birding tours and whalewatching cruises wildlife and birdwatching holidays
home page of the Travelling Naturalist guided wildlife holidays information on our birding and wildlife tours our program of guided birding and wildlife tours list of top wildlife sites visited by the Travelling Naturalist program of wildlife and whale-watching cruises program of tailor-made wildlife and whale-watching cruises birdwatching and natural history trip reports booking conditions for our birding and wildlife tours holiday insurance and visa requirements booking form for your wildlife holiday list of vacancies on our birding tours and guided wildlife holidays list of web sites the Travelling Naturalist would like you to visit next list of web sites the Travelling Naturalist would like you to visit next email address for the Travelling Naturalist birding and wildlife tours


TRAVELLING NATURALIST TRIP REPORT

Trinidad & Tobago

2nd to 15th February 2001


Leader:
Graham Hearl

 

Trip Diary

 

Friday 2nd February Travel Day

We all met at the check in for BWIA and all well on time. The ladies especially had all gelled together. We boarded the plane almost on time but it takes some time to get out of Heathrow so we left about an hour late. The flight was uneventful landing at Antigua and then on to Trinidad where we were met by our guide for the eight days Roodal, the brother of Jogi. When we arrived at Asa Wright we were greeted by a rum punch and then led to our rooms where a sandwich and tea had been left for us. All well tired we retired and awaited the morrow.

 

Saturday 3rd February Asa Wright

Pre dawn there was a tremendous rain storm but it cleared for dawn and most of us met up in the verandah for the spectacular sight of birds feeding on the fruit and hummingbird feeders. We saw lots before breakfast including three Channel-billed Toucan, a Chestnut Woodpecker, a wonderful male Tufted Coquette plus a selection of tanagers and thrushes and a pair of Blue-crowned Motmots all very close. We also saw a few Agouti,

 

We breakfasted at 7-30 am and met up with Roodal at 8-30 am. He led us up the entrance track at Asa Wright where we saw another amazing selection of birds including Black and Turkey Vulture, a nice adult Common Black Hawk and a pair of Grey Hawk. Perhaps the stars were Crested Oropendola at nest, displaying and, of course, their wonderful calls. We also connected with a nice male Little Hermit and Long-billed Starthroat and a male Golden-headed Manakin and White-bearded Manakin. Woodpeckers put in a good appearance too with two Lineated and Golden-Olive. The morning had been spectacular with a wonderful selection of Asa Wright birds, and on the way back we connected with Tegu, a nice stripy lizard.

 

After lunch at the centre we embarked at 2-00 pm for a walk down the 'Discovery Trail' to try for manakins, trogons and Bearded Bellbird. We met up with a local guide called Jason and headed down the track. We connected with White-bearded Manakin but only three males and then heard bellbirds. We searched long and hard and Jill saw two for us well disguised behind leaves BUT then we had absolutely superb views of a male calling and out in full view so that everyone had superb views by binoculars and telescope. Jason meanwhile had found us a White-flanked Antwren but we did not succeed with any trogons - however only the first day so we were keeping our hopes up.

 

At the log we had seen 62 bird species and were due to go out on a night walk with Jason. On the night walk we had fantastic views of a Ferruginous Pygmy Owl with a second one close by. The rest of the walk was very interesting as Jason knew so much about Trinidad flora and fauna.

 

Sunday 4th February Blanchisseuse

Most of us did the usual pre breakfast on the terrace and we left in the two minibuses up and down to Blanchisseuse. We took for ages to get to the lookout BUT we did see all three trogons, a pair of White-tailed giving good views, a fantastically close male Collared Trogon just above us sitting on a branch over the road, and we took a long time to see Violaceous Trogon, but in the end all got good views. We continued to the lookout seeing on the way Zone-tailed Hawk and at the lookout Short-tailed Hawk as well as lots of Turkey and Black Vultures. We also saw Gray-breasted Martin and some Band-rumped Swift. We continued down towards Blanchisseuse getting good views of Blue-headed Parrot and Olive-sided Flycatcher.

 

We arrived at the village by the coast in time for lunch seeing four Brown Pelican, seven Magnificent Frigatebird, a couple of Tropical Kingbird and Short-tailed Swift.

After lunch we went the short distance to Marianne River but there were many people canoeing and swimming so we did not see much there apart from a nice close White Hawk.

 

We therefore returned up the mountain stopping for some fantastic birds that Roodal spotted for us - a Common Potoo VERY close to the road giving everyone superb close views, probably the sight of the week. A Striped Cuckoo again close to the road and Rufous-tailed Jacamar somewhat into the sun ,but a lovely male again very close to the road giving everyone very close views.

It had been a Sunday and therefore busy on the road but not as busy as Asa Wright - as we returned there was a convoy of cars emerging from the centre.

We did our log seeing 60 species in the day with a two day total of 88 bird species

 

Monday 5th February Lalaja highway am. Asa Wright pm

Our usual pre breakfast on the terrace gave us Blue-chinned Sapphire, a Grey-headed Kite perched for all to see and Barred Antshrike. After breakfast we drove the short way to Lalaja Trace or highway as Roodal called it, a certain misnomer as the track had been thoroughly potholed by lorries and bulldozers. However we got quite a way up and then walked to the top. Again however our first stop was out of the minbus half way up and we all saw four very good forest ground dwellers, a fantastic Grey-throated Leaftosser (leafscraper) which just sat on a branch and sang for us, a White-flanked Antwren which gave fleeting glimpses, a Rufous-breasted Wren and finally a White-bellied Antbird which sang for us but into cover so that we all got some excellent views of it.

 

We continued up to the top and walked getting sounds of Trinidad Euphonia with glimpses of same. When we got to the top some of us saw a nice male Trinidad Euphonia but he did not stay long enough for everyone to get a good view. A nice surprise at the top were sightings of raptors including three very early Swallow-tailed Kite, another Grey-headed Kite, a Broad-winged Hawk and of course lots of TVs and BVs.

 

We walked down to the vehicles and drove down the bumpy road back to Asa Wright for lunch having had a splendid morning seeing very difficult forest ground birds.

