The birdlife here is either big and bold or very secretive. Of the big bird species most are associated with water. A coastal walk is always going to be accompanied by brown pelicans who demonstrate their remarkably graceful fishing technique on occasion. Inland egrets, herons and greater flamingoes frequent the fresh and brackish lagoons that are scattered over the island.
There are many small birds in the bush most of which need more patience and better camera equipment than we have for a photographic record. Yesterday at Conch Bar Cave, for example, were a couple of tiny Bahama woodstars, the only hummingbird seen regularly here. Their size and speed makes even a proper look almost impossible.
Perhaps the most commonly seen bird is the American kestrel which sits on the power lines (or trees where lines are unavailable) waiting to spot small creatures such as lizards on the ground below.
‘The bird with the most unusual call’ award must go to the Cuban Crow, which occurs here and, not surprisingly, in Cuba. It’s call is described as a ‘gobbling cackle’ and needs to be heard to be believed.
There are small groups of waders on the shore and around the lagoons but the missing seabirds are the gulls, not one have we seen so far. Even the native terns are hard to find though two were around the wrecked ferry in Conch Bar today, being watched by the local pelican.