Cave Diving

About a year ago we had a group of cave enthusiasts rent our neighbor's house. Before they arrived I was already familiar with many of the group as they were featured in a National Geographic story on Bahamian blue holes. The article mainly highlighted the dangers of cave diving, but the real story was their incredible fossil finds. Many people don't know that the Bahamas used to be inhabited by crocodiles, iguanas, giant flightless owls, huge rodents, tortoises, seals... Mainly due to natural extinction we are now only left with their fossil remains. Fortunately the Bahamas' many caves and blue holes provide a perfect habitat for fossils. As relatively unchanging environments they shelter bones from the harsh Bahamian elements. Their project in Eleuthera was mainly concerned with fossils, but there were also biologists interested in the cave's living animals. Blue holes especially contain many highly evolved species - adapted to spend their entire life in darkness.

I volunteered to help and early the next morning we split into to three groups: Some were going to the Hatchet Bay Caves, some to Preacher's Cave, and some to an inland Blue Hole. I tagged along with Brian Kakuk and Thomas Iliffe for the Blue Hole. Brian is an expert cave diver and runs Bahamas Underground, a cave diving company out of Abaco. Thomas is a professor and expert on cave dwelling invertebrates, he has discovered hundreds of new invertebrate species, several from Eleuthera. I was happy to help and hang out with these two, but, I'll admit, the dark enclosed aspects of cave diving don't appeal to me.

The Blue Hole. We used a climbing rack to lower the dive gear down to the water.


After lowering the last of the gear I hopped in and snapped this picture before they descended into the depths. Brian rooted through the mud in search of fossils while Thomas chased after miniscule invertebrates with his vials. Brian hit the jackpot when he found a pair of old owl dens about 100 feet down. The owls would have lived there over 10,000 years ago when sea levels were hundreds of feet lower. In their dens were the remnants of past meals - hundreds of bone fragments including bones from several extinct species.

Back at the house we sorted through some of the bones and found several Hutia fossils. Hutia are family of enormous rodents, normally measured in units of pounds and feet! They are still around on a few Bahamian Islands - thankfully not ours!

The loose tank on the bottom is full of pure oxygen. After spending an hour at 100 feet they had a long decompression. Pure oxygen greatly speeds the decompression process, but you must be careful as oxygen becomes extremely toxic past 20 or so feet.


This large Barbouria shrimp found a nice meal. I shot this in the shadows of the Blue Hole, but the tight aperture on the camera darkened the background even more. I'm experimenting with photos that enlarge on mouse-over. Try hovering over the photo - if it doesn't magnify please let me know.

Brian Kakuk shot this wonderful photo of me freediving in the Blue Hole. Definitely one of my favorite underwater shots. Again, hover to enlarge.

Posted May 3, 2012

Diving the Blue Heron Bridge

This winter I was invited to dive the Blue Heron Bridge with Ned and Anna Deloach. Ned and Anna are the ultimate fish enthusiasts and have been my biggest heroes for years. They are probably best known for their underwater photography and for coauthoring Reef Fish, the number one

 Caribbean fish guide. Anna also runs the wonderful BlennyWatcher Blog. The Blue Heron Bridge is almost as famous as the Deloaches and is often described as Florida's best shore dive. It's located in the Florida Intracoastal waterway near the Palm Beach inlet and for some reason attracts tons of rare fish species. I had heard all about the Blue Heron even while living in the Bahamas. Unfortunately my dive with the Deloaches never lined up, but I did enjoy a lunch with them and later had the opportunity to dive the Blue Heron with Reef Fish's other author Paul Humann!

If you are in need of an field guide for the Bahamas this is the book to get:

Paul, along with Ned, founded the Reef Environmental Education Foundation of which I've been a member since 2003. It's an organization of fish geeks who record the number and location of fish species so biologists and naturalists can track the distribution of fish. Needless to say after ten years of reading about these people it's great to meet them.

