by Ian and Gillian Broadbent
Our honeymoon consisted of a week on Tobago followed by a week
on Trinidad – the more relaxed atmosphere on Tobago was the perfect wedding
antidote! We stayed at the Speyside Inn on Tobago for 7 nights before transferring
to Asa Wright Nature Centre for 4 nights then Pax Guest House for a final relaxing
3 nights. All flights and accommodation were arranged through Wildwings; accommodation
was on a B+B basis at Speyside Inn, full board at Asa Wright and half board
We hired the services of Adolphus James for a day on Tobago
(US$120 per party), and made two boat trips to Little Tobago (the second, with
the Top Ranking boat, was longer and more productive than the first when we
went with Frank’s boat). Both boat trips (TT$100 per person) gave us a glass-bottomed
tour of the coral reef, followed by about an hour on the island, plus snorkelling
over the reef on the way back. Boats leave normally at 2pm in the afternoon
(better for tropicbirds returning to the cliffs) but they also go across in
the mornings if there is demand. Our guide with the Top Ranking boat, Wayne
Gray, was excellent and is also available for trips to Gilpin Trace etc. We
also hired a jeep for a couple of days on Tobago which was great fun and well
worth £30 per day.
On Trinidad, Asa Wright Nature Centre organised a guide (Ramdass)
to take us to Nariva and Blanchisseuse, and we also arranged a nightbirding
trip to Waller Field with him which was well worth it. Ramdass was tireless
in his efforts to get us the speciality birds, which he knew well and could
also imitate. He also had tapes of some of the species, which worked particularly
well with trogons, potoo and black-faced antthrush; we would have seen only
a fraction of the birds without him. Asa Wright also organised a trip to the
Oilbird colony (they only do two trips a week to the cave in order to minimise
disturbance, and you have to stay at least 3 nights at AWNC to visit the colony),
and they also arranged a brief introductory tour to the trails although ours
was curtailed by a sudden downpour. The only trip we organised through Pax was
on our final evening, to the spectacle of the Caroni Swamp.
1. Little Tinamou Crypturellus soui Heard only, at least two
Blanchisseuse Road 14/9, and at least two from Pax terrace 15/9 and 16/9
2. Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus At least 20 mid
afternoon Little Tobago eastern cliffs 7/9, giving excellent views as they screamed
around the cliffs, but none late morning/early afternoon there on 5/9 – they
seem to return to the cliffs later in the day. Small numbers (1-3) were scoped
at c.1.5 miles distance from Blue Waters on 5-7/9, and a couple were scoped
at distance from Flagstaff Hill over St Giles island on 9/9.
3. White-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon lepturus A superb adult
was the only tropicbird of the trip to Little Tobago 5/9, showing extremely
well from the second seabird viewpoint on the eastern side of the island. Only
5 or 6 previous T+T records, but up to two have been recorded regularly on Little
Tobago since early 1999.
4. Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis Small numbers (up to
5) daily off Blue Waters and eastern Tobago beaches, also seen off Manzanilla
Beach and Blanchisseuse beach Trinidad 13/9 and 14/9.
5. Anhinga Anhinga anhinga Two Caroni swamp 17/9.
6. Red-footed Booby Sula sula One white phase and one white-tailed
brown phase Little Tobago 5/9, one white-tailed brown phase there 7/9
7. Brown Booby Sula leucogaster Several Little Tobago 5/9 and
7/9 and small numbers from Blue Waters daily. Also seen from western Tobago
beaches e.g Parlatuvier, Charlotteville, but none Trinidad.
8. Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens Daily (up to
50) off Speyside and Tobago coast, with 100’s viewable over St Giles island
from Little Tobago 5/9. Small numbers Manzanilla and Blanchisseuse beaches 13/9
9. Great Egret Ardea alba One Nariva Swamp 13/9 and c.10 Caroni
10. Snowy Egret Egretta thula c.100 Caroni Swamp 17/9
11. Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea Small numbers (inc.
white phase birds) Speyside Tobago daily; also several Caroni Swamp 17/9
12. Tricolored Heron Egretta tricolor One Nariva Swamp 13/9,
and c.15 Caroni Swamp 17/9.
13. Striated Heron Butorides striatus Trindad only; small numbers
Nariva and Caroni Swamp 13/9 and 17/9.
14. Green Heron Butorides virescens Tobago only; singles Speyside
6/9, 9/9 and 10/9.
15. Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis Common at roadsides/agricultural
areas on both islands.
16. Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax. One near
Lowlands Tobago 10/9.
