17th – 23rd September

 

At the Bird Fair in August I picked up an ‘off season’ discounted accommodation offer for a stay at the Asa Wright Nature Centre and a couple of weeks later decided, on the spur of the moment, to go. Although this time of year is generally regarded as the rainy season there is usually a break in the rain for a couple of weeks in late September and this held true for this trip in which we were completely unbothered by rain.

I went on my own and, indeed, for my first day at the Asa Wright Centre I was the only guest. The following day a small group of two couples from the USA arrived and we joined together for the excursions.

The Asa Wright Nature Centre is a very comfortable place in which to stay and the birding from the veranda with a glass of rum punch in hand is justifiably renowned, though the number of species visiting the feeders or seen in the surrounding forest tends not to vary much. However, with plenty of hummingbirds, tanagers, toucan, bellbird and oropendolas in front of the veranda, I wasn’t complaining.

Resident guides are on hand all the time and also took us on a number of walks along the trails through the surrounding rainforest. There is stilla good amount of primary rainforest left in Trinidad though much of the land surrounding the Centre is secondary growth where the forest has been allowed to reclaim the old plantation land.

The island has a wide variety of habitats ranging from rainforest to farmland, savannah, swamps, marshes, mangroves and coast, all of which we visited.

The American group, on a longer trip, went on to the north of the island for Trinidad Piping Guan and then on to Tobago for a few days before returning home. Two of the group, from Texas, are joining us on our Ecuador trip in May 2016.

 

ITINERARY

Day 1 – Arrive Trinidad, Asa Wright Nature Centre orientation walk and night walk.

Day 2 – A day spent exploring the forest trails around the Centre

Day 3 – Pre-breakfast walk at the centre followed by a visit to Brasso Secco

Day 4 – Pre-breakfast walk at the Centre followed by a visit to the grasslands of the Aripo Livestock Station

  and then to Manzanilla Bay, the huge Nariva Marsh and river estuary and the water melon ‘patch’

 (a large farm, really) at Kirdiham

Day 5 – Pre-breakfast walk followed by a visit to the Blanchisseuse Road and Aripo Savannah

Day 6 – Boat trip through the Caroni Swamp, an area of mangroves and areas of open water

Day 7 – Aripo Savannah en route to the airport for the return flight.

 

 

SPECIES

SCIENTIFIC NAME

SIGHTINGS

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Little Tinamou

Crypturellus soui

1

A pair by a roadside quickly returned into the forest

2

Black-bellied Whistling-duck

Dendrocygna autumnalis

2

 

3

Magnificent Frigatebird

Fregata magnificens

2

Singles high overhead

4

Anhinga

Anhinga anhinga

2

 

5

Brown Pelican

Pelecanus occidentalis

1

two, along the coast

6

Great Egret

Ardea alba

3

 

7

Snowy Egret

Egretta thula

2

 

8

Little Blue Heron

Egretta caerulea

2

 

9

Tricolored Heron

Egretta tricolor

1

 

10

Cattle Egret

Bubulcus ibis

5

 

11

Striated Heron

Butorides striata

3

 

12

Yellow-crowned Night-heron

Nyctanassa violacea

1

 

13

Boat-billed Heron

Cochlearius cochlearius

1

A single, high up in the mangroves was difficult to see

14

Scarlet Ibis

Eudocimus ruber

1

Dozens flying in to roost. The breeding colony is out of bounds to visitors

15

Black Vulture

Coragyps atratus

8

 

16

Turkey Vulture

Cathartes aura

6

 

17

Osprey

Pandion haliaetus

1

Three birds

18

Pearl Kite

Gampsonyx swainsonii

1

A pair

19

Long-winged Harrier

Circus buffoni

1

 A single bird at Caroni Swamp

20

Common Black-hawk

Buteogallus anthracinus

1

 

21

Savanna Hawk

Buteogallus meridionalis

3

 

22

Gray-lined Hawk

Buteo nitidus

4

 

23

Zone-tailed Hawk

Buteo albonotatus

2

 

24

Limpkin

Aramus guarauna

1

 

25

Southern Lapwing

Vanellus chilensis

5

 

26

Collared Plover

Charadrius collaris

1

 

27

Semipalmated Plover

Charadrius semipalmatus

1

 

28

Wattled Jacana

Jacana jacana

2

 

29

Spotted Sandpiper

Actitis macularius

3

 

30

Solitary Sandpiper

Tringa solitaria

2

 

31

Lesser Yellowlegs

Tringa flavipes

1

 

