Thursday, 3 January 2013

Bonaire - Dutch Antilles

A fantastic start to the day as I had a meeting with HM the Queen, not personally you understand but on the stage of ‘World Listing’ my ‘Counties Visited’ now reaches the same number as her good self, 133! As far as ‘birding’ is concerned Belaire doesn’t have a lot more to offer than has already been seen this trip, and it very quickly became apparent that the best site (National Nature Reserve) to the north is only accessible by 4 wheel-drive. Peter, Janet and I decided on a taxi to the southern edge of the Reserve, starting in what must be the smallest village in the world - No Houses!
but first a few shots during our departure form
First we steamed 'up harbour' giving very good views of the size of the place

before turning short around to get the final look at this smart town.
 cosists of a couple of sheds and as the name suggests, 2 Wells,
both are in fact medium size ponds
 First on the day list was PEARLY-EYED THRASHER
only 2 species of Vireo have been recorded on this island, one is
Red-eyed Vireo
 the other what I believe this to be
BLACK-WHISKERED VIREO despite the lack of moustachial stripe.
As we reached the lake and the active CHARCOAL MAKER
 much of the National Park opened before us

 c18 LESSER YELLOWLEGS were seen here

 followed by another CARIB ELAENIA
 Some of the previous images shoe 'stands' of tall Cactus which we marveled at for looking so spindly that they might be toppled by the lightest breath of wind. We then noted this one that had snapped off to reveal the 'strength within. Like steel rods reinforcing concrete, these natural 'rods' seem to serve the same function.
We had given as close an inspection as we could, through dense vegetation, at one of the pond to find nothing.
On our return we started a Wild Boar at the wallow and this BLACK-NECKED STILT*, the America's version on our own,
 along with c2 Least Sandpiper (all birds picked up initially by Janet) an addition to the list.
There were coincidentally c18 Stilt as well.
 BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER* was the second and final addition.

 There was time to take ina couple of views on the way back.
Here VOYAGER can be seen middle distance.
and further over the active SALT PANs
 where later we found a dozen or so


 This large and very colorful fish was swimming close to the ship and thought well worthy of a shot
while this TURNSTONE seemed to have been awaiting our return.