Artist BRIGITTE BOWYER CAREYof Tilloo Cay naturally has a keen eye for a photograph. I was very taken with her images of egrets posted on her Facebook page, and she has kindly said I can encourage a migration to Rolling Harbour. So here they are. The first photo is my favourite, the very epitome of elegance and grace.
To the amateur (me) there is plenty of scope for confusion between the great egret and the great blue heron (white phase) – unless you can see the bird’s legs. The great egret’s are dark; the GBH’s are yellow. There are probably plenty of other distinctions that are completely obvious to a practised birder, but I think the legs are the easiest answer for the untutored enthusiast.
And where, I hear no one ask, are RH’s own stunning egret photos? A quick check reveals that the one taken from a skiff last year perched on a black mangrove out on the Marls is really a distant white speck, as is his cousin pootling around way out on a far shoreline; and the one up a tree at Sandy Point – a small white blur of what could easily be fur. I’ll get another chance next month…
NEW DEC. 2012 A fine egret photo from H J Ruiz from his birding site AVIAN 101
As it happens, a fine CORNELL LAB video of great blue herons returning to their nest has appeared in my inbox, and the fact that I have mentioned them above is a good excuse to include this short nest-cam movie
ABACO DOLPHIN & WHALE SIGHTINGS OCTOBER 2011 TWO YOUNG DOLPHINS SEEN DURING RESEARCH TRIPS
The BMMRO has just published the Bahamas whale and dolphin map of reported sightings for last month, showing a significant amount of bottlenose dolphin activity in the Marsh Harbour area, extending north and south. Also new on the BMMRO website are details of recent research into the Abaco dolphin population. Here are two great dolphin images taking during the trips
I have been in touch with Brigitte Bower Carey from Tilloo Cay, whose cheerful painting of a Sergeant Major graces the usual rh Logo space above. She has kindly sent an update on the post-Irene situation on Tilloo, and a couple of images showing the effects of the storm on foliage. Luckily, it sounds as though the birdlife is ok in the aftermath. But no phone, a month after…
“Everything is good here – the house and we weathered the storm just fine. The dock is a mess, but is repairable. Nothing at all like most of the south facing docks on our island and our neighbouring island, Lubber’s Quarters – only the poles survived there. So we are grateful. Still cleaning up, the yard was in bad shape, but it is coming along… Communications are a weak point here after the storms – we still don’t have our phone back.
Abaco is starting to look like in spring time now, because a lot of the foliage got burned in the 140 mph gusts of Irene. So now all of the surviving trees are pushing out new leaves, plus all the rain has helped revive things. But nothing at all like after Floyd – when we came home in November ’99 there was not a leaf on any tree, and no birds at all. So we are considering ourselves very lucky now”.
BAHAMIAN MAHOGANY REGENERATING AFTER IRENE
A WIND-BURNED SEA GRAPE PLANT PRODUCING NEW LEAVES
COMMON NAMES: Abaco Island boa, Northern Bahamas boa
EPICRATES EXSUL is a non-venomous species of boa, the only one of its species and genus. These snakes are grey with a reddish sheen. They grow to a maximum of 80 cm / 2ft 6″ in length [now see end of post] and feed on small mammals, birds and lizards. They are found throughout the Abacos, including Elbow Cay; and on Grand Bahama; but not elsewhere in the Bahamas (wiki-aided inc. image)
LATEST NEWS DEC 2011 a surprising visitor to the Friends of the Environment offices on 7 Dec 2011, posted on their Facebook page
A visitor at the FRIENDS office this afternoon, a Bahama Boa! This snake flattened itself pretty thin to try sneak out under the door frame! The door is open now so it can leave easily
STOP PRESS:a convincing refutation of the general consensus that the maximum length of these snakes is around 2′ 6″, with thanks to Brigitte Bowyer Carey. This specimen was photographed on Tilloo Cay in 2008, held at arms length by Don Allen