(Corey, March 6, 2017)
From 20 February through 25 February I was on a family-and-friends vacation on New Providence in the Bahamas. This was not a birding vacation but a beach-and-water-park vacation. Regular readers here at 10,000 Birds, however, will not be surprised to learn that I managed to see some birds in between riding water slides, lounging on the beach, and drinking rum.
I made the one-block walk to the ponds seven times, four in the morning and three in the evening, and totaled forty-three species on those visits. So, what birds did I see?
The obvious and easy-to-see stuff were waterbirds. White-cheeked Pintails, Common Gallinules, and American Coots (of the red-shielded form, not the white-shielded, Caribbean form) were in-your-face and impossible to miss. Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, and Green Herons were all seen on every visit. Neotropic Cormorants provided the best looks I had ever had of the species and Least Grebes, more common in the pond east of the road, provided me with my lifer look at them.
The reason for all of the waterbirds being so willing to come close was made clear to me on the first morning I was there when I was sitting on the wooden observation platform on the western pond and a woman pulled up in her car, walked over, and dumped out a bunch of grain for the ducks. She apparently does this almost every day and I somewhat doubt that she is the only one who feeds the birds. Whatever the reason, I was pretty stoked about White-cheeked Pintails displaying within a few feet.