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Published: October 2nd 2021
A very eventful day, even though we didn’t get in the ocean!! What happened?!
Well, first thing we went birding at the nearby Spanish Lagoon, and met Armando, who happens to be a professional birder and artist. After looking at the pair of owls, he offered to show us where the humming birds would be. We told him about seeing the info-mercial when we were at La Cabana about birding here, and he admitted he was the guide featured! How fun. Evidently, at the base of the old Gold Mine, up hill from the owls, are cacti in bloom attracting both the Ruby-topaz and Blue-tailed emerald humming birds. David did well but wants to return earlier tomorrow to catch the best light. It was a very lucky meeting because also Armando told us where to find an entire family of Burrowing Owls. Actually today was a THREE NEW BIRD DAY: the blue-tailed emerald humming bird, yellow oriole, and black-faced grassquit!
But first, we were off for our usual morning drift snorkel at Mangel Halto. David drops me at the start, takes the car back about 400 yards to the end, and walks back. Except the car wouldn’t start! While
waiting for the Emergency vehicle, we saw our friendly family from the past 2 days, however, and I was able to point out exactly where they should go. We drove to the car rental place just in case it would stop again, and found out that the heat severely shortens the life of the batteries. They replaced it and off we went home for a 20 minute dip in this lovely little pool.
We had arranged to meet long-time friend Linda Schwengel at Zeerover, but we knew she wouldn’t want to eat lunch there. We went off to another famous place, O’Neil’s in San Nicolaas. Fish of course, and shrimp.
Linda has had quite a sad 2 years, losing 16 people to Covid, including one friend just last night. Evidently some cases are sent to Colombia. Linda has told her children – whatever you do, don’t let them send me there. Covid has really changed some aspects of community life – people don’t just stop by someone’s house to chat. Of course that’s not happened in the US for ages.
Do we go home to rest now? No, of course not – instead we drove about 30
mins towards the hotel area to find the family of burrowing owls. We went the back ways, which was fascinating! Many back roads are still dirt, and they aren’t marked any differently on the map (or googlemaps) than the paved one. It was hard to not stay there overnight, the owls were so adorable. There were 2 parents and FIVE babies!!! They were more or less the same size - but the babies were "fluffier" and did't have any markings on the belly. We could here their sounds, very soft krkrkrkrkrk. David would hold out his huge heavy lens for minutes, waiting for movement, blink, and miss the dash or the short flight. We didn’t see any hunting behavior.
We had bought a bit of amberjack at Zeerover’s, and that was our dinner, which we ate outdoors by candlelight.
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