Sunday, March 10, 2013

More Owls

Continuing a theme from the last two posts, I give you two more owls (and a nightjar).

I had to go a bit farther to get these though. Instead of day trip to Pennsylvania or an easy ten mile drive, this was an over five hour plane ride and then a van trip down a mountain road to an agricultural research site in north central Trinidad.

This was our second visit to the Aripo Agriculture Research Station, this one for night birding.

After a nice picnic dinner of chicken and rice, and the signature rum punch, we gathered under the "owl tree".

The chap with the gold watch is Dave Ramlal, our guide from the Asa Wright Nature Center, where we were staying while on Trinidad. And he is looking for an owl.

This owl:

A ferruginous pygmy owl, which sat up in the tree looking at us looking at it. After getting it's fill of human watching it closed its eyes and went back to sleep.

But the tree wasn't done yet. There was another owl in this tree. And as we were walking away we heard it call. And then it flew. We saw it and it appeared to fly into another tree. But it had fooled us by landing on a fence post. We searched the tree to no avail. Bummed we started to follow the path from the original tree, to see where it might have gone. And there it was right out in the open. So we all turned to look and of course the owl took off.

To another tree. Where we all got great looks ...

... at a tropical screech owl. Which didn't give a hoot about us standing there gawking at it.

After the owls we went looking for nightjars and we found plenty. Which made Dave happy, as he is concerned for the birds due to the loss of habitat. The birds were sitting on the road because the roads were warm and that is where the bugs were. And for us, it made them very easy to see.

Unfortunately autofocus doesn't work in the dark. And the manual focus on my lens chose that day to stop working. So I got few good images.

Representative is this one of a common pauraque.


This was just one of the field trips we took while on Trinidad and the only night jaunt. It was a very nice way to end a day (I got four life birds). The entire trip was a good one, and I'll have more posts about it in the days to come.

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