17. Yellow-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax violacea Singles
daily Speyside Tobago and Charlotteville 9/9; small no’s Nariva and Caroni swamps
13/9 and 17/9.
18. Pinnated Bittern Botaurus pinnatus One seen well Nariva
19. Scarlet Ibis Eudocimus ruber Single juvenile Nariva Swamp
13/9 (apparently the first our guide had ever seen at this location!) plus c.
1000 coming into roost early evening Caroni Swamp 17/9.
20. Black-bellied Whistling Duck Dendrocygna autumnalis 5 at Lowlands, Tobago
10/9, 35 Nariva Swamp 13/9.
21. Black Vulture Coragyps atratus Common on Trinidad (absent on Tobago) with
sightings from Mount St Benedict, Nariva Swamp, Agriculture Research Station
and Asa Wright Nature Centre.
22. Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura Also common on Trinidad and not seen on Tobago,
but less common than Black Vulture. Recorded from Mount St Benedict, Nariva
Swamp, Agriculture Research Station and Asa Wright Nature Centre. Large mixed
kettle of vultures over Arima dump 13/9 contained a couple of hundred birds.
23. Pearl Kite Gampsonyx swainsonii Two near a nest site Nariva Swamp 13/9.
24. Grey-headed Kite Leptodon cayanensis One from Asa Wright veranda 12/9
25. Plumbeous Kite Ictinia plumbea Two from Asa Wright veranda 13/9 and 2 from
Blanchisseuse Road (same?) 14/9.
26. Grey Hawk Asturina plagiata Two Agricultural Research Station 13/9.
27. Broad-winged Hawk Buteo platypterus Tobago only, with singles at various
locations on 6/9, 7/9 and 10/9.
28. Short-tailed Hawk Buteo brachyurus Single over Asa Wright 14/9 and two
from Pax veranda 15/9 and 16/9.
29. Zone-tailed Hawk Buteo albonotatus One over Blanchisseuse beach 14/9 and
two from Pax veranda 16/9 and 17/9.
30. White Hawk Leucopternis albicollis One from Pax veranda 16/9 and 17/9.
31. Common Black Hawk Buteogallus anthracinus Four (inc. one juvenile) Nariva
Swamp 13/9 and one Asa Wright 15/9
32. Great Black Hawk Buteogallus urubitinga Two over Blue Waters 7/9 and one
33. Savanna Hawk Buteogallus meridionalis One near Piarco airport 11/9, 4 at
the Agriculture Research Station 13/9 and 3 Nariva Swamp also on 13/9. Two Agricultural
Research Station on the evening of 14/9.
34. Ornate Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus ornatus One seen well from the Asa Wright veranda
mid-morning 15/9. They have a nest on the Discovery trail which one bird had
been occasionally using as a perch, although it wasn’t there when I visited.
35. Long-winged Harrier Circus buffoni Two from the Caroni Swamp observation
36. Osprey Pandion haliaetus Singles at Speyside 5/9, Lowlands Tobago 10/9,
Nariva Swamp 13/9 and two Caroni Swamp 17/9.
37. Yellow-headed Caracara Milvago chimachima c.10 seen at Nariva Swamp on
13/9, and one Caroni Swamp 17/9.
38. Rufous-vented Chachalaca Ortalis ruficauda Only present on Tobago, more
often heard than seen but recorded daily. Excellent views at Blue Waters 6/9
and Arnos Vale Hotel 10/9.
39. American Purple Gallinule Porphyrio martinicus One en route to the Caroni
Swamp 17/9 boat dock was the only record.
40. Wattled Jacana Jacana jacana Common at the Agricultural Research Station
and Nariva Swamp 13/9.
41. Southern Lapwing Vanellus chilensis Fairly common on Trinidad, seen at
various locations with at least 5 at the airport 4/9 and 11/9, and up to 40
Agricultural Research Station 13/9.
42. Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola One was at the mouth of the Nariva river
43. Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus Singles at Blue Waters 5/9,
6/9 and 7/9, Nariva river mouth 13/9 and flyovers at Caroni Swamp 17/9.
44. Collared Plover Charadrius collaris Two at the mouth of the Nariva river
45. Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes On Trinidad, one was at Nariva Swamp
on 13/9 and several small groups were seen flying to roost at Caroni Swamp 17/9.
46. Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria Two at the Agriculture Research Station
13/9, and two Caroni Swamp 17/9.
