Birds from the Eastern Caribbean and Elsewhere
I have spent the lions share of my time in the Eastern Caribbean in Trinidad and Tobago, so it is only logical that I have taken a great number of my bird pictues there. My favorite spot, hands down, is the Asa Wright Nature Center.
During my nine years of visiting Trinidad and Tobago I have visited Asa Wright ten or more times. Usually for an overnight, but on one occasion for three days. The atmosphere is relaxing and the porch of the center makes an excellent place to view the many birds that come to visit the feeders or the many plants. The hummingbird feeders attract most of the species of hummingbirds found in Trinidad and make a good place to photograph them. While you often see visitors with long telephoto lens, I have had good luck with my 400mm lens. As the area is more open than the deep rainforest, good light is available early in the morning and late in the afternoon when the birds are more active. The many trails allow the visitor to see the birds that cannot be seen from the porch.
The Caroni Swamp, a mangrove forest in western Trinidad is best known for its Scarlet Ibis. Each evening they return to the same islands to roost. The sight of the flocks returning at sunset is spell binding.
The largest freshwater wetland in Trinidad and Tobago. it is home to two species of monkey as well as many other animals and a wide variety of birds.
Yerettê is a magical place. It was started to provide a place of peace and more quiet time for the owner. He started to feed the many hummingbirds in his garden. He was kind enough to open his garden to the public under strictly limited conditions. Today it stands as one of the top attractions in Trinidad and Tobago.
Rodger Neckles is one of the preeminent nature photographers in Trinidad. He will take people interested in birds and/or photography out for day long trips. I was fortunate to take one of these trips some time ago. A wonderful time. He also conducts classes and field instruction. He can be reached at Wild Side Nature Tours
Please click on an image to see a larger version or to see related pictures.
Portsmouth, Indian River
The boat ride up the Indian River is a very typical attraction for most cruisers and for that matter many visitors to the island. As a setting for "Pirates of the Caribbean", it has become much more popular. Unfortunately a lot of the tree cover to the river was lost during the last hurricane. But still it is a good place to see many of the birds native to the marsh lands around the river. Herons are numerous along the mud bands fishing or hunting the crabs.
Morne Diablotin NP--Syndicate Nature Trail
The Syndicate Nature Trail provides access to the Norne Diablotins National Park and is one of the few locations in Dominica where the two native parrots can be found. last year (2015) I took a guide and tramped around in the rainforest for many hours and saw them both, but only managed to photograph one of them. This year I returned and managed to spot the other native parrot and took his picture. The park is mostly dense forest, but there are overlooks to the valley below. The neighboring orchards, and scrub is home to many species of birds.
The Waitukubuli National Trail (WNT)
The Waitukubuli National Trail (WNT) is the first long distance hiking trail in the Caribbean. The trail covers 115 miles, spanning and twisting the length of Dominica. I have only hiked one segment of the 15, but it takes you through some prime wildlife view areas.
From the town it is not a long hike to the salt ponds at the South Western corner of the island. They are normally an excellent place to spot shore birds. However both times I went it was closer to mid day and the numbers of birds were much diminished. When I return to there later this year I plan to rectify this problem.
Around the Island
Martinique has excellent roads and many trails. Wild areas can be accessed quite easily. Check eBrid.org for the best places to go. One of my favorite hikes was out to the restored plantation, Presqu'ile de Caravelle, on the east coast of the island.
The most popular anchorage in Saint Lucia is Rodney Bay. The northern part of the island including the prominent fort is located near the town of Gross Islet. Fort Rodney on Pigeon Island is a frequent site of exploration for cruisers. Even thought the area is developed it supports a great amount of wild life.
Des Cartiers Rainforest Trail
High up in the central rainforest is the Des Cartiers Rainforest Trail. It is one of the easiest places to see the Saint Lucia Parrot and a great number of other birds. We were fortunate to see a number of pairs of parrots on our trip.
Maria islands and Eau Piquant Pond
On the south end of the island near the town of Vieux Fort are the Maria Islands and the Eau Piquant Pond. Both support a wide variety of sea birds. The islands are part of a wild life refuge. The islands are reached by a local boat with a guide.
Baganara Island and Vicinity
We anchored off the Baganara Island Resort for a number of weeks and explored the local area both by dingy and on foot. There was a very nice nature trail on the island. Nearby i saw my first Toucan up close.
Elsewhere Around the World
I have traveled with a camera for most of my life. Unfortunately most of the earlier pictures are now in boxes in a storage locker and not easily accessible, Some others are gone for good as the prints and slides fade with time. So most of my digital collection stems from the my first digital camera in 2004.
I first visited the Florida Everglades in 1969 and have been back many times since. My latest visit was in the spring of 2014. I had just acquired a new telephoto lens and wanted to try it out. It was a warm spring day and the birds were out in droves (as were the tourists) and the alligators watching the tourists..
The Chesapeake Bay
I lived for many years near Annapolis on the Chesapeake Bay. It is a haven for waterfowl. it has enough different habitats to satisfy any birder. A dingy or shallow draft boat is necessary to get into many of the places as the bay is very shallow in many places.
New England, Maine and Nova Scotia
I made several trips to New England, Maine and Nova Scotia. The outlying islands are home to many species.
Terra del Faugo
Our trip through the Drake Passage was brief and we got only a few chances to get ashore and explore. The region abounds with birds. It was here i got to see my first Penguin. And several thousand of his relatives.