Day 19 - 16 Dec 2018 - Graveyard visit
Many people in Cuba are very superstitious and Carlos' usual taxi driver won't go anywhere near one so we went with another friend of his to this small cemetery in the forest a few miles to the south where Carlos had seen lots of butterflies a couple of weeks before. It was a bit quieter today but we did see a Poey's Swallowtail Heraclides caiguanabus but it didn't stop.
There were a few Mexican Fritillary Euptoieta hegesia and several birds including White-eyed Vireo and the endemic Oriente Warbler.
Our attention then turned to reptiles as there were several anoles on the fence and tombstones.
This led to a major search of all the woodpiles but we couldn't find any more though Carlos did turn up this Dusky Dwarf Boa Tropidophis melanurus which was very confiding so we took some pictures and carefully put the stone back under which it was hiding. Even the eyes are camouflaged. And the tail can be used to wiggle like a worm to attract frogs into range.
Later we went to an area of mangroves and lagoons where there is a new Memories Hotel being constructed where we watched a Mexican Sailor Dynamine postverta laying eggs.
In the evening at the Luna y Mares hotel we watched a female red morph American Kestrel catch a bat and sit and eat it on the roof. The two Merlins again also put on a fantastic display chasing the bats that were coming out of their roost in the Theatre building. They were in view almost continuously from 17.20-17.40 often hunting in tandem and sometimes coming so close that you could hear and feel the wind from their wings. Brilliant to watch and a fantastic wildlife spectacle though much less successful that the American Kestrel as we only saw one bat caught by the Merlins.
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Here we will post interesting news about what we and others have seen in Cuba.