Wednesday, 8 January 2014

31 species in the first week of 2014

31 species in the first week of 2014
The phone rang, I got up and looked at the clock, it was 5:50am and raining outside.  I was warm under the covers with my wife next to me, keeping me warm.  I struggled out of bed and answered the telephone.  A voice on the line said “I’m here, how far are you?”  You see, a day before I had promised to go out with a new birder/Photographer.  During 2014 he will be trying to photograph the 100 birds which I was unable to photograph in 2013.  So there he was, in the cold, windy, wet outdoors and I was in bed.  My reply was “did you not get my message?” I had messaged him earlier cancelling the morning’s trip.  “No.” was the reply “I am here”. My response, “ok, I will be there in half an hour”…  This started my birding for 2014.

January 1st
Our first stop was the Hope Pond, St. Lucy to the North of the island.  I had heard that flocks of Masked Ducks “Nomonyx dominicus ” were seen there.  At that pond I recorded five of them, 4 hens and a drake with his beautiful blue bill, as my first birds for 2014.  In total, in one hour, I recorded eight (8) species of birds. 

See the table below. 

Common Names
Scientific Names
Masked Duck
Nomonyx dominicus
Cattle Egret
Bubulcus ibis
Common Gallinule
Gallinula galeata
Green-throated Carib
Eulampis holosericeus
Caribbean Elaenia
Elaenia martinica
Gray Kingbird
Tyrannus dominicensis
Carib Grackle
Quiscalus lugubris
Black-faced Grassquit
Tiaris bicolor

The next stop was at Checker Hall, also in St. Lucy.  I was able to add eleven (11) bird species to my list.  I observed a couple of Sandpipers, Egrets and an Osprey. See table below.
Common Names
Scientific Names
Great Egret
Ardea alba
Little Egret
Egretta garzetta
Snowy Egret
Egretta thula
Pandion haliaetus
Solitary Sandpiper
Tringa solitaria
Greater Yellowlegs
Tringa melanoleuca
Lesser Yellowlegs
Tringa flavipes
Least Sandpiper
Calidris minutilla
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Calidris pusilla
Wilson's Snipe
Gallinago delicate
Grassland Yellow-Finch
Sicalis luteola

From Checker Hall, we moved to the Fishing Village of Six Men’s Bay in the Parish of St. Peter to see the now famous flock of Sanderlings which winter there yearly.  I was not disappointed. On arrival at Six Men’s Bay I was greeted by a flock of over 50 Sanderlings, feeding on fish parts from the market.  I was also able to observe a banded bird, Y2L, which I reported to . 

See the table below.
Common Names
Scientific Names
Calidris alba
Spotted Sandpiper
Actitis macularius
Ruddy Turnstone
Arenaria interpres
Zenaida Dove
Zenaida aurita
Coereba flaveola
Magnificent Frigatebird
Fregata magnificens

On leaving Six Men’s Bay and heading home I decided to do a little back yard birding.  Well really bedroom window birding.  I was able to add the Barbados Bullfinch Loxigilla barbadensis” and the Scaly-naped Pigeon “Patagioenas squamosa” to my list for the day giving a total of twenty-seven (27) bird species on the first day of January.

January 03
This day I was on the job when I heard a familiar bird call.  I looked to the sky in time to see two Rose-ringed Parakeets “Psittacula krameri” flying overhead.  It has been said that a birder is always birding and this observation testifies to that statement. This sighting was listed as incidental.

January 04
I had the privilege of spending a couple of hours in the rural parish of St. Andrew.  St. Andrew is a beautiful parish with lots of rivers, ponds and streams. Although I was not there for birding or photography I could not miss the chance to photograph some of the rocks along the stream, but as I said, birders are always birding.  So for the three hours I was there, I took note of the birds I saw.  I was able to add a Green Heron “Butorides virescens” and a Shiny Cowbird “Molothrus bonariensis” to my year list.

January 06
Traveling along the west coast of the island in the parish of St. James about 9am, I started to count the Eurasian Collard Doves along the way.  After about two miles I had a total of five (5) Doves.  The Eurasian Collard Doves were once only found in the eastern and southern parishes, but are now almost found island wide.
So for the first seven days of 2014, I have a total year count of thirty-one birds.
Below are some pictures from the first week of birding.

Zenaida Dove - Zenaida aurita

Part of the flock of Sanderling at Six Mens , Barbados

Sanderling - Calidris alba

Sanderling - Calidris alba

Sanderling - Calidris alba

Sanderling - Calidris alba

Cattle Egret - Bubulcus ibis

Tag Sanderling Y2L

Common Gallinule - Gallinula galeata

Masked Duck - Nomonyx dominicus