7 Apr 2010

Birding from the Delphi Club in the Bahamas Part 4

On my last morning I was going to spend a half day fishing with my father and it turned out that we were going to have to share the boat with another guest so as he was keener on fishing than I was I decided to, surprise, surprise, do my last bit of birding by walking the drive to the Delphi Club. In hindsight it was the best decision of the week.

As the boats all departed
I did my final walk round the two mile loop of the drive, infact I hobbled round as my left foot was very uncomfortable. On my return to Ireland it turned into a full blown bout of gout! The first bird of the day was a Merlin flying overhead. I had seen them every day that I was there. They are slightly different to the ones in the UK in that they have less bars in the tail feathers.



The other local bird of prey was an American Kestrel which flew towards me but was directly in line with the sun so didn't get a decent shot.


The other Birds of Prey that I saw during the week were an Osprey flying within 20 yards of the Delphi Club
and even more exciting for me was to see a Swallow-tailed Kite. (This is a heavily cropped image)
Infact when I went to tell one of the guests I noticed there were two of them and then I told another guest and as I was looking for them I saw eight in all . These birds were on migration and it was a good sighting as they weren't in my guide book for the island.

The vegetation on each side of the drive was filled with bird sounds of one form or another. The Thick -billed Vireo being the most common, followed closely by the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.



There were Black and White Warbler, Northern Parula and the fairly common Black-faced Grassquit.




There were also feeding along the road edges some Common Ground Doves or Tobacco Doves as they are known on the island. They are absolutely tiny definately the smallest dove I have ever seen. They are about seven inches long.


The other dove that I was to see apart from Ring-necked Dove was the Zenaida Dove which also appeared on the drive.

Most days when I walked round the loop I would come across the Loggerhead Kingbird, these were fairly tame and would let you get quite close.

Whereas the Smooth-billed Ani weren't so accomodating.


One of the noisier birds is the Gray Catbird Listen HERE it could be found all over the lodge grounds.


Also in the Pine trees on the drive you could find the Olive Capped Warbler Dendroica pityophilia a near endemic looking for insects.


There were two Bahaman endemics to be found on the drive they were the Bahama Swallow and the Bahama Yellowthroat.


I was also very pleased to see another member of the thrush family. The Red-legged Thrush Turdus plumbeus.

Another bird that I saw was this beautiful little first year Prothonotary Warbler. I didn't know what it was and posted it on twitter and received replies very quickly and Anthony Mcgeehan texted me with the answer to confirm it for me.


As I was walking round the loop I could hear some Cuban Parrots about half a mile away and I was hoping I might get a better glimpse of them. When one landed in a tree right next to me. It was soon followed by another and within minutes there were at least twenty in the trees all around me. They stayed for about twenty to thirty minutes. I was elated that I got to see them so well and for a decent amount of time and then my camera's battery died :-(






4 comments:

Timothy Belmont said...

Terrific photos as ever, Craig. I am in a position to declare that, thus far, Belmont has spotted collared doves, a male blackbird, parakeets ans sparrows in Tenerife. :-)

Nothing like Bahamas at all!

Mike said...

Fantastic photos, Craig. You got great captures of some flitty little songbirds that rarely sit still long enough for portraits. Nice to see that you picked up a number of the endemics, some of which are consigned to specific islands.

Joy K. said...

"WOW!" at the eyerings on the thrush! Looks like a 5-year-old got carried away with mom's makeup.

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Delphi development