Archive: » 2017 » May

Listen

As babies fresh in the world, first words are always a milestone. It seems as though such a momentous occasion as the first time a child utters a word should predicate a lifetime of celebrating what the child has to say - but very surprisingly, the exact opposite often happens. All of a sudden, the child has to listen, only speak when spoken to, be seen and not heard, et cetera. But it's not only the parent who must listen. The child too, must pay close attention to himself/herself as the years begin to tick by. Years ago, it was easy to pay attention to one's mind as it grew - not so much now - as pacifiers...

Read more...

Staples

It seems as if it's been forever since I've written a blog post. Things have been more than a bit hectic over the past week or so, and as such I have been somewhat absent from the internet recently. Nowhere near my last hiatus which lasted for about two years, but still too long to be away for! Sharing some more Tobagonian images here - it's difficult to not shoot when I'm across there. Tame birdlife just presents endless opportunities. In Trinidad you'd be a lucky bastard to even hear a Trinidad Motmot call, in Tobago they're literally begging you to click the shutter. I maintain, they...

Read more...

The Vireo, The Greenlet

When I finally got my paws on a copy of the Field Guide to Birds of Trinidad and Tobago, I was excited to identify species that I had previously seen, as well as those that I wanted to see. I remember pausing at Plate 85: Vireos and Greenlets. The page was overflowing with different shades of olive green, yellow and a touch of red. I had never before seen any of these birds - but was fascinated nonetheless as I had already been birding for some time. How could these birds listed as "common" still escape my prying eyes? Fast forward a few years, and this section of the field guide still holds...

Read more...

Dull, Drab, Surprisingly Cute

The flycatcher family is perhaps not the most well-known - or well-liked family of birds; this could be due to a variety of reasons. For starters, they don't usually sport the vivid colours that are usually associated with birds of the tropics. They're usually various shades of olive green, brown and everything in-between. This lends to their low detection rate among birdwatchers. You may be hearing them calling, but you must find something that looks pretty much just like a leaf. And once you do lay eyes upon them, beware. Flycatchers - particularly those belonging to the dreaded Myiarchus genus...

Read more...

Left Tern, Right Tern

It could possibly be argued that the tern family is one of the most ethereal groups of birds, and for good reason. They are genuinely graceful in their mannerisms - surpassed by only a few choice contenders. A few weeks ago I sat at a jetty in the small but picturesque village of Plymouth, Tobago and spent the better part of a sunny, breezy morning making some images of these delicate flyers. The species I was intent on capturing was equally as intent on staying far away, but in these circumstances you must take what you get. There is a raging debate going on (for years) about ethical bird photography....

Read more...

Magical Moments

You know, sometimes things come together - dovetail if I may - doesn't happen often, but when it does, it's definitely an experience that stays. Earlier today I posted a video of a Red-billed Tropicbird from Little Tobago island. Seabirds like these tropicbirds nest on the ground, and hardly ever come into contact with people. They will still shy away from crowds, so we were extremely lucky that this bird decided that the pair of us posed no threat whatsoever. Having an almost mythical creature pay no attention to you is an amazing feeling. To feel the wind displaced by its wings and hear its feathers...

Read more...

Here, There and Everywhere

We're fortunate in our tiny island nation to have such a high level of diversity - biodiversity to be exact. Birds are the creatures that are usually most visible, and generally the most willing subjects. And they are everywhere. For the photographer, this is an open buffet - one can afford to take one's time and work with a subject, to get the most pleasing composition, to create an image that stands out from the rest. Over the last few weeks, I've compiled some images of some of the more commonplace birds within both Trinidad and Tobago. Sometimes you can be on the hunt for a particular species,...

Read more...

Public Sex

What more can I say? Crowded colony of Laughing Gulls, but this pair happened to be in just the right spot. I love the implied communication between both birds. This image screams "caption me", don't you think?

Read more...

The Tale of Two Kings

T&T features two species of Kingbird - members of the tyrant flycatcher family, distantly related to the very familiar Great Kiskadee (yeah there's a Lesser Kiskadee as well, just not in T&T). Their distribution across both islands is (for me at least) the most interesting aspect of these very vocal birds. Tropical Kingbirds are widespread across Trinidad, but uncommon in Tobago.             While Grey Kingbirds are widespread across Tobago, and rare to uncommon in Trinidad. Sounds a bit like the battle between Green and Striated...

Read more...

Elegance Embodied

If it's one thing that has always captivated me about seabirds is their natural grace. The tough thing about seabirds is that they're not always easily accessible. A visit to Little Tobago island, however, allows for unparalleled views of some of our most sought-after species. At the right time of year, the cliffs of this uninhabited island come to life with breeding seabirds. At the start of the year, the Red-billed Tropicbirds (and this year one extremely uncommon White-tailed Tropicbird) take a break from their pelagic wanderings to see about the next generation. After they're finished,...

Read more...