Birds of Grand Bahama February 19-21, 2010
Eleven participants joined me on a wonderful birding tour to
Grand Bahama. We had a great group of birders who got along well, we
saw many excellent species! Before leaving the dock in Ft. Lauderdale,
we had Ring-billed Gull, Laughing Gull and Herring Gull. As we were
leaving the port we looked for the Great Cormorant that had been present the
last two years but it was not present. I guess it decided to winter
else where this year. This bird roosted on channel marker number five
on the south side of Port Everglades inlet. As we were getting ready
to leave we saw this cool cloud formation.
Not too far from shore we had a lone Northern Gannet, the only one that we
would see. The pilot boat came to get the harbor captain as we left
We had fairly smooth seas with some large swells which rocked the boat a
little more than previous trips.
We had Royal Terns follow the boat all of the way to Grand Bahama, we
watched them try and catch
Flying Fish scared up by the boat.
Not too long after we entered Bahamian waters, we saw what looked
like porpoise in the distance. Upon closer examination of my photos, I
am pretty sure that these were Bryde's Whales!! This was very
unexpected to me, as I have not seen this species before or any other whales
on the ride over. I think that there were perhaps three or four whales
with what may have been a calf. This is a pretty good sized whale that
can get over 40-feet in length! It is a good thing that I photographed
them, that is how I determined which species that they were.
About two miles from the port in on Grand Bahama we had a
Parasitic Jaeger come flying in. It chased one of the Royal Terns and
made it cough up a fish!
The Freeport Pilot Boat switched captains and brought our ship to
Freeport Pilot Boat
There was a large cruise ship at dry
dock as we came into port.
Once we got our car and meet my friend Bruce, we were on our way.
We birded on some of the old gulf courses hoping for some ducks and grebes.
We visited one pond that had close to 40 Least Grebes! We also had
American Wigeon, Green-winged Teal, Hooded Merganser, Pied-billed Grebe,
Green Heron, Glossy Ibis as well as a few warblers. We birded Garden
of the Groves and had Greater Antillean Bullfinch and a good assortment of
warblers. We saw the newly introduced White-cheeked Pintails that may
help establish a flock on Grand Bahama. These are wild caught
birds from New Providence. We looked for some wild ones at one of the
gulf courses but could not find them. Bruce had seen up to three of
them a few days before..
This is the second year that Snow Geese have wintered on one of
the gulf courses.
Part of our happy group of birders enjoying the woods and birds!
We had a nice dinner at Garden of the Groves and then headed off
to our hotel rooms, for an early start the following day.
On our second day of birding we headed out to the far east end of
the Island to McLean's Town where we hoped for West Indian Woodpecker.
I did have them one year a few years back but did not on this trip.
Bruce had seen up to 3-birds here in the spring, we had hoped that some had
stayed. We did not see any but did have a Hairy Woodpecker.
The Hairy Woodpecker is fairly common through most of the Bahamas
that have pine forest. It is a sub-species of Hairy Woodpecker.
This Loggerhead Kingbird showed itself very nicely on the wires
in McLean's Town.
We birded our way back to Freeport having lunch along the way at
Diamond Sunrise Restaurant. The food was excellent as usual!
Diamond Sunrise Restaurant is located in High Rock.
Diamond Sunrise Restaurant
Art in the Bahamas
One way to get out to an anchored boat!
Michael enjoys a High Rock Beer in the town of High Rock at
Diamond Sunrise Restaurant. The label
shows the light house that is in town.
Michael with a High Rock Beer
High Rock Beer
The light house in High Rock
This Bahama Yellowthroat gave us great views in McLean's Town.
Looking for a Barn Owl in an abandoned Hotel
Black-faced Grassquits are pretty common through out the island.
This Red-legged Thrush is used to being fed meal worms on private
Waiting for a Painted Bunting and Bahama Woodstar.
Bahama Woodstar is a difficult bird to find on Grand Bahama, we
were lucky to
see one at a private residence.
Many Piping Plovers were banded on Grand Bahama for research.
Twenty species of warbler is always nice in the Winter, we had 94-species
| Snow Goose
||La Sagra's Flycatcher
|Northern Gannet (U.S. waters)
|Brown Pelican (U.S. waters)
|Great Blue Heron
|Little Blue Heron
||European Starling (U.S.)
||Cape May Warbler
||Black-throated Blue Warbler
||Black-throated Green Warbler
|American Kestrel (Bahamas race)
||Greater Antillean Bullfinch
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