Birding and a Kingston Bed and Breakfast
Spring Breaker, Andrew started out his birding visit in Jamaica right here on the verandah of Neita's Nest, spotting a few endemic and migrant species on the afternoon of his arrival. This Sophomore from Dartmouth, on a birding expediton around eastern Jamaica with his dad, was being ably guided by Ricardo of the Arrowhead Birding Team. Again, we are pleased to welcome those doing Spring Breaking of a different kind.
My sons and I used to do birdwatching too; it was an easy walk along our driveway from where we could spot them high up in the feeder trees and flying across the valley in front of our home. Good outdoor activity for active and energetic young ones, and therapy for me;
reminiscent of an extra-curricular opted for in high school. Over time, my sons and I found about twenty species here.
The interest has clearly remained. Fifteen years after sparking the interest, this bird nest was recently spotted in our garden by one of my sons, and photographed.
It was the mentioning on our website of our neighbourhood birds that brought Neita's Nest to the attention of bird watching organisations in Jamaica like BirdsCaribbean and Arrowhead Birding. Or was it our name? Whatever the catalyst, the synergies between us have taking form and flight over these past years. Just goes to show, birds of a feather do flock.
Now that our nest is a B&B, we have named our three guest rooms after some of the more prolific birds in the area, and of course those with sexy names. No! Flycatcher, John Crow, Grassquit, or Bald Pate just would not fly! Instead we have chosen Pea Dove, Woodpecker and Doctor Bird, and themed our decor around their colours.
But the greater joy is to witness the pure passion persons have for birding. Arriving with their telescopes, tripods, cameras, binoculars, and their bucket list, they joyously tick off when they have sighted this specie or that, but can go into a tail spin when they dip out, even when only one of our 29 endemics eludes them. Then, when master guide, Ricardo takes them out for their last expedition, does his bird call and makes his magic find, they return to Neita's Nest chirping.
Much has been gained in recent times from going birdwatching on the guided monthly early morning walks through the Hope Botanical Gardens. I meet old friends and make new ones, get caught up in discussions on endemic, indigenous and migrant birds, their habitats, feeding patterns, migratory and nesting habits. More than anything else, these mornings are an easy walk in the park.
We have enjoyed the company of many a birding enthusiast and aficionado, and gladly share our own experiences and observations of sighting patterns over the nearly two decades that we have lived here.
We therefore appreciate the relevance of
Birds - Connecting Commmunities and Conservation, the theme chosen by BirdsCaribbean for their 20th Annual International Meeting scheduled for the end of July in Kingston.
The meeting will focus on the latest avian research and initiatives to conserve Caribbean birds and their habitats. Sounds interesting.
Our homestyle B&B has afforded us opportunities to meet new acquaintances and make friends flying in from near and far.