Cuba, Day 5, 8 March 2017 - Palpite & La Boca

This was the day we left Vinales and  headed east via the southern edge of Havana and then down to the Zapata Peninsular. We were staying at Playa Larga at the head of the Bay of Pigs. A quick stop at the Embalse Nina Monita again while passing only added Pied-billed Grebe and c6 Killdeer but it was pretty much the same as our first visit except the big rafts of duck were miles away at the far end. The big crowds at the rest stop meant we didn't hang around long and continued on to reach Playa Larga mid-afternoon.

After checking in I needed some birding and Bee Hummingbirds beckoned! I found the necessary house in the nearby village of Palpite after a passer by pointed it out to me. I had been looking for a pink house but it's actually green! Within seconds of walking into the back garden a Bee Hummingbird was hovering 18 inches in front of my nose! I went on to see 2 females and a stunning male around the large flowering shrub and feeders there. The hosts are a lovely quite elderly couple who make visiting birders really welcome. I can't recommend it more highly! Their shrub/garden also held showy Grey Catbird, Western Spindalis, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Cuban Oriole and Cuban Blackbird. A Crested Caracara flew over too.

Bee Hummingbirds

Grey Catbird

Western Spindalis

Black-throated Blue Warbler

After a tip off from another birder there I headed a mile or so north to the area around the crocodile farm at La Boca. Here I had a lovely end to my day with plenty of migrant warblers - 2 Northern Waterthrushes, 8 Black-throated Blue Warblers, 2 Black-and-white Warblers, 5 American Redstarts and 3 Northern Parulas plus Yellow-throated Warbler and Prairie Warbler both of which were new birds for me. The pools held Green Heron, Belted Kingfisher, American Purple Gallinule and Common Gallinule while Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, 2 West Indian Woodpeckers and several Tawny-shouldered Blackbirds were also knocking about.

Green Heron

Northern Waterthrush

American Redstart

Cuban Oriole

American Purple Gallinule

 Common Gallinule    

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