird walks here can be productive.

DAY TWO
We begin our birding this morning and will start with a look at the headland near the hotel before breakfast and then the Marshes at Tuzluca, Silver Beach, Famagusta and Mehmetcik. Shorebirds and herons will be the main theme of the day with breeding Spur -winged Plover, a highlight. Marsh Sandpiper are often present among a host of shorebirds such as Little Stint now coming into fine breeding plumage. Great Snipe is a strong possibility as is Jack Snipe and Temminck's Stint. We shall be visiting the freshwater areas around Famagusta with it's Cattle Egret colony and  can also expect Squacco and Purple Herons to name  a few. This last spot can also produce birds like Eastern Bonelli's Warbler, Hoopoe, Glossy Ibis and  Collared Flycatcher.

DAY THREE
Today we make our first visit to the tip of the Peninsula, Cape Zetin. We shall be scouring this area quite thoroughly looking for migrants as this spot in spring regularly has fall conditions and can produce some spectacular birds  in big numbers. Shrikes, wagtails, flycatchers, warblers, wheatears & much more arrive here. This is one of the spots for major rarities on the island and we shall be hoping for many good birds here including Collard Flycatcher, four species of shrike, Greater Short -toed Lark, Tawny Pipit, Golden Oriole, Citrine Wagtail, Thrush Nightingale and at least four species of wheatear. One of the features of this spot is visible migration. Flocks of birds pass over as they follow the southern coastline to the end of the point and then head out to sea due north east heading for next landfall in Turkey. This phenomena is most noticeable among herons and previous tours have seen numerous flocks involving large numbers of Purple Heron, Little Egrets  and 450 Glossy Ibis passing close to shore in a single afternoon.

DAY FOUR
Today we will be birding and exploring the area at the base of the Panhandle and working our way along the north coast. We will start the day at a site  known to be good for migrants near Avtepe. This is a nice area where many birds make first landfall and often holds flocks of birds such as Yellow Wagtails, Tree Pipit, Greater Short -toed Larks  and various wheatears. Many birds aim for this point as here is the initial area for migrants that wish to travel west along the north coast of Cyprus without having to cross the 3000 foot high Five Fingers Mountain range. Birds funnel across the island here, strike the coast and then turn west. Here, migrants can build up into some numbers at times and a thorough look at this area is a must. Collared Flycatcher, Wryneck, Tawny Pipit and Ortolan Bunting should all be seen, along with Great Spotted Cuckoo, Isabelline Wheatear and Red-footed Falcon. We gradually work our way west for a while along this area birding at certain key spots with our main focus on passage migrants but this is also the main breeding area on the island for Sardinian Warbler which we shall be keeping a sharp look out for so that we can all study them alongside the endemic Cyprus Warblers and hopefully Spectacled Warbler, which  also breeds here. We shall end our birding at Kantara Castle looking at Alpine Swift, Blue Rock Thrush and hopefully the odd raptor or two.

DAY FIVE
Again this morning we shall head to the tip of the Karpaz Peninsula. We shall study the actual tip in detail again, but also the large green fertile valley just inland from the main headland. Large numbers of Yellow Wagtails can be found along with buntings and Barred Warblers plus much more. This spot is one of the best on the island for both  Golden Oriole and European Roller with several of the latter present at this time in spring. Again we hope the point and the area around the monastery will hold migrants and this last spot  had both Collared Flycatcher and Citrine Wagtail on our last visit along with three species of shrike. We shall also look at the dry sandy area on the northern shore which holds Stone Curlew and has potential for rarities.
 
DAY SIX
This day we are leaving as a flexible day so as to capitalize on the prevailing weather conditions on the Peninsula. This really is the rarity magnet area of the island, but we may well try to cover Tuzluca and Mehmetcik again today to try and pick up on shorebirds such as Jack Snipe, Temminck's Stint along with possibly Spotted Crake, Glossy Ibis, Common Greenshank and Ruff, while passerines such as Lesser Whitethroat and Orphean Warblers should be in the Tamarisks. We have also seen Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Ortolan Buntings and Red-throated Pipits here, along with the resident Little Owls . If migration looks to be taking place then we shall again strike towards Karpaz tip; every day here brings new birds but in particular we shall be looking for Black Francolin which are numerous in the areas we visit today.

