BASICS: Long Island gets hummingbirds throughout the summer, but not many. The Baiting Hollow Hummingbird Sanctuary and Garden may be the best place on the island to see them.
However we are ONLY open in august and ONLY by appointment, at specific "slot" times which are posted at this blog.

You need a printed, dated SIGNED WAIVER, which will be sent to you to confirm your appointment, along with directions and instructions. We are always closed 12.30-3. You visit AT YOUR OWN RISK - there are steep narrow uneven paths and dilapidated chairs and structures, and parking is limited: carpool if possible. Be careful not to trespass on neighbors, as indicated by ropes and signs. Hand-held cameras only please, except by previous arrangement. There is no admission charge BUT YOU MUST BRING a signed dated liability waiver form. Dated waiver forms are provided only by request, in conjunction with your appointment. Private groups (eg photographers, birders, gardeners) can request their own dedicated session.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Valentine's Day at Sky Beach

Valentine's Day lunch and fun with the family of our eldest son, who are visiting (or should that be escaping) from Maine), at Sky Beach, just north of Calypso. Here's the love of my life on the beach there, pointing out my son and his son frolicking in the waves.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Smaller waves at Calypso

The Atlantic waves on our beach have diminished but are still impressive. Here's a vid from yesterday evening showing our beach, starting with a close-up of Halcyon Point about a quarter mile east. You can see the waves have brought a significant amount of seaweed (and of course some plastic - see this recent NYT article about this growing problem), and I spent an hour collecting and bagging it (the plastic!). Fortunately the seaweed came up quite high because of the big waves, and once it's dry I (or rather my gardener Kevin) will gather it and use it as mulch on planting beds.

Here's one looking down at the beach from our low bluff.

and another

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Big waves at Calypso

There have been big waves on the Atlantic Ocean at Calypso for 2 days. Here's a video of them crashing against 2 islands that lie offshore (Little Diamond Cay and, behind it the taller (50 foot) Great Diamond Cay).  These islands are about a half mile to our southeast.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Abandoned Nest

Here are some videos of the abandoned hummingbird nest I mentioned a few days ago. The first shows the nest covered by a Bahamian quarter (same size as a US quarter). The second shows the nest with the lid removed and a finger for size comparison.

Friday, February 6, 2015

White Bird of Paradise

Here's a recent video showing a Bahama Woodstar hummingbird feeding at a blossom of the White Bird of Paradise, Strelitzia nicolai, in the garden at Calypso. The strelitzias are from South Africa, where sunbirds feed on the nectar. There are no hummingbirds outside the New World, and in the Old World other groups of birds exploit nectar, albeit rather more clumsily.
My white birds of paradise are old and some now exceed 8 feet. These plants are in the ginger family, and are not close relatives of bananas, which they resemble.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Hummingbird feeding at Pink (or Red) Powderpuff

Shot at Calypso Garden (Eleuthera), jan 31 2015. The pink powderpuff, Calliandra hematocephala, is a hummingbird favorite, which I have grown (but could not successfully over-winter even inside) at the Baiting Hollow Hummingbird Sanctuary. Some also refer to the far more hardy Mimosa, Julibrissin albizzii, which grows outdoors on Long Island, as powderpuff. This is also a hummer favorite but I think given the choice they prefer the true powderpuff.
I found a hummer nest today, but it looks abandoned. It has a rather cold egg inside, plus the fragments of a second egg. I'll keep an eye on it tomorrow and report back.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Lighthouse Beach Eleuthera

At the far southeast tip of Eleuthera (see map below, courtesy of the island's finest beaches are found.  Note that Calypso is found near the middle of the island, approximately where it bends in a boomerang.

There are 2 rather different beaches, separated by a narrow promontory which ends in 3 islets. On this promontory sits an old lighthouse building (the light still operates, but is now automated). On the south side of the promontory is a curving bay lined with coconut palms. On the other, northeast, side, lies Lighthouse Beach itself, which stretches for many miles further north - utterly undeveloped and deserted. At the southeast end of this beach there's a high limestone cliff, which rises out of the ocean at it's tip, and northward runs progressively more inland, creating a wedge of palmetto forest at its base, fronted by dunes - a natural, secluded garden. The road to Lighthouse beach is quite long and badly rutted, so there's usually no-one - despite the fact that this all forms perhaps the most dramatic scene in the whole Bahamas.  We went there yesterday, together with 2 old friends from England (long residents of Brookline, Boston). Here are some videos.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

one from Baiting Hollow

Juvenile ruby-throated hummingbird visiting pink porterweed in Baiting Hollow - a short video from 2014.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Male Woodstar closeup

Sorry I've negelected the blog, partly because of internet problems. But here's footage shot just today, of a male bahama woodstar hummingbird perched on a twig. Note the purple/black gorget. No soundtrack because shot at 2X slo=mo.