In the Dominican: Around the Resort

Snowy Egret

Friday was our last full day on the resort, and it was another beautiful, sunny day. We enjoyed a relaxing day in the sun, taking a dip in the ocean when it got too hot. The Atlantic Ocean was rougher than the Pacific Ocean at our resort in Costa Rica, which made for a much different experience. Once we got tired of being smacked around by the waves we spent some time on a lounge chair drying off in the warm Caribbean sun. Normally the lounge chairs are all taken by the afternoon, but we had timed it so that most people were getting lunch when we arrived. We didn’t see any birds again – no terns or pelicans or frigatebirds, and after lunch I headed out to photograph some birds and features of the resort.

A Gray Kingbird was perching at the top of a palm tree when I left the building. These flycatchers live on the island of Hispaniola as well as on Puerto Rico and the Lesser Antilles year-round. In Jamaica, Cuba, and the islands further north they are breeding residents only; their range extends up to southern Florida.

Gray Kingbird

I love the main road leading to the lobby; although the pink flowers blooming in the hedges lining the road don’t attract many butterflies, they were gorgeous.

This lovely stone wall has water running down it, although it’s not very noticeable in this image.

This traditional fountain was just outside the open-air cafe overlooking the pool.

Up at the swamp, I saw two White-cheeked Pintails swimming in the water and heard a Common Gallinule calling from deep within the vegetation. I was surprised by the rattling call of a Belted Kingfisher, then saw two of them fly across the road to the water on the other side – this was a new bird for the country for me. The Tricolored Heron and Great Egrets were around, as usual, and a Snowy Egret was perching on a tree limb overlooking the water. It didn’t mind me getting close for a picture; I was amazed by how easy it was to photograph the herons here!

Snowy Egret

I am not sure what the egret was doing as I caught it with its mouth open in this shot!

Snowy Egret

A single Hispaniolan Parrot flew over while I was walking along the road, and I stopped at the Lantana garden long enough to see the Vervain Hummingbird again.

One of my goals was to get better pictures of the common birds on the resort, and when I returned to my building I was happy to find some Palmchats feeding on the berries of the large shrub outside the entrance. I walked up the staircase to the balcony overlooking the area and spent some time photographing this endemic bird.

Here it is in the act of eating a berry:

In Spanish the Palmchat is called the Cigua Palmera. The olive green wingtips and rump are visible in this photo.

A Northern Mockingbird was also taking advantage of the berries.

Northern Mockingbird

When I got up to my room I discovered a Yellow-throated Warbler foraging near the crown of the palm trees.

Yellow-throated Warbler

A couple of male Greater Antillean Grackles were engaging in territorial displays in the palm trees outside our room. Just like the Common Grackles back home, they would puff out their chests, raise their heads, and let out a song that is more pleasant than the Common Grackle’s, but not by much!

Greater Antillean Grackle

Greater Antillean Grackle

I was happy to get images as they are the best ones I have of this species. Now all I need are photos of the Hispaniolan Lizard-Cuckoo and Antillean Mango and I’ll be happy!

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