Trinidad & Tobago - p 2
Images were prepared using screen settings of 1024x768, and are
best viewed with those settings. As usual, the name of the bird can be seen by placing the cursor over the photo.
sheer brilliance, you can't beat the honeycreepers, which are usually lumped in
the tanager family. In addition to the Green, we have Purple Honeycreeper,
complete with garish yellow legs.
Honeycreepers present an unusual challenge to the
photographer. Their plumage color is structural, not due to pigment.
As a result, it changes according to the angle of the sun, cloud cover, and one's camera color settings.
The Purple Honeycreeper may appear entirely blue
unless I re-work the settings.
So the image shown here is my best approximation of how the
bird typically looked to the eye. This is what I saw. Honest.
how large, colorful, and rather slow they are, trogons are surprisingly
difficult to photograph. But yesterday afternoon as I took a nap, one
perched in a tree outside our window and called, inviting me to try my luck.
Alas, my view was blocked by small limbs. But the bird seems to follow a
route, and today reappeared in the same tree at the same time, now in the open.
So I easily got a photo of a handsome Amazonian White-tailed Trogon, after all
those near misses of trogons in Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, Tanzania, etc.
when you think you've seen everything in the bird world, along comes something
like the Common Potoo. Related to nighthawks, it spends the day perched
motionless on a dead limb, its body shape and color allowing it to appear as an
extension of the limb and thus inconspicuous. We photographed this one
from a boat in Caroni Swamp, where we came to see wading birds including Scarlet
Late in the evening at Asa Wright, we hear in the far
distance the potoo's poignant, melancholy call. To the locals, its call is
rendered as "Me poor one."
wading birds, including Snowy,
Cattle, and Great Egrets, Green Herons and Yellow-crowned Night Herons, not to
mention Green Kingfisher and an Osprey with a fish. But the undisputed
star is Scarlet Ibis, which just might be the reddest bird in the world.
Unfortunately, we've come at the wrong time of year. Nearly all are now in
Venezuela where they nest. Only a few modest-sized flocks glide in near
sunset to roost.
It's another disappointment for all, especially Duncan, who
wanted to see immense flocks, and to be closer to the roosting trees. Our
guide and boat driver, apparently anticipating this reaction, immediately opened
a picnic hamper and began to pour generous quantities of rum punch for everyone.
By the time we returned to the boat dock, we were all quite mellow, the
frustrations of the day entirely forgotten.