Wednesday, 3 December 2014

A Month of Rarities

This was a paradoxical birding year for the island.  The number of birds we are accustomed to seeing was down, but the number of different species, even those which would be classified as rare to the island had increased.  Rare Bird Month, a term coined by Edward Massiah (one of the authors of Birds of Barbados), emphasized this.  The month of November found a higher than usual number of rarities on these shores, and rarities we had.  We recorded the first one on the 1st November and the last one on the 30th of November. 
The bird of the month for me was the Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus. It was the first for the island since 1958.

Here is the list of all the rarities recorded in November

Common Name
Scientific Name
Dendroica virens
Setophaga fusca
Limosa haemastica
Limnodromus scolopaceus 
Philomachus pugnax
Ardea cinerea
Calidris canutus
Cuculus canorus
 Dendrocygna bicolor
Anas clypeata
Parkesia noveboracensis

Below are photographs of some of the rarities

Blackburnian Warbler
Common Cuckoo

Hudsonian  Godwits

Grey Heron

Red Knot photograph by Dr. John Webster

Northern Shoveler photograph by Dr. John Webster

Black-throated Green Warbler photograph by Dr. John Webster
Northern Waterthrush photograph by Dr. John Webster