Many times finding birds, watching their behavior and getting a sharp photo is luck. To increase the odds of a successful birding expedition, a professional guide is key. Arturo Kirkconnell Jr. is that guide for Cuba. He knows where to find the birds and once at the right habitat, his ability to identify bird call is excellent. When he hears a bird, he’ll wait patiently for it to appear and when he sees it, he’ll make sure everyone gets a good look as well. On a boat trip in the Zapata Swamp, he partnered with local guides to help spot. We had a long look at and heard the musical song of the Zapata Wren.
There were many highlights of our trip including long sessions with the Bee Hummingbird, Cuban Tody and Fernandia’s Flicker. We saw 21 of 22 endemic birds during 9 days in March 2016. It was a special treat to watch the migrating warblers closer than we had seen them in the states.
As a lovely extra, Arturo has a great sense of humor. He quickly becomes attuned to his clients needs and interests. Many times he’d slow down the drive so we could get photos of the countryside and people. We also met many Cubans on our trip and learned about their country.
I hope you can be lucky as we were to have Arturo as your guide. Arturo and Kirkconnell Birds are a five star organization.