Welcome to Birdquest
Thursday 10th May - Sunday 20th May 2012
The inaugural Birdquest to The Bahamas was a great success, which recorded all of the endemics and available specialities. The easy pace and friendly people of the Bahama archipelago, with its diverse assemblage of habitats and postcard-perfect white sand beaches, made for a very enjoyable Caribbean birding experience. Our total number of species recorded was 162 species including all five of the official endemics: Bahama Woodstar, Bahama Swallow, Bahama Warbler, Bahama Yellowthroat and Bahama Oriole as well as future potential endemics such as Bahama Nuthatch (split from Brown-headed) and Bahama Amazon (split from Cuban Amazon). In addition we saw a good selection of Caribbean birds and specialities, some of which are otherwise restricted to Cuba such as White-cheeked (Bahama) Pintail, Caribbean Osprey, the resident Bahama race of American Kestrel, a nesting Wilson’s Plover, White-crowned Pigeon, Zenaida Dove, Caribbean Dove, an incredibly iridescent Key West Quail-Dove, a very confiding Great Lizard-Cuckoo, numerous Antillean Nighthawks, West Indian Woodpecker, the Bahama race of Hairy Woodpecker, Cuban Pewee, La Sagra’s Kingfisher, Bahama Mockingbird, Olive-capped Warbler and two different races of Western Spindalis. During the optional extension to central Florida, our birding was focused on the breeding specialities, which included the endemic Florida Scrub-Jay as well as pine woods birds such as the threatened Red-cockaded Woodpecker and Bachman’s Sparrow. Some of the other highlights in Florida included Northern Bobwhite, Mottled Duck, Least Bittern, Glossy Ibis, Limpkin, the Florida race of Sandhill Crane, Purple Gallinule, Pileated Woodpecker, Fish Crow and Pine Warbler. Birding in the Bahamas surpassed our expectations in every way. Surely one of the Caribbean’s most enjoyable and interesting birding destinations that should not be overlooked.