Although we had seen Zapata Sparrow at Zapata on one of our early trips to Cuba we hadn't seen it since. There are just three small populations of this highly endangered endemic and oddly they are found in three completely different habitats. At Zapata they are found in extensive sawgrass that is flooded during the summer, at Baitiquirí near Guantanamo in the east it is found in very dry thorn and cactus scrub, and at Cayo Coco in the north it occurs in dry forest and thickets (Garrido & Kirkconnell, 2000). And nowhere else on the planet! We got a taxi this morning back to the Wild Boar Cave disco and no luck for quite a while so we went off for a walk along the road only to find when we returned that one had been looking in the taxi wing mirrors and feeding in the car park. We saw three here and they were very tame and gave fantastic views.
We also saw Cuban Bullfinch, Cuban Emerald, Black-whiskered Vireo, Zenaida Dove and a Cuban Green Woodpecker was nesting in a tree in the car park.
There were quite a few butterflies along the roadside (about 25 species) including Caribbean Banner Lucinia sida, Cornelius Skipper Euphyes cornelius, Florida White Glutophrissa drusilla, Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak Strymon istapa and Florida Duskywing Ephyriades brunnea.
We stopped at Playa Prohibida for a cold drink at the snack bar there before heading back for lunch and walking out later to the trail where we had seen the Zestos Skipper Epargyreus zestos. I saw another rather worn individual in the same place and our first Mangrove Buckeye Junonia neildi of the trip. I also had brief views of a small day-flying Hawk-moth (Sphinx) in the genus Aellopos with a white band across the abdomen. There are five species recorded from Cuba though one doesn't have the white band so it's narrowed down to four and that's as far as I can get without pictures - one that got away.
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Here we will post interesting news about what we and others have seen in Cuba.