During a bird watching trip to South Abaco, led by Dr. Elwood Bracey, second home owners were delighted to witness the antics of a flock of Rose-Throated Parrots, Amazona Leucocephala – the Abaco species.
The birding group, comprised of six winter residents of Treasure Cay and three locals including Dr. “Woody” Bracey, made a couple of hours stop in the Bahama Palm Shore area where they spotted the parrots feeding on poison wood and gumelemi berries as well as on grass seeds. The flocks of close to twenty birds consisted of parents and quite a few juveniles who still had some of their baby plumage.
They flew from a dead tree back and forth to their feeding trees, mindless of the people watching them or the ones getting closer to take photographs. Many of them gathered in the dead tree, preening each other, fluttering from branch to branch. When they had enough of being watched they would take off in a display of green, red and turquoise to land further away.
Colourful Western Spindalis males (formerly called Western Stripe- Headed Tanagers), accompanied by dainty females, were also seen in abundance around the many trees bearing fruits. A Kestrel perched on telephone wires scouting for prey and Smooth-billed Anis called each other in their loud screech. A Crescent-eyed Pewee and an Oven bird were also on the list.
A Black -Throated Green Warbler, not a very common sight in The Bahamas, was spotted by Dr. Bracey.
Around lunch time the groups separated with the Treasure Cay residents deciding on continuing to Sandy Point for lunch with Woody. A bird watcher could not go to Sandy Point without looking for shore birds and being the avid ornithologist that he is, Dr. Bracey was not about to miss the occasion.
“We had 40 species for the day,” claimed Dr. Bracy, “Had a nice lunch at Nancy’s and good telescope look at shorebirds at the Sandy Point Sandbar. 8 Oystercatchers, 25 Willets and 33 Great Egrets were remarkable. Also 15 Magnificent Frigatebirds at the Nassau ferry dock where there were 52 Coots on that inland lake. But no ducks. Just lots of shotgun shells!”
Dr. Bracey usually conducts a birding trip on the first Saturday of the month. Information can be obtained through the office of the Bahamas National Trust.