In Barbados, the month of November is referred to as a Rare Bird Month (RBM) by local birders. Last year (2013), November brought rarities such as the Common Shellduck and a Wilson’s phalarope.
This month started off pretty promising. While a group was birding at Harrison’s Point, St. Lucy on November 1st, a warbler which was later identified as a Black-throated Green WarblerDendroica virens
On Sunday 2nd November at the same location, another wood warbler was recorded, a Blackburnian Warbler Setophaga fusca. The first confirmed record of this bird on the island was on November 4, 2000 at Harrison’s Point. Last year, one was identified at the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary. The Blackburnian is a small song warbler with a black face mask, orange yellow eyebrow and white wingbars.
The shorebirds were not to be outdone. The three Hudsonian Godwits Limosa haemastica which were in the north of the island last month, stayed over for RBM. In the east, Long Billed Dowitchers Limnodromus scolopaceus and a Red Knot Calidris canutus were also recorded.
Barbados is well known for Eurasian rarities. Two such birds were recorded in the first week of November. The first one, a Ruff Philomachus pugnax, was recorded on the 7th November in the north of the island. Ruffs are shorebirds known for the ruffle around its neck which it displays during courtship. The second bird, a Grey Heron Ardea cinerea, was spotted in the east of the island. It was observed to be standing not far from its New World double the Great Blue Heron.
This was just the first week, let us see how the month progresses.
|Black-throated Green Warbler by J. Webster|