The dive itself was great. I found 6 species of fish I'd previously only seen in photographs and several others I had only seen once or twice before. This Blackwing Searobin was one of the more exciting finds:


Here is a cool clip of a searobin (also from the Blue Heron) using it's modified pelvic fins to walk along the seafloor. This is not my footage. Credit goes to youtube user DougBarkley.

Many times the rarest fish look quite drab and ordinary - usually just impressing the true afishionados. Not the case at the Blue Heron: It seems to attract only the most visually spectacular of the rare fish. Paul found this very frilly Lined Seahorse hanging onto a seashell in the strong current:


After the dive Paul was nice enough to show us around his yard which with the addition of a few jaguar would have been a veritable tropical forest. His collection of flora contains over 300 species of palms, several species of giant bamboos, and a large variety of ferns and bromeliads. Here's Paul standing next to his Ponytail Palm - the biggest I have ever seen:


Posted April 18, 2012

Green Iguana's

A pair of Green Iguana have taken up residence around our shop. Since being release from the pet trade in the 1980s Green Iguanas have turned feral and started breeding. So far they have spread all across South Florida and down to Key West. The only thing that limits their range is their aversion to cold weather. In the winter the cold fronts sweep down and if the Iguanas are too far north they will involuntary go into a hibernation-like state until warmer weather thaws them out.

Recently we found a pair of small ones hanging out in the shrubs out front. The adults are pretty wily so I was glad to find that these little ones are very tame. There a numerous ads in the local newspaper for Iguana removal services. I can't imagine why - all they seem to do is sit around and chew weeds.

Iguana Paradise: Down here in the Keys I don't think the iguanas have any cold weather to worry about. Well I hope not, because if it gets too cold I'll be hibernating as well. Look how long his hind legs stretch out!


The younger ones are a little brighter. The skin will turn dark brown when they're cold to absorb more heat. Here's a nice close-up showing the scales on the head.


Posted November 25, 2011

Shore Diving Florida Keys

I was worried that in the Keys I wouldn't be able to shore dive. I quickly tested it out with a couple dives near our place. Of course the water was only a fraction as clear as Bahamian waters, but the abundance of fish life was surprising. I saw plenty of species new to me and even found a neat pipefish, which are rare in the Bahamas.

The Striped Burrfish: Closely related to the Porcupinefish, but with spines that are always upright. In 10 years I saw only one burrfish in Eleuthera and it wasn't nearly as pretty as this one.



A Fringed Pipefish - related to the seahorses. This one is only about 3 inches long.


A familiar fish in unfamiliar waters: On the Key's bayside (akin to Eleuthera's Caribbean side) the water turns green not far offshore. It's too creepy out there - I'll be sticking to the shallows.


Posted August 20, 2011

Reef Sharks

One of the last things I did before I left the Bahamas was head out to Current to spearfish and see the sharks. We jumped in at one of our favorite spots and I speared a Lionfish right away. I tried to feed  it to a big Nurse Shark, but ended up spooking him. A little while later was saw the same Nurse Shark racing up current towards us, hot on the trail of Lionfish blood. Without hesitation he took the Lionfish right from the end of my spear!

After the Nurse Shark left, two very small Reef Sharks moved in. Obviously they had smelt the Nurse's Lionfish and wanted one of their own. Kirk and Jake, my dive buddies, left for a while so I hung out near the boat photographing the sharks.

A Caribbean Reef Shark on the left and Nurse Shark on the right:


The soft coral life here is abundant and healthy. Probably due to the strong current which keeps the water clear and brings in food for the corals. The little silver fish under the shark's head are small Bar Jack that accompany the sharks to pick up left over food scraps.


Kirk and Jake soon returned with reinforcements of wounded, bloody Lionfish. So much for my casual photo shoot... We soon had 8 Reef and 3 Nurse Sharks on top of us - they were sticking their noses in everywhere - it was a nightmare. I retreated closer to the boat to continue shooting, all the while cursing my friends.

