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A Report from

Cuba, 1-12 Feb 2010,

Mark Easterbrook

Cuban Trogon


Consolidated Species List

The Group: (a collection of dedicated birders, historians, culture vultures, music lovers and sunbathing shoppers), Leader – Josele J Sais, Local Guide – Orestes Martinez (El Chino de Zapata), Mark & Debbie Easterbrook, John & Val Sanders, Peter & Debbie Leutchford, Richard & Anita Burton, Hugh & Joyce MacKenzie

My wife and I travelled to Cuba with Boletas birdwatching holidays run by Josele J Sais of Spain.  The group members had made their way to Cuba independently via a number of routes and finally met up on the morning of the 2nd Feb to start birding.  Some members of the group had already had the chance to familiarise themselves with some of the commoner birds on the previous day and Richard added a Ring-billed Gull; a species that was subsequently not seen again.

Day 1 – 1 Feb

We flew from Heathrow via Madrid and arrived in Havana after nearly loosing a case at about 2130.  A short transfer to the hotel in Havana had us tucked up in bed and ready to start birding in earnest the next morning. 

Day 2 – 2 Feb

The group finally formed at breakfast and shortly after set off for La Guilla and Soroa via several wetlands to the west of Havana.  We stopped after about half an hour to view some large wetlands noting an Eastern Meadow Lark singing atop a nearby bush. On the wetland several heron species and a few Neotropic Cormorants fed whilst flocks of several hundred Ring-necked Ducks and Lesser Scaup went about their business.  Even at this early stage it was obvious that Turkey Vultures and Palm Warblers were very common.

As we drove towards La Guilla we stopped at another Wetland where the first female Snail Kites, American Gallinules, Killdeers and an obvious Limpkin were seen.  At a smaller roadside pond a few miles later, a striking male Snail Kite along with a Green Heron, several Smooth-billed Anis and an Osprey carrying a lobster were observed.

We finally arrived at La Guilla and an old disused coffee plantation site.  The grounds here produced some excellent opportunities and served as a very good intro to Cuban birding.  We were immediately greeted by a Loggerhead Kingbird and amongst the trees and ponds were our first Louisiana Waterthrush and Yellow-throated Warblers.  Cuban Emeralds fed actively whilst a male Stripe-headed Tanager looked resplendent and was well received by the group.  With little time to appreciate what became a fairly common bird, a West Indian Woodpecker grabbed our attentions.

Stripe-headed Tanager
Snail Kite

We then went for a well deserved lunch break and a cool beer at small nearby hotel which was enjoyed by all and accompanied by Yellow-faced Grassquits and Cuban Blackbirds in the grounds.

We returned to an area near to the coffee plantation and saw two Cuban Green Woodpeckers, a pair of Yellow-headed Warblers and what was eventually agreed to be as a Yellow-throated Vireo after some discussion.  We continued to the waterfall at Soroa and were greeted with a tropical downpour that lasted for about an hour or so.  In any event after the rain several birds became more active with a pair of Cuban Trogons showing well, as well as several American Warbler species which included Northern Parula, Black-throated Green, American Redstart and another endemic Yellow-headed Warbler.

Having lost birding time due to the rain and being unable to access the Olive-capped Warbler sites by bus due to road damage by Hurricane Ike, it was decided to focus our attentions on the much sought after Cuban Solitaire.  After a little cajoling one began to sing and after much searching, Orestes spotted one sat on top of a dead tree.  The group enjoyed good scope views of the bird until it disappeared from sight and as a bonus some enjoyed close views of the first Cuban Tody of the tour.  A good first day had been concluded albeit minus the Olive-capped Warbler so we returned to Havana a happy band of birders.

