Thursday, April 14, 2016

Cuffie River Lodge 4/8-4/10--7 Life Birds, 2 Year Birds

Cuffie River Lodge
Photo: Shari Zirlin
We left Asa Wright after lunch and took a long, winding road back to the Piarco Airport for a quick, 20 minute flight to Tobago, where we were met by a taxi which took us along another long, winding road, to the Cuffie River Lodge, a place so remote (and trusting) that they don't issue room keys, which was bewildering to a couple who has spent most of their lives in NYC. No air conditioning, but you don't need it--you sleep with the doors to your balcony wide open as there are no mosquitoes.

Photo: Shari Zirlin
And no one sleeps late in Tobago because long before dawn, the RUFOUS-VENTED CHACHALACAS begin a raucous wake-up call. As Shari said, they are a lousy alarm clock because you can't shut it off. These turkey-like birds invade the property, looking for the fruit set out for them and they are everywhere--in the trees, in the road, on the roof. They are not shy with people and they are determined to get what they want, so other birds better get out of the way.

The heavy non-stop birding part of our vacation was now over--we still birded, but they were walks along the long driveway and from our balcony overlooking the feeders. One afternoon spent some time in the elevated pool as GRAY-RUMPED SWIFTS joined us for little sips of water, perhaps 50 of them circling around, dipping in for a quick drink then rejoining the carousel. Impossible to get a picture of them.

We added a few flycatchers to the list, notably the VENEZUELAN FLYCATCHER, and Brown-crested Flycatcher, a bird we don't see in the east, but have seen a few times out west.
Brown-crested Flycatcher
Photo: Shari Zirlin
Blue-gray Tanager, RED-CROWNED WOODPECKER, Palm Tanager
Photo: Shari Zirlin
Photo: Shari Zirlin

Another bird we enjoyed a RED-CROWNED WOODPECKER which we found at the hummingbird feeder. There was an adult and a juvenile. While the juvenile also visited the feeder, it still preferred being fed by the parent, and from our balcony we had an excellent view of the begging and the feeding

At night, I held the strong flashlight as Lon and Kim photographed White-tailed Nightjar and Common Potoo. The potoo was completely oblivious to our presence. I walked right up to the pole it was sitting on and it had no concerns about me. Only a moth could distract it. Quite amazing to see nightjars and other nocturnal species so close and vivid, when at home hearing them is a happy event.

A couple of lists:
Around the lodge:
Species         Count
Little Blue Heron  1
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron  1
Rufous-breasted Hermit  1
White-necked Jacobin  5
Ruby-topaz Hummingbird  1
Copper-rumped Hummingbird  1
Red-eyed Vireo  1
Pale-vented Pigeon  1
White-tipped Dove  1
White-tailed Nightjar  2
Common Potoo  1
Trinidad Motmot  2
Orange-winged Parrot  1
Barred Antshrike  1
Brown-crested Flycatcher  1
Streaked Flycatcher  1
Gray Kingbird  1
Tropical Mockingbird  2
Palm Tanager  5
Bananaquit  1
Shiny Cowbird  1
Crested Oropendola  1

On the Driveway
Species                  Count
Broad-winged Hawk  1
Pale-vented Pigeon  1
Cocoa Woodcreeper  1
White-tipped Dove  1
White-necked Jacobin  1
Rufous-tailed Jacamar  2
Orange-winged Parrot  1
Barred Antshrike  2
Venezuelan Flycatcher  1
Streaked Flycatcher  1
Red-eyed Vireo  1
Tropical Mockingbird  1
Palm Tanager  2
Bananaquit  1
Shiny Cowbird  1
Crested Oropendola  1

Some other pictures:
Motmot tail

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