#1 Beach in the World … Grace Bay Beach

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Grace Bay Beach is the #1 best beach in the world.

WE’RE #1 BEST BEACH IN THE WORLD. What is there to say but that we’ve known this all along….exquisite powder white sand with the most turquoise blue waters anywhere.

GRACE BAY BEACH extends for some 12 miles right from the entrance to Turtle Cove Marina to the eastern portion of Leeward on Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands.

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Crystal clear waters that sparkle in the afternoon sun

It’s not hard to find photos of this amazing beach. Each and every one shows how spectacular this beach is.

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One of my favourite parts of Grace Bay Beach at Sibonne……..perfection!

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Come just sit in the water at water’s edge and take in this view.

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Dream away a few hours while floating on Grace Bay

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Sunset walks on a deserted stretch of Grace Bay

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Snorkeling on Grace Bay Beach at the Bight Reef….you’ll see turtles and maybe a spotted eagle ray too.

 

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Enjoying the best beach in the world

2018 is the year of Grace Bay Beach on Provo in the Turks and Caicos Islands and #1 best beach status.

WE’RE #1

Come and experience our sensational beaches, still uncrowded for the main part.

See you soon!

 

Marta

 

 

http://www. harbourclubvillas.com

Posted in Beaches, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Whales are Here

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Salt Cay whale watching and WOW what a sight to spot them

I think we might be a touch later than usual sighting whales after our recent Cat 5 hurricane Irma.

Every year, at this time, the Humpback Whales make their annual migration to the Silver Banks close to the Dominican Republic.

Here in the Turks and Caicos Islands the whales are being sighted now so you need to book your dive trips soon.

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Only my second ever sighting of humpback whales in Salt Cay

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Out on an excursion with Salt Cay Divers and sure enough we sighted whales

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Two thumbs up for an awesome snorkel with humpback whales

Thanks to Mickey and Jayne of Flamingo Divers for the next selection of great photos.

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Mickey and Jayne several years ago and their exciting whale encounter

From Mickey and Jayne on their encounter at Stairway to Heaven at West Caicos

“Well….this site earned its name today!

What a truly magical day underwater – we were only 2 minutes into our dive when a gleaming white pectoral fin caught our eye, and then, the silhouette of a HUMPBACK WHALE!!! We sat on the sand to watch it pass by…and imagine our delight when not only did it not pass us by quickly, but it also decided to spend the dive with us! We spent 60 minutes hovering and watching this gentle giant hang in front of us, and drift up every 15 minutes for a breath of air, and promptly swim back to us again. When our air consumption finally dictated our ascent, we swam to the anchor line and slowly began ascending, only to look behind and watch him follow us! With us hanging at 15 ft, and him at about 20 ft, we simply stared at each other for another 3 minutes until, bittersweetly so, we had to finish our dive. During our surface interval he stayed just forward of the boat and drfited a little away, but we were up for doing dive #2 in the same spot, as we hadn’t had a chance to explore the reef there! About 10 minutes into the dive, he showed back up to our divers and hung out with them until again, alas, we were the ones having to wave goodbye to this marvelous mammal. (From the surface, Jayne had seen it turn around and head back to the divers bubbles). Truly truly amazing. What an absolute privilege, not only to have a moment underwater with this beautiful creature, but to have had some great, passive interaction with it. A day to remember.”

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What a magnificent creature this is

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One of our Harbour Club Villa guests Jim with the whale

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Beautiful close up photo.

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If you’re dreaming of seeing whales, now’s the time to come to the Turks and Caicos Islands

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These whales can grow in length from 40 to 60 feet (12-15 meters and can live from 70 to 80 years.

If you’d like to dive and chance seeing whales, please book your Turks and Caicos Dive vacation at Harbour Club Villas and Marina. We have four dive companies with dive boats in our Marina…….Aqua TCI is moored right on our docks just minutes away. Flamingo Divers are close by and just a short walk away.

Diving is spectacular in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

See you soon.

 

Marta

 

http://www.harbourclubvillas.com

Posted in Grand Turk, Harbour Club Villas and Marina, Providenciales, Salt Cay, Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Turks and Caicos Islands, Whales | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Turks and Caicos Islands….Open for Business

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Harbour Club Villas and Marina has a new look with new, white metal roofs…….Yes we are open for business after Hurricane Irma.

Yes, we can now say that we survived a Category 5 Hurricane!

It has been a chaotic and traumatic time for all of us here in the Turks and Caicos Islands. We were hit hard with damages especially to all the roofs. Our red tiled roofs are no longer, ripped off by the horrific force of the winds and left in piles after Hurricane Irma.

Now some 50 days after, we have new white metal roofs and clean up is almost complete. The Turks and Caicos Islands are open for business and better than ever…….restaurants are opening, dive boats are back in the water, snorkeling is great and we’ve seen so many turtles and our bonefishermen are back in the lake and on the flats, excursions and more.

