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Spittal Pond Nature Reserve Review

This Bermuda National Trust park has 64 acres for roaming, though you're asked to keep to the well-marked walkways that loop through the woods and along the spectacular shoreline. More than 30 species of waterfowl—including herons, egrets, and white-eyed vireos—winter here between November and May, making the reserve a top spot for birders. Get your timing right and you may be able to spy migrating whales as well. History buffs may be more interested in climbing the high bluff to Portuguese Rock. Early settlers found this rock crudely carved with the date 1543 along with other markings that are believed to be the initials "RP" (for Rex Portugaline, King of Portugal) and a cross representing the Portuguese Order of Christ. The theory goes that a Portuguese ship was wrecked on the island and that her sailors marked the occasion before departing on a newly built ship. The rock was removed to prevent further damage by erosion, and a bronze cast of the original stands in its place. A plaster-of-paris version is also on display at the Museum of the Bermuda Historical Society in Hamilton.

Updated: 11-04-2013

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