Flamingos paint the Acklins horizon pink
Jan 11, 2018
Regal beauties bring color to the fly-fishing island in the south
One of the special treats about visiting Acklins Island is the abundance of flamingos, the regal national birds of the Bahamas. They pop into view unexpectedly when running along the coastline and inside roadside ponds and creeks. Be on the lookout, because they often appear only as a pink color stain on the horizon. You’ll have to stop when you see it and pull over. Upon closer inspection, especially if you have good eyes, a camera or binoculars, you’ll see the distinct long neck and curved black-tipped bills of these skittish birds.
It’s often a surprise because Inagua Island, the most southern of the Bahamian islands, is supposedly the flamingo island of the Bahamas. Now, it is true, the Inagua National Park is a birders paradise, but that is not to the exclusion of other islands. Acklins Island, most known for its amazing fly-fishing flats, is also home to large flocks of West Indian pink flamingos. We share below, three reliable places to spot flamingos in Acklins.
3 Reliable Places to Spot Flamingos in Acklins
- Chester’s Ponds
The road to Chester’s, a northern settlement in Acklins Island, is flooded with creeks and ponds. Once you past Grey’s and continue north to Chester’s, the road literally cuts through wetlands, and is so low lying that water often seeps from the mangroves onto the road. The ponds in Chester’s are prime spots for flamingo spotting, especially the ones near Chester’s Highway Bonefish Lodge.
Flamingo Bay, Long Cay
Long Cay is an offshore island just north-west of Acklins Islands: Long Cay, Acklins and Crooked Island are grouped together in the shape of an inverted C. They form a protective barrier around a 500-square-mile lagoon known as the Bight of Acklins. For fly-fishing enthusiasts, Flamingo Bay, Long Cay is also a cherished location. Its name, however, is owing to its flamingo population.
Just before the “Welcome to Mason’s Bay” road sign, if you’re heading north, there is a group of small off-shore mangrove islands that seem an arm’s length away from the road. They are in fact within walking distance, as the sea that separates the mainland from the most northern island is shallow and passable, preferably with water shoes. Flamingos hang out on the beach and near the mangroves around these islands. If you hike across the cut, you can go in search of the flamingos. Or you can admire them from the comfort of the road.
Flamingos are skittish, so respect the wildlife and don’t unnecessarily spook them. Observe them up close with binoculars, a professional camera, or the zoom lens on your cell phone.