A Reef Shark about to eat a disabled Lionfish. You can clearly see the special eyelid that sharks have to protect their eyes when eating. The sharks don't seem to mind the Lionfish's venomous spines - they often come back for seconds.


Trying to get sharks to swim over your while you lie flat on the bottom in 3 feet is not easy. This shark spooked many times before finally swimming over. The blue and white at the top of the picture shows the sky and clouds viewed from underwater.


One of the small Reefs a little too close:

 Later this same shark and I ended up in this same situation. I forgot how small my camera was and tried to use it to bump him away. Ended up it was mostly my hand pushing him away and just as my fingers made contact with his snout his mouth opened and I jerked my arm away. It all happened so fast it's lucky I didn't get bit or, worse, have my camera swallowed.


Posted August 6, 2011

Moving to the Florida Keys

After 10 years on Eleuthera we've decided to head back over to the States. We chose to relocate to Islamorada in the Florida Keys as it's similar to the Bahamas, just a little more built up. My parents will be running a small retail shop here and I'll be going to school. The flora and fauna are very similar to what we have in the Bahamas so I plan to keep the website going. The bird life is actually better here, but the marine life isn't quite as good. I also still have plenty of pictures and stories from the Bahamas that I'll be posting soon.

Here's a picture from one of the bridges that joins the keys:


Posted July 28, 2011


Diving outside Queen's Baths

A few weeks ago during the strong east winds, Kirk and Jake picked me up to go diving outside the Queen's Baths. I knew it wasn't going to be flat calm, but I had always wanted to dive out there so I got ready. When we got there though, it was rough, way too rough to dive. I found out that Jake had known it was going to be this bad and was smart enough to "forget his fins". So Jake stayed back in the tidepools while Kirk and I figured out how to get in. We found a spot where we could jump in with our fins off if we timed the waves right. Kirk got in at the first chance, but I hesitated and had to wait out a set of waves before jumping. We didn't see much except for a five foot Reef Shark and a few jack. We didn't pay much attention to the shark and continued along the coast.

Finally we ran into a nice fish - a good size Mutton Snapper. I dove down and shot the Mutton in the back and, after a few dives, got it to the surface. We looked around for the shark and didn't see him so we started swimming back with our catch. About half way back I turned to look behind us and screamed. The reef shark was right on the surface only a few feet behind me. We both turned to face it and Kirk poked it several times with his spear. After about the fifth poke Kirk had had enough and turned his spear around to give it a shot with the blunt end. The shark seemed to know what was up and swam out to edge of our visibility to follow us. Very frustrating as we knew he'd be back soon. I was very surprised when we made it back to the tidepools without seeing him.

Thinking we were pretty safe we threw our spears up on shore and made our first attempts at getting out. After a few big waves washed us around we sat on the surface contemplating our way out. The waves left us surrounded by minute bubbles in zero visibility so Kirk dove down under the bubbles to look around and guess who was right there! We were totally blind on the surface, had no spears, still had the dead fish, and had a hungry shark on us - it couldn't get much worse. Kirk flung the fish into the nearest tidepool and we tried to find a way out while keeping an eye on the shark. Finally I decided I was just going to ride a wave into the tidepool. I picked a bigger wave and slid right into the pool without a scratch. I called for Kirk and he got a wave in soon after me. Boy were we glad to get out of that water. Jake was 20 feet away in a glass calm tidepool, totally oblivious to us almost getting eaten.

The Queen's Baths and Atlantic on a calm day:


Posted June 28, 2011

Hail in the Bahamas

We had an incredible day of thunderstorms a few weeks ago. Rocco (my cat) and I were huddled up inside hiding from rain and lightning when we heard what sounded like rocks hitting our roof. I ran out to the porch and found it was... Hailing! The first thing I did was dash out into the freezing rain, grab some hail and run it to the freezer. Then I called up my friends at the Cove.

