Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Guadeloupe

There is quite a problem with both shipboard and shoreside Internet access so for this reason some posts may be scant on narrative
Welcome to GUADELOUPE also known as the Butterfly Island due to the shape the 2 conjoined islands form.
Before leaving the ship we could hear both BLACK-FACED GRASSQUIT and
BANANAQUIT almost outdoing the welcoming 'Steel Band'.
Our guide ANTHONY LEVESQUE, seen here with PETER DAVIES, was contacted via the Birding Pal Website which has work very well for me on a number of occasions now. Antony was confident via his e-mails that we should see the countries only endemic and at least 13 Lesser Antillean endemics. Peter on the other hand turns out to be close friends of 2 of my mates who I met in Jordan Jill Williams. He and wife Janet also send their Best Wishes to Martin Cade, John Lucas, JR, Duncan Walbridge et al who he also knows. So yet another coincidence and a great chance to invite him along for the day. * indicates endemic, LA for Lesser Antillean, 'lifers' in red.
NUTMEG MANNIKIN along with Orange-cheeked Waxbill (both introduced species) were first on the list,
followed by this cracking YELLOW WARBLER.
The first proper stop got the true endemic in the bag immediately, so I had to warn Anthony he would have to buck his ideas up
GUADELOUPE WOODPECKER*
Next and in quick succession at the same site PLUMBEOUS WARBLER showed up mob-handed, and as we reached the crest of the hill
there were c3 BROWN TREMBLER* waiting. This species was seen in St Kitts but very poorly so this was an added bonus.
 LA BULLFINCH* along with Pearly eyed* and Scaly-breasted Thrasher* were also seen here.
Next came FOREST ROBIN* as we walked towards the lake, this at about 400 metres the highest point of the day.
Not totally approachable but good enough.
FUNGI for the Punk!
At the pond Anthony deftly 'called'
LA PEWEE* from the depths of the Rain Forest
before spotting 2 of the 3 BRIDLED QUAIL-DOVE* (photo © Google) i n the Mangrove root systems.


The last 2 birds had been seen from the very novel 'floating hide' from where we also saw this hunting GREEN HERON, at point blank rang,
and this really smart LIZARD
Moving location back to about 200m we were greated by a screaming squadron of AL SWIFT*, which were gone all too quickly, but did find all 3 of the LA 'Hummers' Crested Hummingbird* plus Green-throated* and PURPLE-THROATED CARIB* (above).
followed by this BANANAQUIT
seemingly still at the nest. LA Saltator* was also found here
as was this extremely smart
MANGROVE CUCKOO
Others on the list included American Redstart, Magnificent Frigatebird, Cattle Egret, Common Moorhen, American Kestrel, Osprey, Feral Pigeon, Zenaida Dove, Grey Kingbird, Bare-eyed Robin*
and finally
CARIBBEAN ELAENIA
 In a vain search for 'free' (or any) Internet access
I came across this dude who I stopped and talked to for a while before returning in heavy rain to the Voyager.
Finally, I should say that if you ever decided on Guadeloupe for birding Anthony would be your man. He is a professional guide and we could very well see why with 17 lifers for Peter and 6 for myself we also saw 14 of the Lesser Antillean endemics and the single true one. Best you get in touch!

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