Walkers Reserve Bird Sightings: Western Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) Western Ospreys migrate from as far north as Nova Scotia, Canada to the Caribbean and sometimes even further to South America. Relatively rare visitors, they can be seen flying with slow, deep wingbeats along the coastline, where they plunge-dive to capture fish from near the surface with their impressively large talons. Ospreys are small birds relative to their prey (mostly fish) and so, they have developed a unique trick. In mid flight, they will readjust the fish and carry it head first in order to reduce drag as they fly! We have seen two Ospreys on site (male and female) and believe they are a breeding pair. Photos: Shae Warren ... See more
Walkers Reserve Bird Sightings: Eurasian Spoonbill This migratory bird stands around 3' high, and is all white except for it's dark legs and bill. Adults have a yellow breast patch somewhat like a pelican. Typically seen frequenting wetland areas, such as marshes, estuaries, rivers and lakes, these quiet birds hunt in shallow water. They use their large bill in a side to side motion to detect prey by touch. Typical diet consists of aquatic insects, and other aquatic animals. With their typical migration routes being between Europe and North Africa, the Spoonbill is well outside of its Eurasian range here. With only two ever recorded sightings in Barbados, it is considered a super rarity. Spoonbills are listed as threatened due to habitat degradation through pollution. The Spoonbill in these photos was spotted flying overhead at Walkers, and then a few days later, Julian Moore of Birds of Barbados spotted the healthy juvenile wading in a stream near Belleplaine, St. Andrew. Thank you Julian for these incredible photos. Photos: Julian Moore (www.100barbadosbirds.blogspot.com) ... See more
Walkers Reserve Bird Sightings: Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) Sometimes mistaken for the Caribbean Coot, the Moorhens have a bright red frontal shield with a yellow tip, while the Coot's bill is white with a black tip. Moorhens are usually found on the edge of open water of lakes, ponds or swampy areas, where they feed on aquatic plants, insects and small fish. Its call is a loud and piercing laugh-like cackle, which can be heard from a distance, as they run on the water to take off! On a global scale, the Moorhen is abundant, but small populations may be prone to severe population decreases due to loss of wetland habitat and over-hunting. We have observed many breeding Gallinules in our ponds in 2017. ------------------------------ Photo: Julian Moore (www.100barbadosbirds.blogspot.com) ... See more
Walkers Reserve Bird Sightings: Masked Duck (Nomonyx dominicus) A member of the stiff-tailed Oxyurini family, the Masked Duck is a relatively small, heavy-set duck. The male Masked Duck's sky blue bill is a stark contrast to its copper brown body. The female exhibits black and brown stripes on its face that help her camouflage very well among the pond edge vegetation. While there is thought to be a small population in Barbados, the Masked Duck typically breeds in Martinique and Guadeloupe. They are freshwater, diving ducks and spend most of their time at Walkers diving and swimming underwater along the pond edges. When startled, they can launch vertically into flight. Being a very shy bird, this species is a somewhat rare sighting in Barbados. At Walkers, we have glimpsed both male and a female with a small brood of ducklings in tow! Photos: Julian Moore (www.100barbadosbirds.blogspot.com) ... See more
Walkers Reserve Bird Sighting: Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) A migratory bird, Peregrines are the largest species of falcon found in the Eastern Caribbean. Peregrine Falcons are ambush predators. Hunting from above, they tuck in their wings to create a 'teardrop' aerodynamic design, and dive down onto unassuming prey. Capable of exceeding 300 km/h in its hunting dives, this is the fastest bird (and animal) in the world. In many parts of the world, Peregrine Falcons have suffered because of the use of pesticides like DDT. Before it was banned globally, DDT sprayed onto farmlands found its way up the food chain in such high quantities that it caused eggshell thinning and breeding failure in many bird species. We are happy to see these beautiful birds making a comeback! **Note: Feeding on other birds, Peregrine Falcons are one of the few bird species that is currently making a rapid recovery since the ban on DDT, because they are well adapted to thrive in modern cities, where prey species (like pigeons) are plentiful** ------------------------------ Photos: Richard Roach ... See more
This week, we will be posting some of our winged friends that we have been lucky enough to share the site with. Being the most easterly island of the Lesser Antilles, Barbados is an important stop-over point for a large number of birds that are migrating from as far as Nova Scotia (Canada) to breeding grounds in South America. We have seen a wide range of these world travellers pass through Walkers, with some even choosing to make Walkers Reserve their home. Please Enjoy and Share! ------------------------------ Walkers Reserve Bird Sightings: Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) The Great Blue Heron is a majestic sight. Standing 3-4 feet tall, and with a wingspan of up to 6 feet, they are the largest of the dark herons. They are typically found near the coast in fresh or brackish water, standing motionless as they scan for prey. Their diet consists of mostly fish, but also lizards, rodents, insects and even snakes, and are known to hunt during the day and night. We have had only a handful of sightings over the migration season. ------------------------------ Photos: Richard Roach & Julian Moore (www.100barbadosbirds.blogspot.com) ... See more
Students from the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA)'s Organic Farming course visiting Walkers Reserve. Ras Mike gave a breakdown of our compost tea brewer and the benefits we have been seeing in the regeneration process. Recent soil tests have shown hugely increased rates in Soil Respiration soon after application of this compost tea. Soil respiration is an important indicator of soil health as it shows the amount of microbial activity and organic matter present. By growing and applying very high numbers of beneficial microorganisms to a system we help boost soil health and therefore the health of an entire system. It is a tool that we could not do without! If you are interested in visiting, and learning about compost tea or other parts of our regeneration process, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. ... See more
The final stage. Adding supers onto the trunk so that the bees have more space to expand into and store honey!