They live only two miles south of us, but it wasn't hailing there so they drove over. According to their car thermometer the temperature dropped from 78 to 69 degrees between the Cove and Gaulding Cay. At one point our yard was covered in hundreds of hail stones each one not more than a few inches from the next. The average stones were penny and nickel size and a few were quarter sized.

I heard that Bogue also got hail and some Bahamians told me they had never seen hail before.   I Googled Hailstorms in the Bahamas and found an interesting old record of hail in Spanish Wells and Governor's Harbour in 1906. Here's the link (right column):

Here's some the hail from our yard:


Posted June 24, 2011

Spotted Eagle Ray

While I was watching the Eagle Ray in our last Current Dive video I noticed a squiggle on the ray's back that was sort of shaped like Eleuthera. I remembered seeing a similar line on a Eagle Ray I saw last year at Current Cut. After pulling up the old picture and comparing spot patterns I saw that they were the same ray! Our two sightings were about 8 miles and one year apart.

I posted this picture April 2010, here's a link to the post: Current Cut.


Screenshot taken from the video at Pimlico. I circled some of the obvious distinctive markings.


Posted April 6, 2011

Dive Current II

Here's a video from yesterdays dive out at Current. The video is pretty shaky and once again I missed the best moment when a Reef Shark (from sec. 42) collides head on with the stingray (seen at 32 sec.). The Reef Shark was so focused on stealing my Hogfish that it didn't even notice the ray until crashing into it. The ray hardly flinched, but the shark was spooked. Perhaps I need a pet ray to ward sharks off my fish.

I have some cool news about the Eagle Ray seen at the end of video that I will post soon.

This is what we shot that day: 45 pound Amberjack, two 7 pound Hogfish, 8 pound Muttonfish and a Yellowfin Grouper. The Amberjack and Grouper were donated to locals in Gregory Town. The rest we kept for dinner.


Posted March 20, 2011

New Field Guide

A new field guide is out for marine fishes along the east coast of the U.S. I was lucky enough to help out in small way with the project by providing some fish photos for the illustrator, Val Kells. While the book doesn't specifically include fishes from the Bahamas there is enough overlap in our species to make the book useful here. It includes almost all of the fish you can find snorkeling here and virtually every fish you will catch while fishing here. The illustrations are beautiful and it's by far the most comprehensive guide to our fishes.

You can preview the book here:

Here's my copy (Thanks Val!):


Posted March 13, 2011

Diving at Current

This is a video from our latest spearfishing trip out to current. Kirk and Jake and I jumped in at one of our favorite spots and right away saw some big African Pompano. A pair of the Pompano swam near me so I dove down and shot at the smaller one. Stoned! Well, in the first few minutes I had enough fish for us for a week so I decided to spend the rest of the dive with the camera.

I put this video together from about an hour of freediving at one site. It was a pretty busy dive, but I missed or couldn't film some of the greatest moments. At one point there were a few 30# Pompano, a huge Loggerhead Turtle, and a Reef Shark right in front of me - for sure one of coolest dives I've done in a while. It doesn't look like it here, but the very last fish in the video (an amberjack) is well over twice as big as the African Pompano.

Here's my 28 pound African Pompano:


Posted March 3, 2010

Jellyfish II

I keep forgetting to post this photo. I took it during the string of glassy calm days we were getting around Christmas. My mom and I were out in the kayaks near the end of the Cay and we found another of those colorful, stinging Jellyfish. I pulled out the camera and shot photo after photo from the kayak. The water was so calm I was able to capture both the jellyfish and his reflection on the underside of the water's surface.

One of 95 photos from the 20 minute photo shoot:


Posted February 18, 2011

Spotted Moray

Here's a cool video I shot with Jake's GoPro video camera. The three of us (Kirk, Jake, and I) were spearing lobster out by Current. We dropped the lobster heads on the bottom for the fish and a Spotted Moray had come out for an easy meal. I dove down hoping to catch the eel eating our lobsters, but apparently the camera looked more appealing, because he taste-tested the lens before returning to our lobster heads. You can hear Kirk laughing as the eel bounces off the camera.

