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Species Spectacle

Yellow Warbler Sandy Cay Sunday 4-13 –Sandy Cay
In search of nature on perhaps the last journey to this island off Jost Van Dyke. The journey begins with hotHermit Crab Sandy Cay rocks on my feet and no nature in sight, but upon reaching the summit -approximate height 20 Magical Tree Sandy Caymeters – things improved. Spotting what I believe to be a yellow warbler, I continued on to find this wonderful hermit crab and enjoyed many chirping birds surrounding the magical tree pictured here. A short hike and a strong connection with nature, I love this place.

A gull from Sandy Cay, followed by a lot of gulls at Virgin Gorda. Species – Laughing, Bonaparte’s or Black Headed???


Unidentified Bird as of today:
Unidentified Bird Virgin Gorda

Wednesday 4-9
The full entry got deleted ((no attachment :) ) alas but a brief overview and on with the photos. A nature walk by Peter Joel Peters on Peter Island led us by many many many many species of plants. The wonderful smells, the flowers, the enormous amount of variety in palms one never knew existed.
Travlers Palm
Travelers Palm

Sea Grapes

Sea Grapes
Savory Bell – oooh la la on the aroma of the leaves

Savory Bell

Date Palm

Date Palm

Crinum Lily
Crinum Lily

Christmas Palm
Christmas Palm

Cats Tail
Cats Tail

Cape Jasmine
Cape Jasmine

Cardboard Palm

Cardboard Palm

Bird of Paradise|
Bird of Pardise

Ginger Thomas
Ginger Thomas

Flambua (spelling????)

Wednesday - A casual stroll through the streets of Tortola – armed with identification books , guide books and a bologna/salami sandwich and red apple. First stop: The local baseball field for photo of this unknown but pretty cool white bird that despite its looks of non-avian ability, can really fly high. After rechecking species in the books I have pretty much narrowed down these two doves to either the Zenaida or Mourning variety.

unknown specieis TortolaZenaida-Mourning Dove  Tortola

Trekking further down the road I noticed a large number of what I believe to be Pearly Eyed Thrashers. You be the judge

Pearly Eyed Thrasher Tortola

Floral budding abounds today as 2 new plant species that were just kicking it on the side of the road.
Thunbergia (Acanthaceae; Thunbergia; grandiflora) also known as Bengal Trumpet or Sky Flower and originally from India, vine like in nature, beautiful pastel like color.

Thunbergia 1 TortolaThundbergia Tortola

Oleander (Apocynnaceae; Nerium oleander) – poisonous and known to cause death if cooked and ingested, sure is pretty though. Originating from the Mediterranean a shrub that can grow to heights of 25 feet.

Oleander TortolaOleander 1 Tortala

A little freaking bird that took me a long time to capture a photo the other day off by Village Cay. Believed to be a variety of Warbler or perhaps a Bananaquit.

Bananaquit or Warbler Tortola

Monday 3-31
Sometimes one not need look far as today I found and identified 4 plant species all within a 100 yard radius of our dingy dock at the Village Cay marina in Road Town. Beauty really is everywhere. “Stop and Smell the roses” has taken on a new meaning. Note: Birds are small and can be extremely difficult to identify! Happy my father shall be down soon to hopefully share his expert skills with me!!

Buagainvillea, (Nyctaginaceae; Bouganvilla; unknown) originally from Brazil, extremely common and in many varieties know as the Paper Flower with thorny branches and vine like growth.
Buaganivillea - Tortola
Firecracker (Scrophulariaaae; Russelia; juncea) also called the Fountain Plant with a growth of 3-4 feet tall is used as a border plant by many gardeners. Originally from tropical America.
Firecracker - Tortola
Ixora (Rubiaceae; Ixora; macrothyrsa or coccinea) flowers most of the year, characterized by 4 petal flowers bunched together to form large spherical heads. Originating from the East Indies cut specimens will last for a long time making great floral decorations.

