Water is one of the more interesting elements to include in one’s frame. Water is also one of those words that tend to look more and more different the more you type it. Each of the images featured in today’s post either contains water, or was taken near to some body of water.
Kicking things off with one of our enigmatic owl species, the Tropical Screech Owl – this very adaptable nocturnal species can be found almost everywhere, from forest to suburban backyards. It is most often (and most easily) seen in relatively accessible mangrove edges along rivers such as the Caroni River. This particular individual was caught in a well-known roost in Carli Bay, midway between mangrove forest and the Gulf of Paria. As always, it’s a tough job to get a good view of a roosting owl as they do tend to choose the thickest vegetation to conceal their position.
On another day, while observing flocks of Dickcissel returning to their roost in the marshlands of the southland, we noticed that something else was observing the same birds as us. From a concealed perch in a dense thicket of trees, a Merlin silently plotted. As the light began to fade, the small falcon rocketed out from its hiding place and flew quick and low into the reeds. A couple moments later, it reappeared, talons empty, and made a beeline to its original perch, disappearing again. This Merlin repeated its flight path periodically, every five minutes or so until the sun dipped below the horizon, and the mosquitoes started a siege on all exposed skin.
From indirect involvement with water to a bird standing in water – shorebirds belong in a special place in my heart, and this Greater Yellowlegs is no different.
Another shorebird that caused a helluva stir when it was first spotted seems similar to the Greater Yellowlegs in the previous photograph – but that pink base to its bill coupled with its overall brownish/buff colour makes this radically different. And rightly so. This Marbled Godwit is an extremely rare passage migrant that was only seen for a couple of days earlier this year. Such is the rarity of the bird that it steals the spotlight from the (also quite rare) Red Knots that are right next to it!
While not as rare as either the Marbled Godwit or Red Knot, a few Black-bellied Plovers do choose to spend their winter at our shores each year.
Although not a shorebird, I was galvanized into action when I got the news of a pair of American Flamingos at the Caroni Swamp. Fortunately we managed to secure a few glimpses of these beauties, and I daresay the background wasn’t too shabby either 🙂