Lesser Florican - August 2023

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Saturday 18 March 2017

Trinidad & Tobago  18/3/17

Now back from yet another memorable trip, this time to the tropics of Trinidad and Tobago (two days) and the rest of the time spent in the untouched wilderness of Guyana with Nick Preston, Richard Fairbank, Nick Gardner, Stuart Reeds and Paul Hopkins. For now just the T&T have been included, and once I've gone through the three thousand Guyana photos this part of the trip shall be entered.

Only the bird photos have been added, but once I've sorted things a bit the scenic ones shall be on to.

Grand Riviere, Galera Point & Caroni Swamp

The morning started early as it always does on the first morning of a trip. Our hotel based next to the beach gave us some mouth-dropping moments as we witnessed three Giant Leatherback Turtles coming up onto the sandy beach, digging their holes and egg laying right next to us. The first few hours was concentrated on the edge of the dense forest at Grand Rivière that provided excellent views of the Trinidad Piping-Guan. At least 12 individuals were encountered including some birds displaying. The many brightly coloured birds kept me entertained with the main highlight being a male Golden-headed Manakin, whilst two species of Antbird were also rewarding. As the morning warmed up raptors got going high above, which were soon joined by patrolling Magnificent Frigatebirds, although White Hawks were just as impressive. After breakfast we headed down south back towards Port of Spain where we arrived last night via St Lucia. The drive was rather uneventful both ways, but once at Caroni Swamp and adjacent lands, the birding got going in true style. First up was a large flock of Dickcissel that proved elusive but patience was rewarded with fine views. Next up was a 2-hour boat ride through the mangroves where countless birds were present (including Tropical Screech Owl & American Flamingo) but also a Tree Boa and a Silky Anteater, both roosting in the trees above. The finale was watching the rediculously bright Scarlet Ibis coming into their roost. A fantastic first day. 
  • Trinidad Piping Guan - 12
  • Tricoloured Heron
  • Scarlet Ibis - 500 +
  • Swallow-tailed Kite
  • White Hawk
  • Green-rumped Parrotlet 
  • Tropical Screech Owl
  • Short-tailed Nighthawk
  • Straight-billed Woodcreeper
  • Black-crested Antshrike
  • Silvered Antbird
  • White-bellied Antbird
  • Pied Water-Tyrant
  • Piratic Flycatcher
  • Golden-headed Manakin
  • Cocoa Thrush
  • Silver-beaked Tanager
  • Dickcissel
  • American Redstart - 1
  • Northern Waterthrush
  • Crested Oropendola
  • Trinidad Euphonia
  • Rufous-breasted Hermit
  • Black-throated Mango
  • Tufted Coquette
  • Guianan Trogan 
  • American Pygmy Kingfisher

 Trinidad Piping-Guan at Grand Riviere - one that has to be seen when visiting these islands, and with Martyn's local knowledge, no less than 12 individuals were seen in roughly three hours.
 White-bellied Antbird at Grand Riviere - this race of this species having a much paler belly and breast then it's South American counterpart.
 Silvered Antbird at Grand Riviere
 Tropical Screech Owl at Caroni Swamp
 Silky Anteater - very un-Anteater like but still a lovely animal to encounter. Its larger cousin was thankfully seen later on in the trip
 Trinidad Tree Boa - our first of eight species of Snake seen on this trip
 American Pygmy Kingfisher
 Straight-billed Woodcreeper

Scarlet Ibis roosting into Caroni Swamp - a superb spectacle as we parked up the boat and watched these beauties fly past us.