Noteworthy bird sightings: October & November 2011

The months of October and November proved to be very productive for birdwatchers with some extraordinary sightings coming out of Central and South Trinidad.

On 15 October a flock of 14 White-faced Whistling Ducks (Dendrocygna viduata) was found in the South Oropouche Lagoon. It is not known whether these birds were genuine visitors from the mainland or releases from the Wildfowl Trust, however their nervous behavior could indicate that they were wild birds.

White-faced Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna viduata) Photograph © Cyril Coomansingh

Later that day, a playing field in Penal produced both a Hudsonian Godwit (Limosa haemastica) and two Buff-breasted Sandpipers (Tryngites subruficollis). Both are migrant sandpipers, on passage through Trinidad and Tobago.

Hudsonian Godwit (Limosa haemastica) and Buff-breasted Sandpiper (Tryngites subruficollis)

In November, at least two Prothonotary Warblers (Protonotaria citrea) were found feeding in the mangroves at Carli Bay by N. Lallsingh and D. Smith. At least one Blackpoll Warbler (Dendroica striata) was also in attendance

Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea) Photograph © Nigel Lallsingh


Blackpoll Warbler (Dendroica striata)

At Orange Valley, a Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia) was found by D.Smith and N. Lallsingh at the gull roost. This is the third reported sighting for Trinidad & Tobago.

Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia) Photograph © Nigel Lallsingh

While not considered a rarity, several Yellow-billed Cuckoos (Coccyzus americanus) were reported from both islands. Yellow-billed Cuckoos are migrants from North America on passage through Trinidad and Tobago, on their way to South America.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) Photograph © Fayard Mohammed

An adult Black-collared Hawk (Busarellus nigricollis) was seen circling over the Rousillac Swamp on 16 November. This species was last reported in Trinidad & Tobago in 1998.

Black-collared Hawk (Busarellus nigricollis)

Finally, a pair of Scaled Doves (Columbina squammata) was found at the Pitch Lake in La Brea by S. Parasram. Undoubtedly the most extraordinary sighting of the period, this species has rarely been reported on mainland Trinidad.

Scaled Doves (Columbina squammata) Photograph © Sanjiv Parasram

1 comment so far ↓

#1 avianraptor on 03.17.12 at 10:57 pm

Hi Kris, Dave et al,

I am very heartened by the recent discovery of your work. For a long time I thought I was the only (eccentric!) logging around a camera around tt with a passion for our fauna (and flora) but particularly our birdlife. I read and absorb your documentation with avid interest and am greatly encouraged by your evident passion for our natural history and documenting same. I hope we can communicate some time soon as I have much (I think) to share and indeed learn as well. Please contact me some time and keep up the fantastic work! very best wishes.

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