Monday, February 15, 2016

Trinidad 2015 - Woodpecker Expeditions and Ag Fields (Oct. 21st, 2015)








      Today was a sad day. Just as we had become familiar with all the fantastic species around Asa Wright and had settled into a routine, it was time to leave. Thus, we decided to arrange a couple more side trips to make the most out of our last morning in Trinidad.
     Our first side trip wasn't leaving until 8:00 am so we had plenty of time to enjoy the veranda once more. To our surprise there was an Olive-sided Flycatcher waiting for us when we got there! This is a species that we were all familiar with since it breeds throughout Canada and western North America, but we normally only detect it during fall migration. It winters in northern South America and parts of Central America, so seeing it in Trinidad was perfectly normal, although not a species that we particularly expected to see!
     Although we had been in Trinidad for 4 days, we hadn't seen a single woodpecker, and one of my traveling companions was really hankering for a woodpecker siting. Thus, after talking with a few local guides we ended up requesting a last-minute 4 hour side trip up Blanchisseuse Rd. which would put us at a much higher elevation and in the territory of known woodpecker pairs. This trip turned out to be quite productive and provided us with 10 more species for our list...including two species of woodpeckers! The most striking of the woodpeckers was the pair of Chestnut Woodpeckers that flew back and forth over our heads for a bit before disappearing back into the jungle. Unfortunately I was only able to get one terrible, but identifiable photo of this magnificent species. The other woodpecker that we were able to check off our list was the Lineated Woodpecker; however, we were only lucky enough to get a fleeting glance and hear it call. 

Chestnut Woodpecker
     During the first few miles up the road we heard Little Tinamous calling, and spotted quite a few raptors! Raptors are always exciting, but even more so when you are in another country and there is a chance of seeing a new species. We had a pretty active kettle of mixed species, so we were glad to have a guide who could assist in sorting out the identifying marks.

Common Black Hawk

Ornate Hawk-Eagle
    Some other species that we saw and/or heard included Tropical Parula, Plumbeous Kite, Short-tailed Hawk, Gray-lined Hawk, Blue-black Grassquit, and Trinidad Euphonia. Once we got to the highest point on Blanchisseuse Rd. which sits at approximately 1900 ft in elevation, we were greeted by a beautiful view of the northern range with the Caribbean Sea in the background.

1900 ft in elevation. The aqua color in the background is the Caribbean Sea
      We returned to Asa Wright just in time for lunch, and then had about an hour to kill before our bus left for the airport. During this time we visited the veranda one more time and tracked down our guide/driver to arrange for a quick stop at one more place on the way to the airport. I was also able to have a 1 second glimpse of a Golden-Olive Woodpecker that came to visit the veranda!

White-bearded Manakin

Bay-headed Tanager

Female Purple Honeycreeper
      It was finally time to say goodbye to Asa Wright and head to the airport. However, we had one more chance to pick up a few species along the way. We had convinced our driver to make a stop at the Aripo Livestock Agriculture Research Station. Although we ended up birding through a passing thunderstorm we managed to see 12 additional species: Carib Grackle, Red-breasted Meadowlark, Grassland Yellow-Finch, White-winged Swallow, Yellow-bellied Elaenia, Yellow-chinned Spinetail, Green-rumped Parrotlet, Rock Pigeon, Least Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper, and Savannah Hawk. What a great use of 30 minutes! We also spotted a Ringed Kingfisher, Peregrine Falcon, and Greater Yellowlegs just before we got dropped off at the airport.

Savannah Hawk in a downpour

Savannah Hawk with his/her sassy pants on. 

Red-breasted Meadowlark in a downpour

Southern Lapwing being sassy

Southern Lapwing

A young Wattled Jacana

Red-breasted Meadowlark 

Red-breasted Meadowlark

Grassland Yellow-Finch


Yellow-bellied Elaenia

Green-rumped Parrotlet preening after the rain. 

Green-rumped Parrotlets

 Wow! What a trip! Definitely a place to revisit in the near future.
Below is our entire trip list in taxonomic order:

