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Columns : Bird Talk - Erika Gates Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

Caribbean Waterbird Census Continues this Saturday
By Erika Gates
Jan 28, 2011 - 9:19:31 AM

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Birders during Grand Bahama Island's first Caribbean Waterbird Census

Hello, Birders!

In order to comply with the SCSCB (Society for Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds) protocol and carry out the required second site inventory of the 11 ponds on the Reef Golf Course.

Thanks to all of you who turned out for this first CWC on Grand Bahama Island last Saturday. Thanks to Dr. Lisa Sorensen from SCSCB we were guided electronically through a proper point count. Jill Cooper and Sarah Knowles recorded all species and numbers of birds meticulously and had no problem with the standard abbreviation from the AOU species alpha codes.

Pond # 5 allowed everybody to get so close to a Purple Gallinule that our star photographer, Chuck Seidel, called out: "Too close for my long lens!"

There was so much excitement amongst Saturday's participants as everybody was counting at the same time and different numbers of species were arrived at. However, as we had moved to the second pond, the initial chaos took on a more organized form and we were able to fill in the site inventory and point count forms in the proper manner.  Almost 30 species and 300 birds were recorded during a period of 3 hours.

American Widgeon female duck

We were all rewarded by adding new species to our life list: Amongst others was an American Widgeon female duck on the far side of pond #9. She was eventually identified as such by the group assembling all fieldmarks and leaving no doubt.  

Chuck shot the fantastic approach to final landing of this Great Egret!

Dr. Sorenson had instructed us to "have fun" and it was probably one the group's best birding experiences - yes we all had a perfect look through the scopes at a perching Peregrine Falcon that had been our poster bird throughout November's IMBD (International Migratory Bird Day) events!

And another first for many was the unmistakable camouflage pose of an American Bittern on pond # 7

Caribbean Waterbird Census is a new project that Garden of the Groves will be carrying out with the local birding group throughout the year.  We will be assisting SCSCB in determining potential importance of sites based on the presence of threatened or endangered species. We will hope to locate and monitor breeding sites of nesting species and create awareness of conserving ponds or wetlands that are important habitats for resident and migratory birds.

Come with us this Saturday and have fun with the birds!  

See you at the Reef, Thompson's parking lot, 8 am

Erika Gates  is the owner of Kayak Nature Tours (one of the first Eco-Tour businesses in The Bahamas); co-founder of the Ecotourism Association; a published writer; and a Cacique award winner! Her column Bird Talk will enlighten and educate us about birds of The Bahamas, as well as the importance of Ecology. Erika can be reached at gbntours@hotmail.com or (242) 373-2485


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Bird Talk - Erika Gates
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