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Red tiles are no longer but fresh looking, white roofs

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Grace Bay Beach at the Bight Reef is as beautiful as ever so book your vacations now. This was taken a few days ago

Our beaches are all as stunning as ever with the prettiest sparkling water you’ll ever see. All my photos have been taken recently and quite honestly, if you want beaches that have few people on them, now’s the time to come. We are waiting for you so head down for some fun in the sun and on the beach.

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Our first flower appears after the wrath and devastation of Irma and it was so beautiful to see.

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A rippling effect as the sunlight plays on the waters of Grace Bay

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Young flamingos were sighted in Flamingo Lake close by the villas at Harbour Club

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A spectacular sunset over Flamingo Lake

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Stark silhouette of leafless trees that were stripped by Hurricane Irma

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Footprints in the sand along the edge of the water on Grace Bay

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A little hummingbird sits on a rope left over from tying our trees together for strength against the hurricane……..so where do they go during hurricanes?

Not ready for scuba diving......call Jodi at Snuba TCI.

Not ready for scuba diving……call Jodi at Snuba TCI.

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Peaceful and serene on the south side of Provo where our villas are located.

Dive operators are ready to take you out for some scuba diving.

Dive operators are ready to take you out for some scuba diving.

There’s some great diving waiting for you…….four of the island’s dive operators leave from the marina at Harbour Club or close by: AquaTCI, Flamingo Divers, Provo Turtle Divers and Caicos Adventures. Give them and us a call for all your diving needs………grab your buddy and come on down.

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Snorkeling Smith’s Reef after the hurricane…..so many juvenile hawksbill and green turtles were sighted.

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The Bight Reef on a clear day recently…still debris lying on the bottom but thankfully the reef looks really good.

Sailing along Grace Bay with the Atabeyra just this past week

Sailing along Grace Bay with the Atabeyra just this past week

There’s many water based excursions you can choose and one of the best is sailing on the Atabeyra……….so relaxing, do a snorkel or a sunset cruise and watch that rum punch!!!

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Here’s my version of “Fall” colours on Provo !

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Bonefishing in Flamingo Lake and yes, we saw fishermen last week.

Provo Ponies is ready to take you for a leisurely ride on Long Bay beach

Provo Ponies is ready to take you for a leisurely ride on Long Bay beach

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This could be you in one of these lounge chairs?

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Those adorable potcakes…….so many of them waiting for good forever homes.

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Forever shades of blue and turquoise.

The Turks and Caicos Islands are open for business after the hurricanes and we invite you to join us. We want to show you our special “beautiful by nature” islands and friendly welcoming people.

Hope to see you all very soon.

Marta

 

 

http://www.harbourclubvillas.com

Posted in Beaches, Bonefishing, Fishing, Flora and Fauna, Flowers, Flyfishing, Harbour Club Villas and Marina, Providenciales, Restaurants, Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Turks and Caicos Islands, Turtles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Trip Down Turtle Tail

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A lone flamingo feeds in the Juba salina just a short ways from Harbour Club Villas

I decided on taking one of our fishing guests down Turtle Tail to see for myself where he could access some flats in order to do some bonefishing. Must say, this area is still as beautiful as ever but with many newly constructed houses going up.

I haven’t seen the flamingos for quite an age and was so excited to see one, lone beauty.

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I couldn’t get him to stop feeding and to lift his head up……….too busy “vacuuming” through the silty bottom.

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My beach also known locally as Dog Beach was just awesome with all those turquoise colours

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Looking towards Jim Hill and the new villas being built beside Bajacu

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Bonefishing flat with some of the Five Little Cays in the distance

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Old conch shells piled up on shore

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Now this has some potential for some DIY bonefishing

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Jet skiers were out on this beautiful day

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Rocky southern shoreline with secret pathway down to the water’s edge

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Private gazebos overlooking stunning turquoise waters

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Mangroves down Turtle Tail with some sweet bonefishing spots

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Harbour Club Villas and Marina on the edge of Flamingo Lake perfect for bonefishing

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Looking across Flamingo Lake towards the villas at Harbour Club

Posted in Bonefishing, Conch, fish, Fishing, Flora and Fauna, Harbour Club Villas and Marina, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Perfect Day in the Turks and Caicos

Cruising the waters of Providenciales with Island Vibes has to be one of the “must do’s” on your next trip to the Turks and Caicos.

We had a glorious, picture perfect day with calm seas as we boarded the boat…..and YES, I’ve lived here for almost 20 years and still am in awe of all the beauty around me.

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Two dolfin came out to play with us today….a mother and her young one.

