Monday, 2 September 2013

August in review


"From early July there is a trickle of migrant shorebirds passing through Barbados en route from their distant North American breeding grounds … to winter in South America …By August this trickle has become a stream, swell on occasions to a flood which continues on through September ….” 
Maurice Bateman Hutt in his book A Naturalists Year in Barbados

This stream is flowing in anticipation of flooding. The north bound migration is in full effect.  For the month of August I posted eight (8) birds moving my count to 65 species. I also added five (5) new species to my year and life count both of which now stands at 77 species.

 The Stream

The stream of migrating birds continued into the month of August.  My checklist for that month consisted of forty-three (43) different species of birds. While in July the Least Sandpiper and the Semipalmated Plover were the most birds recorded in numbers, in the month of August it was the Semipalmated Sandpiper.
The rain has finally arrived.  With almost a week of rain many of the swamps, ponds and water holes now contain water.  Chancery Lane, whose water level was so low that I walked on dry swamp beds, is now the fullest I have seen it for the year.  See some of the birds recorded there in Table 1 below.
Another location which benefited from the rains was an old and abandoned shooting swamp at North Point St. Lucy; it is located on the northern Coast of the island. The shooting hut, a reminder of its past, was flattened by a storm system a few years ago, but the tray that remains attracts many migrating shorebirds.  If some local birds and conservationist had their way it would be the second Shorebird Sanctuary, after WRS, on the island.  I visited that location on August 28th and 31st and recorded eighteen species of birds.  Some of the birds recorded there in Table 2 below:

Table 1: Chancery Lane

Common Name
Scientific Name
Whimbrels
Numenius phaeopus
Ruddy Turnstones
Arenaria interpres
Sanderlings
Calidris alba
Least sandpipers
Calidris minutilla
Semipalmated Sandpipers
Calidris pusilla
Western Sandpipers
Calidris mauri
Spotted Sandpipers
Actitis macularius
Semipalmated Plovers
Charadrius semipalmatus


Table 2: North Point

Common Name
Scientific Name
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Calidris pusilla
Solitary Sandpipers
Tringa solitaria
Pectoral Sandpipers
Calidris melanotos
Western Sandpipers
Calidris mauri
Least Sandpipers
Calidris minutilla
Spotted Sandpipers
Actitis macularius
Greater Yellowlegs
Tringa melanoleuca
Semipalmated Plovers
Charadrius semipalmatus
American Golden Plovers
Pluvialis dominica
White Rumped Sandpiper
Calidris fuscicollis

(See photograph below taken by my son Jason of the remains of the shooting hut)  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 My Photo of the Month

My Photo of the Month is of a Sanderling on the shores of Martin Bay in St. John on the East Coast of the island.  This beautiful fishing village attracts a number of shorebirds.  This photograph was taken on August 25th, 2013.  Everything was perfect for the photo so I chose it as my Photo of the Month.


September

For September, I am hoping to post ten birds. While the northern migration is in full effect, I am hoping it will be a bit easier.  The shooting Swamps are still out of bounds with a month and a half remaining in the season.  With the North Point Swamp coming into play this should help a lot.  Another plus is that I am starting my vacation on September 2nd for two weeks.
With four months to go I need another thirty-four (34) birds for my photo challenge and another forty-three (43) for my year goal of one hundred and twenty (120) birds for the year.  Where am I going to find these birds? I sent out a SOS to local birders. If you have any to spare one you can also send them to Barbados W.I. lol.
So on to September may the flood of birds begin…
Below are some of the birds I photographed throughout the month of August.