Somehow I began writing this post at the end of March, and now, almost two months later, I’m finally publishing! A LOT to catch up on, so I’ll begin here….
March began the cusp of migration, both with birds coming and going. And, there’s nest building too, where even some early chicks bring in the brighter, warmer more colorful month of March. And, we didn’t have snow! A first ever, at least in my lifetime.
Two years ago, I was fortunate to discover Nature Explorers Anguilla, the lone – and wonderfully so – ecotour company on this fabulous little island. Here are more highlights to the three days we went out together on my recent trip down, which included a wonderfual array of birds, and most any wild life and sea life that crossed our path….
We started our first day early with a sunrise view from Sandy Hill Bay, which seemed to set the tone for all the beauty we’d continue to see during the week!
This my fourth trip to my all time favorite island of Anguilla, with new places to explore around and on the remote islands of Dog Island and Prickly Pear Cays! Both gave us several species of nesting birds!
First up is the unique-looking Brown Booby. I love the pastel colors of their beak and eyes, and the chocolate brown plumage. We came across a pair actively nesting, with one egg thus far. This was a first for me, and it was spectacular to witness.
To be so close to a nesting pair of Red-billed Tropicbirds – without infringing on the nest of course – was another amazing first!
While we were able to dock our boat at the beach of Prickly Pear and take our short hike to see these beautiful nesting birds, we viewed the nesting Masked Boobies and Magnificent Frigatebirds from the boat, as it was a bit too rough to dock there. It wasn’t until after our trip when I was looking at the photos on my laptop that I realized there were chicks!!
The Magnificent Frigatebird colony too was on Dog Island, with many flying high in the sky above it. While I couldn’t see any chicks, the Frigatebirds were clearly sitting on nests. As to the ones in flight, during breeding season males will puff out their red throat sac to attract females! I was fortunate to see a male in flight doing just this!
We saw many other birds and wildlife that day, both on land and at sea, as we finished the day at Little Bay and Crocus Bay on Anguilla. I’ll save those beauties for my next post!
Fall is an exciting times to be a bird lover, as many species pass thru on their migration trek south, while some have been here all summer during the breeding season. Conversely, we’ll begin to see our wintering birds arrive within the next couple of months too. It’s never a dull moment to enjoy our feathered friends!