Bird Talk - Erika Gates
Fall Migration in Full Swing at Garden of the Groves
By Erika Gates
Nov 13, 2015 - 12:48:57 PM


Freeport, The Bahamas - Members of the Grand Bahama Birding Group were treated to a variety of magnificent species during their October fieldtrip at Garden of the Groves. Erika Gates, who was leading the group explained that several of the birds observed, only remain on Grand Bahama for a short time to feed and rest before they continue their migratory journey further south to the South American continent.

Among these enjoyed by the group were the brilliant-yellow Prothonotary Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Hermit Thrush while the Black-throated green Warbler can be seen on Grand Bahama all winter long.

On this beautiful fall morning at the Garden 22 species were observed. After birding during social time on the Café Deck the group submitted its observations with Cornell University into the eBird database, thereby making a “Citizens Science” contribution to the largest Ornithological institution in the world! Anyone may access the observations of October 10th by going to, click on “Explore Data” then “Explore a Region”, enter “Freeport”, scroll down to October 10 (there are two checklists from that day for Garden of the Groves)

“Early Birders” led by Erika Gates, were Judith Dawkins, Charmaine Hall, Jill Cooper, Mary Tarzwell, Duncan Mullis, Delores Kellman

That morning Martha Cartwright celebrated a milestone in her recently found passion for birding. She has observed and recorded 100 species and will receive her first “Birds of the Bahamas” certificate, which is issued and recognized by the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Certified Bahamas Birding Guide Erika Gates.

Special recognition this month will be given to Linda Barry Cooper. Linda had her first exposure to birds in the 2014 Basic Birding Class, conducted by Erika Gates annually over a one month period. It was love at first “flight” for Linda! She observed, photographed and studied the common and rare birds all over the island, especially at Westend where she lives.
Linda not only birds for her own enrichment but she has made a valuable contribution in putting Grand Bahama Island and Westend in particular, on the map by reporting several species that had never been seen here! This month Linda reached 150 species and is congratulated by her fellow birders from Grand Bahama Island and abroad!

Martha Cartwright being congratulated by Erika Gates

Linda Barry Cooper “Our Woman in the West”

The November Fieldtrip for the Grand Bahama Birding Group will be on Saturday, November 21. Meeting Point: Gates’ Home at 8 am where bus will be available (please confirm your seat by email)
Birding sites: Emerald Pond, Pineridge Landfill, Eggfarm

Erika Gates is 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 or (242) 373-2485

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