Trinidad Feb 15—22, 2018
Posted by Barry Zimmer
Our first morning on the veranda of the Asa Wright Nature Centre was a literal whirlwind of activity. As the first light of dawn crept into the Arima Valley, activity began at the feeders off the veranda. At first it was a trickle; a male Silver-beaked Tanager arrived and sampled a piece of papaya, as did a handful of raucous Crested Oropendolas. A Rufous-breasted Hermit zipped into one of the many hummingbird feeders and was quickly chased by a White-chested Emerald. A pair of White-lined Tanagers appeared, the male a glossy black and the female a rich rufous color.
As a flock of Orange-winged Parrots sailed up the valley to alight in a bare tree to our right and the first rays of sun peaked over the ridge, the floodgates opened, and birds arrived at a pace so rapid that one could not keep up. A Tufted Coquette buzzed about the vervain, followed by a gem-like Violaceous Euphonia on one of the feeders. To the left a Cocoa Thrush landed in the wild tobacco tree, while multiple White-necked Jacobins dominated the hummingbird feeders. Bananaquit, Spectacled Thrush, Green Honeycreeper, Tropical Mockingbird, Great Kiskadee, and Blue-gray and Palm tanagers paraded into the fruit trays in a dizzying blur. The appearance of a male Purple Honeycreeper caused a gasp among our group as its brilliant yellow legs provided stark contrast with its purplish-blue body. Then there were ten of them! Other hummingbird species joined the crowd including a snazzy Long-billed Starthroat, Black-throated Mango, and Copper-rumped Hummingbird. A Black-tailed Tityra perched up in a bare tree and provided scope studies, while two Common Black Hawks soared over the valley. Activity in a Trema tree to our left revealed brilliant Bay-headed and Turquoise tanagers feeding on the small berries. A female Barred Antshrike skulked through the thickets along the back wall, a flashy Yellow Oriole landed on one of the trays, and a flock of Scaled Pigeons sailed past. Then the breakfast bell rang! All this activity in a little over an hour before breakfast on the first day of our tour!
Read Barry’s full report in his Field Report.