Sandra’s Cuba stuff

Below are a few of the photos taken by Sandra with her snazzy new camera. For the first few days she didn’t like the camera and thought that the photos were not sharp, they improved when she put her readers on! Sandra takes more scenes than I do, actually about 100% more in fact. so they will give readers who waded through my diatribes about Gulag Playa Giron some context.

The welcome sign does not give any clues to the true welcome the chalets at Gulag Playa Giron hold, then there is the food!

From range they don’t look too bad but once you get to within 100m it can get a bit depressing!

The weather changed from time to time.

A nice Cuban Tody.

The trail at Bermejas obscured by a fat bloke.

Crested Caracara.

Cuban Blackbird.

Cuban Tree Boa.

Cuban Emerald.

Cuban Pygmy Owl.

Cuban Screech-Owl.

Villa Soroa.

Nice rooms at Villa Soroa.

Stygian Owl habitat on the upper tier.

Eastern Wood-pewee.

Hermit Crab.

A few lizards.

The 35km track to La Salinas.

Zapata Swamp – there is rather a lot of it.

West Indian Woodpecker.

Smooth-billed Ani.

Grey Kingbird.

Red-legged Honeycreeper.


More from Cuba – 2012

Cuba – April 2012: Here are just a few more images of birds from Cuba. This wraps up my stuff but I have some nice images from Sandra to upload, all taken with her new camera. I’ll follow that with images of Cuban dragonflies for the odonata enthusiasts amongst you (or am I the only one?). Enjoy.

Northern Mockingbird, perhaps the second commonest Cuban bird after the next one, the Greater Antillean Grackle.

As you wander around you will hear loads of Black-whiskered Vireos singing, they too are pretty common in season.

Cuba has a lot of flies and so it has a lot of flycatchers. Two common species are the Loggerhead Kingbird and Grey Kingbird.

A nice surprise for us was a flock of about 20 Upland Sandpipers which were feeding on a field by the entrance to Playa Giron. Only one wanted to have its picture taken though. Listed as very rare in the Cuba field guide.

The Cuban version of the American Kestrel is sedentary and restriced to Cuba, it is perhaps a candidate for a split.

Nutting’s Thrush Cuckoo

Cuba – April 2012: The post title doesn’t refer to a new species but is a combination of Nutting’s Flycatcher, Red-legged Thrush and Great Lizard Cuckoo. All three species were common in the dry woods around the Bay of Pigs, Cuba. The thrush is particularly smart and reminds me of a large Sylvia warbler in plumage. We saw all three species everyday, the thrush and flycatcher being posers and easy to photgraph. The cuckoo is a big bird but is very adept at keeping out of the way of the lens, usually by employing a variety of foliage to block a clear view, hence the not great photos.

For those interested, the last yearly account before we moved to Canada in 2003 is posted. The write ups will be there for another month so, if you are in the process of reading them you still have time.


Punk Pecker

Cuba – April 2012: On our first walk around the Gulag Playa Giron scrub we saw a Cuban Green Woodpecker, this was particularly pleasing because the little sods had been hard to pin down when were were last in Cuba, offering fleeting, branch obscured views only. This time, however, they proved to be present in every bit of dry forest and scrub and very territorial, at the slightest hint of a rival’s call they were flying around you like mad things, which was nice. At one spot I stood at the junction of two territories and watched as they squared up to each other menacingly. Below are the photos, the last one I think captures their pugnacious attitude. I had a haircut just like that when I was 15, no really, I had a shaved head with an orange Mohican. I realised what a dick I looked when some burly guy picked me up by the ears and kept banging my face into a restaurant window, much to the surprise of the diners. I shaved it off that night and went for the skinhead look, just the thing for my then 90lbs, five foot tall physique eh! Nowadays the very same Mohican haircut is back in style, I wonder if I can claim copyright?