Posted January 13, 2011

Lenny's Bay

My mom, dad and I took the kayaks out on another glassy morning. From Gaulding Cay we headed south to Lennyís Bay. I had the camera and was hoping to photograph some of the huge Houndfish that hang around his point. We saw plenty of Houndfish, but none were tame enough for photos so I headed inshore to see a Southern Stingray my dad had found. 

Here's my mom posing with the stingray:


While in the shallows my Parents also found me a Tiny Remora (Sharksucker) to photograph. At this size sharksuckers prefer to cling to Houndfish and Parrotfish rather than sharks and rays. I had no mask, but the water was so calm I could see the camera screen and compose shots from above water. The sharksucker didnít seem to mind me so I took tons of photos. Meanwhile, a few of the Houndfish offshore were becoming curious of us and eventually one came close enough for my subject to see. In a flash my subject was gone - he was off to catch the Houndfish. Obviously, he had been waiting a long time for a ride.


Posted January 7, 2011

Rage - Sandpits

After the 1992 rage, I heard that people collected tons of Yellowtail Snapper (this island's favorite food fish) that had been washed onshore. I was ready this rage and ran over to see if I could find anything. I didn't have to look long before discovering a whole field of dead fish! There were fish from about every family, though most of what I saw were blennies and juvenile surgeonfish.


This picture shows a sample of what I collected. I had a flounder, but I guess I dropped it on the way home - I was fully laden down with jars of fish and eels. In one of my containers I even had a live Spotted Moray Eel who was wriggling when I collected him. Unfortunately the eel didn't survive; though, had he made it, I imagine the brain damage suffered would have been tremendous. And Lemon Reef, the place I was planning to release him, already has one loony eel, which is one too many. In the end only our cat Rocco got dinner: I filleted the largest fish (a Puddingwife) for him and he got a small Spotted Lobster (not pictured).

The majority of the smaller fish here are blennies. The small, clear fish near the center are larval eels! There is also a squid just beneath the Puddingwife's tail.


Posted December 7, 2010


Pete Fox took me out spearing on the Caribbean Side today. We did fairly well, but got nothing spectacular. I saw huge schools of jack, a Reef Shark, a Nurse Shark, three Eagle Ray so there was plenty of stuff out there. Winter has definitely started. Even with three 2mm spring-suits I was soon freezing - I hope this doesn't mean a cold winter. The sea surface temp. charts show the water around 73 F, which is 7 degrees colder than it was 10 days ago! If gets as cold as last year I'm moving further south.

Black Grouper for dinner tonight, Hogfish tomorrow. Hogfish eye:


Posted November 9, 2010

Lane Snapper

We have some nasty north winds coming soon, so we have been trying to get out and enjoy the nice weather we have had lately. Yesterday I drug my dad on a photo-snorkel around the cay. The sea on the Caribbean side has been flat calm, but, oddly enough, the water was pretty murky. The lousy visibility was affecting my photos so I decided to focus on close-ups.

I wasn't too excited about anything I shot around the cay, but I did find a couple of tame juvenile Lane Snappers in the grass patches inshore. These are one of the most common fish eaten at fish fries:


Posted November 4, 2010

Least Tern Eggs

Well, tern season is well past, but I was looking through my photos and found this. It's the eggs of Least Tern out at Whale Point. The terns have no nest and just lay their eggs on the rocks. They raise their young right at the point during the summer and by fall everyone is ready to fly away. Here's an old post from the archives that has a photo of one of the adult terns out at Whale Point: BahamaLouie - Archives

The eggs blend perfectly with the ironshore. Careful where you step!


Posted November 1, 2010


Yesterday afternoon I went for my first snorkel since I got back. Conditions weren't optimal, so I just went for a quick loop around the cay. The side-shore wind was pushing in plenty of jellyfish, most were harmless, but I saw a few that looked as if they'd sting. Despite the murky, rough water I saw all the usuals plus a few large Muttonfish and a Green Turtle.