47. Willet Catoptrophorus semipalmatus Singles at Speyside Tobago 5/9 and 7/9.
48. Spotted Sandpiper Tringa macularia Recorded in small numbers (up to three)
from suitable habitat on both islands.
49. Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres Up to 18 daily at Blue Waters on Tobago
50. Sanderling Calidris alba 8 at Manzanilla Beach on 13/9, and one Blanchisseuse
51. Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla One Blanchisseuse beach 14/9.
52. Western Sandpiper Calidris mauri Two on Blanchisseuse beach 14/9
53. Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla Two at the Agriculture Research Station
54. White-rumped Sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis One at the Agriculture Research
55. Short-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus griseus One juvenile Speyside 5/9 was
the only record.
56. Laughing Gull Larus atricilla Small numbers daily Tobago, but none Trinidad.
57. Common Tern Sterna hirundo Daily in small numbers off Blue Waters/Speyside
Tobago; c.6 Blanchisseuse beach 14/9.
58. Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii Singles off Speyside, Tobago 5/9, 6/9 and
7/9; one off Blanchisseuse beach 14/9.
59. Sooty Tern Sterna fuscata Singles off Blue Waters Tobago 7/9 and 9/9.
60. Royal Tern Sterna maxima Up to 3 daily Speyside Tobago, none Trinidad.
61. Large-billed Tern Phaetusa simplex One flew over the boat Caroni Swamp
62. Brown Noddy Anous stolidus Daily off Tobago in small numbers (up to 20
off Little Tobago), none Trinidad.
63. Feral Rock Dove Columba livia Feral birds recorded on both islands.
64. Pale-vented Pigeon Columba cayennensis Recorded daily on Tobago and at
65. Scaled Pigeon Columba speciosa Singles Asa Wright on 12/9 and 13/9 from
66. Eared Dove Zenaida auriculata Several Caroni Swamp on 17/9 and one probable
at Blue Waters on 5/9.
67. Common Ground-Dove Columbina passerina Two at the Agricultural Research
68. Ruddy Ground-dove Columbina talpacoti Common on Tobago only in the south
of the island 10/9. Common in various locations daily Trinidad.
69. White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi At least two at Blue Waters daily
on Tobago, none Trinidad.
70. Grey-fronted Dove Leptotila rufaxilla Singles at Asa Wright 12/9, 13/9
71. Red-bellied Macaw Ara manilata Seven at the Nariva Swamp roost on 13/9.
The numbers of birds recorded here this year appears to be considerably smaller
than in previous years, indicating that most of the birds may have (temporarily?)
switched to another roost site.
72. Green-rumped Parrotlet Forpus passerinus 6 at Arnos Vale Hotel gardens
Tobago 10/9 (Tobago birds are descended from feral stock); one Agricultural
Research Station 13/9 with at least 10 there 14/9.
73. Lilac-tailed Parrotlet Touit batavica A flock of c. 30 birds roosted in
a tree opposite the Asa Wright veranda daily and were seen early morning/late
afternoon flying to roost, but were very difficult to pick up in the canopy.
One was seen from the Pax veranda 16/9.
74. Blue-headed Parrot Pionus menstruus 6 were seen in flight from the Blanchisseuse
Road on 14/9, and 3 were eventually seen perched in a roadside tree there.
75. Yellow-crowned Parrot Amazona ochrocephala Two at the Nariva macaw roost
13/9. The status of this species in Trinidad is confused by feral birds, but
this seems to be a regular site.
76. Orange-winged Parrot Amazona amazonica Common on both islands, good sites
being Flagstaff Hill on Tobago and Mt. St Benedict/Pax area on Trinidad, but
generally common and prominent resident of forested areas.
77. Squirrel Cuckoo Piaya cayana One was heard at Asa Wright on 12/9.
78. Striped Cuckoo Tapera naevia One was seen well along the Blanchisseuse
Road on 14/9 with another calling.
79. Greater Ani Crotophaga major Two of these monsters were seen well at Caroni
Swamp 17/9 – within a hundred yards or so of the boat dock is apparently a regular
80. Smooth-billed Ani Crotophaga ani Widespread and common roadside bird on
both islands, with up to 15 in one party at the Agricultural Research Station
81. Tropical Screech Owl Otus choliba One fantastic bird perched at c.10m range
in the torchlight at Waller Field 14/9, having initially being picked up on
82. Ferruginous Pygmy-owl Glaucidium brasilianum Singles were heard responding
to imitations at Asa Wright on 12/9 and Blanchisseuse Road 14/9.
83. Common Potoo Nyctibius jamaicensis One superb bird in the torchlight at
Waller Field 14/9.
