About a year ago we had a group of cave enthusiasts rent our
neighbor's house. Before they arrived I was already familiar
with many of the group as they were featured in a
National Geographic story on Bahamian blue holes. The
article mainly highlighted the dangers of cave diving, but the
real story was their incredible fossil finds. Many people don't
know that the Bahamas used to be inhabited by crocodiles,
iguanas, giant flightless owls, huge rodents, tortoises,
seals... Mainly due to natural extinction we are now only left
with their fossil remains. Fortunately the Bahamas' many caves
and blue holes provide a perfect habitat for fossils. As
relatively unchanging environments they shelter bones from the
harsh Bahamian elements. Their project in Eleuthera was mainly
concerned with fossils, but there were also biologists
interested in the cave's living animals. Blue holes especially
contain many highly evolved species - adapted to spend their
entire life in darkness.
I volunteered to help and early the next morning we split
into to three groups: Some were going to the Hatchet Bay Caves,
some to Preacher's Cave, and some to an inland Blue Hole. I
tagged along with Brian Kakuk and Thomas Iliffe for the Blue
Hole. Brian is an expert cave diver and runs
a cave diving company out of Abaco. Thomas is a professor and
expert on cave dwelling invertebrates, he has discovered
hundreds of new invertebrate species, several from
Eleuthera. I was happy to help and hang out with these two, but,
I'll admit, the dark enclosed aspects of cave diving don't
appeal to me.
The Blue Hole. We used a climbing rack to lower the dive gear
down to the water.
After lowering the last of the gear I hopped in and snapped
this picture before they descended into the depths. Brian rooted
through the mud in search of fossils while Thomas chased after
miniscule invertebrates with his vials. Brian hit the jackpot
when he found a pair of old owl dens about 100 feet down. The owls would have lived
there over 10,000 years ago when sea levels were hundreds of
feet lower. In their dens were the remnants of past meals -
hundreds of bone fragments including bones from several extinct
Back at the house we sorted through some of the bones and
found several Hutia fossils. Hutia are family of enormous
rodents, normally measured in units of pounds and feet! They are
still around on a few Bahamian Islands - thankfully not ours!
The loose tank on the bottom is full of pure oxygen. After
spending an hour at 100 feet they had a long decompression. Pure
oxygen greatly speeds the decompression process, but you must be
careful as oxygen becomes extremely toxic past 20 or so feet.
This large Barbouria shrimp found a nice meal. I shot this in
the shadows of the Blue Hole, but the tight aperture on the
camera darkened the background even more. I'm experimenting with
photos that enlarge on mouse-over. Try hovering over the photo -
if it doesn't magnify please let me know.
Brian Kakuk shot this wonderful photo of me freediving in the
Blue Hole. Definitely one of my favorite underwater shots.
Again, hover to enlarge.
Posted May 3, 2012
Blue Heron Bridge
This winter I was
invited to dive the Blue Heron Bridge with Ned and Anna Deloach.
Ned and Anna are the ultimate fish enthusiasts and have been my
biggest heroes for years. They are probably best known for their
underwater photography and for coauthoring Reef Fish, the number
Caribbean fish guide. Anna
also runs the wonderful
BlennyWatcher Blog. The
Blue Heron Bridge is almost as famous as the Deloaches and is
often described as Florida's best shore dive. It's located in
the Florida Intracoastal waterway near the Palm Beach inlet and
for some reason attracts tons of rare fish species. I had heard
all about the Blue Heron even while living in the Bahamas.
Unfortunately my dive with the Deloaches never lined up, but I did enjoy a lunch with them
and later had the opportunity to dive the Blue Heron with
Reef Fish's other author Paul Humann!
