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National Trust acquires North Side wetlands for future bird sanctuary

Plans are in the works for a new bird sanctuary overlooking North Side’s Malportas pond.

The National Trust recently acquired five-plus acres of shoreland bordering this vitally important feeding site for a host of resident and migratory birds.

Avid birder and National Trust Vice Chair Peter Davey surveyed the future site of the new bird sanctuary Friday morning (3 May) with National Trust Executive Director Nadia Hardie.

“The rains have arrived just in time for the migrating white-rumped sandpipers which have flown all the way from Tierra del Fuego,” said Mr. Davey.

These seasonal wetlands adjacent to Malportas pond represent an important way station for migratory birds.

“It’s the best viewing area for when the birds come in for their seasonal migration, sometimes you will have literally thousands of birds here,” said Mr. Davey.

For centuries, these birds have stopped here to rest and feed during their 9,000 mile trek from South America to Northern Canada.

“They come here because they know this lake is here, it has been, and the moment that it’s destroyed as the moment you’re basically, you have become the weakest link in the migration chain and once that link as we can after and the chain will break and those birds will disappear,” said Mr. Davey.

The land was initially slated for development, but developers sold after realising that filling it would be expensive.

“Pure economics,” said Mr. Davey. “If it would have been profitable to develop this piece of land eventually, then obviously we couldn’t afforded to buy it.”

There’s still much to be done to ready the sanctuary for the public. Plans include a bird hide, interpretive signage, and viewing telescopes.

“We are going to build a viewing tower, and you will have a more general, elevated view of the lake and that is where you might go if for example the flamingos come in, or the roseate spoonbills,” said Mr. Davey.

The National Trust told Cayman 27 it’s hopeful the sanctuary will be open to the public by year’s enduires

About the author

Joe Avary

Joe Avary

Joe Avary has been with Cayman 27 since 2014. He brings 20 years in television experience to the job, working hard every day to bring the people of Cayman stories that inform the public and make a difference in the community. Joe hopes his love for the Cayman Islands shines through in his informative and entertaining weather reports. If you have a story idea for Joe or just want to say hello, call him at or send an email to

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