Thursday, 26 May 2011

Antigua - Day 4

Sunday 15th
It was overcast and trying to rain first thing drove off  and promptly managed to get lost. I suppose the time finding my way wasn’t completed wasted as I found a pond holding a juvenile pied billed grebe. I parked up and waited for a parent to appear but gave up after 10 minutes.
Juvenile Pied-billed Grebe

After I had regained my bearings I found a broard-winged hawk sitting on the wires opposite the Sir Viv Richards Stadium then continued on to the mangrove swamp near Parham. What a brilliant decision it was.

Broad-winged Hawk

As I pulled up I spotted a whimbrel but it disappeared behind the mangrove trees so no picture. However as I sat there I heard a loud kek-kek-kek-kek call. After a few minutes searching I found a rail up in a small mangrove tree preening. A few shots later and a quick look at the book confirmed it was a clapper rail. The reports I’d seen on Antigua had suggested they were present in this area but no one had seen on. Well there were 2 there, the one in the tree and another more distant one. It soon came out of the tree and departed.
Clapper Rail

No sooner had the rail disappeared when a mangrove cuckoo flew into the bush just in front of me then into the bush alongside me – less than 10 yrds away. I never managed a clear view of the bird but despite the light rain I did get some reasonable head shots.
Mangrove Cuckoo

I moved on a little way and parked up again and spotted a duck flying orange looking duck flying towards me – a fulvous whistling duck. It went over the car and landed on the landward  side of the road but walked off into the wet scrub before I could get a shot.
Another move and I found 3 Wilson’s plovers and managed some pictures then it was back to the hotel for some breakfast.
Wilson's Plover

Later that morning Angie and I drove over to St John’s, the capital. Angie was hoping for a bit of retail therapy but the shops were all shut (it was Sunday) but we did see 3 Caribbean  martins over the harbour and a heronry on the harbour shorefront containing snowy egret and green and tricoloured heron, with the herons coming to feed in a small ditch by the car park. No pictures but I would have the camera with me when we came back the next day.

1 comment:

  1. I hope that the sighting of Caribbean Martins was adequate compensation for Angie, after she discovered that shops are shut on Sundays (must have been a shock for you too!)

    I shall politely refrain from commenting on the pair of Brown Boobies.