Cuban flowers and birds, bye bye!

This 2014 video is called Landing on Varadero Airport, Cuba with beautiful views on Varadero.

On 16 March 2017, the day after 15 March in Havana, our plane did not land at, but left Varadero airport in Cuba.

Before we went to the airport, early in the morning house sparrow sound.

We stopped at the lake we still knew from our first day in Cuba.

Brown pelicans. Ring-necked ducks.

A great egret on the opposite bank. A night heron a bit further on that bank.

An American coot, and two shoveler ducks swimming.

A common gallinule, and a ruddy duck as well.

A Neotropic cormorant.

A palm warbler in a bush.

We continued our journey. 11:39: cattle egrets in a meadow in Matanzas province.

Turkey vultures.

When we arrive at Varadero airport, we hear about delay, like the day we arrived at Varadero. Then, the plane made an unexpected detour because a passenger had heart problems. Now, we hear that the plane has not arrived at the airport yet, so is not flying yet. Outside the airport terminal, three cattle egrets do fly. And three northern mockingbirds sing.

Flowers, on 16 March 2017

And beautiful Cuban flowers are still there.

Flowers, on 16 March 2017

We won’t forget Cuba and its wildlife!

Cuba, Havana flowers and street photographs

Flowers, 15 March 2017

This photo shows beautiful flowers on a tree on the hill in Casablanca, a suburb of the Cuban capital Havana; where we were on 15 March 2017. As I wrote, after Casablanca we went to the old city center.

This video says about itself:

La Habana Vieja is the proper name for the central neighborhood Old Havana in Havana, Cuba. If you visit Havana for the first time, this is where need to go. If you’ve visited before, you probably still want to return – even if only to sip a cold beer in the shade and watch the hustle and bustle of the streets.

Everything was filmed in April 2016.

Major sights in this video:

Castillo del Morro Castle and Lighthouse (seen from our balcony)

La Cabaña Fortress (seen from La Habana Vieja)

Castillo de la Real Fuerza

El Templete

Basilica Menor de San Francisco de Asis on Plaza de San Francisco

Catedral de San Cristobal

Plaza Vieja (including Factoria Plaza Vieja, Cervezas y Maltas)

Hotel Ambos Mundos (Hemingway Hotel) on Calle Obispo

Plaza de Armas (where I got the Obama poster for my birthday)

La Floridita (where Hemingway and us had delicious daiquiris)

La Bodeguita del Medio (where Hemingway hung out, but we didn’t)

Parque Central

Payret Cinema and Capitolio

Prado (Paseo de Marti) street

Museo de la Revolucion

Memorial Granma

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de la Habana

The song in the video is “El Pescador” by Bruno Bassi of Los Hermanos – from the royalty-free music website Their collection is available via a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

Havana sign, 15 March 2017

This photo from the city center shows a sign, celebrating Havana’s 497th birthday. Still three years until the big 500 years celebration.

Havana car and bike taxi, 15 March 2017

In old Havana, there are several means of transport.

Havana cars, 15 March 2017

From these vintage cars …

Havana cars, on 15 March 2017

Havana bike taxi, 15 March 2017

to these bike taxis…

Havana empty bike taxi, 15 March 2017

Havana bike taxi, on 15 March 2017

Havana boats, 15 March 2017

to these boats.

This video says about itself:

26 August 2014

In this film you will get an impression of what there is to see in the Calle Obispo.

It`s the number one shopping street of Havana Vieja. This is the place where girls are shopping and meet their friends. You can buy a lot of things here, eat something or go to the hairdresser. … The street has dilapidated buildings but also well maintained and beautifully decorated houses.

Havana clothes, 15 March 2017

Clothes hang out to dry from various windows in old Havana.

Havana clothes, on 15 March 2017

Havana drainpipes, 15 March 2017

People are at work putting new drainpipes underground.

Havana children, 15 March 2017

While the pipes are still above ground, Havana children use them in play.

Havana children, on 15 March 2017

Cuban birds and Havana buildings

Turkey vulture, 15 March 2017

15 March 2017. After seeing hummingbirds and doves on the Zapata peninsula in Cuba, we left that day for Havana. This photo shows a turkey vulture flying near a lake providing drinking water for Havana.

We had arrived there at 13:30. Cattle egrets, snowy egrets and great egrets.

Common gallinule. House sparrow.

Two ospreys flying. One lands on a small tree in the water.

Havana, 15 March 2017

We arrive in Havana, and go first to Casablanca suburb. From the hill, there is a fine view of Havana harbour and the old city centre behind it.

Havana, on 15 March 2017

Havana, Cuba, 15 March 2017

On the Casablanca hill, a singing northern mockingbird. A cattle egret flying past.