84. Lesser Nighthawk Chordeiles acutipennis One was seen at close range on
the tarmac at Waller Field 14/9. It was identified by our guide at the time
as a Short-tailed Nighthawk, but it clearly had white wing patches on the primaries
which indicates Lesser Nighthawk.
85. Pauraque Nyctidromus albicollis Two Waller Field 14/9.
86. White-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus cayennensis At least 12 Waller Field
14/9 giving views down to a few feet on the tarmac. One over the Pax veranda
15/9 was almost certainly this species as one was heard there on 16/9.
87. Oilbird Steatornis caripensis c. 20 were seen in the Dunston Cave at Asa
Wright Nature Centre
mid-morning of 12/9, including at least two juveniles. One probable flew over
the veranda there on the evening of 11/9.
88. White-collared Swift Streptoprocne zonaris c.10 were seen daily from Asa
Wright veranda in the early evenings.
89. Chestnut-collared Swift Streptoprocne rutila One was seen on the nest on
the walls of the entrance to the Dunston Cave 12/9, a regular nesting site for
this uncommon species.
90. Short-tailed Swift Chaetura brachyura The commonest Chaetura swift on both
91. Band-rumped Swift Chaetura spinicauda 2 or 3 were seen daily at Asa Wright
Nature Centre and at least 2 were seen from the Blanchisseuse Road 14/9.
92. Grey-rumped Swift Chaetura cinereiventris c. 5 near Gilpin Trace, Tobago
but other possibles from Asa Wright and Blanchisseuse Road.
93. Fork-tailed Palm Swift One at the Agricultural Research Station 13/9 was
the only sighting.
94. Rufous-breasted Hermit Glaucis hirsuta Fairly common, with singles on Tobago
along the road to Charlotteville 6/9, Gilpin Trace 8/9 and Speyside Inn gardens
9/9. On Trinidad, singles were at Asa Wright on 12/9 and Blanchisseuse Road
95. Green Hermit Phaethornis guy Singles at Asa Wright Nature Centre on 12/9
and 15/9, Blanchisseuse Road 14/9, and the road just below Pax Guest House on
96. Little Hermit Phaethornis longuemareus One was a daily visitor to the flowers
beneath the Asa Wright Nature Centre veranda.
97. White-necked Jacobin Florisuga mellivora Up to four at feeders at the Arnos
Vale Hotel on Tobago 10/9, and up to four daily at the Asa Wright Nature Centre
98. Black-throated Mango Anthracothorax nigricollis A pair at the Arnos Vale
Hotel feeders 10/9, and a pair at Asa Wright daily. Only one record at Pax,
a female on 16/9.
99. Tufted Coquette Lophornis ornatus Two females daily on powder-puff flowers
opposite the Asa Wright veranda, one female daily from the Pax veranda and a
superb male perched at point-blank range along the road below Pax on 18/9, an
100. Blue-chinned Sapphire Chlorestes notatus One or two daily at the Asa Wright
Nature Centre veranda.
101. White-chested Emerald Amazilia chionopectus Absent on Tobago, but common
at the feeders at both Asa Wright and Pax.
102. Copper-rumped Hummingbird Amazilia tobaci The common hummer, seen daily
on both islands.
103. Long-billed Starthroat Heliomaster longirostris One was seen on the Hummingbird
Trail at Pax 15/9.
104. White-tailed Sabrewing Campylopterus ensipennis One was seen well perched
for 5 minutes within 50 yards of the start of the Gilpin Trace on Tobago on
8/9. Another was seen briefly further down the Trace. A colour-banding program
is in progress (c.60 birds banded so far) in order to monitor the population
of this vulnerable hummer.
105. Collared Trogon Trogon collaris One obliging female on the Gilpin Trace
on 8/9, with another female along the Blanchisseuse Road 14/9 and a male calling
nearby which could not be located.
106. Violaceous Trogon Trogon violaceus A male at the head of the Asa Wright
Discovery trail 12/9 with one heard from the veranda there on 13/9. A male was
seen briefly along the Blanchisseuse Road 14/9.
107. White-tailed Trogon Trogon viridis A superb male along the Blanchisseuse
Road 14/9 located by our guide using tapes and imitations. Another was heard
later in the day also along the Blanchisseuse Road.
108. Ringed Kingfisher Ceryle torquata Located on call by our guide, a male
flew directly over us giving good views while we were standing on top of the
Caroni Swamp observation tower 17/9, quite a scarce bird for Trinidad.