In the afternoon half the party relaxed and the rest went down the Discovery track seeing a much better White-bearded Manakin lek with nine birds displaying. We also carried on to see and succeeded in Bearded Bellbird there were at least three so we called it a peal of bellbirds. A few of us carried on and did the Chaconia trail and part of the Bamboo Valley Trails seeing very few birds but certainly a nice way of seeing the Asa Wright forest.

 

 

Tuesday 6th February Aripo Agricultural Centre and Nariva area

The usual pre breakfast on the terrace got the usual birds and we started for the Agricultural Centre after breakfast stopping just outside of Arima for a pair of Pearl Kite next to their nest giving excellent views.

 

We continued on to the Agricultural Centre where we stopped for some excellent birding seeing White-headed Marsh Tyrant, Pied Water Tyrant and a selection of waders. We had excellent views of Savannah Hawk, Red-chested Blackbird, White-winged Swallow and Southern Lapwing plus other species.

 

We stopped off at a village called Valencia for a comfort stop but most took a Carib beer. We continued on to the beach at Manzanilla where we took lunch and did a small walk after seeing close BVs and another Pearl Kite.

 

We then continued on by minibus towards Nariva area stopping for brilliant views of a pair of Yellow-headed Caracara mating and then being disturbed by yet another Savannah Hawk. This interaction continued with the caracaras chasing the Savannah Hawk. The day was getting hot, up to or over ninety degrees Fahrenheit, depending on whose gauge we considered. We therefore took to the shadow of trees with Roodal finding us some super birds such as Black-crested Antshrike, Silvered Antbird and Bi-coloured Conebill.

 

We continued on to Nariva swamp seeing many Smooth-billed Ani and a few Blue-black Grassquit but with a super sighting of a Gray Hawk just sitting in a palm tree. There were many Black Vulture clustered round a dead animal but we then decided to go back to the coast and wait for the Red-bellied Macaw. What a sight we must have seen about one hundred and fifty macaws plus a few Orange-winged Parrot but two Yellow-crowned Parrot, a very rare bird indeed that had been released and was now breeding again so we were very lucky to get these two birds.

 

We returned late to Asa Wright but they had saved us some supper and however everyone wanted to do the log so at the end the total for the day was 74 and our running total was 128.

 

 

Wednesday 7th February Asa Wright Oilbirds and Waller Field runway

for night walk

Most of us met for the pre breakfast on the terrace - how could we miss such a spectacle!! After breakfast at 8-30 am we met our guide Chima and walked the trails to the Oilbird cave or rather an enclosed gorge. We all saw a few Oilbird with their glowing eyes and also in flight and what big birds they are. They are now deeper into the gorge and there are about 134 birds all adults as they are just now starting to breed or perhaps at the end of February into March. As the weather had cleared a lot of the group just chilled out on the trails sitting, chatting and perhaps doing a bit of birding and botanizing.

 

We lunched at the normal time of twelve o'clock, relaxed for the afternoon and left for our picnic dinner and night birding at Waller Field aerodrome.

 

We dined at the entrance to the Agricultural centre seeing four fleeting Green-rumped Parrotlet and a nice collection of Yellow-hooded Blackbird coming in to roost in the marsh plus a Striated Heron.

 

After a super meal we continued on to Waller Field Aerodrome where we connected with a Tropical Screech Owl and about ten White-tailed Nightjar and about twelve Pauraque. This was our night ride and we then headed for Asa Wright where we all headed straight to bed.

 

Thursday 8th February Aripo and Arena am, Asa Wright pm

We started early at 6-30 am and stopped for a Merlin in a tree and after at a river crossing on the main road. Here we saw the expected bird a Masked Yellowthroat, Pied Water Tyrant, a Solitary Sandpiper and a Greater Yellowlegs BUT the bird here was a Ringed Kingfisher giving excellent views but flying over.

 

We continued on to the Waller Field Aerodrome where we saw many birds starting off with Southern Beardless Tyrannulet plus many others just in one tree. Just after we stopped for a really rare bird for Trinidad, a Crane Hawk perched in a tree in splendid light, he even gave us a short flight view as well - it was the first record for Trinidad and only seen about three times, the first just before Christmas. White-tailed Goldenthroat (a hummer) kept us occupied for some time even seeing the nest whilst a Ruby-topaz Hummingbird flew quite close. We even saw Fork-tailed Palm Swift about twenty and plenty of flycatchers including a Bran-coloured. We then drove down a rather bumpy track and picked up a flight view of Bat Hawk. By now everyone was somewhat birded out so we stopped at Cumuto village seeing a tree full of Yellow-rumped Cacique whilst most of us took a beer.

 

We continued on to the Arena forest where we took lunch by a couple of bats and seeing a pair of Green-rumped Parrotlet very close up giving most of us splendid views.

 

We then headed back to Asa Wright for a free afternoon.

 

After dinner we went for another night walk up the road hoping for another sighting of Ferruginous Pygmy Owl but no luck, however we did see an opossum.

Our total at the log for the day was 72, and our running total now 143

 

Friday 9th February Waterloo and Caroni Swamp

Our usual pre breakfast on the terrace and then the long haul down to Waterloo, a nice muddy area right on the coast. But first we stopped at Trincity sewage works seeing Little Grebe, Black-necked Stilt, various swallows and good views of Yellow-hooded Blackbird plus of course five Spectacled Cayman.

 

We continued on to Waterloo where the tide was right for us and we saw quite a few new bird species such as over one thousand Laughing Gull, many Black Skimmer, a few Willet and Greater Yellowlegs plus Semi-palmated Sandpiper and Semi-palmated Plover with a rare bird for the Americas, three Lesser Black-backed Gull but no terns of any kind. Here we also saw close Osprey and Turnstone.

 

We then headed for Cacundie via various doctors for Katharine but all were out. At Cacundie, a mangrove area we had glimpses of Straight-billed Woodcreeper and Bi-coloured Conebill plus a mongoose walked across the track for us. We returned to the doctor for Katharine's bad ankle and continued on to Caroni Swamp. The boat trip down the waterways was somewhat uneventful until we saw an extremely close adult Scarlet Ibis just sitting in a tree and a close Straight-billed Woodcreeper. Further on there were some more Scarlet Ibis and a good tree where we saw Yellow Warbler, more Bi-coloured Conebill and a wonderful male American Redstart.

