Cuba, Day 3, 6 March 2017 - La Guira NP and Vinales NP

My first early morning saw me heading back east from Vinales to La Guira National Park close to where I'd been at the Cueva de los Portales the previous afternoon. The roads there were awful but I eventually made it to the start of a recommended birding trail where a track leaves the road within the national park. It was very windy which made birding quite difficult but along the track were a pair of Yellow-faced Grassquits, 2 Western Spindalis and Black-and-white-Warbler before a real spot of luck in the form of a circling Gundlach's Hawk! This tricky to see species gave me the boost I needed and as I got to the 'pine zone', with the trees blowing all over the place I eventually located one of my main targets - Olive-capped Warbler of which I eventually saw c6. Further up the track a Ruddy Quail-dove was on the deck but wouldn't let me get anywhere near it before it flew into cover and a male Black-throated Blue Warbler showed well. When the track petered out near a derelict building I retraced my steps back to the road. A wander west along the lane for a few hundred yards had me oogling a fantastic pair of Cuban Trogons while I also had 2 Red-tailed Hawks, 2 Zenaida Doves, 2 Cuban Emeralds, 3 West Indian Woodpeckers, Cuban Pewee and the first of many Great Lizard Cuckoos. After leaving the site I tried a couple of roadside sites a few miles away looking for Cuban Grassquit but dipped at both! 

Cuban Trogon

Yellow-faced Grassquit

The pines that held Olive-capped Warbler at La Guira

I then made the torturous drive back to Vinales picking up a cuban student hitchhiker on the way which helped alleviate the boredom! Back at our casa the girls were out so grabbing a quick sandwich I headec off out again - this time into the Vinales National Park SW of the town. There is a trail here off the main road which proved to be superb! I had to drag myself away after a wonderful 3 hours chock full of goodies. In no particular order I had - 3 White-crowned Pigeons, 6 Cuban Emeralds, 3 Cuban Trogons, 2 Cuban Todys, 2 Cuban Pewee, 3 La Sagra's Flycatchers, 2 Cuban Solitaires, Cuban Vireo, Black-whiskered Vireo (a very nice surprise!), Yellow-throated Vireo, Northern Parula, Ovenbird, c15 Yellow-headed Warblers, c15 Red-legged Honeycreepers, c10 Western Spindalis, 2 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, 4 Indigo Buntings and then, as a final hurrah - a lovely male Cuban Grassquit. In a day I'd cleaned up on virtually everything the area has to offer!

The start of the trail at Vinales NP

 Cuban Tody
La Sagra's Flycatcher

Black-whiskered Vireo

Western Spindalis

White-crowned Pigeon

Western Spindalis female

Red-legged Honeycreeper

Cuban Emerald female

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