2024 Nature Survey at Nelson's Spring, Nevis, KN

NOTE: This report is not finished yet -- it is currently still a work in progress.

During this year's 2024 visit to Nevis, I asked my friend Miriam Knorr of NHCS (Nevis Historical and Conservation Society) if there was something I could do to be helpful around the time of Earth Day. Miriam replied that it would be great if I would go iNatting at Nelson's Spring in order to create a similar survey to the one that I carried out at Fort Ashby in 2022. These surveys are designed to help NHCS by gathering information that will advance their work on Nevis.

Here is my 2022 Fort Ashby report for NHCS:
https://www.inaturalist.org/posts/64478

Nelson's Spring is a large freshwater spring on the eastern coast of Nevis in the Cotton Ground area. The spring has created a fairly large freshwater pond which, perhaps surprisingly, backs right up against the beach on the east side. Admiral Lord Nelson, the great British naval hero, while he was still a young naval officer stationed on Nevis, used the Spring to provision all British ships with freshwater as they were sailing past. The Spring is in fact still used as a source of drinking water on Nevis.

I first saw Nelson's Spring more than 20 years ago when it was shown to me by the late Jim Johnson. It was one of the most glorious natural areas I have ever seen in my life, breathtakingly beautiful, and extremely rich in species. Jim first showed it to me from the beach side, where we opened a wall of living vegetation, like opening the curtains on a stage a little bit to look through.

The pond was bathed in dim light with a "ceiling" composed of the interior of the canopies of numerous coconut palms. It looked as you might imagine a fantasy nature church would look. The surface of the pond was covered in gorgeous flowering waterlilies. The air between the pond and the "ceiling" was filled with clouds of colorful butterflies and dragonflies in flight.

Unfortunately, many years after I first saw the pond, for some unknown reason, earth-moving equipment was brought in and all the trees and bushes were cleared from the entire area. Then, after that, cattle were brought in to graze the grasses. This resulted in the entire area becoming very degraded, trampled, disturbed and polluted. What a shame. Also a species of invasive cattail was introduced somehow, and those cattails spread like wildfire throughout the entire area.

Finally, just a few years ago, NHSC decided to do what they could to try to rescue the area, to see if they could restore some of its original beauty and richness. It was my job to try to help out with this process by doing an iNat survey.

On Thursday May 2nd, Nikki and I went into town to go to The Market to buy fruit and veggies for meals for the final 10 days that Ed and I would be here on Nevis. Then we went over to the beach at the RestHaven ruins to see if any interesting shells had washed up there since the last time we looked there. After that, we drove north on the main road until we came to Nelson's Spring. If you look towards the ocean there, the freshwater pond is clearly visible from the main road as the road curves around through a 90º bend. We parked the car on the southeastern side of the area not far from the Yachtmans Grill, and got out and started to walk around the eastern edge of the nature preserve, making observations of all various organisms as we went. After an hour or two I got tired and hungry, and the old injury in my left foot started to hurt, so Nikki and I got in the car and she drove us back to the hotel at Oualie.

On this first iNat visit I was only able to survey a small part of the Nelson's Spring natural area. I intend to do at least one more visit before Ed and I leave Nevis on May 12th.

So, the next day, Friday May 3rd, both Ed and I got in a taxi and went to Nelson's Spring, this time starting making observations near the ocean on the south side. We stayed two hours.

And, I am glad to say that Nikki and I made one more visit, on Monday May 6th, before all four of us (Nikki and Monty, plus Ed and Susan) ate lunch at Yachtman's Grill, which was really excellent.

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RESULTS OF THE OVERALL SURVEY:
More than 83 species so far

First visit shown on this page:
https://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/susanhewitt/2024/5/2

Second visit shown on this page:
https://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/susanhewitt/2024/5/3

Third visit is shown on the lower half of this page:
https://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/susanhewitt/2024/5/6

ANIMALIA:

BIRDS:
Gallinule -- one adult and three chicks
Magnificent Frigatebird -- two out over the ocean
Western Cattle Egret -- several
Red-talled Hawk -- one, in immature plumage
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/214042101

MAMMALS:
Domestic Sheep -- droppings, and a live herd
Domestic Cattle -- droppings

FISH:
Fish in the small stream and under the duckweed in the main pond.