 

Soon after we moored by some other boats and had our rum punch whilst the Scarlet Ibis were coming in to roost. An absolutely stunning experience seeing well over one thousand five hundred of them plus many Tri-coloured Heron, Snowy Egret and Olivaceous Cormorant. We stayed until dusk and returned to Asa Wright Centre did the log, now up to a total of one hundred and eighty bird species and most of us headed for bed.

 

Saturday 10th February Travel to Tobago, afternoon at leisure.

We all hung around the Asa Wright verandah getting our last looks at the tremendous range of species coming to the feeders, had breakfast and left for Tobago. Only a fifteen minute flight but by bus to Blue Waters Inn an hour and a half on the Atlantic coast road. At Blue Waters Inn we lunched and took the afternoon off for swimming, walking, looking at birds etc.

 

Sunday 11th February Little Tobago and afternoon walk

We all did a pre breakfast walk down to the stream at the entrance to Blue Waters Inn but there was little there except some Cattle egret, a few Little Blue Heron and an adult and immature Yellow-crowned Night Heron. Our walk back to the hotel got us a female White-fringed Antwren, a large group of Shiny Cowbird and two White-tipped Dove. We had seen a larger group of doves at the bridge, which turned out to be Pale-vented Dove.

 

After breakfast we met on the quay for our trip to Little Tobago, it was quite rough so a couple of the ladies were not that keen, however they all came and what a trip. We started off with a cruise around the reefs seeing some excellent fish including a large Barracuda on the Angel reef off the small island called Goat Island. The sea was heavy but we arrived at Little Tobago and we all disembarked one by one. Our guide was Larry who knew the island well for birds, plants and history. At the tumble down house he put out water and showed us a Crested Oropendola nest (I think it was nailed to the porch!!) Just after we spotted a Ruby-topaz Hummingbird which just sat there until it showed it's superb colouration of head and throat, when everybody said WOW!! which put it to flight.

 

We carried on up to the viewpoint and saw lots of Red-billed Tropicbird, Brown Booby and a nest of Red-footed Booby, an immature plus two adults. Larry then took us down a steep track and showed us very close, down to one metre, Red-billed Tropicbird on nests, a full grown immature with an adult and another just sitting on eggs - he also showed us an Audubon's Shearwater again very close by the path sitting and showing its back and tail. We had had a superb morning watching tropicbirds, frigate birds, boobies, even a spectacle to match the Scarlet Ibis at Caroni swamp.

Half the group indulged in an afternoon walk above the Blue Waters Inn. For a start we saw the female White-fringed Antwren at the top of the entrance road and soon after we had super views of a pair of Rufous-tailed Jacamar. The birds were a bit scarce but we did see two hawks in the air and Jill spotted a flycatcher which we identified as Fuscous Flycatcher. The only other birds seen on the walk were an Osprey and two Black-faced Grassquit. We returned for some to have a swim and met up at six o'clock to do the log have the buffet dinner and hear the solo pan man.

 

Monday 12th February Buccoo marsh, Grafton estate, Courland bay

Weather hot and sunny except when we returned to Speyside when cloudy with a bit of rain. We looked on the beach before breakfast in the hope of a Belted Kingfisher but no luck presumably because of the tremendous winds blowing from Africa.

 

We left at eight o'clock for Buccoo marsh arriving at about nine - thirty. We entered the area and immediately got into egrets and herons with a new species Red-crowned Woodpecker obviously making a nest hole. We also saw at this spot Greater Yellowlegs and Southern Lapwing, Great Egret and a Green-rumped Parrotlet. We continued on to the best wet area and saw many Black-bellied Whistling Duck,

Wattled Jacana, Common Moorhen and a Blue-winged Teal. We quartered the mangroves for White-cheeked Pintail but no luck as hunting is a big thing in this area and now the duck all try to hide themselves in the mangrove roots. We connected with Scrub Greenlet and eventually Lesser Yellowlegs.

 

We emerged from Buccoo marsh and headed for Grafton estate for lunch eating our sandwich whilst looking at the birds on the feeder. These included Rufous-vented Chachalaca, yet another Red-crowned Woodpecker plus the usual tanagers and of course Bananaquit.

 

After lunch we walked the trails at Grafton having to miss the boat trip to Buccoo reef due to the very windy weather. On the trails we heard Blue-backed Manakin but due to the wind they were well into the forest. However we did connect with a lovely male White-fringed Antwren. We finished the day at Courland Bay to see a selection of sea birds but again due to the heavy winds the selection was a bit sparse. However we did connect with Royal Tern, Sandwich Tern, Brown Pelican and one Brown Booby. In fact the pelicans connected with a shoal of fish and gave us a superb fishing display diving in large numbers.

 

This was the end of our day and it took us an hour and a half to get back to Blue Waters Inn. We did the log at six thirty with our grand total now at two hundred bird species including four heard.

 

Tuesday 13th February The Mountains

Our usual pre breakfast to the stream got us a nice Northern Waterthrush giving good views.

 

We left for the mountains at eight o'clock travelling straight to Gilpin Trace. The track was of course muddy so after a walk halfway down the track most of the party went on to the waterfall. We all saw White-tailed Sabrewing, Rufous-tailed Jacamar and heard Blue-backed Manakin. When the party split both parties saw eventually the Blue-backed Manakin and the party left behind saw Rufous-breasted Hermit on and close to nest. When we merged again we all saw yet another Blue-backed Manakin. Now everyone's boots were muddy so we cleaned them at the entrance and we had to use our brollies for a short shower.