# Species Location Date
1 Little Tinamou - Crypturellus soui Blanchisseuse Road 10/21/2015
2 Anhinga - Anhinga anhinga Caroni Swamp 10/19/2015
3 Great Egret - Ardea alba Trincity Sewage Treatment Ponds 10/19/2015
4 Snowy Egret - Egretta thula Caroni Swamp 10/19/2015
5 Little Blue Heron - Egretta caerulea Caroni Swamp 10/19/2015
6 Tricolored Heron - Egretta tricolor Caroni Swamp 10/19/2015
7 Cattle Egret - Bubulcus ibis Trincity Sewage Treatment Ponds 10/19/2015
8 Striated Heron - Butorides striata Trincity Sewage Treatment Ponds 10/19/2015
9 Yellow-crowned Night-Heron - Nyctanassa violacea Caroni Swamp 10/19/2015
10 Scarlet Ibis - Eudocimus ruber Caroni Swamp 10/19/2015
11 Black Vulture - Coragyps atratus Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/17/2015
12 Turkey Vulture - Cathartes aura Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/18/2015
13 Osprey - Pandion haliaetus Caroni Swamp 10/19/2015
14 Black Hawk-Eagle - Spizaetus tyrannus Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/19/2015
15 Ornate Hawk-Eagle - Spizaetus ornatus Blanchisseuse Road 10/21/2015
16 Plumbeous Kite - Ictinia plumbea Blanchisseuse Road 10/21/2015
17 Long-winged Harrier - Circus buffoni Caroni Rice Fields 10/19/2015
18 Common Black Hawk - Buteogallus anthracinus Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/19/2015
19 Savanna Hawk - Buteogallus meridionalis Aripo Livestock (Agriculture Research) Station 10/21/2015
20 White Hawk - Pseudastur albicollis Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/17/2015
21 Gray-lined Hawk - Buteo nitidus Blanchisseuse Road 10/21/2015
22 Short-tailed Hawk - Buteo brachyurus Blanchisseuse Road 10/21/2015
23 Purple Gallinule - Porphyrio martinicus Trincity Sewage Treatment Ponds 10/19/2015
24 Southern Lapwing - Vanellus chilensis Trincity Sewage Treatment Ponds 10/19/2015
25 Wattled Jacana - Jacana jacana Trincity Sewage Treatment Ponds 10/19/2015
26 Spotted Sandpiper - Actitis macularius Caroni Swamp 10/19/2015
27 Solitary Sandpiper - Tringa solitaria Aripo Livestock (Agriculture Research) Station 10/21/2015
28 Greater Yellowlegs - Tringa melanoleuca Piarco Airport and adjacent lakes 10/21/2015
29 Least Sandpiper - Calidris minutilla Aripo Livestock (Agriculture Research) Station 10/21/2015
30 Yellow-billed Tern - Sternula superciliaris Trincity Sewage Treatment Ponds 10/19/2015
31 Large-billed Tern - Phaetusa simplex Trincity Sewage Treatment Ponds 10/19/2015
32 Rock Pigeon - Columba livia Trinidad and Tobago 10/19/2015
33 Scaled Pigeon - Patagioenas speciosa Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/18/2015
34 Ruddy Ground-Dove - Columbina talpacoti Trinidad and Tobago 10/19/2015
35 White-tipped Dove - Leptotila verreauxi Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/18/2015
36 Gray-fronted Dove - Leptotila rufaxilla Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/17/2015
37 Smooth-billed Ani - Crotophaga ani Caroni Swamp 10/19/2015
38 Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl - Glaucidium brasilianum Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/18/2015
39 Oilbird - Steatornis caripensis Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/20/2015
40 Band-rumped Swift - Chaetura spinicaudus Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/18/2015
41 Gray-rumped Swift - Chaetura cinereiventris Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/17/2015
42 White-necked Jacobin - Florisuga mellivora Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/17/2015
43 Rufous-breasted Hermit - Glaucis hirsutus Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/20/2015
44 Green Hermit - Phaethornis guy Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/17/2015
45 Little Hermit - Phaethornis longuemareus Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/17/2015
46 Green-throated Mango - Anthracothorax viridigula Caroni Swamp 10/19/2015
47 Tufted Coquette - Lophornis ornatus Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/17/2015
48 Long-billed Starthroat - Heliomaster longirostris Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/17/2015
49 Blue-chinned Sapphire - Chlorestes notata Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/17/2015
50 White-chested Emerald - Amazilia brevirostris Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/17/2015
51 Copper-rumped Hummingbird - Amazilia tobaci Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/17/2015
52 Green-backed Trogon - Trogon viridis Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/18/2015
53 Guianan Trogon - Trogon violaceus Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/18/2015
54 Collared Trogon - Trogon collaris Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/18/2015
55 Trinidad Motmot - Momotus bahamensis Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/18/2015
56 Ringed Kingfisher - Megaceryle torquata Trinidad and Tobago 10/21/2015
57 Channel-billed Toucan - Ramphastos vitellinus Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/18/2015
58 Chestnut Woodpecker - Celeus elegans Blanchisseuse Road 10/21/2015
59 Lineated Woodpecker - Dryocopus lineatus Blanchisseuse Road 10/21/2015
60 Yellow-headed Caracara - Milvago chimachima Caroni Swamp 10/19/2015
61 Peregrine Falcon - Falco peregrinus Trinidad and Tobago 10/21/2015
62 Orange-winged Parrot - Amazona amazonica Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/18/2015
63 Green-rumped Parrotlet - Forpus passerinus Caroni Swamp 10/19/2015
