It has been some time since we were out on one of the Middle Caicos Field Roads with cutlass and secateurs in hand: we had never quite got around to walking the Armstrong Pond Field Road until now. The entrance is hard to find but we have now installed a small sign as a simple marker.
The trail started well. It is deliberately narrower and less managed than some of the shorter routes but it was easy to follow. About half a kilometre in there was a fallen tree but the cutlass and secateurs quickly found us a way through and we turned deeper into the bush.
Shortly after the Number 9 marker however things took a turn for the worse, the route became less clear and overgrown: very prickly bushes took over. We persevered through a few hundred metres before giving up. Our tools and indeed patience were not up to the job and some knowledge of the actual route would be helpful. So like Garden Pond, a few weeks ago, No 9 proved to be the end of the road for us at least.
There were some interesting plants, invertebrates and birds along the route. We spotted a Bahama woodstar and bananaquit as we trimmed back small overgrown branches. In the spider world the crab orb-weavers were in abundance, their webs across the trail at head height ready for the first person to discover. Of the plants, the most striking was the Bahama hibiscus (Hibiscus brittonianus). The pink to yellow flowers hold huge quantities of pollen to attract bats to feed. The fruit is covered with very irritant hairs so we kept it at a respectful distance.
It was disappointing to have to turn back. The trail leads past Armstrong Pond to the tidal flats and it would have been an interesting change to the other trails. However discretion is required in such trail work, the bush on Middle Caicos is not somewhere to get lost.