109. Belted Kingfisher Megaceryle alcyon One was seen in flight at Nariva Swamp
110. Green Kingfisher Chloroceryle americana One flew past at Nariva Swamp
13/9, and good views of one along the Blanchisseuse Road 14/9.
111. American Pygmy Kingfisher Chloroceryle aenea Fantastic views of one perched
among the mangroves at Nariva Swamp on 13/9.
112. Blue-crowned Motmot Momotus momota Fairly common on Tobago, seen daily
with the best sites being Little Tobago and Gilpin Trace where we saw about
5 on visits to both places. Two visited the feeders at Arnos Vale Hotel, Tobago
10/9 and two were regular visitors to the Asa Wright veranda feeders. Another
pair were very approachable near the Asa Wright clearwater pool along the entrance
113. Rufous-tailed Jacamar Galbula ruficauda Only seen on Tobago, with one
seen along the road to Charlotteville 6/9, up to six along the Blue Waters to
Belmont track (including one aggressive bird – you really don’t want to be pronged
by a bill like that!), and two at Gilpin Trace 8/9. Heard along the Blanchisseuse
114. Channel-billed Toucan Ramphastos vitellinus Seen daily from the veranda
(up to 3 birds although 12 had been seen earlier in the week) at Asa Wright
Nature Centre. They perch regularly in a particular tree about a third of the
way down the valley between 7 and 8am, although I did see 2 later in the morning
115. Golden-olive Woodpecker Piculus rubiginosus Two at Gilpin Trace on 8/9
and two at Asa Wright Nature Centre on 12/9 and 14/9.
116. Chestnut Woodpecker Celeus elegans One was seen briefly from the veranda
at Asa Wright Nature Centre on 15/9.
117. Lineated Woodpecker Dryocopus lineatus One was seen briefly at Asa Wright
Nature Centre on 12/9 and good views of one along the Blanchisseuse Road 14/9.
118. Red-crowned Woodpecker Melanerpes rubricapillus Fairly common on Tobago,
absent on Trinidad. Up to four along the Charlotteville Road 6/9, one outside
Speyside Inn 8/9, and a pair at the Arnos Vale Hotel feeders 10/9.
119. Plain-brown Woodcreeper Dendrocincla fuliginosa Two along the Gilpin Trace
8/9, and one along the Blanchisseuse Road 14/9.
120. Buff-throated (Cocoa) Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus guttatus One at Gilpin
Trace on 8/9, and one along the track between Blue Waters and Belmont 11/9.
On Trinidad, singles were seen along the Asa Wright trails 12/9 and near the
clearwater pool there 15/9, with another along the Blanchisseuse Road 14/9.
121. Olivaceous Woodcreeper Sittasomus griseicapillus One was seen well after
being picked up on call by Adolphus along the road below Gilpin Trace, Tobago
122. Straight-billed Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus picus Heard only, a single bird
near the Caroni Swamp observation tower 17/9.
123. Stripe-breasted Spinetail Synallaxis cinnamomea Two along the Gilpin Trace
8/9, and singles seen at Asa Wright Nature Centre on 12/9 and heard along the
Blanchisseuse Road 14/9.
124. Yellow-chinned Spinetail Certhiaxis cinnamomea Two at the Agricultural
Research Station 13/9 and two Nariva Swamp the same day.
125. Great Antshrike Taraba major Only seen at Asa Wright Nature Centre where
a female was a regular visitor to the feeders. A pair were seen along the entrance
track there 15/9.
126. Black-crested Antshrike Sakesphorus canadensis A pair was seen well at
Nariva Swamp 13/9.
127. Barred Antshrike Thamnophilus doliatus Fairly common, but heard much more
often than seen. However, birds were seen along the road below Gilpin Trace
8/9 and the track between Blue Waters and Belmont 15/9. Seen daily at Asa Wright
(usually in the tree to the left of the veranda but occasionally at the feeders)
and an obliging male was along the road below Pax on 18/9.
128. Plain Antvireo Dysithamnus mentalis A pair was seen along the Gilpin Trace
8/9, and another pair along the Oilbird trail at Asa Wright 12/9.
129. White-flanked Antwren Myrmotherula axillaris Only on Trinidad where two
were seen along the Discovery trail at Asa Wright Nature Centre on 12/9.