We went downhill, to the city centre.

Stay tuned!

Cuban doves and smallest hummingbird

This video says about itself:

Zapata Wren – Ferminia cerverai

A bird singing. Zapata Peninsula, Cuba (Monotypic species).

Recorded 1 August 2004.

15 March 2017, at the Zapata peninsula; the day after 14 March, the day I had seen the Zapata wren; we went to a Zapata peninsula forest edge where many doves were present.

Zenaida dove, 15 March 2017

Including Zenaida doves.

Zenaida dove, on 15 March 2017

Zenaida dove, Cuba, 15 March 2017

Blue-headed quail dove, 15 March 2017

And blue-headed quail doves. They live only in Cuba.

Blue-headed quail dove, on 15 March 2017

Grey-headed quail dove, 15 March 2017

And grey-headed quail doves. Also only in Cuba.

Grey-headed quail dove, on 15 March 2017

There were also other birds: ovenbirds. And Greater Antillean grackles.

A bit further, along the road, was a red-shouldered blackbird. Another Cuban endemic species.

Bee hummingbird, 15 March 2017

Then, we went to see the world’s smallest bird, the bee hummingbird, again.

Cuban emerald hummingbirds were present too.

A northern mockingbird sang from the top of an electricity pole.

We continued our journey to Havana.

So, stay tuned!

Cuban flowers, owls, woodpeckers, crabs

This video from Cuba says about itself:

4 April 2013

Zapata swamp is the natural habitat of the Cuban Crocodile, considered as a national symbol after its resemblance with the geography of the island.

On 14 March 2017, the day after 13 March on Cuba, we were at the Zapata peninsula.

Early in the morning, we went aboard a rowing boat.

Flower, Zapata swamp, 14 March 2017

Many beautiful flowers on the banks.

A Greater Antillean grackle on a bush. A yellow-headed warbler.

The main aim this morning is to see the Zapata wren. When the boat stops, we don’t see it where it is supposed to be.

Flowering grass, 14 March 2017

We do see this flowering grass.

After a walk on a muddy path, we do see the Zapata wren.

As the boat goes back, we see a belted kingfisher.

Turkey vulture, 14 March 2016

And this turkey vulture.

A limpkin flies overhead.

After landing, a flock of Cuban parakeets. They live only in Cuba.

Killdeer, 14 March 2016

And a killdeer plover. Probably, a migrant from North America.

In the afternoon, again a boat: a motorboat this time.

Brown pelican, 14 March 2017

On a lake bank, a brown pelican.

Also, an anhinga, drying it wings. A double-crested cormorant.

A great blue heron.

An osprey sits in a tree.

An Antillean palm swift flying.

A belted kingfisher sits on a bridge.

A yellow-bellied sapsucker on a palm tree.

Later that afternoon, not by boat, but a forest walk.

A blue-headed quail dove.

Stygian owl, 14 March 2017

A bit further, a big owl on a big tree; a Stygian owl.

Greater Antillean nightjar, 14 March 2017

On another tree, a Greater Antillean nightjar: endemic to Cuba and Hispaniola.

Cuban screech-owl, 14 March 2017

Then, in a hole in yet another tree, a smaller owl: a Cuban screech owl, endemic to Cuba.

This video says about itself:

A Fernandina’s Flicker (Colaptes fernandinae) and brief footage of a West Indian Woodpecker (Melanerpes superciliaris) at Hacienda La Cortina, Cuba, on 07 April 2013. The flicker was interested in a cavity in what may have been a royal palm.

Fernandina's flicker, 14 March 2017

On the forest edge, we also saw a Fernandina’s flicker: this male at its nest.

Yellow-bellied sapsucker, 14 March 2017

A bit further, another woodpecker: this yellow-bellied sapsucker.

Cardisoma guanhumi, 14 March 2017

Finally, we see crabs crossing a road. It is their mating season, and it has rained, sending them on migration. They are two crab species: Geocarcinus ruricola; and Cardisoma guanhumi (pictured).

Also about birds in Cuba: here.

Cuba, lizards and world’s smallest hummingbird

This video is called Cuba Playa Larga 2016.

On 13 March 2017 we went from Cayo Coco, where we had been on 12 March, to Playa Larga on the south coast of Cuba.

On Cayo Coco: white ibis (after which the island is named). Black-necked stilts. Short-billed dowitchers. Tricoloured heron. Snowy egret. Flamingos flying.

White pelicans.

At a restaurant in central Cuba: Cape May warbler.

Anolis lizard, on 13 March 2017

There were anolis lizards on the inside of the thatched roof of the restaurant.

