Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Cuba dos – Havana, February 12-13, 2018

Morro Castle as seen from the Malecón
View from the Old Havana ferry terminal
Havana as seen from the hill at Casablanca
Old Havana
Old America
Afternoon birding from the balcony, near Hotel Nacional (it gets interesting in this area after sundown)
Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis
Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens - love that menacing profile!
Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens
Tawny-shouldered Blackbird Agelaius humeralis
Tawny-shouldered Blackbird Agelaius humeralis
  On my first hour in-country, cavorting Greater Antillean Grackles seen on the taxi ride from the airport represented my first new birds. More tropical novelties awaited during a sundown birding n’ cerveza session from the balcony of our casa near Hotel Nacional in Vedato, the former mob neighbourhood on the ocean. Three Brown Pelicans and four Magnificent Frigatebirds impressed with low and slow flybys. More familiar bird faces included Turkey Vultures, Mourning Doves, Northern Mockingbirds, and House Sparrows.
  The following day, a morning walk along the Malecón coastline past Morro Castle (est.1589) and beyond towards the ferry terminal in Old Havana featured more Brown Pelicans, Common Ground Doves, Northern Rough-winged Swallows and two Laughing Gulls.

  Before hopping on the ferry to Casablanca, I got brief views of four Tawny-shouldered Blackbirds up in the roof of the terminal building, which ended up being my only ones of the trip. Four Sandwich Terns were spotted skimming low over the harbour from the ferry.
  Up on the forested “Jesus Hill” in Casablanca, a Crescent-eyed (Cuban) Pewee, more Northern Mockingbirds, and my first Cuban Emerald of the trip.

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