Saturday, March 27, 2010

Back in the Park

It was quite lovely out, so Jack and I headed up to the park. At the pond, we saw this great egret, our first time this season. He was quite cooperative even though there was a pretty big crowd there. Then on to the lake, at Willow Rock we saw this yellow bellied sap sucker several times, he likes the two little pine trees there. At the feeders this downy woodpecker and these goldfinches were visiting.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Miami: Turkey Vultures

So on our Cayman trip we got stuck in Miami overnight both ways. On the way back though we had our luggage, which meant binocs and cameras! From our hotel room we saw many turkey vultures. They were very hard to take pictures of, this is my best shot. I thought I also saw a black vulture, but I can't be sure, I only thought I saw one and it was brief.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Grand Cayman: Epic Drive Conclusion

After leaving the botanical gardens we went up to Over The Edge cafe, where we had a leisurely lunch. We also saw this belted kingfisher and a royal tern hanging out.

Heading back up to Cobalt Coast, we saw a group of frigates flying in circles and managed to get a couple of nice pictures. We were so tired when we got back! It was wonderful. :-)

Grand Cayman: Botanical Garden Again

Back at the Botanical Gardens! Just after arriving we ran into this West Indian wood-pecker, who was quite brazen and wanted to hang out.

We also saw this flicker, who was teasing us for a while. While the flicker teased us I saw this mystery bird, I think it's either a La Sagre's flycatcher or a loggerhead kingbird. Then the West Indian wood-pecker insisted on our full attention again. There were some tiny little lovelies flitting about but I didn't even get a decent look at them, let alone a picture. This bananaquit agreed to pose for a while, then it was on to our old friend the green heron. We heard a very strange call and went to check it out. We saw this mystery duck, who I think may be a juvenile purple gallinule. Another common moorhen - I love these birds! On the woodland trail, this mystery dove. As we were walking out we saw the green heron on the water fountain! Then in the parking lot, parrots! It was quite a time there. :-)

Grand Cayman: Epic Drive Part One

Today we decided to go back to the east end and the botanical gardens. First at Cobalt Coast this pelican blew by, a great way to start the day!

Then lots of driving, driving, driving, to the sanctuary pond. Where we saw a group of glossy ibis! Also there were a group of black necked stilts, all stilted up and tucked in. A blue winged teal and sandpiper were there, along with the quite glamorous pied billed grebe showing off for us. Continuing around we pulled into a different boat launch (that we had not been to yet) and saw the green heron, and a few more blue winged teals. Back to the inlet/ lake/ whatever that had the tricolored heron and pelican group. Both were there today! Along with a frigate flying over. At Frank Sound this snowy egret posed in the wind for us.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Grand Cayman: Another morning in the park

What a beautiful morning in the park! Just after entering I saw what I thought was a warbler of some sort perched in the branches above.

I drove along the beach road and then pretty much took up residence by the pool, a wonderful little gathering place. First this common ground dove in the tree, then this spectacular prairie warbler came to visit and snack on a few flies. This white winged dove was ready for its close up, giving me my best look yet at this bird. Then, un-be-liev-ably, a white crowned pigeon came by! These shots were taken through the windshield so the color is a bit drabber than real life. Then a yellow warbler had its turn, and the red dragonfly posed for me. This smooth beaked Ani hung around for a while too. After leaving the park I went to the restaurant parking lot, hoping for parrots, which I did not find. But I did see this Caribbean Elaenia, pretty as you please! I drove around near open fields and came across a mockingbird nest. It looked to me like the mockingbird was feeding chicks, which I could not see but could hear. Then just before I got back to Cobalt Coast, this flicker landed on a phone poll and sang for me for a bit. A great morning!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Grand Cayman: Morning in the Park with Jack

This morning , Cobalt Coast we saw a palm warbler and an oprey! Thanks again to Stuart for identifying them for me.

I took Jack to the park, hoping to show him everything I had seen without him. So off we went! We went through the canals for a while, looking for the pool, and saw this little blue heron flying around so we went to find it, and got a pretty good look at it. Back to the beach, where we looked around a while and ended up seeing a grackle. Sometimes that's how it goes! There were also these birds flying all over like crazy, we couldn't get a good look at them. I think from their tails they might be swallows. This is my best shot of the mystery swallow! Back to the canals, we found the pool. Another palm warbler and the green heron was there again!

Grand Cayman: Drive around the island

This afternoon I went on another adventure. I looked in the birding book for places to go, but of course that was 15 years ago, so I just sort of went for it. I ended up first finding this pier with beautiful pelicans, adults this time.

Then another huge series of canals for some sort of construction or power plant or something, where I saw this mystery sandpiper, and this iguana hiding out. I decided to just sort of keep on going towards the East End and see what I saw. I found a large lake or inlet or something nearish Frank Sound road, where this gorgeous tricolor heron held me captive for quite a while. If I looked left, there was some sort of pelican colony hanging out. On the way back, I saw first this great egret (I saw its feet although they are not in this picture) grab itself a snack! The second great egret (yes, I saw its feet also) was just posing, or at least I didn't see it actually snack on anything. I pulled off into what I though was cemetery beach and watched the sun set over this pelican who was quite cooperative with dramatic poses. Getting back to the hotel was an adventure too, I apparently made a wrong turn. But I made it and everything was fine!