Blog

The Good Old “Fight-up”

If there was a single bird that I could've identified in the past as being my nemesis bird - a subject that I had tried with and had little to no success - it'd be the male Silver-beaked Tanager. Quite a common species around Trinidad, these moody tanagers have taunted me for many years. Ever since the first time I laid eyes on my first specimen at Asa Wright Nature Centre, I was hooked. I was shooting with my first camera, a Canon Powershot SX20, but the image was burned in my memory - a red plumage deeper than the ocean, and a bill that shone brighter than the full moon on a clear night.               After...

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10 Images that Fail at Instagram

Having poked around within the social media platform that forms the title of this blog post, I've learned a few things. One of the most important lessons that's been gifted to me is that some images, no matter how much I love them, are just not going to fly well on the platform. So thus I bring you these images, which I have very low expectations for to be honest. After all, I enjoy them, and art being the subjective beast as it is, does not force any one being to feel a certain way about anything. Perhaps you'd see a commonality among this set of ten. 1. This immature Tufted Coquette posed...

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Flycatchers in the Cocoa

Of all types of cultivation, somehow cocoa estates retain some of the highest percentages of native wildlife. The primary reason for this being that the largest, oldest trees are usually kept as shade trees, thus keeping the majority of creatures happy. The cocoa trees that dominate the lower story within the forest allow for a higher level of visibility - well that's if there are things to see, of course. The most visible of birds in the understory are flycatchers, calmly waiting their turn to nab an unsuspecting insect or two. The generous clearings that abound within cocoa estates allow one to easily...

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Help Save the Birds at the Caroni Cat Sanctuary!

For those of you who think I've gotten the title mixed up, well there's much to talk about. Firstly, I must admit that the inspiration for the title of this piece comes from an article that was published recently, check it out here. The anonymous author makes reference to yours truly regarding some comments I supposedly made. The original post is here, have a read and freely compare both passages. What's really going on is this: There is an existing population of feral cats at the Caroni Bird Sanctuary. Most of us are familiar with the Caroni Bird Sanctuary, either you've been there before...

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Studying Birds: Ruby Topaz

It's been many years since I was first blown away by the brilliance of a male Ruby Topaz, that flash of bright red and gold while feeding an early morning in one of Trinidad's southern wetlands back in 2011. Coming from such a dull, dark brown bird it was (and still is) nothing short of plain amazing. But for most of that time, I haven't had much good luck with this bird, only securing one or two decent shots over the years. After photographing it at its most resplendent (see here) I realized that the most interesting aspect of this transformation is not the end product, but the journey itself...

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A Little Heavy On The Cute

There are many descriptive words used to portray birds as we see them, however simplistic or fanciful we perceive them to be. Few words are as over-used as "cute", though. And for good reason, as birds are covered in well, something terribly soft and delicate that they can make even fluffier than usual at will. Chilly weather encourages this behaviour, as the extra air within the feathers acts as an insulator. This Black-faced Grassquit was feeling mighty chilled on an unusually biting morning at Cuffie River, halfway up to Main Ridge Forest Reserve. After having clear weather for a few days,...

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On the Edge

I love it when good birds turn up in unexpected places. Honestly though, a roadside puddle isn't that surprising of an avian attraction. Birds love to bathe, and even after a shower of rain, they may still jump in a puddle and have a little fun. Some years ago, I stumbled upon a puddle bath that was being attended by at least five Yellow Warblers, two Prothonatary Warblers and a Grey Seedeater! That sighting of the Grey Seedeater was my only sighting of this bird in the wild, a former common resident but now only seen in cages across the country. A relative of the two aforementioned Warblers...

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Life

Well, when's the last time you've seen one of these eh? It's only March, never too late for the first blog post of the year. Coming down to the end of 2017, I put aside my pre-planned blog posts to bring a couple compilation posts, which is really just a fancy way of me saying hey I've taken so ridiculously long to share these images, here they all are in this single handy post. After a certain amount of time passes, stories cease to be relevant and long-term memories take over. By the time 2018 rolled around, life took a different turn and new meanings and purposes were made apparent. Adjusting...

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2017′s 1-17

As we sit on the cusp of another new year, another notch in the bark, another eye over the shoulder that makes all of us ponder our existence for a brief moment - it's that customary time of sharing "best of", or as social media would have it called "most popular". Because popularity is a thing that we use to measure ourselves, for reasons that are understood but yet make little sense. It's that time of year when we all try to make our existence seem as grand as humanly (or inhumanly) possible. Only for prying eyes, of course. Because that's what matters. As photographers, we're lucky that a camera...

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Bioblitz 2017

Bioblitz this year for us was indeed a blitz. We got there (Icacos - south-western tip of Trinidad) somewhere between three and four in the morning. Missing the previous afternoon's session due to another engagement, we were determined to make some sort of meaningful contribution nevertheless. Even though it was still within what would be termed the dead of night, we recorded our first species. Common Pauraques sat intermittently on the roadway, under streetlights to maximise their productivity. No other nocturnal birds, though. The crack of dawn found us along one of the trails, identifying...

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