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In the far north-east of Cyprus this is probably the best birding site in the northern, Turkish-controlled, part of the island, if not the whole of Cyprus.
This very long and narrow peninsula consists of grassy and scrub-covered hillsides with large areas of Juniperus phoenicea. In addition there are patches of farmland and maquis, cliffs and rocky beaches and sandy bays.
Lake Mehmetcik is a shallow lake, which varies in size according to rainfall, set in a landscape of plantations, scrub and grassland.
The entire peninsula is important for breeding birds but also attracts a wide range of migrants. Off the tip of the peninsular are the uninhabited Klidhes Islands, rocky and grass-covered and fringed with low cliffs these islands have interesting breeding species.
The grassland and scrub of the peninsula are home to a good range of breeding birds including the endemic Cyprus Pied Wheatear and Cyprus Warbler as well as Black Francolin and Chukar Partridge, European Bee-eater and Red-rumped Swallow. Buntings are typical breeding birds of dry scrub and grassland habitats and Black-headed Bunting and Cretzschmar's Bunting both occur here.
The main island of the Klidhes is important as a breeding site for Audouin's Gull, the only site for the species in Cyprus. Other breeders include the Mediterranean race of Shag, Peregrine Falcon and Yellow-legged Gull.
Cape Andreas, also known as Cape Zafer or Zafer Burnu, on the tip of the peninsula, is possibly the best migration watchpoint on Cyprus with a huge range of species possible during passage periods.
Offshore shearwaters are regular on passage and gulls include Slender-billed Gull. Raptors can include Lesser Spotted Eagle, buzzards and harriers and falcons such as Red-footed Falcon, Northern Hobby and Peregrine Falcon. Common Crane, Greater Flamingo and Glossy Ibis can all be seen as well as herons such as Black-crowned Night Heron, Squacco Heron and Purple Heron, Little Egret and Little Bittern, often attracted to Lake Mehmetcik.
Waterfowl such as Garganey and Northern Pintail also occur along with a variety of waders including scarcer species such as Black-winged Stilt, Stone-curlew and Spur-winged Plover. Commoner waders include Little Stint and Curlew Sandpiper and Tringa species including Marsh Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper and Common Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank and Greenshank.
Other passage birds to be seen on the peninsula include European Bee-eater, Hoopoe and European Roller and a wide range of passerines. Larks, pipits, wagtails and hirundines all occur in large numbers as well as wheatears, chats, warblers and shrikes.
Birds you can see here include:
Cory's Shearwater, Yelkouan Shearwater, Great Cormorant, Mediterranean Shag, Little Bittern, Black-crowned Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo, Northern Pintail, Garganey, European Honey Buzzard, Western Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Pallid Harrier, Montagu's Harrier, Common Buzzard, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Merlin, Northern Hobby, Peregrine Falcon, Chukar Partridge, Black Francolin, Common Quail, Common Crane, Black-winged Stilt, Pied Avocet, Stone Curlew, Spur-winged Plover, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ruff, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Common Greenshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Audouin's Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Gull-billed Tern, European Turtle Dove, Little Owl, Common Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Eurasian Wryneck, Calandra Lark, Bimaculated Lark, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Eurasian Skylark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Tawny Pipit, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Blue-headed Wagtail, Black-headed Wagtail, White Wagtail, Eurasian Robin, Black Redstart, Common Redstart, Whinchat, European Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Cyprus Pied Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Song Thrush, Cetti's Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Eastern Subalpine Warbler, Ruppell's Warbler, Cyprus Warbler, Orphean Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Blackcap, Wood Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Collared Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher, Spotted Flycatcher, Red-backed Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Masked Shrike, Eurasian Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Eurasian Linnet, Ortolan Bunting, Cretzschmar's Bunting, Black-headed Bunting, Corn Bunting
Access and Facilities
The vast majority of visitors to Cyprus stay in the south of the island where there is an excellent tourist infra-structure. However, the Turkish part of Cyprus has suffered much less from the excessive tourist development which has scarred much of the south.
Visiting the north by air requires a stop-over in Turkey and it is also possible to travel there by ferry from Tasucu and Marsin.
Although the tourist infra-structure is less developed than south of the "Green Line" which divides the island, accommodation is plentiful and cheap as is car-hire.
- North Cyprus
- Karpasia National Park Area
- Birdwatching North Cyprus
- Karpas Peninsula & Kildhes Islands on Google Maps
Content and images originally posted by Steve