South Oropouche Lagoon 2009.09.13

Highlights: Nacunda Nighthawk
I spent almost an hour on Sunday morning staring at a field of grass. Rich in bird life and close to home, I try to visit the South Oropouche Lagoon for an hour or two every weekend. The lagoon runs alongside to the South Oropouche River and the area floods quite nicely in the wet season, transforming it into marshland. Bobolinks, Glossy Ibis, a Snail Kite and a Masked Duck have all been seen here by various observers over the last two years.

This particular morning I was trying to find Lined and/or Ruddy-breasted Seedeaters. The Lined Seedeaters (Sporophila lineola) are around, albeit in smaller numbers than last year. The Ruddy-breasted Seedeaters (Sporophila minuta) were last seen around March, but their spot has since been ploughed by farmers. I had hoped this area, a side road brimming with seeding grasses, would draw them. Two Tri-coloured Munias (Lonchura malacca) flew in and a group of Common Waxbills (Estrilda astrild) twittered somewhere in the grass. Both introduced species, they seem to like the area as much as I do. But still no luck with the seedeaters.
Moving on, the vegetation in the wetter areas was still much too thick to see the Yellow-breasted and Gray-breasted Crakes that were calling. Perhaps in the coming months I shall have more luck with these too.

But not all my targets were to disappoint today. Scanning a parcel of land, fenced off and filled with dirt, I picked out a camouflaged lump of feathers. A Nacunda Nighthawk (Podager nacunda).

Nacunda Nighthawk: South Oropouche Lagoon, Trinidad

Nacunda Nighthawk: South Oropouche Lagoon, Trinidad

Even though they like to roost on open ground they are hard to see. About eight birds visited the same area last year, almost to the day. Only two birds seem to have come back this year. Still, it is amazing the birds found their way back to the same area of marsh.

Nacunda Nighthawk in flight over South Oropouche Lagoon, Trinidad

Nacunda Nighthawk in flight over South Oropouche Lagoon, Trinidad


1 comment so far ↓

#1 arlene joseph on 06.21.10 at 8:15 pm

keep up the good work….its great that someone is providing information on some of our nation’s geographical features. i will continue to log on..

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