As part of our ongoing project to increase bees in the landscape at Walkers as well as build our small apiculture industry, we successfully moved an entire hive in the log they were living in, from a tree that had to be removed on another site. The hive seems to have weathered the move well and is thriving on our site now. ... See more
This week, the Lower 6 Geography and Environmental Studies students from Queens College, Barbados came for a tour. They learnt about the history of the Quarry, and our transition into regeration. We talked about the challenges we are facing in regeneration efforts. They also learnt some basics of permaculture, organic farming, rainwater harvesting, terracing, and monkey deterrence methods. Thank you Fatima Patel for bringing your class, and we look forward to having more of your students here in the future! ... See more
Author of ‘Geology of Barbados’ Hans Machel got a tour of Walkers today....he had never been to our site before!
Please join our new page if you are interested in getting updates on any of our products or tours.....Walkers Reserve Market Place
Freshly harvested cassava. Organically grown. $3 a lb. It’s amazing. It actually has a taste!!!!Message us to order and pick up. We will have special harvest days.....
For anyone interested in any of our Walkers products.....produce, plants, honey, tours....please join our new Market Place page.....it will keep you posted on whatever we have for sale.... https://www.facebook.com/Walkers-Reserve-Market-Place-1348766878560981/ ... See more
Bringing fresh organic produce to the Belleplaine area. Harvesting the byproduct of our soil regeneration. Supporting our local organic farmers.
Geography students from the University of Delaware came to visit today as part of their study abroad program with the theme of Sustainability in Barbados. They planted (and named) some fruit trees in our Orchard. We hope you had a good visit and please come back to see how Bartholomew and Erle are growing! ... See more
Walkers Reserve was excited to give the Barbados Defense Force a tour of our site today. The exploratory visit was to strengthen ties with Walkers Reserve and expose the regiment to environmental partnerships. We look forward to including the BDF in some of our regeneration programs in the near future! ... See more
Martin Edström from National Geographic toured our site today. Always great to showcase our project to a global audience . https://martinedstrom.com/
Happy New Year from Walkers Reserve! Below, a Before and After comparison… an explosion of green! The difference 6 months of rain can make at Walkers Reserve. This year, be the boss of the growth and development you want to see in your OWN life! On a permaculture site, especially in the Dry Tropics, we must always design thinking about water. It is a valuable resource that if we manage properly, can help us become sustainable. By designing our Orchard rows 'on contour' we allow the rainwater to be Slowed, Stored, and Soaked into the ground, where it acts as passive irrigation. You can see the strips of green on the right side of the photos, even in the Dry season! These techniques allow water to trickle into our crops longer into the dry season. This reduces the need for drip irrigation, and creates a more sustainable agricultural practice that is less dependent on external inputs. ... See more
The YNCA (Young Nature Conservationist Association) were at Walkers over the weekend. As part of their United Nations Development Programme - UNDP and GEF Small Grants Programme Barbados funded projects, they partnered with us to begin our beach restoration project. We planted 100 trees! Seagrape, fatpork and seaside yam. These trees will help revegetate and stabilize the sand dunes. ... See more
November saw the Walkers crew go to the Alleyne School in Bellpaine to help set up some of their beds as part of the Slow Foods School Gardens program.
Once a month, Walkers Reserve partners with Slow Food Barbados and sends its staff into the Belleplaine community to help with their school garden projects . In May we went into A Dacosta Edwards Primary in Belleplaine to start a little perennial food forest along their back fence. Beds were weeded, compost laid out where needed, trees planted and bare soil covered with wood chips . A donated bench and composter were also installed....a great day for everyone! ... See more
We had the experts (without bee suits) visit our hives and give our newly graduated bee crew some advice.......
Congrats to all the Walkers Regeneration crew that attended the Bee Collage and came out with 'flying' colors!
UK School Group participated in a tree planting project on Saturday 21st October 2017
The Bee Collage brought their participants to see our regeneration process as well as all our new hives run by our staff. Everyone had a great experience and lot of useful info was shared
Barbados Community College came to visit today....!