We hadn’t gone far when two Common Black Hawks got up off the road in front of us. They had been feeding on land crabs that had been run over by vehicles and one continued feeding above us as we watched.
There are quite a lot of snake species in Cuba and we normally see at least a couple of snakes on each trip though apart from the Giant Trope otherwise known as Dusky Dwarf Boa Tropidophis melanurus that we saw on 17 June all the snakes that we have seen have been the Cuban Racer Cubophis cantherigerus which seems to be by far the commonest and most widespread species. The one we saw today was the biggest we had seen by a long way and must have been at least 5ft long. It was very docile and sluggish and as I got closer for pictures I could see why - it was about to shed its skin as its eyes looked rather milky and opaque. No wonder it let me get so close!
As we drove further west the habitat changed from forest to rather open scrubby limestone. We were told this was a good area for the endemic Cuban Iguana Cyclura nubila and we managed to locate three though they seemed distinctly wary (they are still hunted for food in some areas) and despite their size could move remarkably quickly. They are vegetarian and we watched as this one took bites out of the adjacent leaves.