32

Ruddy Turnstone

Arenaria interpres

1

 

33

Least Sandpiper

Calidris minutilla

1

 

34

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Calidris pusilla

3

 

35

Laughing Gull

Leucophaeus atricilla

1

 

36

Large-billed Tern

Phaetusa simplex

1

 

37

Sandwich Tern

Thalasseus sandvicensis

1

 

38

Feral Pigeon

Columba livia 'feral'

6

 

39

Scaled Pigeon

Patagioenas speciosa

4

 

40

Plain-breasted Ground-dove

Columbina minuta

1

 

41

Ruddy Ground-dove

Columbina talpacoti

6

 

42

Gray-fronted Dove

Leptotila rufaxilla

6

 

43

Squirrel Cuckoo

Piaya cayana

2

 

44

Striped Cuckoo

Tapera naevia

1

 

45

Smooth-billed Ani

Crotophaga ani

6

 

46

Ferruginous Pygmy-owl

Glaucidium brasilianum

6

 

47

Short-tailed Nighthawk

Lurocalis semitorquatus

1

 From the veranda

48

Oilbird

Steatornis caripensis

3

Eerie calls made entering the cave a spooky experience!

49

Chestnut-collared Swift

Streptoprocne rutila

1

 

50

Band-rumped Swift

Chaetura spinicaudus

5

 

51

Gray-rumped Swift

Chaetura cinereiventris

3

 

52

White-necked Jacobin

Florisuga mellivora

7

 

53

Rufous-breasted Hermit

Glaucis hirsutus

5

 

54

Green Hermit

Phaethornis guy

7

 

55

Little Hermit

Phaethornis longuemareus

5

 

56

White-tailed Goldenthroat

Polytmus guainumbi

1

 

57

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird

Chrysolampis mosquitus

1

 

58

Black-throated Mango

Anthracothorax nigricollis

7

 

59

Tufted Coquette

Lophornis ornatus

7

 

60

Long-billed Starthroat

Heliomaster longirostris

4

 

61

Blue-chinned Sapphire

Chlorestes notata

7

 

62

White-chested Emerald

Amazilia brevirostris

9

 

63

Copper-rumped Hummingbird

Amazilia tobaci

6

 

64

Green-backed Trogon

Trogon viridis

1

 

65

Amazonian Violaceous Trogon

Trogon violaceus

2

 

66

Collared Trogon

Trogon collaris

1

 

67

Blue-diademed Motmot

Momotus bahamensis

3

Trinidad MotMot

68

Ringed Kingfisher

Megaceryle torquata

4

 

69

Green Kingfisher

Chloroceryle americana

1

 

70

American Pygmy Kingfisher

Chloroceryle aenea

1

 

71

Rufous-tailed Jacamar

Galbula ruficauda

1

 

72

Channel-billed Toucan

Ramphastos vitellinus

4

 

73

Red-rumped Woodpecker

Veniliornis kirkii

1

 

74

Golden-olive Woodpecker

Colaptes rubiginosus

3

 

75

Chestnut Woodpecker

Celeus elegans

2

 

76

Lineated Woodpecker

Dryocopus lineatus

6

 

77

Crested Caracara

Caracara cheriway

1

 

78

Yellow-headed Caracara

Milvago chimachima

4

 

79

Bat Falcon

Falco rufigularis

1

 

80

Yellow-crowned Parrot

Amazona ochrocephala

1

 

81

Orange-winged Parrot

Amazona amazonica

11

 

82

Green-rumped Parrotlet

Forpus passerinus

3

 

83

Brown-throated Parakeet

Eupsittula pertinax

1

 

84

Red-bellied Macaw

Orthopsittaca manilatus

1

 

85

Blue-and-yellow Macaw

Ara ararauna

1

 

86

Great Antshrike

Taraba major

1

 

87

Black-crested Antshrike

Sakesphorus canadensis

1

 

88

Barred Antshrike

Thamnophilus doliatus

5

 

89

White-flanked Antwren

Myrmotherula axillaris

1

 

90

White-bellied Antbird

Myrmeciza longipes

1

 

91

Black-faced Antthrush

Formicarius analis

2

 

92

Plain-brown Woodcreeper

Dendrocincla fuliginosa

2

 

93

Cocoa Woodcreeper

Xiphorhynchus susurrans

3

 

94

Straight-billed Woodcreeper

Dendroplex picus

1

 

95

Yellow-chinned Spinetail

Certhiaxis cinnamomeus

2

 