I encountered about six of these not-so-harmless jellies. They aren't in any of my field guides so if anyone can identify them I would appreciate an email.


Here's a picture of Gaulding Cay today. The weather isn't that nice, but the water isn't too cold yet so I can't complain.


Posted October 26, 2010


While on Maui we spent about half a day driving and hiking around the island's tallest mountain, Haleakala. The summit is at 10,000 feet and gave us awesome views of other Hawaiian Islands, but was too cold for us to spend much time there. In the winter it can even snow there!

Haleakala Crater:


Tons of Chukars were hanging around the parking lot. Chukars are originally from Asia and Europe and were introduced to Maui in 1923. The Haleakala Chukar population seemed to be well established; I was swarmed by at least a dozen of them. They probably wanted a snack, but all they got was a photo.


Posted October 23, 2010

Turtle Town

One of the cooler spots we snorkeled on Maui was Turtle Town. It was full of cool fish and giant Green Turtles. Hawaii's turtles are much friendly than ours, which, I guess, is from not being hunted. We didn't spend much time there (everyone was cold), but I did get a couple cool photos and videos:

My mom and aunt swimming with a large Green Sea Turtle:


A short video from Turtle Town:

Posted October 22, 2010

Bluespine Unicornfish

Probably the most bizarre fish we saw while snorkeling around Maui was the aptly-named Bluespine Unicornfish. It is closely related to the Bahamas' tang and surgeonfish, but grows much larger. These gargantuan fish are often seen at sizes up to two feet! From what I have read, its unicorn horn has no known purpose, it does, however, have two pairs of inconspicuous spines near the tail. These spines are ever-erect‒‒unlike our tang, which have fold out spines‒‒and ready to slash any predator which ventures too close. I included a close up of the spines below this profile photo:


Spines viewed from above (tail on right):


Posted October 21, 2010


I just got back from Maui. I had a great trip and got to spend plenty of time visiting my older brother and snorkeling. My parents got a new compact waterproof camera (Canon D10) for themselves that they let me try out.

I've got plenty of new photos and stories to post, but, for now, here's a just a short one.

This is one of my favorite photos from the trip. It's a small Spotted Eagle Ray digging for some sort of sea urchin. This little ray spent well over a half an hour digging and feeding right below us in 15 feet of water. It's interesting that Hawaii's eagle rays have spots while ours have rings.


Posted October 10, 2010


Unfortunately I haven't been able to get any photos uploaded from Cape Eleuthera and now I'm off on a three week trip to visit my brother in Hawaii. There won't posts for a while, but I should come back with some good photos from Maui. I'll get those photos from down south uploaded when I'm back home.

Posted September 30, 2010

Cape Eleuthera Institute

Sorry about the lack of posts. I've been interning down at the Cape Eleuthera Institute which is a research facility at the very southern end of the island. I worked with their Aquaculture team for about a month and their Shark team for two weeks. It was an awesome experience and exploring the other end of the island was a blast. I've got some photos from the Cape that I'll upload. Posts coming soon!

Posted September 27, 2010


As mention in my previous post I was just down at the Cape Eleuthera Institute working with the shark project. While I was working with them we spent one week offshore, fishing to catch, tag, measure, and release mainly Caribbean Reef Sharks. The second week we did inshore work tagging juvenile Lemon Sharks from the creeks.

The most exciting fishing I did with those guys though, was the deepwater sharking. To catch deepwater sharks they sink a line with 30 baited hooks down to 800 meters (about 1/2 mile). They let the line sit for a few hours and then haul it by hand.

This is the eye of one of the Roughskin dogfish (a small shark specie) we caught.