Day 3 – 3 Feb

An early departure from Havana saw us leaving the city to the sight of Laughing Gulls Royal Terns and Brown Pelicans in the harbour.  The long and particularly boring journey to Cayo Coco had begun.  The journey was interrupted by a few birding stops one of which was at a bridge on the "motorway" near Santa Clara Lake.  The lake revealed the first Tri-coloured Heron, at least five Anhingas, and a Common Yellowthroat, whilst in the fields four Helmeted Guineafowls searched for food.  The laborious journey along the road continued for some time before it was briefly interrupted by a roadside male Crested Caracara flying alongside the bus.   A brief stop at the River Sasa Bridge was highlighted by another Limpkin.  We began to cross the causeway to Cayo Coco in the late afternoon, seeing several Magnificent Frigatebirds, and an American Herring Gull, while also having the opportunity to view two Roseate Spoonbills in the mangroves.  A stop at a convenient hedgerow brought some excellent birds, with two Oriente Warblers, a Cuban Vireo and Cuban Bullfinches all putting in appearances before we retired to our all inclusive hotel to consume "free" alcohol.

Green Heron

Day 4 – 4 Feb

We had just started eating breakfast when Josele had noticed a pair of Greater Antillean Orioles sat in some bamboo just outside the restaurant.  We all subsequently left breakfast momentarily to secure views of these striking birds which was a great start to the day.  Before departing for Cayo Guillermo, we were able to see another Crested Caracara, West Indian Woodpecker and two Northern Flickers in the grounds of the hotel.  The wind was particularly strong as two White Ibises passed overhead, and we made our way west along the Cay.  The wind did not bode well for the search for the Bahama Mockingbird and so it proved with only brief and unsatisfactory views being secured by the group.  However, the stops did give us a chance to see the real gem that is the Cuban Gnatcatcher along with Prairie Warblers, Cuban Pewee and La Sagra's Flycatcher.  As the wind was very strong we looked for some water birds ensuring good views of several waders and the first Reddish Egret of the tour.  A pair of Clapper Rails failed to give themselves up and remained as heard only records.

We returned to the same area in the afternoon to continue the search for the Mockingbird.  We were delighted after some searching when Josele and Mark found two close birds perched followed by another distant bird.  We left the area shortly after and headed for a forest track.  This led to a clearing where a Zapata Sparrow and another Cuban Bullfinch and Vireo were found.

Bahama Mockingbird

Day 5 – 5 Feb

Today was all about a drive for about a hour and a half to the east and Cayo Paradon Grande.  Driving over a particularly dodgy bridge that had been damaged by hurricane Ike; the driver Evan did a fantastic job.  Eventually we ended up looking for a needle in a haystack that was the Thick-billed Vireo.  After a little coaxing and “pishing” the bird showed extremely well and the group was able to appreciate the delicate features of this near endemic beauty.  We continued to the sea front seeing and photographing another three Cuban Gnatcatchers as well as the only Yellow Warbler of the tour.  At the sea front, Brown Pelicans were the only thing on offer and a Belted Kingfisher by some near by ponds.  Driving back over the dilapidated bridge we stopped to view, Royal Terns, Laughing Gulls, Magnificent Frigatebirds and the first Double Crested Cormorants of the trip.  We arrived back at the hotel at about 1230 and took lunch before departing for Camaguay via some nearby woods where extremely close views of Cuban Tody were enjoyed and where Mark laying on his stomach achieved a view of a Key West Quail Dove.

Several common birds were seen whilst driving to Camaguay and quartering over a field, the only Northern Harrier of the campaign. 

Cuban Tody

Day 6 – 6 Feb

A noisy Cuban disco next to the hotel brought its own particular brand of annoyance to the group and consequently everyone awoke a little irritated although ready to drive further east to Najasa Nature Reserve.  Whilst Hugh and Joyce continued to negotiate the vagaries of the Cuban laundry “system”, the remainder of the group concentrated on the day ahead which turned out to be one of the most memorable of the trip and a great birding by anyone’s standards.

