Bumpy ride

Twenty seven species of birds in three days. Twenty six of which are life ticks. Check me out with my birding terminology! A life tick is when you see a bird species for the first time in the wild.

Today (Sunday) we headed to Bonaire’s National Park. Washington Slagbaal National Park. It’s at the very northern tip of the island. Encompassing coastal areas of west and east. On the east side, the seas are rough, feisty and dangerous. On the west side, the seas are calm and bursting with reef life.
Lots of cactus, dry red dust, and miles of bumpy track to drive along. Followed by more Snorkeling (fully clothed to cover up the red sore bits.

In between Snorkeling, we rested and hid in a cave. Out of the fierce sunlight. The cave itself was formed from ancient coralline beds.

Parrot fish – Midnight, Stoplight, Rainbow, Spotted moray eel, hiding beneath some reef. Another snorkeler pointed him out to me.
A school of about thirty Blue tang. I swam along with them for a while. They didn’t seem to mind.
Gorgeous Orange tube sponge.
French angel fish, Triton’s trumpet.

There are also salt pans within the park. Hanging out at these were the enormous and spectacularly pink Greater flamingo, lots of waders, herons and terns. By this time my fellow volunteers were eager to get home,  so I had no opportunity to identify the waders and terns.

Today’s other new birds:
Brown booby – three of them chilling by a cliff edge.
Great blue heron – juvenile.
Common ground dove.

Sent from my Sony Xperia™ smartphone


About Olivia N Masi

From art college drop-out, to office space-planner, to back-packer, to air stewardess, to brolly babe, to model agent, to wildlife conservationist. How? I've always believed in jumping at every opportunity that comes my way. This has taken me along some bizarre career paths. None of which I regret. I have been to amazing places and met fascinating people. And having worked in the motor sport industry I've sadly experienced too many beloved friends take one adrenalin step too many. I think of them always. I've hung out with pop-stars, sports personalities, and millionaires. I reached a point when nothing but VIP would do. And then something happened. My pops passed away and I felt the need to reconnect with my Italian side. Whilst in Italy, I learnt to be resourceful, to recycle everything, to listen to the valley, to grow my own veg, to catch and tame feral cats, and to follow my heart. My heart led me to a desire to save this beautiful Earth, and all the wonderful life upon it. And so I read, and then I studied with the Open University. I suddenly found myself accepted on a BSc in Wildlife Conservation, having left school with pitiful qualifications. So here I am. A qualified Wildlife Conservationist. A scientist I suppose. I love nothing more than to listen to birdsong, and watch, learn and photograph wildlife. So here is to me getting the perfect job where I can contribute to saving one of Earth's beautiful species. Do I miss the glamour of the old life? The VIP lifestyle? The petrol-head adrenalin? The buzz of being a successful business owner? Only occasionally. Though it seems more like the distant dreams of a previous life.
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