My mom and I found a Spotted Scorpionfish while snorkeling around Gaulding Cay. Scorpion fish are masters at camouflage and patience. They will lie for hours in the same spot waiting to ambush a smaller fish. Scorpionfish, like the related Lionfish, have a row of venomous spines down the back. Their sting is supposed to be slightly worse than the Lionfish, but is rarely fatal.

View from above (fish is facing left):


Close up of his head:


Posted August 11, 2010

Cuban Tree Frog III

Yes, another photo of a Cuban Tree Frog. This one was resting on a Plumeria (Frangipani) plant just outside our back porch. We noticed the frogs have been moving closer to the house every year. They have now invaded our kitchen window sill; four or five of them hunt there every night!

These frogs are strictly nocturnal, finding a dark corner to sleep during the day. During daylight they can only be awakened by rain, which triggers a mass of croaking.


Posted August 6, 2010

Yellow Stingray

Here's a close up of a Yellow Stingray I saw while snorkeling at the Glass Window Bridge:


Posted August 4, 2010

Blennies III

These are some of my favorite recent blenny photos:

A Barfin Blenny hiding in white scroll algae. The Barfin's, especially the juvenile's, yellowish hues blend in perfectly with the algae that grows around their tidepools. This guy paused just long enough for me to snap a photo:


I saw this beautiful Saddled Blenny down in a limestone basin. This was the only angle I could shoot from, but the blenny saved the photo by turning to look up at the camera.


It took a lot of messing around with to change this photo into something I liked. I spent a long time adjusting its settings on the computer and, for once, I think the result was worth it. The original photo was ruined by poor exposure and tons of backscatter.

I'm not too into post-processing my photos, which is why I usually shoot JPEG, but sometimes it's nice to be able to fix some of those blunders I make underwater.

This Longhorn Blenny has made its home in a small hole in brain coral:


Ok, this one is not a blenny, but it lives around blennies. It's a small clingfish (Tomicodon rupestris). This isn't my best photo of one, but I like that is shows off their "chipmunk cheeks".


Posted August 3, 2010

Great Lizard Cuckoo

The past few weeks we have had Great Lizard Cuckoos calling all around our house. I've spent a lot of time trying track one down for a photo, but they only call about once every 15 minutes so it's been difficult to find one. Finally though, I got lucky and found two up in a Casuarina tree. These giant birds are about as tame and curious as animals can be; indeed, I didn't have to wait long before one came hopping down, limb-from-limb, towards me. The second cuckoo called my subject away before I could get a good shot, but I got this decent one:

According to my bird book these cuckoos are only found on Cuba, Andros, New Providence, and Eleuthera!

Click the play button to hear a recording of some Great Lizard Cuckoos in Andros.


Here's my photo of a Great Lizard Cuckoo:


Posted July 8, 2010

Blue Hole

Here are some photos I took in a local blue hole. Blue Holes are giant sinkholes filled with water. When found inland, as ours was, they are usually connected underground to the ocean. It was my first time in a blue hole so I was very excited. The water was cold and clear; brackish on the surface gradually turning saltier as you dove down. At the deepest point it's about 40 feet which is very shallow compared to many.

At about 20 feet I encountered my first Ocean Hole Fish (Lucifuga spelaeotles). These bizarre fish belong to a family composed mainly of deep-sea dwellers so it's no surprise that they lack working eyes. I would be very curious to hear what they eat.

The blind Ocean Hole Fish:


The only other sign of life in the hole were these shrimp. There were thousands of them though.

Posted June 16, 2010

Bahama Woodstar

A small Bahama Woodstar has been buzzing around our garden lately. These small hummingbirds are endemic to the Bahamas and is the only hummingbird specie regularly seen on Eleuthera.

Here he is perched on a palm frond: I think it must be a juvenile male that hasn't fully developed its magenta throat patch. If his sugar intake is any indication of the time it will take to mature, this guy will be an adult in no time.


Feeding on our Firecracker Plants. Even with a shutter speed of 1/2000 of a second the wings are slightly blurred.


Posted June 11, 2010

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