Transiting a small village on route to Najasa, the party stopped to look at a group of Cuban Crows.  It was indeed a fortunate stop as the first good views of a Great Lizard-Cuckoo were also achieved.  Suddenly, mass excitement broke out as a group of four Cuban (Red-throated) Parrots were spotted sitting on top of some nearby trees.  These were scoped and enjoyed by all before we watched them fly off showing the blue in the wings.  We were alerted to a different call that turned out to be two Cuban Palm Crows. Once identified by call and followed to a perch, discriminating between them and the commoner Cuban Crows became relatively easy.

Almost immediately as we arrived at Najasa, the guide became animated over a calling Fernandina's Flicker.  It was taped in and sat in a tree above us.  Finally Peter got onto the bird as it moved and it eventually sat in the open for all to enjoy this fantastic woodpecker.  Moving onto a farmer's private land, which held a variety of habitats, it was not long before we were viewing a bush with no less than seven American Warblers, a Cuban Vireo and a pair of Cuban Grassquits, unfortunately the male was only seen by Mark and the guide so the search continued.  The group became aware of a calling Cuban Pygmy Owl and once located sat obligingly in the open, allowing for a superb photo opportunity.

Fernandina's Flicker
Cuban Pygmy Owl

Taking lunch at a local Finca allowed for a view of a soaring Broad-winged Hawk, another West Indian Woodpecker and several more Cuban Crows.  A large group of Tawny-shouldered Blackbirds made their presence felt and two Loggerhead Kingbirds caused a false alarm during the search for the much sought after Giant Kingbird.  Moving to a nearby wetland area, eleven Northern Jacanas were seen, two Red-tailed Hawks and several Heron species.  Transiting the area a large group of circa thirty White-winged Doves were seen adjacent to the vehicle.

We now required two birds to complete what had already been a quite fantastic day’s birding.  Locals directed us to an orchard with blossom and it was not long before we came across a feeding flock of Cuban Parakeets that obligingly sat above us for several minutes before moving on.  We had missed one bird but in a last ditch effort to see it made one more stop before departing the area for the hotel.  The guide saw a bird fly to a treetop and Richard soon confirmed that it was a Giant Kingbird.  Amongst a sea of clambering telescopes, the bird sat motionless for a couple of minutes before disappearing.  However, everyone had seen the bird with its enormous and impressive bill.  The Kingbird rounded off what everyone agreed was an exceptional day. 

Day 7 – 7 Feb

Today was a transit day moving from Camaguay to Zapata via a service station stop and Santa Clara.  At the service station, which are usually pretty good places to bird watch for the duration of the stay, some good birds were seen including Northern and Louisiana Waterthrushes, two Cape May Warblers and a Red-legged Thrush.  Moving on once more and stopping at the Sasa River Bridge again, produced what appeared to be a resident Limpkin.

Lunch was taken in Santa Clara and the resort proved to be an excellent area to bird watch in.  In a period of an hour some very good birds were seen.  Several more Cape May and Yellow-throated Warblers were obvious and after some searching five Red-legged Honeycreepers were seen.  Two moulting male Indigo Buntings were next along with an Ovenbird and several Yellow-faced Grassquits.  A Gundlach’s Hawk was heard calling from a possible nest site (which was eventually located) and a few members of the group achieved flight views and an all too brief, perched view of the bird.

Reaching Zapata at approximately 1700 we stopped to do a little birding before proceeding to the hotel in Playa Largo.  Two more Greater Antillean Orioles were noted along with a Black and White Warbler and two Red-shouldered Blackbirds flew over us.  At a marshy area, another four Northern Jacanas and an American Purple Gallinule were seen before a Crested Caracara swooped above us and two Cuban Parrots flew to roost.

Arriving at the hotel for a shower before dinner was a relief and after dinner a pair of Stygian Owls were heard and eventually seen in the floodlights by Mark and Orestes.