If you are in need of an field guide for the Bahamas this is
the book to get:
Paul, along with Ned, founded the
Reef Environmental Education Foundation of which I've been a
member since 2003. It's an organization of fish geeks who record
the number and location of fish species so biologists and
naturalists can track the distribution of fish. Needless to say
after ten years of reading about these people it's great to meet
The dive itself was great. I found 6 species of fish I'd
previously only seen in photographs and several others I had
only seen once or twice before. This Blackwing Searobin was one of
the more exciting finds:
Here is a cool clip of a searobin (also from the Blue Heron)
using it's modified pelvic fins to walk along the seafloor. This is not my footage. Credit goes to
Many times the rarest fish look quite drab and ordinary -
usually just impressing the true afishionados. Not the case at the Blue Heron:
It seems to attract only the most visually spectacular of the rare fish.
Paul found this very frilly Lined Seahorse hanging onto a
seashell in the strong current:
After the dive Paul was nice enough to show us around his
yard which with the addition of a few jaguar would have been a
veritable tropical forest. His
collection of flora contains over 300 species of palms, several
species of giant bamboos, and a large variety of ferns and
bromeliads. Here's Paul standing next to his Ponytail Palm - the
biggest I have ever seen:
Posted April 18, 2012
A pair of Green Iguana have taken up residence around our
shop. Since being release from the pet trade in the 1980s Green
Iguanas have turned feral and started breeding. So far they have
spread all across South Florida and down to Key West. The only
thing that limits their range is their aversion to cold weather.
In the winter the cold fronts sweep down and if the Iguanas are
too far north they will involuntary go into a hibernation-like
state until warmer weather thaws them out.
Recently we found a pair of small ones hanging out in the
shrubs out front. The adults are pretty wily so I was glad to
find that these little ones are very tame. There a numerous ads
in the local newspaper for Iguana removal services. I can't
imagine why - all they seem to do is sit around and chew weeds.
Iguana Paradise: Down here in the Keys I don't think the
iguanas have any cold weather to worry about. Well I hope not,
because if it gets too cold I'll be hibernating as well. Look
how long his hind legs stretch out!
The younger ones are a little brighter. The skin will turn
dark brown when they're cold to absorb more heat. Here's a nice
close-up showing the scales on the head.
Posted November 25, 2011
Diving Florida Keys
I was worried that in the Keys I wouldn't be
able to shore dive. I quickly tested it out with a couple dives
near our place. Of course the water was only a fraction as clear
as Bahamian waters, but the abundance of fish life was
surprising. I saw plenty of species new to me and even found a
neat pipefish, which are rare in the Bahamas.
Striped Burrfish: Closely related to the Porcupinefish, but with
spines that are always upright. In 10 years I saw only one
burrfish in Eleuthera and it wasn't nearly as pretty as this
A Fringed Pipefish - related to the seahorses.
This one is only about 3 inches long.
A familiar fish in unfamiliar waters: On the
Key's bayside (akin to Eleuthera's Caribbean side) the water
turns green not far offshore. It's too creepy out there - I'll
be sticking to the shallows.
Posted August 20, 2011
One of the last things I did before I left the Bahamas was
head out to Current to spearfish and see the sharks. We jumped
in at one of our favorite spots and I speared a Lionfish right
away. I tried to feed it to a big Nurse Shark, but ended
up spooking him. A little while later was saw the same Nurse
Shark racing up current towards us, hot on the trail of Lionfish
blood. Without hesitation he took the Lionfish right from the
end of my spear!
After the Nurse Shark left, two very small Reef Sharks moved
in. Obviously they had smelt the Nurse's Lionfish and wanted one
of their own. Kirk and Jake, my dive buddies, left for a while
so I hung out near the boat photographing the sharks.
A Caribbean Reef Shark on the left and Nurse Shark on the
The soft coral life here is abundant and healthy. Probably
due to the strong current which keeps the water clear and brings
in food for the corals. The little silver fish under the shark's
head are small Bar Jack that accompany the sharks to pick up
left over food scraps.