130. White-fringed Antwren Formicivora grisea Only on Tobago where one was
heard along the road below Gilpin trace 8/9, a female was seen at the Arnos
Vale Waterwheel 10/9 and a pair along the track between Blue Waters and Belmont
131. Silvered Antbird Sclateria naevia Heard only; one or two at Nariva Swamp
132. White-bellied Antbird Myrmeciza longipes Heard only; one along the Blanchisseuse
Road although a female was seen by our guide.
133. Black-faced Antthrush Formicarius analis Heard daily at Asa Wright, and
also heard at Pax 18/9, but the only sighting was of an obliging bird along
the Gilpin Trace 14/9 which responded to tapes.
[Bearded Bellbird Procnias averano n.b. Bellbirds do not "boing"
during September as they are moulting at this time of the year, and are very
difficult to locate – hence we dipped!!]
134. Blue-backed Manakin Chiroxiphia pareola Two females and a stunning male
Gilpin Trace 8/9, a bird that is a whole lot better than the plate in ffrench
might suggest and one of the top birding highlights of the trip. We heard them
lekking but could not find the birds in time to see their dance.
135. Golden-headed Manakin Pipra erythocephala Fairly common at Asa Wright
and seen in small numbers on 12/9, 13/9 and 15/9 from the veranda and along
the entrance track. However, the usual leks are not in operation during September.
136. White-bearded Manakin Manacus manacus Again, the usual leks were not in
operation but seen daily in small numbers at Asa Wright and also along the Blanchisseuse
137. Pied Water-tyrant Fluvicola pica Two at the Agricultural Research Station
on 13/9 and a further two seen at Nariva Swamp on the same date. Two at Caroni
138. White-headed Marsh-tyrant Arundinicola leucocephala Two were at the Agriculture
Research Station on 13/9 with another two at Nariva swamp on the same date.
One at Caroni Swamp 17/9 and also seen near the airport on 18/9.
139. Fork-tailed Flycatcher Attila spadiceus Following two along the Blue Waters
to Belmont track on 7/9, c. 10 were seen at the Agricultural Research Station
13/9. Two were seen high over Mt. St. Benedict from the Pax veranda on 17/9,
then c. 100 birds were seen at Caroni Swamp on the evening of 17/9 including
one incredible flock of about 60 birds flying to roost.
140. Yellow-bellied Elaenia Elaenia flavogaster Fairly common on Tobago, especially
around the Blue Waters area, but strangely none were seen on Trinidad where
it is listed as being abundant (Mike Prince only saw one on Trinidad in October/November
1998) – maybe we missed them as there are too many other more stunning birds
141. Forest Elaenia Myiopagis gaimardii Singles from the Asa Wright veranda
on 12/9 and 15/9.
142. Ochre-bellied Flycatcher Mionectes oleagineus One along the Gilpin Trace,
Tobago 8/9, and up to two daily from the Asa Wright veranda.
143. Slaty-capped Flycatcher Leptopogon superciliaris One along the Blanchisseuse
Road on 14/9 was the only sighting.
144. Yellow-breasted Flycatcher Tolmomyias flaviventris One along the track
between Blue Waters and Belmont, Tobago 11/9, and also seen at the Agricultural
Research Station 13/9 and a pair along the old Donkey trail near Pax 16/9.
145. White-throated Spadebill Platyrinchus mystaceus One along the Gilpin Trace
8/9 was the only sighting.
146. Tropical Pewee Contopus cinereus A family party of 4 birds along the Blanchisseuse
147. Brown-crested Flycatcher Myiarchus tyrannulus Singles daily at Speyside
and Blue Waters, Tobago, but none Trinidad.
148. Dusky-capped Flycatcher Myiarchus tuberculifer One Nariva Swamp 13/9.
149. Piratic Flycatcher Legatus leucophaius Singles at the Agricultural Research
Station 13/9 and one was also along the Mt. Tabor trail 16/9.
150. Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus Abundant on Trinidad but absent on
151. Boat-billed Flycatcher Megarynchus pitangua Up to two at Asa Wright Nature
Centre on 12/9 and 13/9, and also a single along the Blanchisseuse Road 14/9.
152. Streaked Flycatcher Myiodynastes maculatus Singles from the Asa Wright
veranda on 12/9 and along the Blanchisseuse Road on 14/9.
153. Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus Abundant on both islands.
154. Grey Kingbird Tyrannus dominicensis Only seen on Tobago, but up to two
seen daily in the Speyside/Blue Waters area.
155. Black-tailed Tityra Tityra cayana Two from the Asa Wright veranda on 12/9
and 13/9 including one perched in the "Toucan Tree", plus another
single along the Blanchisseuse Road 14/9.