INSECTS:
Western Honeybee
Fly (very small)
Beetles: Omophoita albicolis I saw at least two of them
Conotelus sp -- living inside the trumpet of a morning glory flower
Spined Assassin Bug -- One got trapped in the insect net when I was trying to catch a butterfly. Nice bug!
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/213194039
True bugs:
Brachyplatys subaeneus I photographed one.

LEPIDOPTERA/BUTTEFLIES:
White Peacocks -- many
Small yellows -- many
Cloudless Sulphurs -- several
Blues -- several
Green and yellow caterpillar on unknown plant
Gulf Fritillary -- several near the ocean
Monarch -- several seen not far from the ocean
Straight-line Seed Moth -- one in rough grassland near the pond
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/214043290
Cassius Blue --
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/214042186

ODONATA
Banded Dragonlets -- several
Also a clear-winged species of dragonfly, somewhat greenish in color, and larger than the Dragonlets.

Damselflies;
Rambur's Forktail, a mated pair

CRABS:
Land Crabs -- burrows seen
Atlantic Ghost Crabs -- burrows seen
Blackbacked land crab -- shed claw casing

MOLLUSCA:
FRESHWATER GASTROPODA:
Physidae -- alive in the pond right under the duckweed
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/212968574

BRACKISH WATER GASTROPOD:
Virgin Nerite
Found an empty shell on the drive that goes beside the pond.
I remember that many years ago this species lived by the pond. and back then a planorbid also lived in the pond.

MARINE GASTROPODA -- empty shells from the beach there
Rosy Keyhole Limpet
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/213281142
Lottia limpet
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/213219369
Stocky Cerith -- maybe, very worn
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/213219418
Moon Snails
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/213820414

MARINE BIVALVIA -- shells from the beach
Corrugate Jewelbox
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/213219318
Pennsylvania Lucine
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/213219224
Atlantic Strawberry Cockle
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/213219035
Even Prickly Cockle
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/213219138
Calico Clam
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/213218986
King Venus
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/213218933
Purple Venus Clam
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/213218862
Atlantic Kitten's Paw
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/213218799
Atlantic Bittersweet Clam
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/213218723
West Indian Cardita
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/213218671
White Bearded Ark
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/213218634
Turkey Wing
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/213218577
Nucleus Scallop -- several valves
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/213218525
Common Caribbean Donax -- a great many valves
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/213218388
Eared Ark
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/213218525
Florida Tivela
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/213224390

BRYOZOA:
Sargassum Sea Mat -- A little bit, on the beach washed up

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FUNGI

Agricales, gilled mushrooms -- one species
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PLANTAE

TREES:
Country Almond
Neem
Indian Mango
White Cedar
Coconut Palm
Royal Palm -- planted

BUSHES/SMALL TREES
Twisted Acacia
White Leadtree
Turkey Berry
Sea Grape
Castor Bean
Coinvine

SOFT PLANTS AND WEEDS
Coral Vine
Trailing Daisy
Tridax Daisy
Bellyache Bush
Herb of Grace, in the lawn in boggy areas
Creeping Tick trefoil
Turkey Tangle Frogfruit
Little Ironweed
Goatweed
Marsh Fleabane
Teasel Gourd
Asian Spiderflower
Giant Milkweed -- a few very young plants near the main road
Cuban Jute
Nodeweed
Dayflowers
Brazilian Bachelor's Button
Rough Cocklebur
Stinking passionflower

FRESHWATER PLANTS
Duckweed
Water Lettuce
Spotted leaf Water Lily
Southern Cattail

GRASSES
Brownseed Paspalum
Guinea Grass
Numerous other grasses

BROWN ALGAE
Sargassum -- one small piece washed up

Publicado el mayo 1, 2024 01:56 TARDE por susanhewitt susanhewitt

Observaciones

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Bella Alfombra (Phyla nodiflora)