Kirk and Jake soon returned with reinforcements of wounded,
bloody Lionfish. So much for my casual photo shoot... We soon
had 8 Reef and 3 Nurse Sharks on top of us - they were sticking
their noses in everywhere - it was a nightmare. I retreated
closer to the boat to continue shooting, all the while cursing
A Reef Shark about to eat a disabled Lionfish. You can
clearly see the special eyelid that sharks have to protect their
eyes when eating. The sharks don't seem to mind the Lionfish's
venomous spines - they often come back for seconds.
Trying to get sharks to swim over your while you lie flat on
the bottom in 3 feet is not easy. This shark spooked many times
before finally swimming over. The blue and white at the top of
the picture shows the sky and clouds viewed from underwater.
One of the small Reefs a little too close:
Later this same shark and I ended up in this
same situation. I forgot how small my camera was and tried to
use it to bump him away. Ended up it was mostly my hand pushing
him away and just as my fingers made contact with his snout his
mouth opened and I jerked my arm away. It all happened so fast
it's lucky I didn't get bit or, worse, have my camera swallowed.
Posted August 6, 2011
Moving to the Florida Keys
After 10 years on Eleuthera we've decided to head back over
to the States. We chose to relocate to Islamorada in the Florida
Keys as it's similar to the Bahamas, just a little more built
up. My parents will be running a small retail shop here and I'll
be going to school. The flora and fauna are very similar to what
we have in the Bahamas so I plan to keep the website going.
The bird life is actually better here, but the marine life isn't
quite as good. I also still have plenty of pictures and stories
from the Bahamas that I'll be posting soon.
Here's a picture from one of the bridges that joins the keys:
Posted July 28, 2011
Diving outside Queen's Baths
A few weeks ago during the strong east winds, Kirk and Jake
picked me up to go diving outside the Queen's Baths. I knew it
wasn't going to be flat calm, but I had always wanted to dive
out there so I got ready. When we got there though, it was
rough, way too rough to dive. I found out that Jake had known it
was going to be this bad and was smart enough to "forget his
fins". So Jake stayed back in the tidepools while Kirk and I
figured out how to get in. We found a spot where we could jump
in with our fins off
if we timed the waves right. Kirk got in at the first
chance, but I hesitated and had to wait out a set of waves
before jumping. We didn't see much except for a five foot Reef
Shark and a few jack. We didn't pay much attention to the shark
and continued along the coast.
Finally we ran into a nice fish - a good size Mutton Snapper.
I dove down and shot the Mutton in the back and, after a few
dives, got it to the surface. We looked around for the shark and
didn't see him so we started swimming back with our catch. About
half way back I turned to look behind us and screamed. The reef
shark was right on the surface only a few feet behind me. We
both turned to face it and Kirk poked it several times with his
spear. After about the fifth poke Kirk had had enough and turned
his spear around to give it a shot with the blunt end. The shark
seemed to know what was up and swam out to edge of our
visibility to follow us. Very frustrating as we knew he'd be
back soon. I was very surprised when we made it back to the
tidepools without seeing him.
Thinking we were pretty safe we threw our spears up on shore
and made our first attempts at getting out. After a few big
waves washed us around we sat on the surface contemplating our
way out. The waves left us surrounded by minute bubbles in zero
visibility so Kirk dove down under the bubbles to look around
and guess who was right there! We were totally blind on the
surface, had no spears, still had the dead fish, and had a
hungry shark on us - it couldn't get much worse. Kirk flung the
fish into the nearest tidepool and we tried to find a way out
while keeping an eye on the shark. Finally I decided I was just
going to ride a wave into the tidepool. I picked a bigger wave
and slid right into the pool without a scratch. I called for
Kirk and he got a wave in soon after me. Boy were we glad to get
out of that water. Jake was 20 feet away in a glass calm
tidepool, totally oblivious to us almost getting eaten.
Queen's Baths and Atlantic on a calm day:
Posted June 28, 2011
Hail in the Bahamas
We had an incredible day of thunderstorms a few weeks ago.
