We went to Spittal Pond for the 1 pm Friday tour. We saw Jeffrey's Hole, a cave named for an escaped slave who supposedly hid out here for several weeks with his girl friend bringing him food. We could look down from the bluffs to see parrot fish swimming below.
We saw plants such as Palmetto: formerly used as thatch for roofs, baskets, hats, and the Bay Grape: a native which produces grapelike edible fruits (used for jelly). The leaves have a waxy/ leathery/plastic feel, an adaptation they've developed to repel salt spray. Also the Cedar (endemic), Olivewood Bark (endemic), Spanish Bayonet (native), Prickly Pear (native), Buttonwood, Sea oxeye, Spiked Rush, Widgeon Grass, and Floppier / Life Plant (1813 brought in as a native of Asia).
We also saw birds such as the Kiskadee: introduced 1951 to control Anolis lizard, the Yellow Crowned Night Heron: reintroduced in 1976 to control crabs and the Longtail: native seabird, breeds in summer, mates for life, produces one chick per year, is on the wing all day only returning to roost at night, feeds on a diet of squid and even some non-native such as the flamingo which they said had been blown in from the zoo by a hurricane.
You can do the mile long walk on your own but it is much more interesting with the rangers.
The tour took a couple of hours and we just missed the bus afterwards. This bus route only runs about every 45 minutes.
From the website: Spittal Pond is the National Bermuda Trust’s most important area of open space, containing Bermuda’s largest bird sanctuary and the oldest evidence of humans on the Island. Spittal Pond is part of the necklace of wetlands along the South Shore just inside the former sand dunes. The pond is administered jointly by the Trust and the Department of Agriculture. On top of a high cliff on the southern shore of the reserve is "Spanish Rock". Carved into the rock is the date 1543 and some indecipherable letters, no doubt the work of a lone mariner - probably Portuguese rather than Spanish.
The bus routes (Bus: 1) near here only have a bus about every 45 minutes at the end of the afternoon, so watch your time.
Follow steep Knapton Hill Road west to South Road, turning at the sign for Spittal Pond