Observ.

susanhewitt

Fecha

Mayo 2, 2024 a las 11:32 MAÑANA AST

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Amaclancle (Solanum torvum)

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susanhewitt

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Mayo 2, 2024 a las 11:33 MAÑANA AST

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Pequeña Hierba de Hierro (Cyanthillium cinereum)

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susanhewitt

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Mayo 2, 2024 a las 11:35 MAÑANA AST

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Hierba de Santa María (Pluchea odorata)

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susanhewitt

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Mayo 2, 2024 a las 11:35 MAÑANA AST

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Moscas Y Mosquitos (Orden Diptera)

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susanhewitt

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Mayo 2, 2024 a las 11:36 MAÑANA AST

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Higuerilla (Ricinus communis)

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susanhewitt

Fecha

Mayo 2, 2024 a las 11:51 MAÑANA AST

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Golondrina (Euphorbia hypericifolia)

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susanhewitt

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Mayo 2, 2024 a las 11:51 MAÑANA AST

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Hierba del Campo (Capraria biflora)

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susanhewitt

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Mayo 2, 2024 a las 11:52 MAÑANA AST

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Papiros Y Juncos (Género Cyperus)

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susanhewitt

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Mayo 2, 2024 a las 11:55 MAÑANA AST

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Abrojo (Xanthium strumarium)

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susanhewitt

Fecha

Mayo 2, 2024 a las 11:56 MAÑANA AST

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Helecho de Playa (Acrostichum danaeifolium)

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susanhewitt

Fecha

Mayo 2, 2024 a las 11:56 MAÑANA AST

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Hierba del Toro (Tridax procumbens)

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susanhewitt

Fecha

Mayo 2, 2024 a las 11:59 MAÑANA AST

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Lenteja de Agua (Lemna minor)

Observ.

susanhewitt

Fecha

Mayo 2, 2024 a las 11:59 MAÑANA AST

Descripción

Scooped up from the edge of the main pond.

Has duckweed, a small fish and a freshwater snail -- Physidae.

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Caracoles Vejiga de Agua Dulce (Familia Physidae)

Observ.

susanhewitt

Fecha

Mayo 2, 2024 a las 12:00 TARDE AST

Descripción

Found right under the duckweed at the edge of the main pond.

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Abeja Melífera Europea (Apis mellifera)

Observ.

susanhewitt

Fecha

Mayo 3, 2024 a las 11:37 MAÑANA AST

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Pasto de Manatí (Syringodium filiforme)

Observ.

susanhewitt

Fecha

Mayo 3, 2024 a las 11:40 MAÑANA AST

Descripción

Washed up on the beach at Nelson's Spring.

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susanhewitt

Fecha

Mayo 3, 2024 a las 02:19 TARDE AST

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susanhewitt

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Mayo 3, 2024 a las 02:26 TARDE AST

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susanhewitt

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Mayo 3, 2024 a las 02:26 TARDE AST

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susanhewitt

Fecha

Mayo 3, 2024 a las 02:27 TARDE AST

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Almeja Pata de Gato del Atlántico (Plicatula gibbosa)

Observ.

susanhewitt

Fecha

Mayo 3, 2024 a las 02:28 TARDE AST

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susanhewitt

Fecha

Mayo 3, 2024 a las 02:29 TARDE AST

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susanhewitt

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Mayo 3, 2024 a las 02:30 TARDE AST

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Almeja Berberecho (Trachycardium isocardia)

Observ.

susanhewitt

Fecha

Mayo 3, 2024 a las 02:33 TARDE AST

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susanhewitt

Fecha

Mayo 3, 2024 a las 03:06 TARDE AST

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susanhewitt

Fecha

Mayo 3, 2024 a las 05:26 TARDE AST

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Lapa Rosada (Fissurella rosea)

Observ.

susanhewitt

Fecha

Mayo 3, 2024 a las 05:38 TARDE AST

Comentarios

I am trying now to add links to the relevant observations. But not everything will have a photo observation.

Publicado por susanhewitt hace 3 meses

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