The first tree!!
Dwarf Poinciana (Leguminosae; Caesalpinia; pulcherrima) knows also as the Peacock Flower or Pride of Barbados, it can reach heights of 12 feet with yellow rimmed flowers and easily identifiable fern like leaves and reproductive stamens and pistils that extend well beyond the corolla
3-29 It begins.The toolkit:1 pair binoculars,sketch book, composition book, bird book – “Birds of the West Indies”, flower Allamanda - Peter Islandbook aptly named “Flowers of the Caribbean”, 2 aquatic books – “Reef Life” and “Snorkeling guide to Marine Life”, 1 pen and 1 pencil.
Today I trekked up the hill just off the beach we always anchor off of at Peter Island. Spending multipleHibiscus - Peter Island minutes working to identify a few flowers; an easy success was had with Hibiscus (Family:Malvaceae; Genus: Hibiscus; Species: Unknown) and the eventually identification of Allamanda (Apocynaceae; Allamanda; cathartica) characterized by yellow petals with orange/brownish “honey Unknown Yello Bird Peter Islandlines” that run towards the center of the trumpet. Common names to include Golden Trumpet or Buttercup. Trekking further I stumbled upon a promising mud flat.Stepping gingerly I waited; Mud Flats - Peter Island snapped this photo of what I believe to be a warbler of some sort and then found multiple hummingbirds variety unknown. A good first day! Note: 2 days before marked the unofficial start as I found these royal terns as well as a Brown Bobby on Anegada!

Royal Terns AnegadaBrown Booby Anegada


8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 “A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.” Charles Darwin // Mar 30, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    [...] Click here to view the first entry or you can click on “Species Spectacle” on the right navigati… [...]

  • 2 Pat // Mar 30, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    I am impressed and excited about your latest link. This new link provides extremely interesting nd fun reading pleasure for the “naturalist enthusiasts” :) such as myself….well done Master John and most excellent!

    The Allamanda rather reminds me coincidentally of the delicate buttercup wild flowers that frequent my nearby meadow and also grow amidst my forests of trees here in the Tug :) It appears from the color in the pix as though the Hibiscus may be none other than the Sun Kissed species of this beautiful flower….how delightful! I do hope you discover the “moth orchid” and the red ginger plant…both exquisite flowers on the islands as well….happy exploring Sir John or is that Darwin ???? :)

    The birdies are sweet too….speaking of which, the robins, chickadees, etc. were welcomed by the warmth of stellar sunshine this weekend…..I am cautiously optimistic that Spring may actually come soon….although, yep, more snow is predicted with still a major chill in the air, hence the woodstove is still crackling and cranking ….

    As always, thanks for sharing!

  • 3 Jillian R.H. Herrigel // Mar 31, 2008 at 8:05 am

    Love the new nature page…look forward to a naturalist guided tour of Peters Is flora and fauna next wk…Will bring my paints for further illustration of the species we identifly!
    XO MOM/Jillian

  • 4 24 hours of solitude // Apr 1, 2008 at 9:49 am

    [...] A New species entry here. What, no pictures… jeeez we are on a vacation from our vacation [...]

  • 5 tughill1 // Apr 1, 2008 at 11:30 am

    Most excellent entries indeed!!!
    Bouganvilla – one of my FAVS! ….and in my fav color….purple !!!! :)
    Firecracker note: snap, crackle, pop!!! What a wispy and wonderful plant to spot – very hot :) !!!

    Fellow feathered friend fans are welcoming “identiflyable” update entries from Master John and fatherly family crew :)

    Gotta jet….off to mermaid laps!

    Thanks for always sharing all the discovering Master John!

    Sending sonrisas right back at ya!!! :)

  • 6 Going with the flow…. // Apr 12, 2008 at 11:33 am

    [...] The species entry from Peter Island (click here) [...]

  • 7 Respond don’t React.. // Apr 15, 2008 at 7:48 am

    [...] Click here new species entry from Sandy Cay. [...]

  • 8 tughill1 // Apr 15, 2008 at 10:12 am

    Once again, thanks for sharing the species spectacles….

    John’s tree…..immediately thought of the White Tree of Gondor….very magical indeed ;-)

    Time for this mermaid to do laps!
    Sonrisa :)

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