Rocco (my cat) and I were huddled up inside hiding from rain and
lightning when we heard what sounded like rocks hitting our
roof. I ran out to the porch and found it was... Hailing! The
first thing I did was dash out into the freezing rain, grab some
hail and run it to the freezer. Then I called up my friends at
They live only two miles south of us, but it wasn't hailing
there so they drove over. According to their car thermometer the
temperature dropped from 78 to 69 degrees between the Cove and
Gaulding Cay. At one point our yard was covered in hundreds of
hail stones each one not more than a few inches from the next.
The average stones were penny and nickel size and a few were
I heard that Bogue also got hail and some Bahamians told me
they had never seen hail before. I Googled
Hailstorms in the Bahamas and found an interesting old record of
hail in Spanish Wells and Governor's Harbour in 1906. Here's the
link (right column):
Here's some the hail from our yard:
Posted June 24, 2011
Spotted Eagle Ray
While I was watching the Eagle Ray in our last Current Dive
video I noticed a squiggle on the ray's back that was sort of
shaped like Eleuthera. I remembered seeing a similar line on a
Eagle Ray I saw last year at Current Cut. After pulling up the
old picture and comparing spot patterns I saw that they were the
same ray! Our two sightings were about 8 miles and one year
I posted this picture April 2010, here's a link to the post:
Screenshot taken from the video at Pimlico. I
circled some of the obvious distinctive markings.
Posted April 6, 2011
Dive Current II
Here's a video from yesterdays dive out at Current. The video
is pretty shaky and once again I missed the best moment when a
Reef Shark (from sec. 42) collides head on with the stingray
(seen at 32 sec.). The Reef Shark was so focused on stealing my
Hogfish that it didn't even notice the ray until crashing into
it. The ray hardly flinched, but the shark was spooked. Perhaps
I need a pet ray to ward sharks off my fish.
I have some cool news about the Eagle Ray seen at the end of
video that I will post soon.
This is what we shot that day: 45 pound Amberjack, two 7
pound Hogfish, 8 pound Muttonfish and a Yellowfin Grouper. The
Amberjack and Grouper were donated to locals in Gregory Town.
The rest we kept for dinner.
Posted March 20, 2011
New Field Guide
A new field guide is out for marine fishes along the east
coast of the U.S. I was lucky enough to help out in small way
with the project by providing some fish photos for the
illustrator, Val Kells. While the book doesn't specifically
include fishes from the Bahamas there is enough overlap in our
species to make the book useful here. It includes almost all of
the fish you can find snorkeling here and virtually every fish
you will catch while fishing here. The illustrations are
beautiful and it's by far the most comprehensive guide to our
This is a video from our latest spearfishing trip out to
current. Kirk and Jake and I jumped in at one of our favorite
spots and right away saw some big African Pompano. A pair of the
Pompano swam near me so I dove down and shot at the smaller one.
Stoned! Well, in the first few minutes I had enough fish for us
for a week so I decided to spend the rest of the dive with the
I put this video together from about an hour of freediving at
one site. It was a pretty busy dive, but I missed or couldn't
film some of the greatest moments. At one point there were a few
30# Pompano, a huge Loggerhead Turtle, and a Reef Shark right in
front of me - for sure one of coolest dives I've done in a
while. It doesn't look like it here, but the very last fish in
the video (an amberjack) is well over twice as big as the
Here's my 28 pound African Pompano:
Posted March 3, 2010
I keep forgetting to post this photo. I took it during the
string of glassy calm days we were getting around Christmas. My
mom and I were out in the kayaks near the end of the Cay and we
found another of those colorful, stinging Jellyfish. I pulled
out the camera and shot photo after photo from the kayak. The
water was so calm I was able to capture both the jellyfish and
his reflection on the underside of the water's surface.
One of 95 photos from the 20 minute photo shoot:
Posted February 18, 2011
Here's a cool video I shot with Jake's GoPro video camera.