An early morning start in the dark in order to attempt seeing the Greater Antillean (Cuban) Nightjar.  Eventually the bird was heard calling and perched on a branch in front of us briefly before vanishing never to be seen again. This was a good start to the day and with spirits lifted we continued onwards in search of the Zapata Wren.  After a fairly short period one was heard singing and unusually perched in a mangrove bush in front of us.  It was eventually located and scoped by the whole party – a fantastic result!  We continued along the track flushing a pair of Zapata Sparrows that were later photographed.  We heard another two Wrens and saw one briefly, whilst an Alligator splashed around noisily being a little too close for comfort.  The only Night Herons were seen in this area whilst Prairie Warblers were becoming a bit numerous and a Blue-grey Gnatcatcher performed well for the group.

Zapata Sparrow

As we continued to walk the forest tracks, some of the group achieved brief views of a Grey-fronted (Cuban) Quail Dove before it walked off into the undergrowth.  A little further along the track a Cuban Pygmy Owl called and flew in front of us before a Cuban Screech Owl was encouraged to look at us from its nest hole in a nearby palm tree.

Doing well for endemics and feeling lucky we proceeded to a known Bee Hummingbird site.  Very quickly after our arrival three birds were seen and one beautiful male posed for the group in brilliant sunshine.  Departing the site Orestes' brother Angel Martinez had heard and found a day roosting Stygian Owl.  It looked at us with mild interest but remained unperturbed and posed nicely for the camera until we left it to return to its dosing.

Stygian Owl

Back at the hotel for lunch and not departing for the Salinas until 1445 several of the group decided to walk around the grounds.  Several Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers and Black-throated Blue Warblers were seen.  Whilst Richard found a Great Lizard- Cuckoo, Mark and John were lucky enough to encounter a Hooded Warbler in full breeding regalia, which was real joy.

We departed for the Salinas (an area which is probably worth a whole day).  We immediately saw one of the groups wanted birds a cracking Cuban Black Hawk, which sat motionless as the group scoped it.  John alerted the group to a Grebe on an adjacent pond, which proved to be a Least Grebe, so the afternoon had started well.  Several commoner wader species were seen including a pair of Dunlin and water birds such as White Ibis, Greater Flamingo and various Herons were much in evidence.

Cuban Black Hawk

Travelling further down the causeway two groups of Black Skimmers were noted roosting amongst the Caspian and Royal Terns and Mark alerted the group to the presence of the only Gull-billed Tern of the tour.  The Salinas was alive with birds such as American White Pelicans, Brown Pelicans, Black-necked Stilts and a small group of Red-breasted Mergansers.  A group of eight Wood Storks placed the cherry on the cake before we retuned to the hotel via another Cuban Parrot.  Back at the resort a group of nineteen Cuban Parrots made for a fantastic spectacle as they posed in the grounds before flying to roost.

Day 9 – 9 Feb

Another early start was made in an attempt to track down the elusive Quail Doves.  This proved fairly fruitless; however the group saw its first and long overdue Zenaida Doves.  Cuban Todys, Trogons and Pewees were ever present, whilst a pair of Fernandina’s Flickers flew overhead but did not pause.  We were taken to a Cuban Screech Owl site and two birds appeared from the top of a tree, where one extravert posed for the camera before flying into the forest.

Cuban Screech Owl

In the afternoon we moved to another forest area and with the hunt for Quail Doves taking its toll the sunbathers decided to stay at the resort.  This area of forest was a lot more productive.  After our arrival Orestes, quickly saw two Blue-headed Quail Doves and John managed to get onto one of them.  As we continue around the forest tracks unbeatable views of a Grey-fronted Quail Dove were achieved and another Hooded Warbler showed well.  A possible Worm Eating Warbler was called but everyone just saw a black shape disappear into the undergrowth.  As Mark searched for the Warbler, a decision which cost him dear, a Blue-headed Quail Dove ran across the path of the remainder of the group, who achieved good views of this most elusive of birds.

Day 10 – 10 Feb

Before departing for Havana we visited the Bee Hummingbird site once more and the bird performed on queue.  The Gundlach’s Hawk site failed to produce the goods although most of the group had good views of a Key West Quail Dove.  We departed for Havana amidst a raft of commoner birds and noted a pair of mating American Kestrels and a Red-tailed Hawk en route.

