Visit your favourite destinations
|A Report from birdtours.co.uk|
You’re never very far from a Turkey Vulture 2nd - 16th July 2009,
Before we had even left the airport at Holguin in Cuba for our Hotel (the grandly named Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa) near Guardalavaca, Turkey Vultures were soaring above. Abundant was definitely the right word for these birds which seemed to be overhead whenever eyes went to the skies for the next 2 weeks.
My wife and son are not quite as enthusiastic about birds as myself but we were all pleased to find the layout of our hotel complex was spread around a highly vegetated area sloping down to the sea. By tea time I had already sorted out Red Legged Thrushes, Grey Kingbirds, Northern Mocking Birds and numerous Grackles when I was excited to see a “nightjarry” bird flying over our room. It turned out to be an Antillean Nighthawk which I was to see several more times during our stay.
|On a pre-breakfast walk the following morning I found surprisingly small Common Ground Doves between the trees on the beach and a very accommodating Yellow Crowned Night Heron (even managed a photo). I didn’t see it again and now believe it was quite a lucky spot.|
On a sight-seeing trip into a local mountainous area our Cuban driver, Jorge (Haw-hey) had an interest in birds and helped us to find a Trogon, the national bird of Cuba and endemic to the island. On the same day we spotted the only “rare” bird of the holiday (according to my Cuban Bird Book) which was the Collared Swift. A group of them screamed over a waterfall as we watched from a wooden viewing tower.
Before we left England, I had set my heart on seeing a Cuban Tody, a tiny brightly coloured bird, and we were finally rewarded on our last day whilst on a guided walk around the Rocazul Bioparque just half a mile from our hotel.
Besides the birds, we saw loads of butterflies, fish, crabs, lizards and a snake. I would highly recommend the venue to anyone interested in wildlife (or history, politics and sunbathing).
Full List of Birds Spotted (without any great effort).
Greater Antillean Grackle
Red Legged Thrush
Tawny Shouldered Blackbird
Northern Mocking Bird
White Winged Dove
Common Ground Dove
Cuban Green Woodpecker
Smooth Billed Ani
Stripe Headed Tanager
Helmeted Guinea Fowl
Cuban Emerald (humming bird)
Antillean Palm Swift
White Collared Swift
Great White Egret
Yellow Crowned Night Heron
Little Blue heron
Black Whiskered Vireo
Eastern Meadow Lark
Black Necked Stilt