Anolis lizard, Cuba on 13 March 2017

Cuban emerald hummingbirds were present as well. So were Cuban grassquits: they live only in Cuba and in the Bahamas.

At 17:30, we stopped at a place not far from the Zapata peninsula.

Bee hummingbird, 13 March 2017

The smallest bird in the world, the bee hummingbird, lives there. The photo shows a male.

Bee hummingbird and flowers, 13 March 2017

The bee hummingbird drank from white flowers. On the branch above it sat a Cuban pewee.

Cuban emerald hummingbird, 13 March 2017

There were also bigger relatives of the bee hummingbird: Cuban emerald hummingbirds, both males and females.

Still bigger: a Cuban oriole.

Stay tuned for more entries about Cuba on this blog!

Cuban blue-winged teal and black-necked stilts

White ibises and great egret, 12 March 2017

Still 12 March 2017 on the islands north of Cuba. After we had seen the flamingos, tricoloured heron and Ernest Hemingway sculptures, there were still these two white ibises and this great egret along the mangrove coast.

And red knots. Short-billed dowitchers. Lesser yellowlegs.

Reddish egret, 12 March 2017

And a reddish egret.

Palm warbler, on 12 March 2017

On a shrub, this palm warbler.

Black-necked stilts and turtles, 12 March 2017

We continued to a lake, where there scores of black-necked stilts; and freshwater turtles as well. I think they were Cuban sliders; an endemic species of Cuba.

Black-necked stilts and turtles, on 12 March 2017

Greater yellowlegs were also present.

Black-necked stilts and blue-winged teal, on 12 March 2017

Besides black-necked stilts, and a common gallinule, there were also various duck species; like blue-winged teal.

Shovelers, 12 March 2017

And shoveler ducks, both males and females.

Stay tuned, as there were not only birds in Cuba on 12 March, but on 13 March and after as well!

Cuban flamingos, tricoloured heron and Ernest Hemingway

Flamingos, 12 March 2017

We saw these beautiful Caribbean flamingos on 12 March 2017 off Cayo Guillermo island north of Cuba, after seeing a piping plover and egrets earlier that day.

Flamingos, Cuba, 12 March 2017

Before we saw the flamingos, we had seen a yellow-crowned night heron. And two black-necked stilts.

We reached the bridge to Cayo Guillermo.

Hemingway sculpture, 12 March 2017

On the bridge, statues commemorating the stay of United States author Ernest Hemingway in Cuba. Hemingway‘s books Islands in the Stream and The Old Man and the Sea are inspired by the islands north of Cuba.

Near the bridge, royal terns. And a ring-billed gull. And red knots.

Spotted sandpiper, 12 March 2017

And this spotted sandpiper. Not really spotted yet, as it was still in winter plumage.

Tricoloured heron, 12 March 2017

A tricoloured heron.

White ibises, 12 March 2017

Two white ibises flying. White ibises are locally called ‘coco’. Cayo Coco island is named after these birds.

Kite surfers and brown pelicans, 12 March 2017

A bit further, two kite surfers and two brown pelicans flying.

A snowy egret.

Stay tuned for more 12 March 2017 Cuban birds!

Cuban piping plover, herons and egrets

Royal tern, 12 March 2017

This photo shows a royal tern flying near a beach on Cayo Coco island north of Cuba. We had arrived there on 12 March 2017 from the spot where we had seen a Cuban tody and doves.

There were semipalmated plovers on the beach. And ruddy turnstones. And a willet.

Piping plover, 12 March 2017

And a special bird: a piping plover, on migration from North America.

White great blue heron, 12 March 2017

Also, a big white bird. A great egret? No, great egrets have black legs. This one has greyish legs. So, it is a white form of the great blue heron. In the USA, these white ‘blue’ herons live in southern Florida.

White great blue heron, 12 March 2017

Laughing gull. Grey plover.

Piping plover flies, 12 March 2017

The piping plover flies away.

Great egret and great blue heron, 12 March 2017

Other birds stay. Like this great egret, and this great blue heron (not a white morph this time).

Great egrets, 12 March 2017

One great egret stays. Another one flies away.

Stay tuned for more Cuban coastal birds on this blog!

Cuban tody and doves

Cuban tody, 12 March 2017

This photo shows a Cuban tody. We saw this beautiful colourful small bird, endemic to Cuba, on 12 March 2017 in a bush on Cayo Coco island; close to where we had seen the Cuban emerald hummingbirds.

Cuban tody, on 12 March 2017

A greater Antillean grackle and a grey catbird were present as well.

Common ground dove, 12 March 2017

On the other side of the parking lot were doves. Like zenaida doves. And this common ground dove.

Key West quail dove

And this Key West quail dove.

Stay tuned for more Cuban birds on this blog!