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A Dream Come True… Well, Sort of

A few years ago, I had an odd dream. I was at the edge of some body of water, probably a lake somewhere, and I was looking at a Lesser Scaup coast past on the water. I grabbed my camera (in the dream of course), and lined up this beautiful duck in my viewfinder, and pressed the shutter button. Naturally, dreams being how they are, no picture was taken. Which had me cursing and grinding my teeth, only to wake up and laugh at myself. Yeah, I dream birds sometimes - most times I'm trying to photograph them and failing in some creative way. Anyway, the morning after the CBC we headed to Tobago for some...

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CBC 2016: Episode 2 – Orange Grove

By the time midday rolled around and we had recorded our final two species for the am session in Aripo Livestock Station (Pinnated Bittern and Grassland Yellow Finch - not complaining at all) the now drastically reduced group decided to break for lunch, and reconvene later in the afternoon to continue the count in another location - Orange Grove. Now this was a relatively new location for me, it didn't have half of the extensive history the Livestock Station had with birdwatchers, but varied habitats within this farmland coupled with its proximity to civilization has boosted its popularity in recent...

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CBC 2016: Episode 1 – Aripo Livestock Station

The 2016 Christmas Bird Count kicked off on the morning after Boxing Day, where a small group of ten avid birdwatchers gathered in the blue predawn light around the entrance to the Aripo Livestock Station. A well known birding hotspot for locals and foreigners alike, it issued a notice some weeks prior that it'd be closed to birdwatchers until further notice. Not entirely certain why this was so, but the CBC Coordinator assured me that all names and license plates were forwarded to the relevant authorities, and permission was granted for us to perform the census on that day. But knowing my luck,...

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Oops

A couple days ago I posted about an Aplomado Falcon I photographed from a mile away after the sun set. It didn't occur to me that it was strange for me to immediately identify the bird as a very rare migrant, especially in those conditions. Well, I never had a shadow of a doubt about it, I knew what I saw, and I communicated this excitedly to the rest of the small group I was with. So now this morning I'm spamming comments and something tells me to check that picture again. I open it on the blog, and something looks odd about it. It suddenly did not seem in any way like an Aplomado Falcon. They...

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Random Hummers… And a Dream Shot

On a recent assignment to document some of the smaller creatures around a friend's property, I noticed an unnatural number of hummingbirds present. we counted twelve species in under 24 hours! I had arrived there with butterflies on my mind, but couldn't stop myself from aiming at these marvelous little jewels. Forever eluding me, three Long-billed Starthroats were mixing in with the similar sized Black-throated Mango - at first glance I didn't believe my eyes, I sort of locked up - as this is a species that has given me the cold shoulder for a number of years. But this one gave me ample views...

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The Opposing Colours of a Sunset

Last month I had a raptor infused sunset experience that ranged from the last rays of golden daylight to the desperate blues of the night creeping in. The experience of literally watching the world turn never ceases to be a completely awe inspiring and humbling one. What made this particular experience more interesting was that we had a strange alignment of colour, with the help of two of T&T's predatory birds. As the sun began to dip lower and lower in the sky, the light gets more and more golden. This has given rise to the term "golden hour" - only here at lower latitudes we only have...

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He Who Walks on Water

As you're probably well aware by now, I have a penchant for the unconventional. I tend to break rules more often than not - and this was definitely the case when we came upon a pair of roosting Tropical Screech Owls at a known roost site. It was mid morning, so the owls definitely weren't going anywhere. Typically, owls tend to spend their daytime hours asleep in a safe, secure location. Which usually involves a thick web of branches, preventing any direct access to the sleeping birds. More importantly, the branches themselves help to conceal the birds' presence, as their cryptic patterns make...

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Bioblitz 2016: Port of Spain

Last year's Bioblitz took place in the capital city of Port of Spain, an area that I have honestly shunned for my entire life - I just can't keep up with the hustle and bustle, the traffic and the congestion. Not to mention the general dirtiness and the constant need to look over one's shoulder. I didn't expect anything great, you know there's one major rule when you're going into nature, which is to expect the unexpected. Well I discarded this thought before we even left home. Getting there some time after lunch, we sluggishly crawled up Lady Chancellor Hill - the last time I had been there...

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The Little Heron That Posed

I've been putting off writing for a little more than a week now because I've been conceptualizing a long-winded, overly verbose attack on the Prime Minister of T&T, but each time I sat behind my pc, I just couldn't gather the energy required to formulate such a bullet. Sometimes it feels like beating on a brick wall, some folks are just determined to have their way. All the more relevant when these folks are in a position of power. But more on that later. For now, let's just say that Dr. Rowley seems to be jealous of a few hairy crabs in Buccoo. Veering away from the political train, I'm sharing...

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The Alpha

There are 18 recorded species of hummingbird in Trinidad and Tobago, the last of which was added not too long ago - which accounts for over 50% of all hummingbird species in the entire Caribbean region. For those of you who have ever taken the time to observe hummingbirds at a flowering plant or feeder anywhere, I'm certain that you may have noticed that there are "feeder bullies"; certain species who no matter their size or abundance, seek to lay a claim to a particular patch of flowers, or even a hummingbird feeder in someone's porch. In Trinidad, White-chested Emeralds try their best to defend...

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