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Just love to see dolphins swimming wild and free in the seas around the Turks and Caicos Islands

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Half Moon Bay and one spectacular stretch of beach

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Island Vibes Tours are a great outfit with whom to head out onto the water for an afternoon of fun

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Trying to GoPro a lemon shark in the shallows

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Shows you just how clear the waters are!

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Swimming back to the boat after some amazing snorkeling out at the reef

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Breakers on the reef at Providenciales Turks and Caicos Islands

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A little bit of refreshment………great Turk’s Head rum punch all round

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A piece of heaven on a large sandbar out by Dellis Cay

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Many sand dollars partially hidden in the sand and the sparkling waters

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Such scenery can only be found in the Turks and Caicos

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Rippling dancing water on the sandbar

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Even a little sea star was taken back out a little further so it wouldn’t get stranded on the sand bar

It was a pretty rough ride for the kids on the way back………..time for some tubing and WOW did they go flying. Such fun as they hung on tight and still managed to fall off.

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Screams of fun as the kids went tubing on the way back

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The hectic ending to a perfect day

What a fun day it was out on Island Vibes. A fantastic time was had by everyone.

Join us won’t you?

 

Marta

 

http://www.harbourclubvillas.com

Posted in Boat Charters, Dolphins, fish, Half Moon Bay, Harbour Club Villas and Marina, Providenciales, Snorkeling, Turks and Caicos Islands | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Harbour Club Villas and Marina

This gallery contains 76 photos.

  Harbour Club Villas and Marina is a group of six, one bedroom villas or cottages that sits on a rise between two waterfronts: we have Flamingo Lake on one side and the ocean at Cooper Jack Bight on the other on Provo’s … Continue reading

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Snorkel at Smith’s Reef

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Mike, GoPro in hand and ready for some snorkeling at Smith’s Reef

A new GoPro gift combined with summer “silly” season makes for ideal conditions for snorkeling here on island. Only stipulation being that I get to use any of Mike’s underwater shots in my blog. Mike’s photo’s are absolutely stunning.

Smith’s Reef is relatively easy to find but many people miss the outer mini wall. Currently you are right there if you take the little trail from the road that winds through the bush leading to the observation tower. (The old way in).

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A map of the reef showing the 22′ channel where often you’ll see rays.

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The sandy area with the discoloured, slightly yellowish area closer to the horizon being the mini wall.

 

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Another beautiful Provo day just made for some snorkeling.

Just a few words before you set out to enjoy and explore our reefs.

Please do not touch or stand on anything as coral is a living animal and be sure not to brush anything with your flippers, equipment or gear.

Do not cover yourself heavily with sunscreen before snorkeling and of course biodegradable lotions are available and better yet, buy a rash guard.

Please do not chase any sea life or try to feed.

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A Green Sea Turtle poses for photos beside a Purple Sea Whip.

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Smile you’re on camera.

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A Spotted Eagle Ray passing through.

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Love the reflections in the water.

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A Porcupine Fish showing spines swims amongst the coral.

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A six foot nurse shark rests on the sandy bottom.

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Big and docile just resting on the bottom ready for a photo shoot.

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A passing summer storm intensifies the turquoise colours.

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And meanwhile along the shore, a rock pool find of a Helmet Shell.

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Such beauty surrounds us and take a look at the exquisite markings on this shell.

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See the eyes peeking out of the shell of this baby conch and the claw-like operculum with which they move across the ocean floor.

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Back to the reef and this beauty…..a Honeycomb Cowfish apparently quite rare.

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Love those eagle rays as they gracefully glide through the waters.

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Mike says this green turtle took a keen interest in the camera.

All the amazing underwater photos are taken by Mike so I thank him for letting me use them for my blog.

Enjoy the reefs everyone but please take care as you snorkel to preserve and protect the coral and sea life.

Snorkel responsibly and have fun.

Marta

 

http://www.harbourclubvillas.com

 

 

Posted in Conch, fish, Flora and Fauna, Harbour Club Villas and Marina, Providenciales, Shells, Snorkeling, Turks and Caicos Islands, Turtles, Underwater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

South West Bluff and Osprey Rock

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Views of Chalk Sound and its magnificent colours on the way down to the south west tip of Provo

A perfectly beautiful Sunday and a trip is planned to head down to the southern most tip of the island at South West Bluff and Osprey Rock. I always enjoy this excursion and make sure all my batteries are fully charged. There’s always so many plants, birds, views and our extraordinary clear ocean with its’ marine life to photograph.

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A Black Legged Stilt was very vocal as he tried to scare me away.

There’s a beautiful pond area as you get closer to the little beach by Osprey Rock. There seems to always be salt foam looking much like snow. This Sunday there were several Black Legged Stilts and they really didn’t like my being there. Perhaps there were nests as they tried to ward me off.

