Saint-Martin : Étang de la Barrière, a Place for Birds

Mark YOKOYAMA
Par Mark YOKOYAMA 22 Sep 2013 22:44

Saint-Martin : Étang de la Barrière, a Place for Birds

Étang de la Barrière, right beside the Pinel ferry dock in Cul-de-Sac is one of many wetland habitats on our island which is home to a wide variety of birds. Egrets, herons and shorebirds live in, and depend on, our salt ponds, mudflats and mangrove wetlands. However, Étang de la Barrière is special because it has an elevated boardwalk trail that allows us to explore this habitat without disturbing it.

This whimbrel has just arrived on St. Martin and is noticeably very skinny. It will probably stay here for the rest of the winter.

This whimbrel has just arrived on St. Martin and is noticeably very skinny. It will probably stay here for the rest of the winter.

The mangrove discovery trail at Étang de la Barrière was completed earlier this year by the Réserve Naturelle de Saint-Martin and the Conservatoire du Littoral. It is designed perfectly for bird viewing and photography, and also includes many informative signs describing the habitat and the birds that live there. This site is considered a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention, and has recently been added to the Caribbean Birding Trail (http://www.caribbeanbirdingtrail.com), a collection of the best bird watching locations in the Caribbean.

The discovery trail at Étang de la Barrière is perfectly-designed for bird watching and bird photography

The discovery trail at Étang de la Barrière is perfectly-designed for bird watching and bird photography

At this moment, thousands of migratory birds are arriving on St. Martin from North America. These birds fly thousands of miles, sometimes flying for several days without stopping. When they arrive, they are tired and hungry, and the snails, crabs and insects they find on our wetlands will nourish them during their stay here. Some will spend the whole winter on St. Martin, while others will continue on to South America.

Along with snails and insects, fiddler crabs are one of the primary foods for many of our migratory shorebirds

Along with snails and insects, fiddler crabs are one of the primary foods for many of our migratory shorebirds

On Sunday, September 29th from 8-11am, there will be a Migratory Bird Festival at Étang de la Barrière. There will be guided tours of the trail in English, French and Dutch as well as a wide variety of activities for children and adults. Everyone is invited to come and learn more about our amazing migratory birds. For more information, visit: http://www.sxmwildlife.com


Saint Martin wildlife, download the book: http://www.sxmwildlife.com

Saint Martin wildlife, daily updates on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WildlifeGuideSXM

Association Les Fruits de Mer: http://ass.lesfruitsdemer.org
Mark YOKOYAMA
Par Mark YOKOYAMA 22 Sep 2013 22:44

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