DAY SEVEN
We transfer Kyrenia today, birding en route. We shall have stops along the way looking for Calandra Lark and Spectacled Warbler but the main site we shall visit will be the sewage facility at Haspolat. This site is a magnet for shorebirds such as Marsh and Wood Sandpipers and also Garganey, Marsh Harrier, Spur-winged Plover, Turtle Dove, Great Reed Warbler and on our last visit Whiskered Tern. A little way from here we have recently located a new small marshy area with plenty of reed cover. Little Crake are plentiful here with no less than five individuals on our last visit. Also here there are European Bee-eater, Little Bittern and on occasions Collared Pratincole. Lunch time will see us in Nicosia itself, where after lunch you will get a brief look at this divided city with it's green line and no-mans land and then we shall move on and visit the freshwater reservoir at Gonyeli. Herons, ducks and shorebirds are on the menu here but also Spanish Sparrow, Great Reed and  Reed Warblers, Great White Egret and European Bee-eater.
Our base for the rest of the tour will be at Kyrenia.

DAY EIGHT
Today we have two target areas; one being Getcitkoy Reservoir and surrounding hills and then the Korucam Peninsula, heading out to the point. In the morning, in the mountains we shall be targeting Bonelli's Eagle but the area holds Roller, Golden Oriole, Olivaceous Warbler, Purple Heron and Eurasian Hobby. Also here is a good selection of the butterflies and orchids that Northern Cyprus has to offer including Cleopatra, Mallow Skipper, Cyprus Grayling and Eastern Dappled White, along with Early Spider, Pyramidal, Bug, Holy and Tongue Orchids. We shall have lunch here before moving on to Korucam making a number of stops on our way out to the point. Birds here can be feature species such as Wryneck, Barred Warbler, Thrush Nightingale, shrikes, Whinchat, flycatchers, wagtails, Common Quail and on our last visit Corn Crake.

DAY NINE
We travel east along the coast today, stopping at a number of sites as we travel. We look at the two reservoirs around Acapulco, which hold Little Crake, but also Ferruginous Duck, sometimes terns, Black-crowned Night Heron, Eurasian Hobby, Wood Sandpiper, Zitting Cisticola and Red-rumped Swallow. We look at a mountain valley which holds many migrants, often in numbers, with birds such as Blackcap, Wood Warbler,  Red-backed Shrike, Wryneck and Barred Warbler. After lunch, we continue east stopping at various sites and headlands  as we go. Audouin’s Gulls often loaf along this coastline and sometimes a small group of five or six can be seen together. Red-rumped Swallow breed in the roadside culverts along here and amongst the orchards and Carib Trees, there are migrants lurking including Turtle Dove, Golden Oriole and sometimes European Scops Owl. Along this piece of coastline is one very good butterfly site where there are Long Tailed Blue, Dark Slave, Swallowtail, Cyprus Grayling and Cyprus Meadow Brown, Lullworth and Millet Skippers. In among the coastal scrub habitat there are Cyprus Warblers and Cyprus Pied Wheatears, often accompanied by Black -eared Wheatear and both Common and Great Spotted Cuckoos.
 
DAY TEN
Our final full day and we set of for the west coast this morning.  We will be doing things differently today by using 4 x 4's and going on the rough tracks over the mountains, taking in breathtaking scenery as we go. The mountains hold only small numbers of birds, but these can include both endemics, Eurasian Hobby, Peregrine and other falcons, Alpine Swift and maybe Crag Martins. Once over the mountains, we shall head for Akdeniz Reservoir looking for shorebirds such as Spotted Redshank, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Little Stint and any other migrants which may be in this area. From here, we strike north again for Korucam where we hope to end our trip with more exciting migrants in the bushes and fields before the tip. Here we have found to be a good spot for Steppe Buzzard and Pallid Harrier, European Bee-eater, Tree Pipit and Lesser Grey Shrike.

