March 5, 2013
Isabel Gibson


Bananaquit, Aruba, March 2013 @Isabel Gibson

We were passing by/through Aruba on Celebrity Eclipse on 05 March 2013 (like the Navy Seals, the cruising motto is “In/out, nobody gets hurt”, so we only had a few hours to explore).  My husband (not a birder, but a good sport) came with me to Bubali Bird Sanctuary.  The tourism kiosk at the dock gave us directions for getting there on the local bus.

We found the observation tower without incident, using directions I’d found online.  It was a gusty day.  A beginning birder myself, in an hour or two at the tower I was still able to identify several species, or take slightly fuzzy photos (did I mention the wind?) for later identification.  With help from Jeff and his checklist and other internet sites, this is what we saw:

  • Common gallinule – 3 or 4
  • Purple gallinule (juvenile) – 1
  • Sora – 1 or maybe 2
  • Caribbean parakeet - 1
  • Green heron – 2
  • Egrets – OK, hordes of these – either great or snowy – I have trouble distinguishing anyway, and we never saw any up close
  • Cormorants – this is a guess because they were too far away for my 7x24 binocs to get a clear look – but again, there were hordes of them perched on bushes beside the water

We then walked over to the windmill motel to get some water, and in a slough/pond in some undeveloped land adjacent to it, I saw those egrets again, lesser yellowlegs, and what I think were eared doves.

As we trudged along the road on the ocean side of the sanctuary, I caught a photo of what turned out to be a bare-eyed pigeon.

We had lunch at Bugaloe Beach Bar & Grill, where I saw bananaquits (3 or 4) and hordes (maybe 20 or more) of ruddy turnstones.

My trip notes also include mention of brown pelicans – but I can’t swear we saw them on Aruba.  I know we saw them on several islands.

Only the herons, egrets and cormorants were old acquaintances - so it was a great day for new-to-me birds.

Note:  I’ll send photos of the birds in bold italics.


Bare-eyed Pigeon, Aruba, March 2013 @Isabel Gibson

Common Gallinule, Aruba, March 2013 @Isabel Gibson 

Eared Dove, Aruba, March 2013 @Isabel Gibson

Great Egret, Aruba, March 2013 @Isabel Gibson

Green Heron, Bubali, Aruba, March 2013 @Isabel Gibson

Lesser Yellowlegs, Aruba, March 2013 @Isabel Gibson

Purple Gallinule, Bubali, Aruba, March 2013 @Isabel Gibson

Ruddy Turnstone, Aruba, March 2013 @Isabel Gibson

Sora, Bubali, Aruba, March 2013 @Isabel Gibson