A visit to a local jazz club in Havana that evening was a fantastic experience not to be missed and provided a real insight into the culture of Cubans and Havana.

Day 11 – 11 Feb

This was a free day allowing the group to explore and enjoy the delights and historic sites of Havana. 

Day 12 – 12 Feb

With many of the group opting to spend an additional day in Havana at the end of the tour the possibility of seeing an Olive-capped Warbler that was missed on the first day existed.  Mark, John, Peter and Richard hired the local guide for an additional morning in an attempt to see several birds that had been missed during the trip.  The excursion turned out to be a great success.  Leaving Havana at 0530 the mini group travelled to the La Guilla area once more.  Traversing the damaged road to the higher pine trees and habitat for the Warbler was not easy although we eventually made it.  Several singing Olive-capped Warblers were noted.  A Magnolia Warbler, several Northern Parulas and a Black and White Warbler were also seen.  An Olive-capped perching low down on a branch and in fantastic light, allowed the relevant features to be easily seen.  We continued along the track adding another three Scaly-naped Pigeons whilst hearing a Cuban Solitaire which remained hidden.  The next surprise was a flying Gundlach's Hawk which perched momentarily before disappearing.  Returning to the car we were treated to a fine male Red-legged Honeycreeper showing its light blue cap which we had not noticed on the previous sighting.     

On our way back to the motorway we stopped at an ordinary looking bit of scrub land interspersed with several bushes, and to our surprise it provided the target bird in the form of four Cuban Grassquits; a stunning male and three females – Richard was delighted having missed the bird in Najasa and John and Peter were very pleased to see a male.  The journey back to Havana gave us glimpses of a few more Snail Kites, an Osprey and a few Tree Swallows.  We arrived safely back at the hotel at about 1230.

In the afternoon, before the red-eye flight, Mark and John went to the Havana lighthouse to see the Cave Swallows that Richard had recorded the previous day.  About thirty were seen together with many Asian Palm Swifts, Laughing Gulls, Royal and Sandwich Terns.  Mark was astonished to see a large Gannet looking bird in the harbour mouth, as it plunged dived and began to rise and drift in the wind, he quickly realised that it was a Masked Booby and duly got John onto it before it disappeared around the headland on the strong wind – a real bonus and a great finish to the trip.

The flight with Iberia to Heathrow via Madrid was not without incident and delay which meant that we eventually arrived home in the late evening of the thirteenth.  The other members of the group had already left or were going to depart on the fourteenth.

