One of my favorite pastimes when I am visiting Grand Turk is to bird watch. I love to sit on the front step of our vacation rental, Crabtree Apartments, early morning as the sun is rising and watch the birds that are feeding in the Salinas. The Salinas across the street are filled with Pipers, Egrets and Heron. The crazy Tricolored Heron is a comical sight as it zig-zags through the water and then abruptly turns, he sometimes will spread his wings and clumsily flop through the water to chase away other birds. There is nothing like seeing the graceful Great Blue Heron take off or land by the waters edge with barely a sound. In the evenings as we walk to or from diner, I sometimes hear a rustling in the grass of the Salinas and with closer examination I usually find a Little Blue Heron hunched in the grassy edge. The noble Brown Pelican can sometimes be seen floating in the Salinas by the Courthouse. But of all the water birds that visit the Grand Turk Salinas I would have to say the Flamingo is my all time favorite, with it’s plump body that mimics the pink of a conch shell, reflecting in the water below.
The bird watching on the sea shore is amazing too. I have often heard the piercing cry of the Osprey outside on the beach, to discover it roosting in the tree outside our apartment and then see it suddenly take flight and moments later plunge into the sea for it’s dinner. Sometimes the Oyster Catchers will congregate in a pod of 2 or 3 on the cement pier that juts out into the sea. Pipers and Plovers scurry down the beach picking away as they go.
From time to time I catch a brief glimpse of a Hummingbird as it zooms by or hovering in the tubular flowers of a nearby tree. I love to watch these as well as the many other birds I have yet to discover the name of.
Many people may think of Grand Turk for the spectacular under sea world that is along it’s shores but for me, a non-diver, I truly enjoy what I find above the sea.