Thursday, June 21th 2018 3PM °C nicosia
01-07-2017 13:02 | Read 315 times

Record of bird sightings 'growing'

BIRDWATCHERS and nature photographers have their eye on resident and migrant species and are adding to a growing and valuable record of sightings to help protect them.

Record of bird sightings 'growing'


British “twitcher” Colin Bates sighted a single hobby, and later a trio, at the Seaterra Marina in Tatlısu last month, with their noisy passage being confirmed by Esentepe residents. A sighting of five was also reported by Paul Sibley.

Costas Constantinou snapped the island's first record of a white-eyed gull at Meneu in South Cyprus last Saturday after his persistence paid off with a shot from the sea in bad light at 7am.

Ichthyaetus leucophthalmus is endemic to the Red Sea and listed as near-threatened, with a population of just 4,000-6,500 pairs.

Robin Snape, of the TRNC bird and nature protection group Kuşkor, said: "Interest in birdwatching in Cyprus is growing and we can get a much better picture with the help of these reports and photos. The report of the white-eyed gull is very interesting.

"The hobby is . . . known as [a] passerine migrant, although we do know of a breeding pair in the mountains."

The biologist added: "A single pair of griffon vultures were also spotted in the Troodos mountains and Paphos forest, which is the first nest in decades. Although 16 of them were re-introduced from Greece, eight have been poisoned.

"Ravens are also disappearing for the same reason. We have had no sightings from Kozan where a pair have disappeared and I saw poisoned bait on the track in May. None have been seen at St Hilarion or Kantara either.

"We would be very grateful for any sightings as our survey only turned up a few.

"I would ask all bird-lovers to watch out for and report poisoned bait, which is threatening the survival of not just ravens but also the endangered Bonelli's eagle and other carrion eaters."


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