 

We lunched at the viewpoint overlooking the Caribbean Sea with yet another really good sandwich but no Great Black Hawk. We decided to bird the road after lunch and almost immediately we saw good flight views of an adult Great Black Hawk so everyone was happy. We walked down the road for birds and our coach travelled down to Roxborough to have a puncture mended and yes we all got caught in a very heavy shower. However all had brollies or raincoats so we just stood by the road looking like miserable herons. The shower brought out the birds and we saw Buff-throated Woodcreeper and another glimpse of Red-legged Honeycreeper plus a few ‘heards' such as Chivi Vireo. We continued down and stopped on a corner where we walked down a private path. This was wonderful for us as we spotted a couple of pairs of Red-legged Honeycreeper giving everyone excellent views plus a stunning White-necked Jacobin in full view perched - a super end to the day and our holiday.

 

Wednesday 14th February Travel day to UK

Our usual pre breakfast walk down to the stream was amazing. The sky cleared and our first sighting was of an adult Great Black Hawk, we then connected with a Spotted Sandpiper, a Striated Heron, two Grey Kingbirds AND an Ornate Hawk Eagle being harassed by a Broad-winged Hawk, the size difference was dramatic.

 

At the Immortelle trees we had very good views of a Red-crowned Woodpecker on a telegraph post and also very good views of a male Ruby-topaz Hummingbird.

 

We then decided to head back for breakfast and saw the two Yellow-crowned Night Heron, an adult and immature and further up the slope yet another Black-faced Grassquit. We breakfasted then packed whilst some went for a swim and others birdwatched as we had to be out of our rooms by eleven o'clock. As we were not leaving till two in the afternoon I organized a sandwich lunch for everyone.

Four of the group went to Charlotteville, a very pretty fishing village and they saw some good birds such as Red-legged Honeycreeper. We had lunch and travelled to the airport saying our farewells to Colin & Ruth and Peter & Maggie who were staying on for a few days at Crown Point. The rest of us were booked through at the Tobago Airport which is a great improvement.

 

The weather had been very mixed on Trinidad with cloud, rain and hot and sunny, , but we all saw the very best of Trinidad bird species. Colin recorded the temperatures daily in Fahrenheit from 75 degrees at Asa Wright up to 95 degrees at Waterloo.

It had been very windy on Tobago at Blue Waters Inn so we did not see the usual species down by the stream. Colin recorded temperatures in Fahrenheit from 78 degrees up to 89 degrees at Buccoo marsh.

 

The whole tour had been splendid with fantastic views of all sorts of birds such as the verandah at Asa Wright, the sight of Red-bellied Macaws coming in to roost at Nariva swamp, the splendid and fantastic sight at Caroni swamp of over one thousand five hundred Scarlet Ibis going to roost complete with rum punch.

 

In Tobago the sight of all the Red-billed Tropicbirds on Little Tobago complete with very close sightings down to a few feet of two Red-billed Tropicbirds on nests with another very close Audubon's Shearwater also on it's nest. I could go on and on so how about the Crane Hawk - a first for Trinidad.

 

I am sure everybody has their own special moment in fact I think the Bananaquits are the birds of the trip as we saw them every day and they are so cute especially at Blue Water Inn.

 

Addendum Wednesday 14th February Travel day

When we left from Trinidad at night HOWEVER the radar on the plane went down. We were going to return to Trinidad to have it put right but the captain said that it had recovered - WRONG!! When we arrived in Antigua we waited whilst they fiddled with the radar but to no avail so we were put up at a hotel for the night arriving at the Beachcomber Hotel at about two thirty in the morning on Thursday 15th, the hotel was right on the beach with a swimming pool.

 

Thursday 15th February Antigua and Travel day

I am sure everyone was very happy for the extra day in Antigua as the weather was lovely and sunny and we were leaving for Antigua airport at four in the afternoon. We actually did some very good birding in the hotel grounds seeing Antillean Crested Hummingbird, Green-throated Carib (another hummer), Lesser Antillean Bullfinch that came into the dining room stealing sugar packets, Zenaida Dove, B&Qs of course, Royal Terns, Brown Pelican plus Carib Grackles and Tropical Mockingbirds. Everybody was happy as the weather was lovely and hot all day so most paddled in the sea and swam in the pool.

 

 

 

Acknowledgements

To all the party for being such good company and to our local guides such as Roodal and Adolphus for being such experts in their territory

 

Graham Hearl, Mallorca

 

BIRDS

Least Grebe Tachybaptus dominicus

Nine at Trincity on 9th and three at Buccoo marsh on 12th

Audubon's Shearwater Puffinus lherminieri

One seen sitting very close on Little Tobago on 11th

Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus

Lots seen on Little Tobago on 11th with two nests with birds very close

Red-footed Booby Sula sula

Three seen on Little Tobago on 11th

Brown Booby Sula leucogaster

Three seen near Blue Waters Inn on 10th and many on Little Tobago on 11th with one at Courland Bay on 12th

Anhinga / American Darter Anhinga anhinga

Two seen on 9th at Waterloo and singles seen on 12th at Buccoo marsh and Courland bay

Olivaceous / Neotropical Cormorant Phalacrocorax olivaceus

Recorded on 9th at Trincity, Waterloo and Caroni Swamp

Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis

Recorded on seven days from Blachisseuse on 4th to 14th on Tobago plus one on Antigua

Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens

Recorded on nine days from 4th to 14th

Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias

One seen on 9th at Caroni swamp

Cocoi / White-necked Heron Ardea cocoi

Two seen on 6th at Aripo

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis

Recorded on eight days from 6th to 14th plus twenty plus on Antigua

Great [White] Egret Egretta alba

Seen on four days, 6th at Aripo and Nariva, 7th and Waller Field, 9th at Trincity and 12th at Buccoo marsh

Tricolored Heron Egretta tricolor

Thirty plus seen at Caroni swamp on 9th

Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea

Recorded on six days from 9th to 14th

Snowy Egret Egretta thula

Many seen on 9th at Waterloo and Caroni swamp

Little Egret Egretta garzetta

One seen at Trincity on 9th

Striated Heron Butorides striatus

Recorded on five days from 6th to 9th from Aripo, Nariva to Trincity with one on 14th at Blue Waters Inn

Yellow-crowned Night-heron Nyctanassa violacea

Seen at Caroni swamp on 9th and an adult and immature seen at Blue Waters Inn on four days from 10th to 14th

