Tuesday, 11 October 2016
Dominican Republic day 4 and on
Day 5 and I got my first every Smooth Billed Ani and another American migrant which was a male Yellow Warbler. I heard Parakeets calling but all I got was 6 silhouettes flying away.
Day 6 and after yesterday Parakeets and not being able to ID them which was pretty bad I thought things could not get any worst and then I found a Green Parrot sitting a top of a fruiting tree. I could not see all of him, he was green and had a white eye ring and it had to be Hispaniolan Parrot. If by magic it flew out the back way and I lost sight of it and felt I needed a better view to be hundred percent sure before I ticked it. Next new bird was Red Legged Thrush and it goes to show if you walk an area regularly something will turn up or pop out. Next bird was 2 Blue Herons flying over high and the only ones I saw on the site in two weeks.
Day 7 and I had the feeling that the birds must dry up soon but they kept coming. I got a Prairie Warbler hopping around in the lawns and a flock of White Winged Doves. However the next bird was the icing on the cake a Broad Billed Tody, one I really wanted to see. Has I walked back I saw a bird moving in and out of a clump of palms and a male Yellow Throated Warbler came into view.
Day 8 started cloudy and we had a real heavy shower. I hide under a shelter until it passed and as the sun came out I could hear Parakeets. Has I walked I spotted a flock of them in a tree I got better views this time. They had a red wing panel and were Hispaniolan Parakeets, there were about 30 in total. I think the shower had brought them down and after having a shake they flew off. Next bird was Zenaida Dove another one I had been eager to see. My last two birds of the day were Small Blue Heron and Peregrine Falcon.
Day 9 and it happened no new birds. The highlights were a pair of Hispaniolan Lizard Cuckoos. The male was catching lizards really fast and then feeding her. One of the groundsmen asked if he could look through my binoculars and his face was priceless, we take so much for granted.
Day 10 and things did not get any better still no birds so I thought I would go out on a boat sea fishing and maybe get some birds out at sea. When I was talking to the skipper he said they go out about 8 miles and said they do see seabirds on times. I thought I would give it a go as I may never have the chance again. As we traveled out we saw loads of flying fish and I thought it was looking good but when we got right out it was bird less and all I had was a butterfly flying past. The only consolation was a baby Tiger Shark and he was easlier 7 feet long. The skipper said when they catch a fish if they dont get it in fast enough the tiger sharks will steal the fish. I was so hoping for this to happen. When I got back and went in the sea for a dip I was alway looking over my shoulder and the thought of sharing a bath with a tiger shark was on my mind.
Day 11 was another quiet day but just as the day was ending I refound my Parrot, it was right out in the open and this one had the white on it's face and Hipaniolan Parrot was in the bag. I also found a new area and had a pair of Black Crowned Palm Tangers. I also two small dark birds in the grass but they flew of before I could id them, I think they were Grassquits but sadly I will never know as they were not seen again.
Day 12 and I had a good day with American warblers. I had Prairie Warbler again, Black and White warbler, American Redstart, Ovenbird and Northern Waterthrush. I had been seeing a dark pigeon and it was nice to get one finally close enough to Id as White Crowned Pigeon.
Day 13 and my last full day and I was going off site and visiting an island on the Caribbean side of the Dominican Republic called Saona island. I was not disappointed, I had 3 Turnstones before I even got on the boat, as the boat left I had a couple of Terns which I think were Common and Sandwich Terns. As we got out more into open water I got a couple more Frigatebirds, 2 Brown Booby and a small group of Waders which I think could be more Turnstone. When we landed I heard White Necked Crow calling and found half a dozen Crows in a palm tree as I walked. The island looked really good but was quiet. In three hours I had a flock of House Sparrows, Bananaquit, Hispaniolan Lizard Cuckoo and Turkey Vultures over head and that was it. On getting back on board I had about 10 Laughing Gulls, Brown Pelican and a Great Blue Heron. We had lots of flying fish and we stopped at a site to look for starfish and when I was swimming I looked down and a stingray swam below me which was great to see. I also saw a Black Urchin.
Day 14 and my last walk around the grounds. I had a female American Redstart and two Osprey and one was eating a fish .I also had 1 Black Crowned Palm Tanger and what a great end to my holiday .