156. Grey-breasted Martin Progne chalybea Common and widespread on Trinidad,
absent on Tobago.
157. Caribbean Martin Progne dominicensis Common and widespread on Tobago,
absent on Trinidad.
158. White-winged Swallow Tachycineta albiventer An unexpected highlight, we
found two of these birds at Blue Waters, Tobago 5/9, the first confirmed record
of this species for Tobago (although it may have been under-recorded in the
past?). One was present on 6/9, and two 7/9. One adult and a juvenile were seen
at Speyside football pitch with Adolphus James and were different to the Speyside
birds, which were both adults. A single adult was still present at Blue Waters
on 11/9. On Trinidad, small numbers were seen at the airport on 11/9 and 18/9,
and also at the Agricultural Research Station 13/9.
159. Southern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx ruficollis One at the Speyside
football pitch on 8/9 was the only Tobago sighting, and up to two were around
160. Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica Seen in small numbers on Tobago daily around
Blue Waters and from various locations in Trinidad.
161. Rufous-breasted Wren Thryothorus rutilus One at Gilpin Trace on 8/9, one
Asa Wright 12/9 and another along the Blanchisseuse Road 14/9.
162. Tropical House Wren Troglodytes aedon One Blue Waters 6/9 and up to two
daily at Asa Wright Nature Centre.
163. Long-billed Gnatwren Ramphocaenus melanurus One along the Asa Wright Discovery
trail 12/9 and one along the Blanchisseuse Road on 14/9 were the only sightings.
164. Yellow-legged Thrush Platycichla flavipes Three or four heard along Gilpin
Trace 8/9 but only one female seen briefly, but a pair were seen well along
the Blanchisseuse Road 14/9.
165. Cocoa Thrush Turdus fumigatus Common only at Asa Wright Nature Centre,
recorded daily in small numbers.
166. Bare-eyed Thrush Turdus nudigenys Fairly common and widespread, recorded
almost daily in forest and garden habitats on both islands.
167. White-necked Thrush Turdus albicollis Three at Gilpin Trace on 8/9 and
up to four along the Blanchisseuse Road 14/9.
168. Tropical Mockingbird Mimus gilvus Very common and widespread in gardens,
roadsides and agricultural areas on both islands.
169. Chivi Vireo Vireo chivi One on Tobago along the road to Charlotteville
6/9, one Asa Wright 12/9 and 13/9, and one along the road below Pax 18/9.
170. Scrub Greenlet Hylophilus flavipes Endemic to Tobago. Two near Blue Waters
6/9 and another there 7/9.
171. Golden-fronted Greenlet Hylophilus aurantiifrons Four from the Blanchisseuse
Road on 14/9.
172. Rufous-browed Peppershrike Cyclarhis gujanensis One along the Asa Wright
Oilbird trail 12/9 and another heard along the Blanchisseuse Road 14/9.
173. Tropical Parula Parula pitiayumi One from the veranda at Asa Wright Nature
Centre on 12/9 was the only sighting.
174. Yellow Warbler Dendroica petechia One from the Pax veranda 16/9 and two
were seen along the road above Pax 17/9.
175. American Redstart Setophaga ruticilla At least 4 were seen at the Nariva
Swamp 13/9 and one was seen from the Blanchisseuse Road on 14/9.
176. Golden-crowned Warbler Basileuterus culicivorus One along the Asa Wright
Discovery trail 12/9 was the only sighting.
177. Bananaquit Coereba flaveola Abundant on both islands, easily the most
numerous and widespread bird seen.
178. Bicoloured Conebill Conirostrum bicolor Four were seen in the mangroves
at Nariva Swamp on 13/11, responding very well to squeaking and pishing.
179. Blue Dacnis Dacnis cayana Single males were at the Agricultural Research
Station 13/9 and the road below Pax 18/9, plus a pair along the Blanchisseuse
180. Green Honeycreeper Chlorophanes spiza Common only at Asa Wright, where
up to ten were seen around the feeders daily.
181. Purple Honeycreeper Cyanerpes caeruleus Conspicuous at Asa Wright Nature
Centre with up to ten males on the feeders. Also recorded at the Agricultural
Research Station 13/9 and at Pax 16/9.
182. Red-legged Honeycreeper Cyanerpes cyaneus A female seen well at the Agricultural
Research Station 13/9 was the only sighting, at a location not normally noted
for this species.
183. Trinidad Euphonia Euphonia trinitatis A pair near the fire tower on Alben
Ride 16/9 was the only sighting.
