Saturday, April 2, 2011

Rufous-vented Chachalaca from Tobago

Rufous-vented Chachalaca
Rufous-vented Chachalaca
An interesting bird, the Chachalaca. They make a lot of noise in the trees and you hear them before you see them. Interesting at first, yes, but after a while we wished they would be quiet so we could hear some other birds. We made rude jokes about calling them Choke-a-lot-ofs instead of Chachalacas.

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Blogger Patrina's Pencil said...

haha - it is quite an interesting bird though.

April 2, 2011 at 11:05 PM  

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Southern Lapwing from Tobago

Southern Lapwing

On our way back from a guided tour of the rain forest in Tobago, Mike saw something by the side of the road. Our driver quickly pulled over so we could get a good look at two Southern Lapwings. It's a pretty common bird to see there, but we thought we might have to miss it. They are mostly seen near marshes and water, and we didn't have time (or energy) for a separate water birds tour. We opted not to go out looking specifically for water birds since a lot of the ones we would see are also seen at home, so it was good luck for us that two Southern Lapwings happened to be crossing our path.

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Yellow Headed Caracara: Trinidad and Tobago

Yellow Headed CaraCaraHawk, Tobago


We observed a Yellow Headed Caracara fairly close up from a boat in Caroni Swamp in Trinidad. A few days later, one flew over our heads in Tobago.

By the way, we usually take a chance and don't get the recommended vaccines when traveling. Perhaps we should if we take a birding trip again since some of the best places for birds are swamps and sewage treatment plants.

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American Oystercatcher: Photo by Rob


Spring touchdown of American Oystercatcher at Barnegat Light, NJ.

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Brant: Photo by Rob



Vagrant West Coast Black Brant found at Lake Como, Belmar, NJ.

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Bananaquit near Blue Waters Inn in Tobago

Blue Waters Inn sign

Beach at Blue Waters Inn, Tobago

Bananaquit getting cotton for nest


We enjoyed the birds quite a bit on our trip to Trinidad and Tobagao. However, the accommodations weren't as luxurious as some of our Caribbean vacations that we take with relaxation and "beach lazing" in mind.

At the Blue Waters Inn there is some cotton growing. It's now wild, left from an earlier plantation. We saw hummingbirds and bananaquits pulling at the cotton to line their nests. Not that we are complaining, but we considered doing the same to increase the thread count on the hotel sheets.

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Blue-grey Tanager from Tobago

Blue-grey Tanager

While we got a few glimpses of these tanagers in Trinidad, they were very common in Tobago.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bearded Bell Bird from Trinidad

Bearded Bell Bird

Now, here is one strange bird. Its "beard" is actually skin that hangs and not feathers. The color gets darker as they age. It is the loudest bird and can be heard all over the forest from a great distance. However, without our excellent guide, Molly, from Asa Wright, we would never have seen them even though they were practically right on top of us. They are like ventriloquists and throw their voices, so we were looking too high.

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American Pygmy Kingfisher from Trinidad

American Pygmy Kingfisher

We had a lot of fun tracking this Pygmy Kingfisher in the swamp. Everyone in our boat wanted to see it, so we didn't give up even though it kept trying to evade us. It is really quite small in comparison to the Belted Kingfishers we see at home. We're having a rum punch tonight while we post just to re-celebrate the good time we had.

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Scarlet Ibises from Coroni Swamp in Trinidad

Scarlet Ibis
Scarlet Ibises in Flight
Juvenile Scarlet Ibises
Scarlet Ibises
Scarlet Ibises

During our stay at the Asa Wright Nature Center, one of the tours off site that we decided to take was to see the evening roosting of the Scarlet Ibises. Fortunately we had a great group of four other birders with us, and the boat tour operators took just the six of us from Asa Wright in our own boat. The trip through the swamp out to the Ibises also resulted in many bird sightings that we will post later, but for now please enjoy this marvelous display put on by the Scarlet Ibises. They come in low over the water by the thousands creating a very spectacular show, and then they roost in trees. After a lot of them were settled, a black hawk flew in which upset the whole group so we got to see them take off and land again. One picture shows the colors of the juveniles before they turn bright scarlet. The picture of the lone Ibis which is closer was taken behind the visitor center where we spent a little while before heading out in the boat.

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Straight-billed Woodcreeper from Trinidad

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Plain-brown Woodcreeper: Trinidad

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Yellow-breasted Flycatcher from Tobago

Blogger Patrina's Pencil said...

He/she is Beautiful and beautiful shot too.

March 29, 2011 at 10:14 PM  

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Horned Grebe in Winter Plumage: Photo contributed by Chris





A couple days ago I spotted this little fellow fighting the windy waves in Lake Musconetcong. I'd never seen him before, and after a bit of research determined that he's a Horned Grebe. During one of his dives I managed to sneak up on him before he turned tail and swam further out to the center of the lake.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Wilson's Snipe: Johnson Park in Piscataway

Wilson's Snipe

A wilson's snipe has been reported in Johnson Park in Piscataway for the past week on the JerseyBirds email list. So, off we went this evening in search of the snipe. Chris found it first and was eventually able to explain to Mike where it was so he could get a few photos.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

i just saw one in New Brunswick, NJ, over on the Theological Seminary property. I wasn't able to get a photo, but was able to identify it because of yours. Thanks! It was so cool! Such a cutie and remained quite close to me. I was surprised and wondered even if it might have a nest there because I was shocked at how close it stayed to me but it was certainly keeping a very close eye on me!

March 24, 2014 at 4:37 PM  

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Golden-Olive Woodpecker from Trinidad

Golden-Olive Woodpecker
Golden-Olive Woodpecker

We adore our woodpeckers at home, so we knew we would be delighted if we were able to see some other varieties of woodpeckers in Trinidad and Tobago. While on the lookout for a Chestnut Woodpecker that had been seen by other birders, we were treated to an appearance by this lovely smaller Golden-Olive Woodpecker. Chris did get a good look at the Chestnut Woodpecker we were stalking, but Mike did not, which is another of many good reasons for a return visit to Trinidad and Tobago.

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Blogger Fly or Die Dan said...

Great birds guys! I'm a big picidae fan as well and some of the woodpeckers in the tropics are just awesome. Hope to see some of these species one day too.

March 29, 2011 at 8:45 PM  
Blogger Patrina's Pencil said...

awwww I want one! :) great clarity and color. lovely

March 29, 2011 at 10:50 PM  

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