Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Bird #57: American Golden Plover

Common Name: American Golden Plover
Scientific Name: Pluvialis dominica
Description: 10 inches; Non-Breeding: upperparts mottled greyish brown with black spots; underparts whitish brownish; contrast between whitish eyebrow stripe and dark crown; Breeding: underparts black; upperparts mottled gold and black; white patches on side of neck.

Fields, tidal flats

non-breeding migrant



Thursday, 11 July 2013

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Bird #54: Southern lapwing

Common Name: Southern Lapwing
Scientific Name: Vanellus chilensis        

Description: 13-15 inches; bill pink with black tip; forehead black; eyes red; upperparts Brownish-grey; bronze   gloss on shoulder;  chest black; underparts white; pink legs

Wet areas or open grassland;

Statue: Resident Breeder
In the year 2007 when the Southern Lapwing stated to breed and colonized this island, it was not just a first for this species in Barbados but also for the Eastern Caribbean.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

June in Review

Hmmm what can I say about the month of June?  It was a bitter sweet month.  I was able to post six (6) birds; it could even have been more.  I was able to add four (4) new species to my year count and three (3) to my life count.

The Sweet
The month of June was sweet because of the number of shorebirds seen around the island. The Chancery Lane Swamp, which is in the parish of Christ Church on the South Coast of island was dry just a couple of weeks ago.  Now this swamp is bubbling with activity.  There are thousands of fiddler crabs and shorebirds.  Observed at this location were Willets (Tringa semipalmata), Ruddy Turnstones (Arenaria interpres)( in abundance), Semipalmated Plovers (Charadrius semipalmatus), two Short billed Dowitchers (Limnodromus griseus), Sanderlines (Calidris alba) and a Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus).
At the Conga Road Private Swamp in the parish of St Philip, Black bellied Plovers and Semipalmated Plovers can be seen.  Also spotted was the unverified Western or Semipalmated Sandpiper.  It was in the north however; in the parish of St. Lucy where I did the bulk of my birding this month.  The shorebirds observed at the locations in that Parish were Greater Yellow Legs, a Buff Breasted Sandpiper, a Pectoral Sandpiper and our Southern Lapwing, who we all hope attracts a mate and resumes breeding.  Other noted non shorebirds seen were a juvenile Black Crowned Night Heron and a flock of Black Bellied Whistling Ducks.  

The Bitter
Early in the month I lost my darling Sigma 28-300mm.  She was a loyal and trusted friend and we have been through so much together – (A moment of silence).  Her backup is a very unreliable Canon 70-300 USM IS which works only when she feels like it.  This brought my photo-excursion to a halt.  I am now on the hunt for a 300+ mm lens.  

The Photograph of the Month
My photograph of the month is not one but a series of photographs I call “When Food Fights Back”.  It shows the dramatic struggle between food and survival - a mouse fighting not to become the snack of a Cattle Egret.
Cattle Egret with a mouse for dinner

Closer look: the mouse is biting into the egrets bill

The fight is on the mouse for its life

He is not letting go

The Egret is not giving up either

A few shakes and the mouse is in the death grip of the cattle egrets

Can it escape?

Of course not!

He is food


The End.

New Channel
100barbadosbirds is now on You Tube.  The name of the channel is Barbados Birds and we have started with a recap, in slideshow form of all the birds we have seen so far.  You can follow the link below and be sure to join to keep up to date.

July Upcoming…
I will be hoping to have my lens problem corrected by the end of July but I am still hoping to be able to post some pictures.  If I am unable to post actual pictures I will keep you informed with word pictures.
I learnt that 117 species is the record held for the number of birds sighted in one year here in Barbados, so in addition to reaching my hundred bird photo challenge, I will be aiming for a record of 120 different sightings.  My year count now stands at 71 species that leaves me with another 49 species in 6 months for the new record.

The local hunting season starts on July 15th.  For the next couple of months, thousands of mainly shorebirds will meet their death in a hail of bullets.  During this time these locations will be out of bounds to birders. So my birding will be restricted to none hunting area such as Long Pond and Chancery Lane.

With that said onward to the month of July!