Least Bittern Ixobrychus exilis

One seen at Trincity on 9th

Scarlet Ibis Eudocimus ruber

Seen at Caroni swamp on 9th, close singles seen and one thousand five hundred coming in to roost

Black-bellied Whistling-duck Dendrocygna autumnalis

Thirty plus seen at Buccoo marsh on 12th

Blue-winged Teal Anas discors

One seen at Buccoo marsh on 12th

[American] Black Vulture Coragyps atratus

Recorded on every day in Trinidad from 3rd to 10th

Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura

Recorded on every day in Trinidad from 3rd to 10th

Osprey Pandion haliaetus

Recorded in Trinidad at Waterloo and Caroni swamp on 9th and singles in Tobago from 10th to 13th

Grey-headed Kite Leptodon cayanensis

Two and one at Asa Wright and Lalaja Trace on 5th

American Swallow-tailed Kite Elanoides forficatus

Three very early migratory birds at Lalaja Trace on 5th

Pearl Kite Gampsonyx swainsonii

One pair at a nest on the way to Aripo and another singleton at Manzanilla on 6th with another on 7th at Waller Field

Plumbeous Kite Ictinia plumbea

One at Aripo/Arena on 8th

White Hawk Leucopternis albicollis

Two at Asa Wright on 3rd and one on the return from Blanchisseuse on 4th

Common Black-hawk Buteogallus anthracinus

Singles seen on 3rd and 4th at Asa Wright and the road to Blanchisseuse and two on 6th at Nariva area

Great Black-hawk Buteogallus urubitinga

One seen flying over the Tobago rain forest on 13th and one at Blue Waters Inn on 14th

Savannah Hawk Buteogallus meridionalis

Ones and twos seen on 6th, 7th and 8th at Aripo, Nariva and Waller Field

Grey Hawk Asturina plagiata

One seen in the Nariva area on 6th

Broad-winged Hawk Buteo platypterus

Singles seen on 4th and 5th at Blanchisseuse and Lalaja Trace and Asa Wright with pairs at Blue Waters Inn on 11th and 14th

Short-tailed Hawk Buteo brachyurus

One seen near Blanchisseuse on 4th

Zone-tailed Hawk Buteo albonotatus

One on 4th at Aripo, two on 8th at Aripo/Waller Field and one at Trincity on 9th

Ornate Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus ornatus

One seen well in flight being harassed by a Broad-winged Hawk at Blue Waters Inn on 14th

Crane Hawk Geranospiza caerulescens

One seen extremely well perched and flying at Waller Field on 8th, the first for Trinidad

Yellow-headed Caracara Milvago chimachima

A pair seen very well at Manzanilla/Nariva area on 6th, three more on 8th at Aripo and singles at Trincity and near Trinidad airport on 9th and 10th

Merlin Falco columbarius

Singles seen on 7th at Asa Wright and another single on 11th at Blue Waters Inn

Bat Falcon Falco rufigularis

A single seen briefly in flight near Waller Field on 8th

Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus

A single seen on 9th at Caroni swamp

Rufous-vented Chachalaca Ortalis ruficauda

Many seen very well at Blue Waters Inn from 10th to 14th

[American] Purple Gallinule Porphyrula martinica

Two seen at Nariva on 6th and five plus on 9th at Trincity

Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus

Five plus seen at Trincity on 9th and again at Buccoo marsh on 12th

Wattled Jacana Jacana jacana

Seen at Nariva and Aripo on 6th and 7th and again on 9th at Caroni swamp

Black-necked / S.American Stilt Himantopus mexicanus

Fourteen seen at Trincity on 9th

Southern Lapwing Vanellus chilensis

Six seen at Trinidad airport on 2nd and then recorded on six days from 6th to 12th at Aripo, Trincity and Buccoo marsh

Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus

Twelve seen at Waterloo on 9th

Hudsonian Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus hudsonicus

Twenty plus seen at Waterloo on 9th and a singleton on 12th at Buccoo marsh

Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca

One at Aripo on 8th, ten plus at Waterloo on 9th and four plus at Buccoo marsh on 12th

Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes

A singleton at Buccoo marsh on 12th

Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria

Three at Aripo on 6th another at Aripo on 8th and two at Buccoo marsh on 12th

Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularia

One at Nariva area on 6th, again at Trincity on 9th, twos at Blue Waters Inn and Buccoo marsh on 11th and 12th and one at Blue Waters Inn on 14th

Willet Catoptrophorus semipalmatus

Many seen at Waterloo on 9th

Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres

Two on the Nariva beach on 6th, and recorded on six days from 9th to 14th with a maxima of twenty all at Blue Waters Inn

Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla

Twenty two plus at Waterloo on 9th

Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla

Four at Aripo on 6th

Laughing Gull Larus atricilla

One thousand plus at Waterloo on 9th and a few at Courland Bay on 12th

Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus

Three seen at Waterloo on 9th

Royal Tern Sterna maxima

Six plus seen at Courland Bay on 12th and a few seen in Antigua on 15th

Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis

Four seen at Courland Bay on 12th

Black Skimmer Rynchops niger

At least fifty seen at Waterloo on 9th

Scaled Pigeon Columba speciosa

One seen at Asa Wright on3rd and 7th

Pale-vented Pigeon Columba cayennensis

Recorded in Tobago mostly at Blue Waters Inn from 11th to 14th

Eared Dove Zenaida auriculata

Two plus at Caroni swamp on 9th and at Buccoo marsh and Grafton estate on 12th

Zenaida Dove Zenaida aurita

A few seen on Antigua on 15th

Common Ground-dove Columbina passerina

Two seen on 8th at Aripo

Plain-breasted Ground-dove Columbina minuta

Two seen on 8th at Aripo

Ruddy Ground-dove Columbina talpacoti

Recorded on ten days from 3rd to13th in Trinidad and Tobago

White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi

Recorded in Tobago mainly at Blue Waters Inn from 10th to 14th

Grey-fronted Dove Leptotila rufaxilla

Singles recorded from 3rd to 10th in Trinidad at Asa Wright

Ruddy Quail-dove Geotrygon montana

A female seen at Asa Wright from 3rd to 10th

Red-bellied Macaw Ara manilata

One hundred and fifty seen coming to roost at Nariva on 6th and twelve plus at Aripo on 8th

