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Airport pond becomes home to a different kind of fly-in visitor

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Fair-weather friend: a killdeer spotted in St George’s. Known as the noisy plover in the 18th century, it has bred in Bermuda for the first time, settling at the pond at the new airport terminal. (File photograph)

Birdwatchers are flocking to a man-made pond at LF Wade International Airport to see birds who have taken a liking to the area.

Paul Watson, a member of the Bermuda Audubon Society, said that about 55 species had been spotted at the pond in the last year since it was created.

He added that several killdeer, a species of shorebird that migrates to Bermuda every year, have even bred about five chicks in the pond, marking the first time a killdeer is believed to have done so on the island.

Mr Watson said: “We believe they have produced about four or five young birds from at least two or three different pairs.

“That’s a new breed of species for Bermuda purely because the habitat was conducive for them to breed in it.”

He added: “The birders are quite interested and quite excited about the fact that they have another location where they can actually look for birds.

“The areas to walk around in Bermuda are getting smaller and smaller, so as a direct result this is somewhere new for people to go out to.

“I think that certainly interests and even excites people because they can see a number of birds on any given day.”

Fair-weather friend: The killdeer, which was known as the noisy plover in the 18th century, has bred in Bermuda for the first time (File photograph)

He added that as many as 11 different species of birds had been spotted around the pond when the new airport terminal first opened in December.

Mr Watson said: “Some of them are some reasonably uncommon winter visitors - birds that we get most winters but come in ones or twos - so a lot of the birders were coming down to see the birds on the pond.

“You have got fairly easy access because you’ve got a great viewpoint from the roadside and you can actually stay in your car without disturbing the birds.”

Mr Watson said at least two chicks had died from wandering into the road and added there were some concerns that motorists could pose a threat.

But he added that most were more likely to steer clear of the roads and that the foliage around the pond should lend added protection as it grows in.

Mr Watson said: “I think we could see a lot more birds, because the foliage would make it a lot more difficult to see into the pond and there would be a lot less disturbances.

“So once the foliage has grown up I think there’s a greater likelihood that a similar number or even more species are going to turn up.”

The Killdeer (File photograph)

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Published July 02, 2021 at 7:49 am (Updated July 02, 2021 at 7:37 am)

Airport pond becomes home to a different kind of fly-in visitor

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