30 May 2011

CUBA 8th-15th May

Okay, well I aint up for writing a laborious account of everything I did here, there's plenty of trip reports from Cuba on the net and to be honest I spent perhaps only 40% of my time birding... the other 60% was spent drinking, eating, sun bathing, perving and doing other touristy kinda things. We stayed at the magnificent 5 star Playa Pesquero resort on the Guardalavaca coast in the Holguin Province which after the c9hr flight was thankfully only an hours coach ride from Holguin Airport.
I spent perhaps 80% of my time on the resort and managed a nice haul of species, many from the ground floor balcony of the room I was staying in and very often accompanied by a soothing ice-cold beer (the temp rarely fell below 34 degrees). We took a few excursions doing the aforementioned tourist bits and one pinnacle birding trip to a nearby national park. In total I recorded just 43 species of which only 9 were seen 'away' from the resort. 35 of the birds were lifers for me of which 6 were endemic to Cuba (of the 22 - 28 in the country - I found it difficult to find a definitive list of endemics as things are being split/lumped all the time).

Below is the full list of species I notched up, in the order I saw them. The endemics are capitalised & the 9 birds seen away from Playa Pesquero have an * following their name. I'll upload a few images to another post later.

  1. Turkey Vulture
  2. Cattle Egret
  3. Northern Mockingbird
  4. Red-legged Thrush
  6. House Sparrow
  7. Grey Kingbird
  8. Yellow Faced Grassquit
  9. Stripe-headed Tanager (Western Spindalis)
  10. American Redstart
  11. Yellow Warbler
  12. Mourning Dove
  13. Smooth-billed Ani
  14. Spotted Sandpiper
  15. Great Lizard Cuckoo
  16. Tawny Shouldered Blackbird
  17. Great Antillean Grackle
  18. Clapper Rail
  19. Black-necked Stilts
  20. Lesser Yellowlegs
  21. Green Heron
  22. Antillean Nighthawk
  23. White-winged Dove
  24. Common Yellowthroat
  25. Snowy Egret
  26. Black-whiskered Vireo
  27. Great (white) Egret*
  28. American Kestrel*
  29. Cuban Emerald
  30. Loggerhead Kingbird
  31. La Sagra's Flycatcher
  32. Common Ground Dove
  33. Tricolored Heron
  35. Shiney Cowbird
  37. Red-legged Honeycreeper*
  38. Zenaida Dove*
  41. Royal Tern*
  43. (Ruddy) Turnstone

A few notes - late April/early May

29th April - Lincs -
Tetney Lock - 7 Dotterel, 3 Yellow Wags & 1 Little Egret.
Rosper Road Pools, Killingholme - Collared Pratincole.
Hatfield Moors - 9 Black-necked Grebes, 1 Arctic Tern, Yellow Wag, Oystercatcher & Buzzard.

30th April - Derbys/Notts -
Ogston Res - 4 LRP, 2 Common Sand, 2 Dunlin & 1 Oystercatcher.
Hoveringham - 1 Black Tern (Sailing Pit), 2 Yellow Wags, Oystercatchers.

1st May - N.Yorks -
Filey - No sign of Woodchat Shrike. Guillimots, Razorbills, Puffin, Gannets, Shags, Purple Sands.

2nd May - Notts -
Lound - Chainbridge - 1 Wood Sand, 1 male Pintail, 1 male Wigeon, 2 LRP, 2 Cuckoo & 1 Common Sand.
Lound - Neatholme Lane area - 5+ Garden Warblers, 2 Ringed Plovers, 2 male Garganey, 2 Greenshank, Swifts (my first of the year!), Dunlin & 3 LRP.

7th May - Notts -
KMR - 2 Common Sands, 2 LRP, Common Tern & Swifts.

Right, that's that lot done. Now to think about writing some shit on Cuba!!