The hotel was very pleasant and we had a nice breakfast and a wander before packing ready for our transport to arrive. There were no seabirds but after a while a group of male and female Cuban Martins starting feeding over the pool and about 10 minutes later were joined by a group of Antillean Palm Swift.
I love swifts but I've never tried to photograph them before - you can tell that from the pictures! And these ones are small and remarkably quick and the light wasn't good as it was grey and overcast. That I managed to get any shots at all was a surprise to me but you can make out the long slender wings, white rump, forked tail and variable pale areas below. The Birds of Cuba book says they are a common permanent resident. We have certainly not found them common, in fact in our eight visits to Cuba to date we have only seen them at three places. I think I'm right in saying that they don't spend the night on the wing as we once watched quite a large number come in to roost at dusk in the palm leaf roof of a hotel restaurant in the west of the island. They do also breed in such locations as well as amongst the dead leaves of palm trees.
Our driver Donny and vehicle arrived to take us to Cienfuegos which was a fairly uneventful drive through very dry countryside. We made one stop at a nearly dry river and stretched our legs. We saw a few common butterflies and warblers and a party of Smooth-billed Anis. They all had very abraded plumage making them appear much paler then they normally look as they panted in the heat. I noticed that they had long eyelashes to protect their eyes from the bright sun - their own built-in brise soleil!
We arrived at Cienfuegos before lunch and checked into our casa for our one night stay - Casa Victor. We spent the afternoon walking around Punta Gorda, the southern tip of the town but not much of interest there apart from a flock of Laughing Gulls and a Caspian Tern.
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Here we will post interesting news about what we and others have seen in Cuba.