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In the north-west of Cyprus and including the Baths of Aphrodite, this is an excellent area for migrant passerines and good numbers of raptors, herons and waterfowl can be seen on passage.
The narrow peninsula consists of grassy and scrub-covered hillsides with farmland and small patches of coniferous forest.
Although passage periods are the best time to visit there are Blue Rock Thrush, Peregrine Falcon and usually Griffon Vultures on the cliffs of the peninsula throughout the year.
Breeding birds of the scrub and grassland include Chukar Partridge and Black Francolin, Masked Shrike, Black-headed Bunting and Cretzschmar's Buntings, Spectacled Warbler and the two near endemics, Cyprus Warbler and Cyprus Pied Wheatear.
Passage birds include Common Crane and Grey Heron in substantial numbers as well as other species of heron and a variety of ducks. Audouin's Gull and Yelkouan Shearwater are rare but regular on passage and raptors can include European Honey Buzzard, Black Kite and four harrier species. Smaller migrants such as warblers, fycatchers and chats occur large numbers in the scrub, olive groves and pinewoods of the peninsula.
The spring known as the Baths of Aphrodite is one of the most visited tourist spots on the island. Despite the bustle of so many tourists and the constant flow of buses and coaches the surrounding area has excellent birding, with a wide range of migrants attracted to the lush vegetation.
Red-rumped Swallow, Black-headed Bunting and Cretzschmar's Bunting breed in the area but it is the huge number and variety of migrants that attracts most birding visitors.
Passerine migrants are of particular interest in spring with shrikes of up to four species, both nightingales, all three black-and-white flycatchers, and warblers including Eastern Bonelli's Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Icterine Warbler and sometimes Barred Warbler.
European Bee-eater is common on passage and good numbers of migrant herons, waterfowl and seabirds can be seen offshore, especially in autumn.
Birds you can see here include:
Yelkouan Shearwater, Black-crowned Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, European Honey Buzzard, Black Kite, Griffon Vulture, Western Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Pallid Harrier, Montagu's Harrier, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Merlin, Northern Hobby, Eleonora's Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar Partridge, Black Francolin, Common Quail, Common Moorhen, Common Crane, Stone-curlew, Ringed Plover, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Audouin's Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Turtle Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Common Cuckoo, Barn Owl, Cyprus Scops Owl, Little Owl, European Nightjar, Common Swift, Pallid Swift, Alpine Swift, Common Kingfisher, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Eurasian Wryneck, Calandra Lark, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Wood Lark, Sand Martin, Eurasian Crag Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Northern House Martin, Tawny Pipit, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Black-headed Wagtail, Blue-headed Wagtail, White Wagtail, Eurasian Robin, Thrush Nightingale, Common Nightingale, Black Redstart, Common Redstart, Whinchat, European Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Pied Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Blue Rock Thrush, Eurasian Blackbird, Song Thrush, Cetti's Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Icterine Warbler, Olive-tree Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Eastern Subalpine Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Ruppell's Warbler, Orphean Warbler, Barred Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Eastern Bonelli's Warbler, Wood Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Semi-collared Flycatcher, Collared Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher, Great Tit, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Masked Shrike, Common Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Northern Raven, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Eurasian Linnet, Ortolan Bunting, Cretzschmar's Bunting, Reed Bunting, Black-headed Bunting, Corn Bunting
Loggerhead Turtle and Green Turtle breed on some of the beaches on the south of the peninsula.
History and Use
Areas of Interest
The Akamas Peninsula is best explored by taking the 8km track from the Baths of Aphrodite towards Cape Arnaouti. Smyies Ridge near the village of the same name is one of the best areas for smaller passage birds in the whole of the island.
The Baths of Aphrodite can be reached from the town of Polis, on Khrysokou Bay, from where the Baths are clearly signposted. Between Polis and Lachi are several spots worthy of a brief stop including a small wetland area, always worth examining and try Lachi Beach for Audouin's Gull. Further on is the car-park for the Baths but there is good birding throughout this area. A network of paths covering the adjacent headland towards Akamas are good areas to explore for falls of spring migrants.
Access and Facilities
Content and images originally posted by Steve