Blog

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...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

Merry Christmas (Bird Count) 2017

While birdwatching might be getting trendy of late, the Audubon Christmas Bird Count has been in existence since 1901. Which enhances the hipster appeal, or so I'm told. Personally, I've been participating in this count for six years - and I've been leading my own group for three of those. Our area is the Aripo Livestock Station, which has been for a number of years a hotspot for birdwatching. It's been an accessible location to get great views of Red-breasted Meadowlarks, Pinnated Bitterns, Ruddy-breasted Seedeaters and Grassland Yellow Finches - especially for folks who are staying at Asa Wright...

Read more...

Good News, Everyone!

Futurama reference aside, I'm happy to announce that I'm finally taking orders for my 2018 calendar. 2017 has been a great year for me and I've had many memorable missions during our last revolution around the sun (sorry, flat earthers). During this year I've shared most, if not all of my best images with you - and for that I am eternally grateful. Thank you for giving this blog a glance now and then, a slight nod of approval, a share on social media - whatever it may be, I am deeply appreciative. All of the images on the 2018 calendar are from this year - fresh and never printed before. All of them...

Read more...

Testament to Tardiness

Sometimes when I get a little time to organize my life, I try my best. When it comes to the blog, if I have a backlog of images I tend to sort them into loose blog posts, which means that I toss pictures I'd like to publish together into a haphazardly named folder. They are all sorted chronologically, so I would know what's next and what's been covered already. In this case, the images for this blog article were in a folder entitled "migrants from the south". Now I'll give you some context. T&T, being a tropical country, is afforded the luxury of enjoying migratory species from both northern...

Read more...

Front or Back Lit? (Yet Again)

I spent some time with a couple Snowy Egrets some weeks (months?) ago. The sun was just getting low in the sky, but the light was still very strong. I was sitting on a road that ran north-south with ponds on either side; each pond had its own Snowy Egret stalking. The beauty was that one was strongly front-lit, and the other strongly back-lit. With the bright sun, I was able to finally use a fast shutter speed to freeze the action. First priority was the front-lit bird.                   I then continued, using the exact...

Read more...

Parasitic

Some of you may have realized the increasing level of infrequency these posts have managed to rack up over the past few weeks. As they say, sometimes life gets in the way? At least in my case it's all been enjoyable, and even though I haven't been writing much here, I still penned a couple articles for the Tobago Newsday within the last month - one on shorebirds (my loves) and the other on Frigatebirds (my first loves, adapted from an article I first posted here) - so the engine is still relatively warm. And since I managed to land my paws on a new phone that has the memory capacity to run Instagram,...

Read more...

Birding Hacienda Jacana: September/October

The most recent count that took place at Hacienda Jacana just slid in under the door as October drew to a close. With all the flooding that went on in October, we almost didn't make it. But with a little faith and a lot of desire to be immersed in the forest, we made the journey into the heart of the island for yet another installment of this series. The timing of our arrival couldn't have been  more perfect. Once we unpacked our stuff, I followed my inner voice that was directing me to a copse of tall trees just beyond the cottages. Somehow I knew exactly where to look; my eyes fell very swiftly...

Read more...

Birds That Don’t Have to Try Hard Ep III: White-tailed Sabrewing

For the third and final installment of this mini-series (I really like doing this) I have, naturally, saved the best for last. Well, perhaps not the absolute best, but my definite favourite. Regular readers and avid followers would know by now I have a tremendous soft spot for the White-tailed Sabrewing. One of our largest hummingbirds, it's found only in the rainforests of Main Ridge, Tobago. It was nearly wiped clean from the island by Hurricane Flora in 1963, but populations have since rebounded and can be seen with a certain degree of regularity throughout the forest. Sometimes one doesn't...

Read more...

Birds That Don’t Have to Try Hard Ep II: Black-throated Mango

I made a few images of a few Black-throated Mango hummingbirds some time ago, and they all fit the bill of effortlessly magical. The afternoon sun shone its golden light, and all was well. Then there was a slight drizzle, and all was suddenly much better. After that came the mad dash to find a suitable subject. If a backlit subject wasn't enough, a backlit subject in rain was to die for. Well, perhaps not literally. Maybe to be slightly inconvenienced for, dying seems a bit much for this circumstance. Fortunately, here was this Black-throated Mango, perched not too high up on a dry tree...

Read more...