Migrating warblers typically pass through Cyprus from March until May every Spring – a fact that is sadly taken advantage of by illegal poachers. Their migration typically peaks about a week before the end of April however.

Well, last weekend certainly held up to the rule, with April 22nd being a particularly good day. Sadly I didn’t make it out birding though, much to my loss. Good friends of mine, Stavros Christodoulides and Jane Stylianou, had the pleasure of seeing quite a few, including Barred Warbler and Icterine Warbler. These two have been particularly elusive for me in the past, and I gotta say that I was quite jealous.

CAPTION: Barred Warbler, taken 22-April 2011 – ©Jane Stylianou

Jane Stylianou managed to get a great shot of the Barred Warbler, and kindly shared it with me to use in blogging. Too good to pass up!

But that gets me thinking of just how many warbler species migrate through Cyprus. Not counting very scarce vagrants, wintering birds, or breeding birds – just migrants that is – there are by my count at least 2 Acrocephalus sp., 3 Phylloscoppus sp., 2 Hippolais sp., and 7 Sylvia sp. (Then there are at least a baker’s dozen more species if I include the exempted categories.) The Sylviid species dominate as you can see, and include the following 12 species:

Spectacled Warbler (resident)
Subalpine Warbler (migrant)
Sardinian Warbler (resident)
Cyprus Warbler (resident)
Rüppell’s Warbler (migrant)
Asian Desert Warbler (rare vagrant)
Eastern Orphean Warbler (migrant)
Barred Warbler (uncommon migrant)
Lesser Whitethroat (migrant)
Common Whitethroat (migrant)
Garden Warbler (uncommon migrant)
Eurasian Blackcap (migrant/wintering)

Written by Dan
Dan is an eastern Pennsylvania native who grew up surrounded by birdwatching and nature documentaries. He caught the itch, so to speak, when he arrived at Sapsucker Woods in Ithaca, New York, and he refined his birding skills with the Lab of Ornithology's Spring Field Ornithology course. While there he studied Molecular Biology, then met a Cypriot, got married, and ended up moving with her to Cyprus. Dan is an active member of BirdLife Cyprus and goes birding whenever his career and family allow. Birds and their conservation locally, he thinks, are things that people need to talk more about in Cyprus, so much that he now blogs and tweets almost exclusively about these topics at Migrations.