Sunday, 29 May 2011

Antigua Days 8 and 9

Thursday 19th
Had a look at Fitches creek this morning which was supposed to be a mangrove swamp however the water levels were high and lapping at the banks so I gave up and returned to Parham where mud was still on offer. During the drive I did however find 2 American kestrels on the wires.
American Kestrels

 On the mud there was a juvenile little blue heron, snowy egret, great egret, black necked stilt, semi-palmated sandpiper, Wilson’s plover and a clapper rail.
Little Blue Heron (juv)

Later that day 8 semi-palmated plovers turned up on the beach pool.
Day 9
Friday 20th
Back to the normal routine of Devil’s bridge before breakfast – this was fast becoming my “patch”and by now I was into counting things. The sea watch was pretty ordinary with only sooty tern (38), roseate terns(7),least tern (1) and 7 white terns (though in all probability roseates). I packed up after an hour but as I was leaving I noticed something different in amongst the semi-palmated plover (still 5) – a buff breasted sandpiper.
Buff-breasted Sandpiper

It seems this is a pretty rare bird for Antigua and one I was not expecting to see as judged by the reports I’d seen:
I then drove out to check out Potworks Dan. Whilst I had drawn a blank where with ducks a kingfisher (belted) I hadn’t completely given up hope. Well my hope was unfounded and it was the normal egrets and herons (snowy, great and green) and pied grebes (all distant). However on the photographic front it was a good day. On the way to Potworks Dam there are a few road-side ponds, the largest being only 15 yards across and today they produced photo-opportunity for white-faced pintail, little blue heron and greater yellowlegs. With the yellowlegs I was actually photographing one when a second dropped in even closer!
Little Blue Heron

Greater Yellowlegs

The was returned today so the rest of the day was spent on the beach where 3 royal and 1 roseate tern was seen as were 7 pelicans who spent the day in the bay.

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