64 Great Antshrike - Taraba major Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/19/2015
65 Black-crested Antshrike - Sakesphorus canadensis Caroni Swamp 10/19/2015
66 Barred Antshrike - Thamnophilus doliatus Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/17/2015
67 Plain Antvireo - Dysithamnus mentalis Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/18/2015
68 White-flanked Antwren - Myrmotherula axillaris Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/18/2015
69 Cocoa Woodcreeper - Xiphorhynchus susurrans Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/17/2015
70 Straight-billed Woodcreeper - Dendroplex picus Caroni Swamp 10/19/2015
71 Yellow-chinned Spinetail - Certhiaxis cinnamomeus Aripo Livestock (Agriculture Research) Station 10/21/2015
72 Yellow-bellied Elaenia - Elaenia flavogaster Aripo Livestock (Agriculture Research) Station 10/21/2015
73 Ochre-bellied Flycatcher - Mionectes oleagineus Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/20/2015
74 Olive-sided Flycatcher - Contopus cooperi Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/21/2015
75 Tropical Pewee - Contopus cinereus Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/19/2015
76 Pied Water-Tyrant - Fluvicola pica Trincity Sewage Treatment Ponds 10/19/2015
77 Great Kiskadee - Pitangus sulphuratus Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/17/2015
78 Boat-billed Flycatcher - Megarynchus pitangua Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/20/2015
79 Tropical Kingbird - Tyrannus melancholicus Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/18/2015
80 Bearded Bellbird - Procnias averano Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/18/2015
81 White-bearded Manakin - Manacus manacus Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/18/2015
82 Golden-headed Manakin - Ceratopipra erythrocephala Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/18/2015
83 Black-tailed Tityra - Tityra cayana Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/18/2015
84 Golden-fronted Greenlet - Pachysylvia aurantiifrons Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/18/2015
85 Rufous-browed Peppershrike - Cyclarhis gujanensis Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/20/2015
86 Southern Rough-winged Swallow - Stelgidopteryx ruficollis Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/20/2015
87 White-winged Swallow - Tachycineta albiventer Aripo Livestock (Agriculture Research) Station 10/21/2015
88 House Wren - Troglodytes aedon Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/18/2015
89 Rufous-breasted Wren - Pheugopedius rutilus Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/18/2015
90 Cocoa Thrush - Turdus fumigatus Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/19/2015
91 Spectacled Thrush - Turdus nudigenis Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/17/2015
92 White-necked Thrush - Turdus albicollis Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/18/2015
93 Tropical Mockingbird - Mimus gilvus Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/18/2015
94 Northern Waterthrush - Parkesia noveboracensis Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/18/2015
95 American Redstart - Setophaga ruticilla Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/18/2015
96 Tropical Parula - Setophaga pitiayumi Blanchisseuse Road 10/21/2015
97 Yellow Warbler - Setophaga petechia Caroni Swamp 10/19/2015
98 Masked Cardinal - Paroaria nigrogenis Caroni Swamp 10/19/2015
99 White-shouldered Tanager - Tachyphonus luctuosus Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/19/2015
100 White-lined Tanager - Tachyphonus rufus Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/17/2015
101 Silver-beaked Tanager - Ramphocelus carbo Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/17/2015
102 Blue-gray Tanager - Thraupis episcopus Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/17/2015
103 Palm Tanager - Thraupis palmarum Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/17/2015
104 Turquoise Tanager - Tangara mexicana Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/18/2015
105 Bay-headed Tanager - Tangara gyrola Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/18/2015
106 Blue Dacnis - Dacnis cayana Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/20/2015
107 Purple Honeycreeper - Cyanerpes caeruleus Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/17/2015
108 Green Honeycreeper - Chlorophanes spiza Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/18/2015
109 Grassland Yellow-Finch - Sicalis luteola Aripo Livestock (Agriculture Research) Station 10/21/2015
110 Blue-black Grassquit - Volatinia jacarina Blanchisseuse Road 10/21/2015
111 Bananaquit - Coereba flaveola Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/17/2015
112 Red-crowned Ant-Tanager - Habia rubica Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/19/2015
113 Red-breasted Meadowlark - Sturnella militaris Aripo Livestock (Agriculture Research) Station 10/21/2015
114 Carib Grackle - Quiscalus lugubris Aripo Livestock (Agriculture Research) Station 10/21/2015
115 Yellow Oriole - Icterus nigrogularis Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/17/2015
116 Crested Oropendola - Psarocolius decumanus Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/17/2015
117 Trinidad Euphonia - Euphonia trinitatis Blanchisseuse Road 10/21/2015
118 Violaceous Euphonia - Euphonia violacea Asa Wright Nature Centre 10/17/2015



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