Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Birding Long Beach

Long Beach on the Map

When one thinks of Long Beach, on the South Coast of our island Barbados, one envisions a mile long, white sandy beach, touched by the Atlantic Sea.  It is known mainly for its surfing, kite surfing and other water sports.  But birding? No way!  Maybe Inch Marlow to the south, or the Chancery Lane Swamp just inland, but definitely not Long for birding.  Well, that may have been true before, but not this year.  Long Beach is probably one of the best locations to see shorebirds this fall migration season thanks to Sargassum seaweed (What is Sargassum Seaweed?).  While this seaweed may have proven to be a headache for coastal managers and an eyesore to beach goers, it is a welcomed buffet for famished shorebirds.  This seaweed has trapped goodies for birds such as fish eggs, small fish and crustacean. 
I visited Long Beach a number of times during a three week period, stopping mostly at the southern end of the beach.  With each visit the number of birds and species increase.  The total bird species recorded up to Friday August 15 was sisteen.  This includes nine shorebirds, two seabirds, a Martin and four of our common birds.  

The table below shows the list of bird species recorded.

Common Names
Scientific Names
Semipalmated Plover
Charadrius semipalmatus
Ruddy Turnstone
Arenaria interpres
Spotted Sandpiper
Actitis macularius
Least Sandpiper
Calidris minutilla
Pectoral Sandpiper
Calidris melanotos
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Calidris pusilla
White-rumped Sandpiper
Calidris fuscicollis
Short-billed Dowitcher
Limnodromus griseus
Lesser Yellowlegs
Tringa flavipes
Magnificent Frigatebird
Fregata magnificens
Laughing Gull
Leucophaeus atricilla
Roseate Tern
Sterna dougallii
Zenaida Dove
Zenaida aurita
Carib Grackle
Quiscalus lugubris

Barbados Bullfinch  
Loxigilla barbadensis

Caribbean Martin  

Progne dominicensis 

 Bird Photos from Long Beach

Laugh Gull (juv)

Frigate Bird (M)