Trinidad & Tobago
August 9 - 19, 1992
Leader: Bill Murphy
Aug. 10 -- Asa Wright Nature Center/Oilbird Cave
Aug. 11 -- Blanchisseuse Road
Aug. 12 -- Lalaja Rd./Trincity Ponds/Caroni Swamp
Aug. 13 -- (Free day) AWNC and Port-of-Spain lagoons
Aug. 14 -- Aripo Savannah, Arena Dam
Aug. 15 -- Agric. Research Center, Nariva Swamp
Aug. 16 -- Tobago: Airport, Buccoo, Arnos Vale
Aug. 17 -- Little Tobago Island
Aug. 18 -- Gilpin Trace, Tobago Highlands
BITTERNS & HERONS
Little Blue Heron
Green-backed Heron (including "Striated")
DUCKS & GEESE
NEW WORLD VULTURES
OSPREY, HAWKS, & EAGLES
American Swallow-tailed Kite
CARACARAS & FALCONS
CHACHALACA & GUAN
CRAKES, RAILS, GALLINULES, & COOT
LAPWING & PLOVERS
SANDPIPERS & RELATIVES
JAEGERS, GULLS, & TERNS
Common Black-headed Gull
DOVES & PIGEONS
MACAWS, PARROTLETS, & PARROTS
CUCKOOS & ANIS
SPINETAILS & RELATIVES
Southern Rough-winged Swallow
GNATWREN & THRUSHES
VIREOS & RELATIVES
HONEYCREEPERS & TANAGERS
GROSBEAKS & BUNTINGS
Total Number of Species = 218
How that compares with previous trips:
Bird Species of Particular Note:
Other Wildlife Observations of Note:
Agoutis, squirrels, speckled caiman, fer-de-lance (along the Oilbird Trail), bats, Anableps (four-eyed fish), Bufo marina (giant marine toad), Hyla maxima (huge tree frog), tiny black cricket frogs, Tegu, Amaiva, and Iguana lizards, geckos, and chocolate-colored "manicou" and several other kinds of land crabs. Also zebu cattle and water buffalo. Remember our native friends Jogie "Speedball" Ramlal, Adolphus James, Vishnu Debie, Winston Nanan, and David "Scintillating Blue Laser Light" Rooks. And don't forget the food -- spicy dishes of chicken and beef, breadfruit casserole, whipped eggplant, okra, callaloo soup, curried dishes of all sorts, Carib and Stag beer, and rum punch made with Vat 19 and Old Oak rum.
- Red-billed Tropicbird: Almost missed it! Thanks to Annie for the first one and to Connie for the closest.
- Scarlet Ibis: Largest flocks in recent years, observed in Caroni Swamp.
- Double-toothed Kite: A wary species; excellent view of an individual perched on a power line.
- Long-winged Harrier: Our timely arrival at Caroni netted us a perfect observation of this difficult species.
- Zone-tailed Hawk: Leisurely opportunity to watch play behavior between two young Zone-taileds.
- Gray-necked Wood-Rail: Heard the unique calls of at least three individuals of this species at the Port-of-Spain lagoons; to my knowledge, never before recorded on any birding tours to Trinidad.
- Cayenne Tern:Several seen at Turtle Beach, Tobago. Nearest nesting colony is on islands north of Venezuela, far to the west of Trinidad. Richard ffrench lumps the species with Sandwich Tern, but the AOU still views them as separate species.
- Plain-breasted Ground-Dove: A pair of them were picked out by Jogie by their call notes at the southern end of Nariva Swamp; a lifer for Bill.
- Yellow-headed Parrot: Viewed from above as it perched with Blue-headed and Orange-winged Parrots near the crest of the Northern Range along Blanchisseuse Road; conspicuously larger than the former two species. Flocks of this species in St. Augustine and eastern Port-of-Spain are considered feral, but this lone individual was miles from any known flock.
- Common Barn-Owl: A common but rarely seen species, identified by Marjorie near the Caroni Swamp boat docks.
- Tropical Screech Owl: Who'd have believed we'd have three of these and a Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl in the same clump?
- Common Potoo: Close look at this bizarre nocturnal goatsucker thanks to Louise's spotlight.
- Oilbird: A unique species seen deep within Guacharo Cave.
- Chestnut-collared Swift: Found nesting in the twilight zone on the cliff face just outside the Oilbird Cave.
- White-collared Swift: All-time high numbers of this usually difficult species were seen in the Northern Range.
- White-tailed Sabrewing: We sure deserved the excellent view we had of this exceedingly rare species on Gilpin Trace (estimated 20-40 individuals at most exist on Tobago). Not only a great bird but a terrific example of stalking by a perfectly behaved birding group!
- Streaked-headed Woodcreeper: A very close encounter with a pair at Bush-Bush Creek, the result of a misidentification by Bill and the availability of Jogie's tape; another lifer for Bill.
- Silvered Antbird: Normally a difficult species to see, observed walking in mangrove roots along Bush-Bush Creek.
- Olive-striped Flycatcher: A rare species, observed low in an orange tree along the entrance road during our first morning walk at Asa Wright. Another lifer for Bill (this never happens)!
- Yellow-legged Thrush: Males and females of this retiring species were observed along Gilpin Trace, Tobago.
- Black-whiskered Vireo: Observed by Louise and Bill near Blanchisseuse Road; a lifer for both of them.
- Ruddy-breasted Seedeater: Several individuals of this rare species were found at Crown Point Airport.
- Moriche Oriole: Extended observation of one bird at Waller Field; usually no hope at all of seeing this species. Lifer number five on the trip for Bill.