Birding tours open

The National Trust for the Cayman
Islands has started offering a Focus on Birding tour of the Mastic trail.

The tour, which takes place on
Tuesday mornings, emphasises the birds that can be encountered on the trail.

The Focus on Birding tour allows
novice and experienced birders to spot and photograph many of the bird species
which call Grand Cayman home. With reference books and checklists provided, the
tour is an enjoyable learning experience.

“Birds are the most abundant and
active animals that we encounter. The trail is home to all 13 endemic
sub-species of birds found on Grand Cayman and on a typical tour we see upwards
of nine,” said Stuart Mailer, field officer with the trust and Mastic trail
tour guide.

“These birds include the raucous
and colourful Cayman parrot, the Caribbean dove, the stunningly beautiful
western spindalis and the bananaquit. Two endemic woodpeckers, the West Indian
and the northern flicker frequently provide exceedingly close and extended views.

“For visiting birders, a sighting
of our bright yellow vitelline warbler is often a highlight of their tour.”

The Mastic trail provides a rare
glimpse into the unspoilt interior of Grand Cayman. The trail boasts an
abundance of native flora, many of which have medicinal or historical uses and
fauna such as ground-dwelling wasps, soldier (hermit) crabs, snakes, lizards,
tree frogs, agouti and birds.

The Focus on Birding tour takes
place on Tuesday mornings at 8.30am. The cost for members is CI$22 and CI$28
for non-members. Tours last approximately 3.5 hours.

For more information or
reservations contact Stuart Mailer at 749-1124 or email
[email protected]

LOCALbirdingtourSTORY

The West Indian wood-pecker is one of the many endemic sub-species that frequent the trail.
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