DAY ELEVEN
We transfer to Ercan airport for the onward journey home. If time permits, we will do some last minute birding or souvenir shopping.

 

Additional Information

 

WHATS INCLUDED
Ten nights accommodation in en suite rooms, return flights London/Ercan [possibly with budget airline], dinner, bed and breakfast, lunches, ground transport in Cyprus, services of leaders and reserve entrance fees.

NOT INCLUDED
Transport to/from London airport and any overnight stay that may be involved, travel insurance, Turkish entrance visa [£10.00 payable upon arrival] drinks and items of a purely personal nature.
 

 

Tour Reports

 

2008  2010  2012

 

Testimonials

 

“Steve was a very knowledgeable leader who knew exactly where to find the birds and flowers. I also enjoyed the cultural heritage of Northern Cyprus and have always enjoyed my holidays with you” W. G. County Tipperary.

“The Northern Cyprus trip was great and most enjoyable. It was an excellent idea splitting the trip between two hotels and they were both good in their individual ways. As Steve will have reported there were some great birds and often in great numbers. The company was good and Steve proved to be a very good leader. He was also very good company”
D. T. West Sussex.

“ Wonderful locations, the joy of the unexpected [you never knew what the migration would bring]and a great bunch of people made for a wonderful holiday. Good inter personal skills, local knowledge and excellent birding skills – Steve had all these attributes which made him an excellent leader who was also able to identify butterflies, plants and wonderful artwork” M. S. Cambridge.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the birds, wildlife and company. Steve worked very hard to find birds and make sure everything went smoothly. All my tours with you have been well organized, expertly led and with excellent accommodation. The small group allows everyone to see everything and to avoid disturbing wildlife and gives a much better client to leader percentage” J. C. Penarth.

"This was an absolutely brilliant holiday that has made my year. Steve's enthusiasm was infectious and he knew exactly where to find everything. Superb!" G. E. Sussex.

"We enjoyed this holiday very much, it was relaxed and hugely enjoyable. The birding was excellent, it was very well led by Steve who went to endless trouble to ensure client's were happy. He displayed a welcome sense of humour and it goes without saying that his birding expertise is of a very high standard" M & J. S. Kent
 
" It was a great trip; Steve was an excellent leader and we thoroughly enjoyed his “style” and we learned a lot.  I have no doubt that we will travel with “Oriole” again" A & J S Bristol 
 
"An excellent trip - Steve made sure everybody got good views of all the birds at a nice relaxed pace" A.L.Essex
 
" I know you are about to go off to China but I wanted to thank you for passing on Andy's message and also to tell you how much I enjoyed the Cyprus tour! Out of the few birding trips I have done over the past 4 years, this one has to rate as probably the best so far. Andy was right about the group - lovely people and the company was very easy going and enjoyable. Steve was an excellent guide and worked tirelessly to put us all on the birds of which there were countless [at least that's how I saw it] with hardly any dull or flat moments. It was that good, we struggled to fit in and eat lunch properly because there was always something new appearing that just had to be checked out! The birding and scenery was spectacular and how I wish I was still there! I managed to get 2 out of my 3 target birds: Red-rumped Swallow and Red-footed Falcon (the latter in very good numbers and superb views!) so will have to try for Collard Pratincole on another trip somewhere in the future. I reckon I had approx 40 new birds on this trip and some of the views were simply stunning which counts for a lot! I also want to tell you how helpful the updates were on your website on the run up to the trip with regard to whether the flights would be operating or not....it was an anxious time without any doubt as you well know! Thank you and Steve very much for a great birding holiday"  C N Nottingham
 
"Steve was brilliant. His knowledge of he birds was excellent and he was keen to make sure we all saw the birds and understood what we were seeing. His sketches were fantastic and his sense of humour infectious!" A & C K Dorset
 
" Just to say thankyou for another great trip,  Steve is the tops,  good hotels, food, and staff especially the hotel in Kyrenia.  The  birding was great and to get so close at times was magic. We are still on a high, and will be for a while yet, looking  forward to the next outing with "Oriole B" to Panama in December till  then, and all the very best " V R & J L Hertfordshire

 

 

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