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.

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


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

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


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

LAUGHING GULL
We have these back home too.  Taken at the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club across from the Marriott Resort.
OTHER CRITTERS
GREEN VELVET MONKEY
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.
GOATS
Came upon this herd while driving along the nothern part of St. Kitts on the Atlantic Ocean side.
HORSES
Bathtime in the Atlantic near the Marriott Resort...but not for everyone!
GREEN LIZARD
Had this up close enounter right outside our villa door.
RED REEF HERMIT CRAB
There's a garden along one of the Marriott Resort's perimeter walls that is home to these colorful crabs.
CAT
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!


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