184. Violaceous Euphonia Euphonia violacea At least two regularly from the
Asa Wright veranda, also seen along the Blanchisseuse Road 14/9.
185. Speckled Tanager Tangara guttata Two along the Blanchisseuse Road on 14/9.
186. Turquoise Tanager Tangara mexicana Recorded in small groups (up to 8)
at Asa Wright Nature Centre on 12/9 and 14/9, also Blanchisseuse Road 14/9 and
two along the road below Pax 18/9..
187. Bay-headed Tanager Tangara gyrola Fairly common around Asa Wright (occasionally
seen from the veranda but tends to avoid coming in to the feeders) and along
the Blanchisseuse Road on 14/9.
188. Blue-grey Tanager Thraupis episcopus Common and widespread on both islands.
189. Palm Tanager Thraupis palmarum Abundant on both islands.
190. Silver-beaked Tanager Ramphocelus carbo Common at Asa Wright Nature Centre,
along the Blanchisseuse Road and also recorded at Pax on 15/9.
191. White-shouldered Tanager Tachyphonus luctuosus A pair along the Blanchisseuse
Road 14/9, and a family party of 4 birds along the trails at Pax 16/9.
192. White-lined Tanager Tachyphonus rufus Fairly common on both islands, especially
conspicuous at Asa Wright.
193. Red-crowned Ant-tanager Habia rubica One along the Oilbird trail at Asa
194. Greyish Saltator Saltator coerulescens Up to two at Asa Wright Nature
Centre 12/9 and along the Blanchisseuse Road 14/9; also recorded at Pax from
the veranda on 16/9 and 18/9.
195. Red-capped Cardinal Paroaria gularis One incredibly tame bird at the boat
dock at Caroni Swamp 17/9, coming to bread on the benches of James Madoo’s shack
and hopping around on the boats. It had apparently been doing this at about
3.30pm daily for the previous fortnight or so.
196. Blue-black Grassquit Volatinia jacarina Common on Trinidad, but less so
on Tobago where it was recorded in smaller numbers than Black-faced Grassquit.
197. Black-faced Grassquit Tiaris bicolor A common roadside bird on Tobago
only, none on Trinidad.
198. Ruddy-breasted Seedeater Sporophila minuta A female at the Agricultural
Research Station 13/9 was the only sighting, although our guide saw a male there
199. Red-breasted Blackbird Leistes militaris c.4 at the Agriculture Research
Station on 13/9 and two at Nariva Swamp later the same day.
200. Yellow-hooded Blackbird Agelaius icterocephalus Common at Nariva Swamp
13/9 and two at the Agriculture Research Station on the same day. Two were seen
flying past the car south of Tunapuna en route to Caroni 17/9.
201. Carib Grackle Quiscalus lugubris Common in gardens and agricultural areas
on both islands, although seemed less common in the north of Tobago.
202. Shiny Cowbird Molothrus bonariensis Seen daily at Blue Waters and Speyside,
Tobago, and at various locations in Trinidad e.g. airport, Nariva Swamp, Caroni
Swamp, Agricultural Research Station.
203. Giant Cowbird Scaphidura oryzivora A group of ten in a dead tree along
the road to Charlotteville, Tobago on 6/9 was the only sighting.
204. Yellow Oriole Icterus nigrogularis Pairs were seen daily in various locations
on Trinidad only including the Asa Wright and Pax verandas and along the Blanchisseuse
205. Crested Oropendola Psarocolius decumanus Fairly common and widespread
from Speyside, Little Tobago and Gilpin Trace, c.15 seen daily at Asa Wright,
also recorded daily at Pax.
Bushmaster - One seen in the middle of the Arima valley road on the evening
of 13/9, about as close as we wanted to get to one of these fellas i.e. from
the safety of the car!!
Yellow-bellied Puffer - One adjacent to the Discovery trail at Asa Wright 12/9,
with another very similar snake, probably this species, near Gilpin Trace on
Cook’s Tree Boa - One curled up in the mangroves at the Caroni Swamp 17/9
A small unidentified snake was also seen on the track above Blue Waters to
Belmont on the morning of 11/9.
Tegu Lizard Common at Asa Wright
Spectacled Caiman 2 seen very close to the boat at the Caroni Swamp 17/9.
Agouti Regular visitors at the feeders and food tables of Asa Wright
Silky Anteater One in the mangroves at Caroni Swamp 17/9
Bat sp. c.40 large bats were flying around the Arnos Vale Waterwheel on 10/9,
other smaller spp. were seen in various locations.