The Nariva Jabirus and Icacos Swamp 2009.07.20

Highlights: Jabiru Stork, Crane Hawk, Spotted-Tody Flycatcher, Phyllomedusa trinitatis (frog)

On 18th July we went to see the two Jabiru Storks (Jabiru mycteria) that had been spotted in Nariva Swamp. After a short boat ride, we arrived in the viewing area at 7:30am and waited until 8:30am taking in the resident Red-bellied Macaws, before seeing a single Jabiru Stork flying into the marsh.

AQ Stork Jabiru

Jabiru Stork:Nariva Swamp, Trinidad

Undoubtedly the largest of Trinidad and Tobago’s birds, standing close to 5ft tall, it was well worth the wait. This is the 5th record of Jabiru Stork in Trinidad and Tobago. We also spotted two Blue and Yellow Macaws flying over the distant Bush-Bush Reserve.  Near the boat launch area, an immature seedeater was observed singing. I later found out that this might have been a Lesson’s Seedeater.  After this we went in search of the Crested Caracaras which of late seem to favor the Nariva/Manzanilla area and we eventually did locate two birds along the coconut lined Manzanilla stretch.

On the  following day Tarran Maharaj and myself went down to Icacos Swamp in Icacos. On the way down we came across several tree frogs (Phyllomedusa trinitatis) on the road,

Phyllomedusa trinitatis
Phyllomedusa trinitatis: near Cedros


presumably feeding on insects attracted to the street lights. This species is know for its sluggish movement and I won’t be surprised if many of them get hit by vehicles while feeding on the road like this. Two Spectacled Owls were heard but not seen.

At Icacos we  saw two Muscovy Ducks but they quickly disappeared in the mangroves on our approach. A lone Crane Hawk put in a brief appearance before being driven off by a Tropical Kingbird. We then left for Erin beach to examine the groups of seabirds which were resting on the shore (comprised of Brown Pelicans, Common and Large-billed Terns, Black Skimmers and Laughing Gulls). Of note were two Spotted Tody-Flycatchers heard in the nearby mangroves


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