Green-rumped Parrotlet Forpus passerinus

Two seen at Arena on 8th and two plus two seen at Buccoo marsh on 12th

Lilac-tailed Parrotlet Touit batavica

Flight views of fourteen at Waller Field on 8th

Blue-headed Parrot Pionus menstruus

A pair seen at Asa Wright on 3rd and 4th

Yellow-crowned Parrot Amazona ochrocephala

Two seen coming to roost at Nariva on 6th. This parrot has been re released and is now breeding in the area

Orange-winged Parrot Amazona amazonica

Recorded on eleven days from Asa Wright and sites in Trinidad to sites in Tobago

Squirrel Cuckoo Piaya cayana

One heard at Asa Wright on 3rd

Smooth-billed Ani Crotophaga ani

Recorded on nine days from 4th to 10th in Trinidad and on 12th and 13th in Tobago

Striped Cuckoo Tapera naevia

One seen on the road returning from Blanchisseuse on 4th and heard on 8th at Aripo

Tropical Screech-owl Otus choliba

One seen on 7th at Waller Field

Ferruginous Pygmy-owl Glaucidium brasilianum

Two seen at Asa Wright on 3rd and heard on 5th and 6th at Asa Wright

Oilbird Steatornis caripensis

A few seen on 7th at Asa Wright. There is a total of one hundred and thirty four birds in the cave

Common / Grey Potoo Nyctibius griseus

One seen very well close to the road from Blanchisseuse on 4th

Semi-collared/Short-tailed Nighthawk Lurocalis semitorquatus

One seen on four days at Asa Wright from 3rd to 6th

Pauraque Nyctidromus albicollis

Up to twelve seen at Waller Field on 7th

White-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus cayennensis

Up to ten seen at Waller Field on 7th

Band-rumped Swift Chaetura spinicauda

Recorded on three days on the road to Blanchisseuse on 4th, at Asa Wright on 6th and at Waller Field on 7th

Grey-rumped Swift Chaetura cinereiventris

Recorded on three days at Asa Wright on 3rd on the road to Blanchisseuse on 4th and at Aripo on 6th

Short-tailed Swift Chaetura brachyura

At Blanchisseuse on 4th, at Caroni swamp on 9th, near the airport on 10th and at Blue Waters Inn from 11th to 13th

Fork-tailed Palm-swift Tachornis squamata

Twenty plus at Waller Field on 8th

Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift Panyptila cayennensis

Singles recorded at Asa Wright on 3rd and 4th

Rufous-breasted Hermit Glaucis hirsuta

Pairs at Gilpin Trace and in the mountains in Tobago on 13th

Little Hermit Phaethornis longuemareus

Singles recorded on four days at Asa Wright, Blanchisseuse, Lalaja Trace and Asa Wright on 3rd, 4th, 5th and 8th

White-tailed Sabrewing Campylopterus ensipennis

Four plus at Gilpin Trace on 13th

White-necked Jacobin Florisuga mellivora

Recorded on nine days at Asa Wright and at Gilpin Trace in Tobago on 13th

Black-throated Mango Anthracothorax nigricollis

Recorded on eleven days at Asa Wright from 3rd and at Blue Waters Inn

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird Chrysolampis mosquitus

This stunning bird seen three on 8th at Waller Field, a superb male on Little Tobago on 11th and at Blue Waters Inn on 12th and a pair on 14th

Tufted Coquette Lophornis ornatus

Seen at Asa Wright from 3rd to 7th and on 10th

Blue-chinned Sapphire Chlorestes notatus

Seen on three days at Asa Wright with a maxima of four from 4th to 6th

White-tailed Goldenthroat Polytmus guainumbi

A pair seen at Waller Field on 8th, this is a rare hummingbird

White-chested Emerald Amazilia chionopectus

Seen on three days at Asa Wright on 5th, 6th and 8th

Copper-rumped Hummingbird Amazilia tobaci

Recorded at Asa Wright and other sites including Tobago on eleven days from 3rd to 13th

Long-billed Starthroat Heliomaster longirostris

One seen at Asa Wright on 3rd

Green-throated Carib Eulampis holosericeus

Singles seen at Beachcomber Hotel, Antigua on 15th

Antillean Crested Hummingbird Orthorhyncus cristatus

Singles seen at Beachcomber Hotel, Antigua on 15th

White-tailed Trogon Trogon viridis

Two seen on the road to Blanchisseuse on 4th and singles at Asa Wright on 5th

Collared Trogon Trogon collaris

One seen over the road to Blanchisseuse on 4th

Violaceous Trogon Trogon violaceus

One seen on the road to Blanchisseuse on 4th and at Asa Wright on 5th, 7th and 8th

Ringed Kingfisher Ceryle torquata

A female seen flying across a stream near Aripo on 8th

Green Kingfisher Chloroceryle americana

One seen at Caroni swamp on 9th

Blue-crowned Motmot Momotus momota

Recorded on all days at Asa Wright and other sites in Trinidad and at Blue Waters Inn in Tobago

Rufous-tailed Jacamar Galbula ruficauda

Four seen on the road to Blanchisseuse and near Blue Waters Inn from 11th to 13th