The three of us (Kirk, Jake, and I) were spearing lobster out by
Current. We dropped the lobster heads on the bottom for the fish
and a Spotted Moray had come out for an easy meal. I dove down
hoping to catch the eel eating our lobsters, but apparently the
camera looked more appealing, because he taste-tested the lens
before returning to our lobster heads. You can hear Kirk
laughing as the eel bounces off the camera.
Posted January 13, 2011
My mom, dad and I took the kayaks out on
another glassy morning. From Gaulding Cay we headed south to
Lennyís Bay. I had the camera and was hoping to photograph some
of the huge Houndfish that hang around his point. We saw plenty
of Houndfish, but none were tame enough for photos so I headed
inshore to see a Southern Stingray my dad had found.
Here's my mom posing with the stingray:
While in the shallows my Parents also found me a
Tiny Remora (Sharksucker) to photograph. At this size
sharksuckers prefer to cling to Houndfish and Parrotfish rather
than sharks and rays. I had no mask, but the water was so calm I
could see the camera screen and compose shots from above water.
The sharksucker didnít seem to mind me so I took tons of photos.
Meanwhile, a few of the Houndfish offshore were becoming curious
of us and eventually one came close enough for my subject to
see. In a flash my subject was gone - he was off to catch the
Houndfish. Obviously, he had been waiting a long time for a
Posted January 7, 2011
Rage - Sandpits
After the 1992 rage, I heard that people collected tons of
Yellowtail Snapper (this island's favorite food fish) that had
been washed onshore. I was ready this rage and ran over to see
if I could find anything. I didn't have to look long before
discovering a whole field of dead fish! There were fish from
about every family, though most of what I saw were blennies and
This picture shows a sample of what I collected.
I had a flounder, but I guess I dropped it on the way home - I
was fully laden down with jars of fish and eels. In one of my
containers I even had a live Spotted Moray Eel who was wriggling
when I collected him. Unfortunately the eel didn't survive;
though, had he made it, I imagine the brain damage suffered
would have been tremendous. And Lemon Reef, the place I was
planning to release him, already has one loony eel, which is one
too many. In the end only our cat Rocco got dinner: I filleted
the largest fish (a Puddingwife) for him and he got a small
Spotted Lobster (not pictured).
The majority of the smaller fish here are
blennies. The small, clear fish near the center are larval eels!
There is also a squid just beneath the Puddingwife's tail.
Posted December 7, 2010
Pete Fox took me out spearing on the Caribbean Side today. We
did fairly well, but got nothing spectacular. I saw huge schools
of jack, a Reef Shark, a Nurse Shark, three Eagle Ray so there
was plenty of stuff out there. Winter has definitely started.
Even with three 2mm spring-suits I was soon freezing - I hope
this doesn't mean a cold winter. The sea surface temp. charts
show the water around 73 F, which is 7 degrees colder than it
was 10 days ago! If gets as cold as last year I'm moving further
Black Grouper for dinner tonight, Hogfish tomorrow. Hogfish
Posted November 9, 2010
We have some nasty north winds coming soon, so we have been
trying to get out and enjoy the nice weather we have had lately.
Yesterday I drug my dad on a photo-snorkel around the cay. The
sea on the Caribbean side has been flat calm, but, oddly enough,
the water was pretty murky. The lousy visibility was affecting
my photos so I decided to focus on close-ups.
I wasn't too excited about anything I shot around the cay,
but I did find a couple of tame juvenile Lane Snappers in the
grass patches inshore. These are one of the most common fish
eaten at fish fries:
Posted November 4, 2010
Least Tern Eggs
Well, tern season is well past, but I was looking through my
photos and found this. It's the eggs of Least Tern out at Whale
Point. The terns have no nest and just lay their eggs on the
rocks. They raise their young right at the point during the
summer and by fall everyone is ready to fly away. Here's an old
post from the archives that has a photo of one of the adult
terns out at Whale Point:
BahamaLouie - Archives
The eggs blend perfectly with the ironshore. Careful where you
Posted November 1, 2010
Yesterday afternoon I went for my first snorkel since I got
back. Conditions weren't optimal, so I just went for a quick
loop around the cay. The side-shore wind was pushing in plenty
of jellyfish, most were harmless, but I saw a few that looked as
if they'd sting. Despite the murky, rough water I saw all the
usuals plus a few large Muttonfish and a Green Turtle.