Consolidated Species List 

Pied-billed Grebe

Several on wetlands

Least Grebe

1 was seen at Zapata Salinas

Masked Booby

1 in Havana Harbour mouth on the 12th

Neotropic Cormorant

Widespread and Common on inland waters

Double-crested Cormorant

Several at Cayo Paradon Grande


Several seen on riverside waterways

American White Pelican

24 at Zapata Salinas

Brown Pelican

Widespread at coastal locations

Magnificent Frigatebird

Fairly common at coastal locations

Reddish Egret

Singletons seen at the Cays

Tricoloured Heron

Singletons seen in suitable habitat

Little Blue Heron

Widespread and common

Snowy Egret

As above

Great Blue Heron

Widespread and numerous

Great White Egret

As above

Cattle Egret

The most numerous egret and widespread

Green Heron

1s & 2s seen throughout

Yellow-crowned Night Heron

1 male at Playa Largo resort hunting under the lights

Black-crowned Night Heron

Many roosting at Zapata mangroves

Wood Stork

8 at Zapata Salinas

White Ibis

Many seen in the Cays and at Zapata Salinas

Glossy Ibis

3 seen throughout the tour

Roseate Spoonbill

Fairly common in the Northern Cays

Caribbean Flamingo

This distinctive form seen in the Northern Cays and numerous at Zapata Salinas

Ruddy Duck

Many on roadside wetlands near Havana

Blue-winged Teal

Numerous on Cayo Coco

Northern Shoveller

As above

Ring-necked Duck

Hundreds on roadside wetlands between Havana and La Guilla on the first day

Lesser Scaup

As above but not as numerous

Red-breasted Merganser

5 at Zapata Salinas

Turkey Vulture


Snail Kite

Numerous on roadside wetlands between Havana & La Guilla and 1 at Zapata Salinas

Northern Harrier

1 seen on route to Camaguay

Gundlach's Hawk

1 calling bird near Santa Clara & 1 on the final day at La Guilla

Cuban Black Hawk

Numerous at Zapata Salinas

Broad-winged Hawk

1 over the Finca at Najasa NR

Red-tailed Hawk

2 near Finca La Belen and one from the road whilst returning from Zapata to Havana


1s & 2s at widespread locations

Crested Caracara

Several and widespread

American Kestrel

Both forms were widespread and numerous

Helmeted Guineafowl

4 in fields near Santa Clara

American Purple Gallinule

1s & 2s seen at wetlands

Common Moorhen

Numerous at Wetlands

American Coot

As above


5 seen throughout the trip in widespread wetland locations

Northern Jacana

11 near Finca La Belen and 4 at Zapata

Black-necked Stilt

At the Northern Cays and at Zapata Salinas

Grey Plover

As above

Semipalmated Plover

Numerous at the Northern Cays


Widespread in 1s & 2s

Greater Yellowlegs

Common on Cayo Coco and Zapata Salinas

Lesser Yellowlegs

As above but not as numerous

Spotted Sandpiper

As above


A small flock on Cayo Coco and 1 at Zapata Salinas

Ruddy Turnstone

As above

Short-billed Dowitcher

Common on Cayo Coco

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Small groups at Cayo Coco and Zapata Salinas

Least Sandpiper

5 at Zapata Salinas


2 at Zapata Salinas

Laughing Gull

Common and widespread at coastal areas

American Herring Gull

1s & 2s at coastal areas

Caspian Tern

Common at Zapata Salinas and 1 seen elsewhere

Royal Tern

Common and widespread at coastal areas

Gull-billed Tern

1 at Zapata Salinas

Sandwich Tern

At least 3 in Havana harbour

Black Skimmer

C45 at Zapata Salinas

White-crowned Pigeon

Several flybys and one positively ID'd in Zapata

Plain Pigeon

4 or 5 seen on route to Najasa NR

Scaly-naped Pigeon

3 or 4 seen in flight at La Guilla

Mourning Dove

Common and widespread

Eurasian Collared Dove

Common around Havana

Zenaida Dove

Surprisingly difficult but at least 6 seen in widespread locations

White-winged Dove

A flock of 35 or so seen near Finca Al Belen

Common Ground Dove

Common and widespread

Grey-fronted Quail Dove

2 seen, 1 very well at Las Bermejas

Key West Quail Dove

2 seen, 1 scoped at Zapata La Turba

Blue-headed Quail Dove

2 seen by some members of the group at Las Bermejas

Cuban Parakeet

22 near Finca Al Belen and 6 flew over at Las Bermejas

Cuban Parrot

Surprisingly numerous and widespread especially at Playa Largo in the evening

Great Lizard-Cuckoo

Singletons seen in most wooded areas

Smooth-billed Ani

Common at the roadside

Cuban Screech Owl

1 in a nest hole at La Turba and 2 in dead tree at Las Bermejas

Cuban Pygmy Owl

1 seen and photographed at Najasa NR, 1 perched at Las Bermejas found by Debbie and 1 in flight at La Turba– many heard calling

