September 27th, 2010 by Marc AuMarc

This post features a pair of birds that are commonly seen on the island, but not usually seen as they are here. The first is an immature brown booby that had swallowed a needle-nosed fish that was a bit too big for it. I found him sitting on a rock near the little beach at wilderness trying to swallow his breakfast. When I left him he was still working on it.

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The next is a male magnificent frigatebird, something we see often around Grand Case Bay, but this one, for reasons unknown left his red neck pouch flapping in the breeze as he flew. Usually it is contracted and not noticeable.

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September 26th, 2010 by Marc AuMarc

In this post are a variety of wonderful creatures from Saint Martin. Yesterday Kevin saw me photographing a frog and said that I was like a paparazzi for animals. I guess this is basically true.

Our first subject is a two-striped treefrog. I had two small freshwater aquaria, one with many tadpoles and one with a few guppies and one tadpole. The lone tadpole grew approximately twice as big before transforming into a frog.

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Next up is a baby least island gecko which I found by L’Esplanade while looking for the whistling frog that I still need to photograph. I was quite excited because I had read about them having an orange tail, but I had never seen one with a really orange tail like this.

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The tarantula below is not too big as far as tarantulas go, but it was still pretty big. It was a gift from Stephen, Yann, Marie and Olivia who found it at their house.

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I found this tiny walking stick on another trip to try to locate the whistling frog.

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Last, and least, are a few mosquito larvae and pupae that I photographed for my book.

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September 25th, 2010 by Marc AuMarc

One can find quite a bit wandering down the airport road near Grand Case. On this day a couple weeks ago, that included waterfowl, goats, iguanas and a whole lot of little creatures mostly hiding under boards.

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September 24th, 2010 by Marc AuMarc

If you want to see the carib grackle on St. Martin, Mullet Bay is the place to be. Sure, you can find them in lots of other place, but in Mullet Bay they are everywhere. There were a few ruddy turnstones that day as well.

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September 24th, 2010 by Marc AuMarc

I’m way behind on my posting, but partially that’s because I’ve been updating my book, which is almost done. Anyhow, here are some animals from Friars’ Bay and Happy Bay earlier this month. The outlet that connects Étang Guichard to the sea in the middle of Friars’ Bay is actually one of the best places to see wading birds on the island.

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September 10th, 2010 by Marc AuMarc

A couple days ago we went to Guana Bay for the first time. There’s a gorgeous beach there and it’s accessible by car, but we were the only people on the whole beach. The bay is a well-known turtle nesting area, and leatherback turtles have hatched there are least once already this year. There were also a number of seabirds fishing in the water near the shore.

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September 8th, 2010 by Marc AuMarc

We’ve been out twice to look for turtle tracks since the hurricane Earl, but no luck either time. The beach at Baie de Petites Cayes has changed quite a bit. The eastern side has built up more sand, while the western side is smaller. Perhaps it’s just a tricky place to lay eggs this year.

At any rate, there were a few interesting things to see. On the first trip, there were frigatebirds and paragliders in the sky.

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On the second trip, I saw several nice birds: an American kestrel, some brown pelicans fishing and some gray kingbirds.

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September 8th, 2010 by Marc AuMarc

Below are photos from a couple days in Grand Case. In the first set, there are a few okay shots of the tiny local hummingbird (versus the bigger one). They’re tricky to photograph, as they’re quite dark. With the right light, they are an iridescent green.

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The second set is a few shots taken when I brought some of our frogs out to release them (libération de grenouille).

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September 7th, 2010 by Marc AuMarc

Last week Hurricane Earl passed quite close to Saint Martin. It was quite a big storm, but luckily there was not too much damage for the most part. Lots of trees and branches went down, along with a few signs and some unlucky structures. Below are some photos before, during and after the hurricane, although they aren’t too dramatic because there wasn’t a ton of damage and I stayed inside during the worst parts of the storm.

Before Earl, it was a beautiful day, but a bit eerie because things were so quiet and all the boats had been taken out of the bay.

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After the worst winds and rain had passed, I peeked out a little to get some photos of the hurricane, including the big waves. Because the waves were so close together, they usually canceled themselves out before hitting the shore, but there were a few big ones that splashed over the sea wall (which is about 12 feet high).

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After the storm we spent a couple days helping Chris and Sally clear the fallen trees out of their backyard. There were three big ones that went down. Another very noticeable effect of the hurricane was the salt and wind damage to many of the trees, which either lost their leaves or turned brown as their leaves died. Also, the storm really did a number on the water, which is still milky with sand and other debris.

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September 7th, 2010 by Marc AuMarc

Here are more photos from the field behind the Grand Case Cultural Center. This set includes a bunch of cool-looking spiders and some strange insects.

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