Channel-billed Toucan Ramphastos vitellinus

Up to four seen at Asa Wright on six days from 3rd to 10th

Red-crowned Woodpecker Melanerpes rubricapillus

Only seen in Tobago with two plus one on 12th and a singleton on 14th

Red-rumped Woodpecker Veniliornis kirkii

One seen at Asa Wright on 10th and another at Gilpin Trace on 13th

Golden-olive Woodpecker Piculus rubiginosus

Singles seen at Asa Wright on 3rd and another at Gilpin Trace on 13th

Chestnut Woodpecker Celeus elegans

Up to two seen on the feeders on six days at Asa Wright from 3rd to 9th

Lineated Woodpecker Dryocopus lineatus

Two seen at Asa Wright on 3rd and another at Caroni swamp on 9th

Plain-brown Woodcreeper Dendrocincla fuliginosa

Four seen at Asa Wright on 8th

Straight-billed Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus picus

Two seen at Caroni swamp on 9th

Buff-throated / Cocoa Woodcreeper Xiphorhynhus guttatus susurrans

One and two seen at Gilpin Trace and the mountains on 13th

Stripe-breasted Spinetail Synallaxis cinnamomea

One seen at Gilpin Trace on 13th

Yellow-chinned Spinetail Certhiaxis cinnamomea

Singles seen on 6th at Aripo area and again on 7th at Waller Field

Grey-throated Leaftosser Sclerurus albigularis

A singleton seen very well perched for all at Lalaja Trace on 5th

Streaked Xenops Xenops rutilans

One seen at Asa Wright on 3rd

Great Antshrike Taraba major

Recorded on all days at Asa Wright seeing up to two males and a female from 3rd to 10th

Black-crested Antshrike Sakesphorus canadensis

A pair seen on 6th at Nariva area

Barred Antshrike Thamnophilus doliatus

Seen at Asa Wright on 4th, 5th and 8th and at Blue Waters Inn on 10th, 11th, 13th and 14th

White-flanked Antwren Myrmotherula axillaris

Two plus seen at Lalaja Trace on 5th

White-fringed Antwren Formicivora grisea

Seen from 10th to 14th at and near Blue Waters Inn

Silvered Antbird Sclateria naevia

One seen on the road from Blanchisseuse on 4th and a pair in the Nariva area on 6th

 

White-bellied Antbird Myrmeciza longipes

One seen at Lalaja Trace on 5th

Black-faced Antthrush Formicarius analis

Heard on three days from 3rd to 5th

Ochre-bellied Flycatcher Mionectes oleagineus

One seen at Asa Wright am and pm on 3rd and another in the mountains of Tobago on 13th

Slaty-capped Flycatcher Leptopogon superciliaris

Seen at Asa Wright on 3rd, at Lalaja Trace on 5th and one in the mountains of Tobago on 13th

Southern Beardless Tyrannulet Camptostoma obsoletum

One at Asa Wright on 3rd and two at Aripo/Waller Field on 8th

Forest Elaenia Myiopagis gaimardii

One seen at Asa Wright on 3rd

Yellow-bellied Elaenia Elaenia flavogaster

Two seen in the Nariva area on 6th and again at Aripo/Waller Field on 8th

Yellow-breasted Flycatcher Tolmomyias flaviventris

Singles seen at Aripo/Waller Field on 8th, Caroni swamp on 9th and Buccoo marsh on 12th

White-throated Spadebill Platyrinchus mystaceus

One seen at Gilpin Trace on 13th

Bran-coloured Flycatcher Myiophobus fasciatus

One seen at Aripo/Waller Field on 8th

Fuscous Flycatcher Cnemotriccus fuscatus

One seen near Blue Waters Inn on 11th and three in the mountains of Tobago on 13th

Olive-sided Flycatcher Contopus borealis

Singles seen at Asa Wright on 3rd and to Blanchisseuse on 4th

Tropical Pewee Contopus cinereus

Two seen at Asa Wright on 3rd and two at Lalaja Trace on 5th

Pied Water-tyrant Fluvicola pica

Seen on four days from 6th to 9th at Aripo and Caroni swamp area

White-headed Marsh-tyrant Arundinicola leucocephala

Seen at Aripo and Nariva area on 6th

Dusky-capped Flycatcher Myiarchus tuberculifer

Singles seen to Blanchisseuse and Lalaja Trace on 4th and 5th

Brown-crested Flycatcher Myiarchus tyrannulus

Singles seen at Lalaja Trace on 5th and at Caroni swamp area on 9th with three and one at Buccoo marsh and Grafton estate on 12th

Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus

Recorded on ten days from 4th to 14th

Fork-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus savana

Four seen on 9th at Trincity

Grey Kingbird Tyrannus dominicensis

Seen at Aripo and Nariva area on 6th, at Waller Field on 7th, at Trincity on 9th, at Buccoo marsh on 12th and two at Blue Waters Inn on 14th

Sulphury Flycatcher Tyrannopsis sulphurea

Two seen at Aripo/Waller Field on 8th

Boat-billed Flycatcher Megarhynchus pitangua

Singles seen at Asa Wright on 3rd and 7th and at Trincity on 9th

Streaked Flycatcher Myiodynastes maculatus

Singles seen at Asa Wright on 3rd and 5th and at Trincity on 9th

Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus

Recorded on eight days from 3rd to 10th and all in Trinidad

Black-tailed Tityra Tityra cayana

Two and one seen at Asa Wright on 6th and 8th

Golden-headed Manakin Pipra erythrocephala

Two seen at Asa Wright on 3rd and one to Blanchisseuse on 4th

Blue-backed Manakin Chiroxiphia pareola

Heard at Grafton estate on 12th but two plus two seen well at Gilpin Trace on 13th

White-bearded Manakin Manacus manacus

Seen well at Asa Wright on 3rd, 5th, 7th and 8th with a maxima of twenty plus at the manakin lek

 

Bearded Bellbird Procnias averano

Heard and seen very well at Asa Wright on 3rd, 5th and 7th

White-winged Swallow Tachycineta albiventer

Seen perched and of course flying at Aripo and Waller Field on 6th and 7th

Caribbean Martin Progne dominicensis

Two seen at Buccoo marsh at a nest hole on 12th

Grey-breasted Martin Progne chalybea

Seen on Trinidad on 4th, 6th, 8th, 9th and 10th

Southern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx ruficollis

Seen on three days in Trinidad on 4th, 6th and 8th

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica

Seen on one days at Trincity on 9th

Rufous-breasted Wren Thryothorus rutilus

Singles seen to Blanchisseuse on 4th, at Lalaja Trace on 5th, at Waller Field on 8th, Trincity on 9th and Gilpin Trace on 13th

