Thanksgiving on Nevis

I am half American (on my mother’s side) and half Canadian (on my father’s side, so my family celebrates both Thanksgivings. This year we spent American Thanksgiving on Nevis and had lots of fun and delicious food.  Though we were hoping that my grandmother would be here too so we could celebrate together.

On the left, my mother’s homemade mustard pickle, made with zucchini from the garden,and on the right, my brother’s favorite homemade cranberry sauce,

Instead of Champagne, my brothers and I had sparkling cider,

Green beans,

Mashed rutabaga,

The turkey,

My Grandmother

We came here in early October to help my grandmother fix up her vacation house after my grandfather died in January.  But on Sunday, November 14, she wasn’t feeling very well, so my mother called the doctor who made a house call.  He took my grandmother to the hospital to take some tests, and they found she had heart failure and kidney failure.  She died two days later.  It was so sudden and we are still all so surprised and sad. She died just after her 79th birthday, and had so much fun at her dinner party. We had no idea what would happen so soon afterwards. I hope she didn’t feel any pain, I miss her very much.

I used to show her all of my pictures.  She liked this one of the hummingbird, so I picked it to remember her by,

Rescue Mission

I had just finished painting doors in the shop/garage building and my youngest brother (almost 10) came running to the house to say that there was a hummingbird stuck in the ridge vent about 17 feet off the ground.  I ran back to the garage with him, climbed up an extension ladder with a rag, and reached into the ridge vent (which is about 4″ across) to stuff the rag into the vent so that there would be less room for the hummingbird to move around. I put my hands into the vent on either side of the ridgeboard, and when the hummingbird stopped to rest, I was able to get one hand around it.  Holding the bird, I carefully climbed down the ladder.  You can see some of the feathers that got stuck to my hand because it was very hot up there and also I was so nervous my legs were shaking.

It’s a male Antillean crested hummingbird.  You can see some of the paint and feathers on my hand (my mother took the pictures).  It rested for a while on my open hand, and then after a few minutes it flew a short distance into a nearby red ixora shrub and rested some more.

Birds and Stamps

As well as birds, I enjoy stamps too.  Before we flew to Nevis, my mom said we could go the Philatelic Bureau here on Nevis and take a look at the stamps.  I collect any stamps but I really love bird stamps. The Philatelic Bureau is full of a wide range of stamps, so there were lots to choose from,

Early Morning Bird Walk

My father and I went out again this morning to the swamp nearby.

When we arrived, the Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Common Moorhen were there, and after awhile two Yellow-crowned Night Herons and three Green Herons flew by, and one Green Heron stopped but too far away for a close-up picture. But I took advantage of the fact that it had stopped anyway and took a picture.

I was hoping to get close to the Great Egret for a picture as I was returning to the car, and caught a glimpse of yellow and followed it in to the trees. To my surprise two Solitary Sandpipers were there, but I hadn’t forgotten about the yellow bird. I peered into the tree, it was very hard to see the bird, but I got a fairly good look at it so I think it was a Yellow Warbler. I hope it was.

The Great Egret,

This morning there was only the one male Common Moorhen,

The Great Blue Heron,

The Green Heron,

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Brown Pelicans on a fishing boat,

Just as we got in to the car and started going down the road I saw some kind of a black bird. I told my dad to back the car up,  got out and started to look for the bird, and saw it was an immature Glossy Ibis,

A Good Day for Birds

I went out this morning at 6:15 to watch the birds in my grandmother’s garden. My dad heard me get up, so he asked me if I wanted to go to the nearby freshwater swamp. When we arrived I was very happy to see the resident great egret fishing for crabs and a very still Great Blue Heron. After a little bit of time passed, two Common Moorhens appeared, but then the best part of the trip was three Green Herons.  Unfortunately, I forgot my camera so of course they came right up to us and it was very exciting. My dad and I hope to go out even earlier tomorrow morning, and I will make sure to bring my camera.

This morning I spotted:

1 Great Blue Heron

4 Common Moorhens

3 Green Herons

1 Yellow-crowned Night Heron

2 Zenaida Doves

2 Gray Kingbirds

5 Cattle Egrets

2 Bananaquits

1 Pearly-eyed Thrasher

6 Lesser Antillean Bullfinches

2 Magnificent Frigatebirds

3 Brown Pelicans

2 Purple-throated Caribs

Beach Birds

From our trip to the beach on November 7, not the sunniest day but some very exciting birds!

I was very happy to spot a pair of Solitary Sandpipers,

As I was taking pictures of them, they spent most of their time over the water waiting for me to leave,

The male came very close to me for a few minutes,

While my family and I were enjoying the water and body surfing, I looked up and there was the Yellow-crowned Night Heron. I ran out of the water to get my camera before it flew away,

On the other side of the roof,

I was able to get a very close look at the heron,