Thursday, February 1, 2018

Still more Bahamas birds

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; White-Crowned Pigeon, New Providence, Bahamas

The hotel we stayed at (Comfort Suites Paradide ISland) was also close to a little mall. (Let me take a moment here to recommend Anthony's Caribbean Bar & Grill. Delicious food and the prices are not bad for the Bahamas.) It was just a strip mall, but there were still birds in and around it. The White-Crowned Pigeon I spotted perched by the ScotiaBank was my 300th life bird.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; White-Crowned Pigeon, New Providence, Bahamas
not wary of people

The White-Crowned Pigeon is the national game bird of the Bahamas, so you'd think they'd be more wary of people; but no. Also, there's a huge statue of one on the road to the airport. I did not get a photo of that, but trust me, you want to see a ten-foot-tall pigeon.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Loggerhead Kingbird, New Providence, Bahamas

The street trees on the road next to the mall had a variety of birds passing through them. I was most surprised by this Loggerhead Kingbird.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Yellow-Throated Warbler, New Providence, Bahamas
vacationing warbler

I spotted Yellow-Throated Warblers in those trees as well. They were also in the trees on the hotel property and near other buildings.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Bahama Woodstar, New Providence, Bahamas
support your local Woodstar

The Bahama Woodstar hummingbird was quite widespread. This one was feeding on a tree at the hotel.

So, New Providence has Rock Pigeons, of course, and we've seen the native White-Crowned Pigeon and the exotic Pied-Imperial Pigeon; but also, there were Eurasian Collard-Doves everywhere. They were practically the first bird we saw when we arrived and sat down at the hotel bar for lunch.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Eurasian Collared-Dove, New Providence, Bahamas
bar pigeon

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Eurasian Collared-Dove, New Providence, Bahamas

Everywhere you went, there they were. It's a little surprising that they coexist with the Rock Pigeons, they seem to have adopted the exact same niche.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Ruddy Turnstone, New Providence, Bahamas
turnstone and trash

One of the features of the hotel was that guests can use the beaches at the Atlantis resort. We spent a pleasant afternoon there. The beach was fairly quiet--it was in the low 70s F, so maybe a little cool for many beachgoers--and there were some birds around. The best one was this lone Ruddy Turnstone who walked the beach like he owned it.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Ruddy Turnstone, New Providence, Bahamas
surf 'n' turnstone

Up here, we only see Turnstones at a great distance, huddled on the rocky shores of islands in the harbor or on the East River. It was quite shocking to have one just walk right up to us.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Ruddy Turnstone, New Providence, Bahamas
bold turnstone

There were pigeons hanging out on the beach as well, and of course gulls. The Lesser Black-Backed Gulls were actually a life bird for me. Somehow I had never seen one in New York, although they are not unknown; in fact, I would say that was the most embarrassing hole on my life list.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Lesser Black-Backed Gull and Ruddy Turnstone, New Providence, Bahamas
gull and turnstone

There were other gulls on the beach as well, mostly Herring Gulls, occasionally trying to steal food from children. In fairness, the kids seemed to be deliberately teasing the birds. Mostly, though, they were just loafing. Like us.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Herring and Lesser Black-Backed Gulls, New Providence, Bahamas
gull parade

One more species I want to mention is Palm Warbler, who were pretty common in urban-type settings, behaving like House Sparrows in the mall, around the hotel, and this one on a restaurant deck at the airport.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Palm Warbler, New Providence, Bahamas
palm sparrow

We'll definitely be going back someday.

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