Sunday, July 31, 2011

Favorite St. Kitts Photographs

My previous St. Kitts posting focused mostly on the birds (and other animals) I was able to photograph during our June family vacation on the lovely Carribean island.  I also want to share my "Top 12" (or so) favorite other (non-bird/animal) pictures. 
The beach at the Marriott Resort where we stayed was very nice.  The sand was clean and wide and the permanent covered structures were much  better than regular beach umbrellas.
The vast Marriott Resort on Frigate Bay as seen from a nearby mountain. The resort is on St. Kitts' Atlantic Ocean side.  The Caribbean Sea is only a 10-minute walk in the other direction.
Undeveloped stretches of beach on St. Kitts can make for interesting photographs too.
                                          Windswept palm trees are irresistible to my camera.
In the photo above, St. Kitt's sister island Nevis is in the background. A short ferry ride will get you to this smaller island.  We didn't make it to Nevis.  Maybe next time!
The mighty Brimstone Hill Fortress is a must-see on St. Kitts.  It's one of the best preserved and largest scale historical British-built forts in the world.  The long drive and hike to the top offers amazing views of the sea and the surrounding island with its rolling landscapes. 
The fort has plenty of firepower and interesting displays and exhibits. The role African slaves played in building and maintaining Brimstone Hill is emphasized.
Love this photo taken near the popular "Strip" area of bars and restaurants. How unusual is that cactus on top of the big rock formation?
This young man tossed a rock into the sea.  Ahh, to be young and growing up on such a beautiful island!
This man also seems to have a pretty good life bathing his horses in the Atlantic Ocean near the Marriott. Horse rides on the beach are available. 
I came across this cross during a drive up the rugged northern Atlantic coastline. Around St. Kitts non-resort areas there are many signs promoting education and AIDS prevention.
The Sky Safari zipline is another must do on St. Kitts!  Expensive yes, but very exciting and exhilarating.
Off I go.....
I loved St. Kitts and would love to return some day.  So much to do and see and a great place to just sit on the beach and bask in this exotic locale.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

St. Kitts Birds

This summer my family and I had a wonderful vacation on the West Indies island of St. Kitts. I kept an eye out for Caribbean birds and was not disappointed.  Several local species could be observed on the grounds of the big and beautiful Marriott resort where we stayed.  A dozen species are featured here with my brief descriptions.
A little scene-setting before we get to the birds. St. Kitts is very narrow in places as you see above. An Atlantic beach is on the left and a short distance to the right is the Caribbean Sea.
St. Kitts is a lovely island with lots to see and do.  We did the Sky Safaris zip line, visited the
impressive Brimstone Fort, swam, sunbtathed, snorkeled, jet skied, gambled, and ate many fine meals.
Love this sign at the Marriott Resort. The coconut was wet only one day during our eight days on St. Kitts.

Little, cute, yellow, captured one with mouth open in high-pitched song!
Great name! Red on throat, bottom and between beak and eye. Female not so colorful.
Bird I saw most on St. Kitts! Like the black mask. Sociable, boisterous, not so skittish.

Very similar to the Mourning Dove seen at home. Can see my reflection in the Dove's eye in 2nd shot!

                                  Smaller than the Zenaida Dove. Pinkish head. Unusual eyes.
Saw these all over the island. Orange streaks. Big feet! Saw a Yellow-Crowned Night Heron one time.
What a silhoutette! Swallow/forked tailed. My favorite St. Kitts bird. Prehistoric looking.
 Piercing eyes. Saw only once, in rain forest near zip line starting place.
Recognized from coastal South Carolina. Cool mask and yellow bill.

Lttle beachcomber. Cute eyes.
                         Took these between Rum Punch sips at one of the beachfront bars on "The Strip".

We have these back home too.  Taken at the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club across from the Marriott Resort.
One day I saw one on our second floor balcony and on the wall behind our villa. We also spotted some around the island too.  Only saw a couple mongoose which are abundant also.
Came upon this herd while driving along the nothern part of St. Kitts on the Atlantic Ocean side.
Bathtime in the Atlantic near the Marriott Resort...but not for everyone!
Had this up close enounter right outside our villa door.
There's a garden along one of the Marriott Resort's perimeter walls that is home to these colorful crabs.
The Marriott Resort is home to lots of "wild" cats.  They keep their distance but will gladly accept any handouts.
I definitely recommend St. Kitts as a vacation- and birding- destination!