Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Grand Cayman: Drive around East End

After lunch, Jack started working and I got restless so I went for a drive. I went around the East End south of The Reef, then up Frank Sound Road, and around back to The Reef. Soon after starting out I saw this smooth-billed ani who allowed a few pictures.

I pulled over into a boat launch are that was called something like Harris Field, where there were some royal terns and a pelican. The royal terns are quite sleek, like fighter pilots! The pelican really looked like a big galoof next to them. In the tern picture, the one in front seemed to be begging the one on the post for something. Really pestering it. The pelican showed off its pouch for me, it flew around a big and then dove and really seems to have gotten something tasty!

Once I turned onto Frank Sound Road I pulled off to the right when I saw the first (small) pond or whatever, where I saw this common moorhen and American coot. Also present was this pied-billed grebe. I continued on to the Mastic Trail trailhead on this side, but the road was blocked so I went to the other, much larger body of water. There I saw this group of egrets hanging out, and even saw one fly in to join them. I also saw a sea turtle surface to take a breath, but it was gone by the time I could point the camera over there. So I guess this must be salt water, not a fresh water pond after all. Continuing on back around, I was almost back to the hotel when I saw this merlin perched along the roadside. It allowed me a few shots before moving to an undisclosed location. What a great drive! Thanks to Stuart for identifying the merlin for me.

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