Bermuda is a heaven not only for tourists but also fauna and flora. If you like nature and want to see the wild side of the island, stop by the Spittal Pond Nature Reserve, the largest nature reserve in Bermuda with a territory of 64 acres.
The reserve is conjointly owned by the Bermuda Government and the Bermuda National Trust and is located on the south shore, in Smith’s Parish. At its centre lays the 8-acre Spittal Pond, the best birdwatching spot in Bermuda and a wildlife sanctuary.
During the fall and winter months, and up until May, many migratory shorebirds and waterfowl establish camp in the Spittal Pond Nature Reserve. Amongst the birds you can spot are Ovenbirds, American Redstart, black and white Warblers, and Northern Waterthrush.
There are a wide variety of birds residing here permanently, especially in the forest area: European Goldfinch, White-eyed Vireo, Grey Catbird, Northern Cardinal, Kiskadee. You could also spot finches, mallards, sandpipers, longtails, cardinals, blue herons, white egrets and even occasional hawks.
The trail to the pond goes through the woods where you can see some prickly pear cacti, Bermuda cedar, and many other trees such as casuarinas, palmettos, pittosporum, Bermuda olivewoods, and even Mexican pepper trees and other spice trees. Wildflowers are everywhere like the Jamaican wireweed and its apricots flowers.
The Spittal Pond Nature Reserve is more than just about flora and fauna, it has very interesting geological features too. Just outside the fence that surround the pond itself is a formation called the Checkerboard. It consists of a large limestone floor on the coastline divided into squares by grooves. It is not known whether this is the result of human intervention or the natural work of the ocean. It is also thought that the place was used by whalers to strip the whales they caught.
Even history is present in the reserve. Next to the pond is the Jeffrey’s Hole, a cave where a slave famously hid after escaping his master and before he was eventually caught up. Further up the trail after the pond stands the Spanish Rock, with a carving of the letters RP and the date 1543. It was initially thought to be the work of Spanish sailors, hence the name. However, historians believe that the letters stand for Rex Portugaliae, the King of Portugal, and were carved by Portuguese sailors. The inscription has been cast in bronze to conserve it.
The Spittal Pond Nature Reserve is also a
“Great place to watch the waves crash!”
…says a reviewer on Trip Advisor. It is interesting to note that the pond is tidal but that rock filtration causes a delay of about six hours for the tide to happen.
The Spittal Pond Nature Reserve – Part of Elbow Beach Cycles ‘Things To Do’ in Bermuda series!
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