The West Indian Woodpecker enjoys its morning treat. Photo: Christopher Baker
Freeport, Grand Bahama - A rare visitor to Grand
Bahama – a West Indian Woodpecker – enjoys a lizard it dug out of the bark of a
tree at McLean’s Town at the weekend.
The bird has not been
spotted on the island since the two major hurricanes of 2004 and its return is
further evidence of how nature is gradually recovering seven years later.
It was spotted by a group
of 20 bird spotters who were trying out a new nature trail aimed at attracting
human tourists to the east end community. The photo was taken by Christopher Baker, one of the group
from the Garden of The Groves.
“We were rewarded with
sights of 30 different species of bird life and some interesting plants and
fauna but the highlight of our morning was when Shamie Rolle of Calabash Eco
Tours spotted the bird perched in a bush,” said Christopher.
The group had been invited
to try the new trail by Rudy Sawyer. They were joined by Jock Hall, who was recording
the events of the day for a website Rudy is preparing, and Shamie who had made
the trip to share in the experience.
Garden of the Groves’ Erika Gates shows off a native necklace pod plant Photo: Christopher Baker
They were first taken to a
pond to begin the walk and immediately they were rewarded with a Great White
Egret perched in the red mangrove and an Osprey flying overhead. The path was
to take them along the shore to eventually arrive at the well-known McLean’s
Town gathering place Crabbing Bay.
Earlier in the morning en
route to the East End the group stopped off in the pine forest to try to catch
a glimpse of the Brown-headed Nuthatch, which is a very shy and rare bird. This
species only exists on Grand Bahama in a small colony in the pine forest. After
several minutes of calling they were rewarded with the sight of not just one
but three which were darting around the trees with the Palm Warblers.
Eventually they arrived at
Crabbing Bay and were escorted back to Rudy’s home to enjoy a picnic lunch and
down load their photos to see if they had any good pictures of their sightings
Everyone was unanimous in
their opinion that Rudy has established another treat for eco-minded visitors
to these shores and also local residents with an interest in wild life.
For information about activities, fieldtrips and art competition call 242-374-7778
Erika Gates –
Bird Talk: 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 firstname.lastname@example.org