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A large patch of wild sea island cotton

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Sea island cotton has such pretty yellow blossoms

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The first view you get of the beach and rocks at South West Bluff looking towards Bonefish Point

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One section of the beach is strewn with old conch shells

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The ocean looking from the pirate’s cave

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Pretty beaded periwinkle shells line the jagged rocks as you wade through the shallow waters.

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Sand ripples and Osprey Rock in the background

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The shallows on the sandbar at Bonefish Point with a cushion sea star.

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Chitons are found attached to the rocks

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Interesting rock formations

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The waters are so very clear …….. you can see everything!

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An osprey stands in the water and he knows I’m there.

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The lowest tide I’ve ever seen out on the sandbar at Bonefish Point

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A cushion sea star on Bonefish Point in the shallow flats.

Such an amazing area for a picnic lunch with friends and do take a walk down to Bonefish Point. I can assure you that you will see so many interesting things as you walk along the beaches and rocks. It is one of Provo’s gems and one of my favourites.

Enjoy,

 

Marta

 

 

http://www.harbourclubvillas.com

Posted in Beaches, Birds, Birdwatching, Flora and Fauna, Flowers, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nesting Mourning Dove Part 2

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This little Mourning Dove set up her nest in the rafters of the Tiki Hut at Harbour Club Villas and Marina. I’ve been photographing the nest and the parent doves for several weeks now. Here are the photos taken up until today, June 19, when I caught all the action of the little birds spreading and fluttering their wings and leaving the nest for the big wide world.

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Fluffing out those feathers so I was pretty sure the flight day was pretty close

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Feeding time as the little dove returns to the nest to feed his/her little ones.

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Getting big and ready to fly

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Time to spread those wings

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I’m watching you!!

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Away we go as the little birds leave the nest and head along the rafters

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Everyone safely down from the rafters of the Tiki Hut and onto the gravel in the parking lot

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both parents are watching out for the chicks

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They scuttled across the parking lot and the parents tucked them safely into a little sheltered spot off the drive way leading down to the marina

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They finally flew into the vegetation on our hill

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Sad to see them go…what am I going to photograph now?

Posted in Birds, Birdwatching, Flora and Fauna, Harbour Club Villas and Marina, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Nesting Mourning Dove

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Mourning dove on her nest in the rafters of our tikihut.

We saw some twigs and straw sticking out of the rafters of the tikihut at Harbour Club Villas and Marina. As we went to clean it up, we discovered this pretty little Mourning Dove on its nest of twigs.

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Close up of its head and extraordinary colours around the eye.

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Here’s the nest up on a beam in Harbour Club’s tikihut by the pool.

The mourning dove is named for the rather haunting and sad cooing sound it makes. When it flies, it’s wings make a whistling sound. They are mostly seed eaters that feed on the ground and here at Harbour Club Villas, we often see them pecking at the gravel under our neem trees.

 

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The dove definitely didn’t let me out of her sight.

I couldn’t resist shooing it off the nest so that I could photograph the two eggs. Both parents will build a rather flimsy platform nest usually up high in a tree or a bush. The eggs hatch after 14 days or so and one is laid in the evening and the second one in the morning. Now I didn’t know that both parents care for the little ones. I have noticed another dove hanging around that has been spotted on the roof of the tikihut. I also learned that it’s usually the male that incubates the eggs during the day and the female at night. I don’t know that I can tell the difference between the male and the female.

 

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Two white eggs in a very sparse looking nest of twigs.

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My hand just to give you an idea of the size of the eggs

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Someone is watching me very carefully? Not sure if this is a male or female.

The mourning dove is 9-13 inches in length and has a wingspan of 15-18 inches. It has a grayish-brown body and quite a long, pointed tail that has a border of white. The dove’s head is small and rounded with a small, thin, black bill. Legs and feet are pink. The wing has black spots and there is a black spot under the eye. The eyes are brown and surrounded by a blue circle of skin. Males and females look alike, but the female is slightly smaller and duller in color.

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The dove started to puff up as I brought my camera closer.

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Fanning out wings and tail feathers to ward me off in the hopes I would go away.

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How beautiful are those tail feathers!

Both parents will feed the chicks that are also called squabs. They are fed pigeon milk which is a mixture of water, fat, minerals, and protein that the male and female mourning doves produce in their crop.  The crop is a sac that is found at the bottom of their esophagus.

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Two little baby doves huddled together……….no wonder the dove was protective.

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Close up of one of the little doves.

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The chicks will fledge when they are 2 weeks old.

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Nestlings are cared for by both parents and fledge in about 12-14 days.

In the days to come, I will add more photos as the chicks grow and leave the nest.

Marta

 

http://www.harbourclubvillas.com

Posted in Birds, Birdwatching, Flora and Fauna, Harbour Club Villas and Marina, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment