Bird-watching

The Cayman Islands are an ornithologist's dream, providing perches for a wide range of resident and migratory birds—219 species at last count, many of them endangered, such as the Cayman parrot. The National Trust organizes regular bird-watching field trips conducted by local ornithologists through the Governor Michael Gore Bird Sanctuary, Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, Mastic Reserve, Salina Reserve, Central Mangrove Wetland, Meagre Bay Pond Reserve in Pease Bay, Colliers Pond in East End, and Palmetto Pond at Barkers in West Bay. Prime time for bird-watching is either early in the morning or late in the afternoon; take strong binoculars and a field guide to identify the birds.

Silver Thatch Tours. Geddes Hislop, who knows his birds and his island (though he's Trinidadian by birth), runs customizable five-hour natural and historic heritage tours ($60 an hour up to four people), including the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park's nature trail and lake and other prime birding spots. Serious birders leave at dawn, but you can leave whenever. Prearranged tours include the guide, pickup and return transport, and refreshments—a great excuse to discuss herbal medicinal folklore. Grand Cayman. 345/925–7401; www.earthfoot.org/places/ky001.htm.

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