96

Pale-breasted Spinetail

Synallaxis albescens

2

 

97

Stripe-breasted Spinetail

Synallaxis cinnamomea

1

 

98

Forest Elaenia

Myiopagis gaimardii

1

 

99

Yellow-bellied Elaenia

Elaenia flavogaster

1

 

100

Ochre-bellied Flycatcher

Mionectes oleagineus

1

 

101

Yellow-olive Flycatcher

Tolmomyias sulphurescens

2

 

102

Bran-colored Flycatcher

Myiophobus fasciatus

1

 

103

Euler's Flycatcher

Lathrotriccus euleri

1

 

104

Tropical Pewee

Contopus cinereus

3

 

105

Pied Water Tyrant

Fluvicola pica

3

 

106

White-headed Marsh-tyrant

Arundinicola leucocephala

2

 

107

Great Kiskadee

Pitangus sulphuratus

12

 

108

Boat-billed Flycatcher

Megarynchus pitangua

3

 

109

Piratic Flycatcher

Legatus leucophaius

1

 

110

Tropical Kingbird

Tyrannus melancholicus

14

 

111

Fork-tailed Flycatcher

Tyrannus savana

3

 

112

Bearded Bellbird

Procnias averano

2

 Seen on two occasions from the veranda at the Asa Wright NC

113

White-bearded Manakin

Manacus manacus

5

 

114

Golden-headed Manakin

Ceratopipra erythrocephala

4

 

115

Resident Chivi Vireo

Vireo olivaceus

1

 

116

Golden-fronted Greenlet

Pachysylvia aurantiifrons

3

 

117

Rufous-browed Peppershrike

Cyclarhis gujanensis

1

 

118

Southern Rough-winged Swallow

Stelgidopteryx ruficollis

2

 

119

Gray-breasted Martin

Progne chalybea

3

 

120

White-winged Swallow

Tachycineta albiventer

2

 

121

Barn Swallow

Hirundo rustica

3

 

122

House Wren

Troglodytes aedon

5

 

123

Rufous-breasted Wren

Pheugopedius rutilus

4

 

124

Cocoa Thrush

Turdus fumigatus

7

 

125

Spectacled Thrush

Turdus nudigenis

5

 

126

White-necked Thrush

Turdus albicollis

4

 

127

Tropical Mockingbird

Mimus gilvus

13

 

128

Masked Yellowthroat

Geothlypis aequinoctialis

1

 

129

American Redstart

Setophaga ruticilla

1

 

130

Tropical Parula

Setophaga pitiayumi

1

 

131

Golden-crowned Warbler

Basileuterus culicivorus

1

 

132

Red-capped Cardinal

Paroaria nigrogenis

1

 

133

White-shouldered Tanager

Tachyphonus luctuosus

2

 

134

White-lined Tanager

Tachyphonus rufus

7

 

135

Silver-beaked Tanager

Ramphocelus carbo

8

 

136

Blue-gray Tanager

Thraupis episcopus

7

 

137

Palm Tanager

Thraupis palmarum

10

 

138

Speckled Tanager

Tangara guttata

1

 

139

Turquoise Tanager

Tangara mexicana

3

 

140

Bay-headed Tanager

Tangara gyrola

5

 

141

Blue Dacnis

Dacnis cayana

3

 

142

Purple Honeycreeper

Cyanerpes caeruleus

7

 

143

Red-legged Honeycreeper

Cyanerpes cyaneus

1

 

144

Green Honeycreeper

Chlorophanes spiza

8

 

145

Bicolored Conebill

Conirostrum bicolor

1

 

146

Blue-black Grassquit

Volatinia jacarina

5

 

147

Lesson's Seedeater

Sporophila bouvronides

1

 

148

Bananaquit

Coereba flaveola

10

 

149

Grayish Saltator

Saltator coerulescens

2

 

150

Red-crowned Ant-tanager

Habia rubica

4

 

151

Red-breasted Blackbird

Sturnella militaris

1

 

152

Carib Grackle

Quiscalus lugubris

4

 

153

Yellow-hooded Blackbird

Chrysomus icterocephalus

3

 

154

Shiny Cowbird

Molothrus bonariensis

1

 

155

Yellow Oriole

Icterus nigrogularis

9

 

156

Yellow-rumped Cacique

Cacicus cela

1

 

157

Crested Oropendola

Psarocolius decumanus

7

 

158

Violaceous Euphonia

Euphonia violacea

4