House Wren Troglodytes aedon

Up to two recorded on six days at Asa Wright from 5th to 10th

Tropical Mockingbird Mimus gilvus

Recorded on all days from 3rd to 14th and 15th

Yellow-legged Thrush Platycichla flavipes

Only seen on Tobago at Gilpin Trace on 13th

Cocoa Thrush Turdus fumigatus

Recorded on eight days at Asa Wright from 3rd to 10th

Bare-eyed Thrush Turdus nudigenis

Recorded on eight days at Asa Wright from 3rd to 10th and at Blue Waters Inn on 12th and 13th

White-necked Thrush Turdus albicollis

Two seen to Blanchisseuse on 4th and one at Gilpin Trace on 13th

Long-billed Gnatwren Ramphocaenus melanurus

One seen at Asa Wright on 5th

Blue-black Grassquit Volatinia jacarina

Seen on Trinidad on three days from 6th to 8th

Black-faced Grassquit Tiaris bicolor

Seen on Tobago on four days from 11th to 14th

Lesser Antillean Bullfinch Loxigilla noctis

Pairs seen at Beachcomber Hotel, Antigua on 15th

Greyish Saltator Saltator coerulescens

Recorded on six days at Asa Wright from 3rd to 10th

Bananaquit Coereba flaveola

Recorded on every day from 3rd to 14th and 15th

Bicoloured Conebill Conirostrum bicolor

One female at Nariva area on 6th and five plus at Caroni swamp on 9th

White-shouldered Tanager Tachyphonus luctuosus

Two at Asa Wright on 3rd

White-lined Tanager Tachyphonus rufus

Recorded on ten days at Asa Wright and Blue Waters Inn from 3rd to 13th

Hepatic Tanager Piranga flava

A pair to Blanchisseuse on 4th

Silver-beaked Tanager Ramphocelus carbo

Recorded at Asa Wright from 3rd to 10th

Blue-grey Tanager Thraupis episcopus

Recorded on eleven days at Asa Wright, Blue Waters Inn and other sites from 3rd to 13th

Palm Tanager Thraupis palmarum

Recorded on every day from 3rd to 14th

Trinidad Euphonia Euphonia trinitatis

Heard on 3rd at Asa Wright and fleeting glimpses of four at Lalaja Trace on 5th

Violaceous Euphonia Euphonia violacea

Recorded on every day in Trinidad mostly at Asa Wright from 3rd to 10th

Turquoise Tanager Tangara mexicana

Seen on four days from 3rd to 6th at Asa Wright and Nariva area

 

Bay-headed Tanager Tangara gyrola

Seen on three days from 3rd to 5th at Asa Wright and Blanchisseuse

Green Honeycreeper Chlorophanes spiza

Recorded mainly at Asa Wright on eight days from 3rd to 10th

Purple Honeycreeper Cyanerpes caeruleus

Recorded mainly at Asa Wright on four days from 3rd to 8th

Red-legged Honeycreeper Cyanerpes cyaneus

Only seen in Tobago with four plus in the mountains on 13th and at Charlottesville on 14th

Tropical Parula Parula pitiayumi

Only heard on 3rd at Asa Wright

Yellow Warbler Dendroica petechia

Seen at Aripo, Waller Field, Caroni swamp, Buccoo marsh and Grafton estate from 6th to 9th and on 12th

American Redstart Setophaga ruticilla

A stunning male seen at Caroni swamp on 9th

Northern Waterthrush Seiurus noveboracensis

Singles seen, at Asa Wright on 3rd, Caroni swamp on 9th, Buccoo marsh on 12th, Gilpin Trace on 13th and Blue Waters Inn on 14th

Masked Yellowthroat Geothlypis aequinoctialis

A male and female seen near Aripo on 8th

Golden-crowned Warbler Basileuterus culicivorus

One at Asa Wright on 5th

Rufous-browed Peppershrike Cyclarhis gujanensis

Two at Asa Wright on 3rd and heard on 10th

Chivi Vireo Vireo [olivaceus] chivi

Heard in Tobago on 12th and 13th and one seen at Gilpin Trace on 13th

Now probably a subspecies of Red-eyed Vireo

Scrub Greenlet Hylophilus flavipes

One seen at Buccoo marsh on 12th

Crested Oropendola Psarocolius decumanus

Recorded on ten days from 3rd to 13th, at Asa Wright, Little Tobago and Tobago mountains

Yellow-rumped Cacique Cacicus cela

Seen in Cumuto village breeding in a tree on 8th

Yellow Oriole Icterus nigrogularis

Seen on six days from 3rd to 10th mainly at Asa Wright with up to three recorded on 10th

Yellow-hooded Blackbird Agelaius icterocephalus

Twenty plus seen going to roost at Aripo on 7th with thirty plus at Caroni on 9th

Red-breasted Blackbird Leistes militaris

Seen in Aripo and Nariva on 6th and Waller Field on 7th with two on the way to the airport in Trinidad on 10th

Carib Grackle Quiscalus lugubris

Recorded on seven days from 4th to 12th including 15th

Shiny Cowbird Molothrus bonariensis

Recorded on nine days from 6th to 14th at Aripo/Waller Field and Tobago

Giant Cowbird Scaphidura oryzivora

Three seen on 8th at Aripo/Waller Field, three near Blue Waters Inn and one at Buccoo marsh on 12th

 

 

Other Taxa

Not in scientific order or with latin names but certainly things we saw!

 

Red-tailed Squirrel

Seen at Asa Wright and in Tobago mountains

Agouti

Seen at Asa Wright

Opossum

Seen at Asa Wright

Mongoose

Seen at Trincity

Tree Frog

Seen at Asa Wright

Spectacled Cayman

Five seen at Trincity

Tegu lizard

Seen at Asa Wright

Miza Lizard

Seen at Caroni swamp

White-tailed Lizard

Seen at Caroni swamp

Green Iguana

Seen at Grafton estate

Tree Crabs

Seen at Asa Wright

Mud Skipper

Seen at Caroni swamp

 

We also saw some stunning butterflies and moths

 

Graham Hearl, Mallorca


© The Travelling Naturalist 2001