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Will Russell on WINGS' first Cuba tour

April 14: Will Russell on WINGS' first Cuba tour

The first WINGS Cuba tour under Jon Dunn’s leadership was birdy and fascinating.  We saw all the expected Cuban (and regional) endemics, saw them well (Cuban Nightjar gave only flying, flashlight-lit views) and in most cases repeatedly. Several feeding stations maintained by entrepreneurial Cubans gave us access to species normally either  scarce or reclusive. Lots of wintering North American warblers were especially pleasing to some of us. We had several interesting conversations with Cuban ornithologists and artists, got a modest sense of the place through our interactions with ordinary Cubans, and had exposure to Cuba’s history both in Havana and Camaguey.

The ever-present and beguiling Cuban Tody.

After poling down a narrow waterway, and several attempts...

...we got reasonable looks at Zapata Wren.

Loggerhead Kingbird was one of a number of Antillean endemics with representation in Cuba.

The stunning Gray-fronted Quail-Dove was one of the species we might not have seen were it not for local in-habitat feeding stations...

...and while we saw Bee Hummingbird in the wild, our views in a Zapata-area back yard were slightly better.

A Swainson's Warbler, one of a number of wintering warblers, was so busy rearranging leaves that it seemed unconcerned with our presence.

The Cuban field guide author, Orlando Garrido, signs his book and holds forth on 70 years of experiences.


Beginning our bicycle tour of the wonderful city of Camaguey

Definitely a cultural highlight for some of us as Jon Dunn convinces a very good singer/quitarist combo to try a Leonard Cohen song

Posted: April 14, 2017