Stygian Owl

2 at Playa Largo and 1 in a day roost at La Turba

Greater Antillean Nightjar

1 at Zapata La Turba

Antillean Palm-Swift

Many and widespread

Cuban Emerald

Common and widespread

Bee Hummingbird

A group of 3 and a single bird on separate days at Zapata La Turba

Cuban Trogan

Widespread in 1s & 2s

Belted Kingfisher

1s seen throughout at wetlands

Cuban Tody

Heard and seen in widespread forested locations

West Indian Woodpecker

Common and widespread

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Common and widespread

Cuban Woodpecker

Not as common as above but several seen in widespread areas

Northern (Cuban) Flicker

3 or 4 seen at Cayo Coco

Fernandina's Flicker

1 perched in Najasa NR and 2 flyovers at Las Bermejas

Cuban Pewee

1s & 2s seen throughout

La Sagra's Flycatcher

1s seen in widespread areas

Eastern Kingbird

1 on the fence at Playa Largo

Loggerhead Kingbird

Common and widespread

Giant Kingbird

1 at Najasa NR

Tree Swallow

Many flying near Zapata

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

1 over the sea at Cayo Coco

Cave Swallow

Numerous in the evening over Havana harbour

Zapata Wren

2 seen and 3 heard at Zapata peninsula

Grey Catbird

1s seen and heard throughout

Bahama Mockingbird

3 seen at Cayo La Guillermo

Northern Mockingbird

Numerous and widespread

Cuban Solitaire

1 seen at Soroa and 1 heard at La Guilla

Red-legged Thrush

Common and widespread

Blue-grey Gnatcatcher

1s and 2s seen in widespread locations

Cuban Gnatcatcher

2 at Cayo La Guillermo and 3 at Cayo

Cuban Palm Crow

2 on route to Najasa consorting with Cuban Crows

Cuban Crow

More numerous than above around Najasa

House Sparrow

Common around habitation

White-eyed Vireo

1 seen at

Cuban Vireo

Many and heard at widespread locations

Thick-billed Vireo

1 seen at Las Bermejas

Yellow-throated Vireo

3 seen throughout the tour

Northern Parula

Common and widespread

Yellow Warbler

1 seen at Cayo Paradon Grande

Magnolia Warbler

1 at Zapata and 1 at La Guilla

Cape May Warbler

Common in the South near the Zapata peninsula

Black-throated Blue Warbler

As above

Yellow-rumped Warbler

1 or 2 seen in Cayo La Guillermo

Black-throated Green Warbler

3 or 4 seen in various locations

Yellow-throated Warbler

Common and widespread

Olive-capped Warbler

Only in La Guilla pines

Prairie Warbler

As above

Palm Warbler

The most common warbler found everywhere

Black-and-White Warbler

1s and 2s seen in mixed warbler flocks

American Redstart

Numerous and widespread


1s and 2s seen throughout

Northern Waterthrush

As above

Louisiana Waterthrush

More common than Northern in most wet shady areas

Common Yellowthroat

Many seen throughout

Yellow-headed Warbler

Usually seen in pairs in the West and South of the island

Oriente Warbler

Only on Cayo Coco

Hooded Warbler

2 typically skulking at Playa Largo and Las Bermejas

Stripe-headed Tanager

Fairly common throughout

Red-legged Honeycreeper

5 near Santa Clara and 1 stunning male at La Guilla

Zapata Sparrow

1 at Cayo Coco and 2 at Zapata peninsula

Cuban Bullfinch

1s and 2s seen throughout

Cuban Grassquit

2 at Najasa and a group of 4 on the 12th at La Guilla

Yellow-faced Grassquit

Common throughout

Indigo Bunting

2 at Santa Clara

Greater Antillean Oriole

Pairs at Cayo Coco, Zapata and several other places

Red-shouldered Blackbird

2 over at Zapata

Tawny-shouldered Blackbird

Common throughout

Eastern Meadowlark

Singles seen perched on roadside fences

Cuban Blackbird

Common and widespread

Greater Antillean Grackle

Common and widespread


The Boletas tour of Cuba was an excellent experience with many highlights.  Bird of the trip was generally considered to be the Cuban Tody.  Many thanks must go to all of the participants and leaders for ensuring that the trip was so memorable.  Of course the birds also had a huge part to play.  Cuba is safe and friendly and made for a very enjoyable birding break.  The laundry shenanigans will also make the trip unforgettable.

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