Birding Trinidad & Tobago 2005
Journal: 3 Feb 05, Little Tobago Island




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Bird Photos

Trip List


Red-billed Tropic Bird with chick
Little Tobago Island

We had a reasonably early start for the long bus ride to Speyside on the northeast side of Tobago Island, a short distance by interstate freeway but a long and twisty ride on Tobago. There were significant numbers of mudslides and mass-wasting from the rains two weeks earlier. Our driver reported that there had been deaths here from some of the land slips and local flooding. Even areas that appeared undisturbed by human activities showed erosion, land slips and flood damage.
Eventually we reached Speyside and Blue Waters Inn on Bateaux Bay. We had a few minutes to wander around the public areas. The beach offered Rufous-vented Chachalacas and Ruddy Turnstones, including a color-banded Turnstone. We boarded Frank's Glass Bottom Boat for a ride around some of the reefs - muddy and dull from the recent storms - and then the very short cruise to Little Tobago Island. We climbed a good trail to the crest of the low ridge on the island - islet, really - and then over to the Atlantic side to get seabirds. We were greeted with Red-billed Tropicbirds, a Magnificent Frigatebird, a Laughing Gull, Red-footed Boobies, Brown Noddies and Brown Pelicans. Carribean Martins zipped overhead. Masked Boobies were visible in the scope.

Thoroughly banded Ruddy Turnstone
Speyside, Tobago

Photo by Ron Teel
Red-billed Tropicbird
Little Tobago Island
And, in a rare treat, a White-tailed Tropicbird glided by. We took brief peeks at Red-billed Tropicbird nests and had a glimpse of a nesting Audubon Shearwater.

Little Tobago supports an impressive array of landbirds, ranging from a Broad-winged Hawk to Tropical House Wrens. A Brown-crested Flycatcher and a Copper-rumped Hummingbird were particularly notable and cooperative.

We were back to Cuffie River Lodge by about 4:00 PM. I walked a trail on the easterly side of the road in. The later afternoon birding was very good, offering a Collared Trogon, a Blue-backed Manakin and a Fuscous Flycatcher, as well as several hundred Orange-winged Parrots.

The Usual Suspects:
Larry, Carol, Mary, Ron & Nancy
Speyside, Tobago

Your basic Beach Bird
Rufous-vented Chachalaca,
Speyside, Tobago

This was the last day of the trip. Packing was a little sad. As it turned out, it was -41 F when we arrived in Fairbanks, a change of 127 degrees from the 86 F in Tobago when we left. Yet another reason to bird.

Updated Sat, Mar 5, 2005