I encountered about six of these not-so-harmless jellies.
They aren't in any of my field guides so if anyone can identify
them I would appreciate an email.
Here's a picture of Gaulding Cay today. The
weather isn't that nice, but the water isn't too cold yet so I
Posted October 26, 2010
While on Maui we spent about half a day driving and hiking
around the island's tallest mountain, Haleakala. The summit is
at 10,000 feet and gave us awesome views of other Hawaiian
Islands, but was too cold for us to spend much time there. In
the winter it can even snow there!
Tons of Chukars were hanging around the parking lot. Chukars
are originally from Asia and Europe and were introduced to Maui
in 1923. The Haleakala Chukar population seemed to be well
established; I was swarmed by at least a dozen of them. They
probably wanted a snack, but all they got was a photo.
Posted October 23, 2010
One of the cooler spots we snorkeled on Maui was
Turtle Town. It was full of cool fish and giant Green Turtles.
Hawaii's turtles are much friendly than ours, which, I guess, is
from not being hunted. We didn't spend much time there (everyone
was cold), but I did get a couple cool photos and videos:
My mom and aunt swimming with a large Green Sea
A short video from Turtle Town:
Posted October 22, 2010
Probably the most bizarre fish we saw while snorkeling around
Maui was the aptly-named Bluespine Unicornfish. It is closely
related to the Bahamas' tang and surgeonfish, but grows much
larger. These gargantuan fish are often seen at sizes up to two
feet! From what I have read, its unicorn horn has no known
purpose, it does, however, have two pairs of inconspicuous
spines near the tail. These spines are ever-erect‒‒unlike
our tang, which have fold out spines‒‒and
ready to slash any predator which ventures too close. I included
a close up of the spines below this profile photo:
Spines viewed from above (tail on right):
Posted October 21, 2010
I just got back from Maui. I had a great trip and got to
spend plenty of time visiting my older brother and snorkeling.
My parents got a new compact waterproof camera (Canon D10) for
themselves that they let me try out.
I've got plenty of new photos and stories to post, but, for
now, here's a just a short one.
This is one of my favorite photos from the trip. It's a small
Spotted Eagle Ray digging for some sort of sea urchin. This
little ray spent well over a half an hour digging and feeding
right below us in 15 feet of water. It's interesting that
Hawaii's eagle rays have spots while ours have rings.
Posted October 10, 2010
Unfortunately I haven't been able to get any photos uploaded
from Cape Eleuthera and now I'm off on a three week trip to
visit my brother in Hawaii. There won't posts for a while, but I
should come back with some good photos from Maui. I'll get those
photos from down south uploaded when I'm back home.
Posted September 30, 2010
Cape Eleuthera Institute
Sorry about the lack of posts. I've been interning down at
Cape Eleuthera Institute
which is a research facility at the very southern end of the
island. I worked with their Aquaculture team for about a month
and their Shark team for two weeks. It was an awesome experience
and exploring the other end of the island was a blast. I've got
some photos from the Cape that I'll upload. Posts coming soon!
Posted September 27, 2010
As mention in my previous post I was just down at the Cape
Eleuthera Institute working with the shark project. While I was
working with them we spent one week offshore, fishing to catch,
tag, measure, and release mainly Caribbean Reef Sharks. The
second week we did inshore work tagging juvenile Lemon Sharks
from the creeks.
The most exciting fishing I did with those guys though, was
the deepwater sharking. To catch deepwater sharks they sink a
line with 30 baited hooks down to 800 meters (about 1/2 mile).
They let the line sit for a few hours and then haul it by hand.
This is the eye of one of the Roughskin dogfish (a small
shark specie) we caught.
