Tuesday, 17 April 2018

"Go Slow... in Trinidad" - Day Two - Blanchisseuse Road and Brasso Secco

Day two started the same as every day, on the verandah at 0600. Unfortunately the weather had not improved, persistent heavy rain, but it didn't seem to bother the birds. The Crested Oropendolas were numerous, vociferous and very bold, their bright blue eyes transfixing you, almost challenging.

Crested Oropendola

Crested Oropendola - Ol' Blue Eyes

House Wren - just as noisy as our version.

The ubiquitous Bananaquit

Cocoa Thrush

Silver-beaked Tanager

Tropical Kingbird

Tropical Kingbird

Tropical Kingbird

Another Violaceous Euphonia - can't resist 'em

Copper-rumped Hummingbird

A steady stream of birds until the breakfast bell rang - meals are frequent and regular at the AWC. Post breakfast we gathered for a trip up the Blanchisseuse Road, the Rain Gods had decided that it should continue for the time being. At least it was pleasantly hot and humid and the birds were not perturbed.

First birding stop was for a Collared Trogon, at first it proved difficult to see but it was calling and Dave finally found it. Lots of birds present but mainly up in the canopy, resulting in lots of photographs that turned out to be just silhouettes. In attempting to photograph a pair of Shiny Cowbirds I flushed a Red-legged Honeycreeper, unfortunately it did a bunk rather than pose.

Collared Trogon

I failed miserably with a Black-throated Mango, it sat perfectly still but was always obscured by a twig. We had good but distant views of a Striated Woodpecker but I did manage a record shot of a Black-tailed Tityra.

Black-tailed Tityra.

Striated Woodpecker
Several nice orchids to be captured brightening up what was  becoming a very wet day.

We continued on the Blanchisseuse Road, Dave spotting birds as we cruised along, stopping on an opportunity basis. We also made longer planned stops enabling Dave to use his bird luring skills, at one stage he managed to conjure up a whole tree full of birds.

Common Blackhawk (j)

Distant Plumbeous Kite

Rufous-tailed Jacamar
Great Kiskadee - my first.

Ruddy Ground Dove

Guianan Trogon

Female Great Antshrike - doing its best to avoid being photographed.

During our lunch stop we had another Striated Woodpecker, this one a little closer. A Smooth-billed Ani came close but refused to come out in the open for a clean shot. A fly by a Blue Morpho that had no intention of stopping.

Striated Woodpecker

Striated Woodpecker

Smooth-billed Ani
Another Collared Trogon

Eagle-eyed Ed spotted this snake doing its best to get run over in the road. Identified as a Grass Machete

Grass Machete

Grass Machete

Displaying Crested Oropendola

Displaying Crested Oropendola

Yellow-rumped Cacique

Yellow-rumped Cacique

Final stop of the day gave us great views of another Green-backed Trogon, some flighty Blue-headed Parrots and a stunningly beautiful Rufous-tailed Jacamar, a resident bird of the area, proven as it popped into it's nesting hole in the earth bank.

Green-backed Trogon

Blue-headed Parrot

Rufous-tailed Jacamar

Time to head back to base, a long but rewarding day on the road, the rain eased in the afternoon and we finally saw some sunshine. Oddly enough another group did this excursion on a really sunny day and it seemed that they had far fewer birds. Very satisfying to get all three species of Trogon in one day.

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