Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Late Afternoon at the WSR

The Woodbourne Shorebird Refuge (WSR) was badly affected by this prolonged dry spell we were/are having on the island.  Unlike the private hunting compounds, which pumped water in to create artificial wetlands, the WSR depends on rain as its source of water.  As a result of the low rainfall, the site was dry for most of the southern (autumn) migration season - robbing migrating shorebirds of a safe haven away from the blazing guns of hunters.  This all changed with the passing of a number of tropical systems.  The site now has a small fraction of its water capacity but is already teaming with avian life.

I visited the WSR on the 17th October, 2014 at about 5pm and recorded 23 species of birds.  The highlight of my visit was a close up encounter with a Yellow-crowned Night Heron.  This has been the only place in Barbados that I have ever seen this bird, earlier this year I recorded two of them, a lifer for me then.  The bird stood motionless on the bank of one of the trays which allowed me to observe it for a while. 

I also saw my first Blue-winged Teal for the southern (Autumn) migration season.  A flock of eighteen birds were hiding among the vegetation in the pond. 
From a layman’s view point I believe that the Shorebird Conservation Trust - the charity which among other things looks after the WSR - should be given the resources to have at least sufficient water for the period of the hunting season.  I personally would also like to see two more Shorebird Refuges established one at the old hunting compounds at Coles, St. Philip on the East Coast and the other at North Point, St. Lucy on the North Coast.  This would be a huge benefit to shorebird conservation.  

I had a good afternoon at the WSR .  See the table below for the checklist of the birds I recorded. (click for Gallery of Bird seen)

Common Names
Scientific Names
Blue-winged Teal
Anas discors
Little Egret
Egretta garzetta
Green Heron
Butorides virescens
Black-crowned Night Heron
Nycticorax nycticorax
Yellow-crowned Night Heron
Nyctanassa violacea
Common Gallinule
Gallinula galeata
Semipalmated Plover
Charadrius semipalmatus
Spotted Sandpiper
Actitis macularius
Solitary Sandpiper
Tringa solitaria
Greater Yellowlegs
Tringa melanoleuca
Lesser Yellowlegs
Tringa flavipes
Least Sandpiper
Calidris minutilla 
White-rumped Sandpiper
Calidris fuscicollis
Pectoral Sandpiper
Calidris melanotos
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Calidris pusilla
Wilson's Snipe
Gallinago delicata
Scaly-naped Pigeon
Patagioenas squamosa
Common Ground-Dove
Columbina passerina
Zenaida Dove
Zenaida aurita
Gray Kingbird
Tyrannus dominicensis
Black-faced Grassquit
Tiaris bicolor
Barbados Bullfinch
Loxigilla barbadensis
Carib Grackle
(Quiscalus lugubris)