My mom and I found a Spotted Scorpionfish while snorkeling
around Gaulding Cay. Scorpion fish are masters at camouflage and
patience. They will lie for hours in the same spot waiting to
ambush a smaller fish. Scorpionfish, like the related Lionfish,
have a row of venomous spines down the back. Their sting is
supposed to be slightly worse than the Lionfish, but is rarely
View from above (fish is facing left):
Close up of his head:
Posted August 11, 2010
Cuban Tree Frog III
Yes, another photo of a Cuban Tree Frog. This one was resting
on a Plumeria (Frangipani) plant just outside our back porch. We
noticed the frogs have been moving closer to the house every
year. They have now invaded our kitchen window sill; four or
five of them hunt there every night!
These frogs are strictly nocturnal, finding a dark corner to
sleep during the day. During daylight they can only be awakened
by rain, which triggers a mass of croaking.
Posted August 6, 2010
Here's a close up of a Yellow Stingray I saw while snorkeling
at the Glass Window Bridge:
Posted August 4, 2010
These are some of my favorite recent blenny photos:
A Barfin Blenny hiding in white scroll algae. The
Barfin's, especially the juvenile's, yellowish hues blend in
perfectly with the algae that grows around their tidepools. This
guy paused just long enough for me to snap a photo:
I saw this beautiful Saddled Blenny down in a
limestone basin. This was the only angle I could shoot from, but
the blenny saved the photo by turning to look up at the camera.
It took a lot of messing around with to change this
photo into something I liked. I spent a long time adjusting its
settings on the computer and, for once, I think the result was
worth it. The original photo was ruined by poor exposure and
tons of backscatter.
I'm not too into post-processing my photos, which
is why I usually shoot JPEG, but sometimes it's nice to be able
to fix some of those blunders I make underwater.
This Longhorn Blenny has made its home in a small
hole in brain coral:
Ok, this one is not a blenny, but it lives around
blennies. It's a small clingfish (Tomicodon rupestris). This
isn't my best photo of one, but I like that is shows off their
Posted August 3, 2010
Great Lizard Cuckoo
The past few weeks we have had Great Lizard Cuckoos
calling all around our house. I've spent a lot of time trying
track one down for a photo, but they only call about once every
15 minutes so it's been difficult to find one. Finally though, I
got lucky and found two up in a Casuarina tree. These giant
birds are about as tame and curious as animals can be; indeed, I
didn't have to wait long before one came hopping down,
limb-from-limb, towards me. The second cuckoo called my subject
away before I could get a good shot, but I got this decent one:
According to my bird book these cuckoos are only
found on Cuba, Andros, New Providence, and Eleuthera!
Click the play button to hear a
recording of some Great Lizard Cuckoos in Andros.
Here's my photo of a Great Lizard
Posted July 8, 2010
Here are some photos I took in a local blue hole.
Blue Holes are giant sinkholes filled with water. When found
inland, as ours was, they are usually connected underground to
the ocean. It was my first time in a blue hole so I was very
excited. The water was cold and clear; brackish on the surface
gradually turning saltier as you dove down. At the deepest point
it's about 40 feet which is very shallow compared to many.
At about 20 feet I encountered my first Ocean Hole
Fish (Lucifuga spelaeotles). These bizarre fish belong to
a family composed mainly of deep-sea dwellers so it's no
surprise that they lack working eyes. I would be very curious to
hear what they eat.
The blind Ocean Hole Fish:
The only other sign of life in the hole were these shrimp. There
were thousands of them though.
Posted June 16, 2010
A small Bahama Woodstar has been buzzing around
our garden lately. These small hummingbirds are endemic to the
Bahamas and is the only hummingbird specie regularly seen on
Here he is perched on a palm frond: I think it
must be a juvenile male that hasn't fully developed its
magenta throat patch. If his sugar intake is any indication of
the time it will take to mature, this guy will be an adult in
Feeding on our Firecracker Plants. Even with a
shutter speed of 1/2000 of a second the wings are slightly