Ever since I was a wee barefooted kid in South Africa, I have been a naturalist – and I don’t mean a nudist – picking up bugs and chameleons and checking out flowers. I went on to study botany, zoology and ecology at Durham University in England and then went on to do my Masters of Science in Forest Entomology at the University of New Brunswick. But that was all a long time ago and none of it ‘counts’ any more. Now I am simply an amateur naturalist – someone who reaps pure joy out of observing, photographing and identifying flowers, animals, insects and the world beneath the water.

Butterfly on citrus blossom

Butterfly on citrus blossom

We spent 3 months in the Bahamas, every day a different delight! I got a new telephoto lens for my Panasonic Lumix 3G camera at Christmas and this made my observations of the natural world even more fulfilling for me. So if you share any of these interests, and would like to see a little of the fauna and flora we enjoyed, I invite you to come with me on a ‘guided’ virtual nature trail through the Bahamas! Remember, I am not an expert, so please forgive (and correct) any mis-identified labels.

Since my greatest excitement was spotting a tiny female Bahamian Woodstar (a type of hummingbird) and then seeing its nest and fledgling (less than 1 inch tall) on a walk on Stocking Island in the Exumas, we will start with birds, flowers and trees and then insects, reptiles and other creepy things which fascinate me. Part 2 will cover shoreline and underwater habitats.

To join the tour, click once on the first photo to enlarge it and then you can use the arrow> on the right hand side of each picture to advance to the next. Click here to view Part 2.