Our programme to monitor birds of prey on migration has been ongoing since 2003. During our annual autumn migration counts, observers count birds on passage throughout the day on as many days as possible during the main passage period, from late August to early November. The programme has focused on the Akrotiri Peninsula in recent years, owing to the peninsula’s importance as a “bottleneck” site through which the majority of migrating birds of prey are thought to pass each autumn. In addition to birds of prey, observers count other large soaring birds, such as pelicans, storks and cranes, and some smaller birds such as bee-eaters. This is a permanent programme, with most counts carried out by members of BirdLife Cyprus’s network of volunteers.
The long-term objectives of this programme include identifying or confirming further important sites or flyways for migrant raptors, determining the daily and seasonal pattern of migration for each species, detecting trends in the numbers of each species passing through the island, and identifying actual or potential conservation problems (for example, hazards posed by existing or planned wind farms, antennae or other obstructions).