Sunday, 30 December 2012

Margarita Island, Venezuela

Arriving at Puerto El Guamache 07:00, ever before the slack was taken up on the head-ropes BROWN PELICAN were making them a perch and the day was already warm.
No Birding Pal here and really little by way of direction, so a US$10 taxi ride to seen if some likely habitat could be found
 About 15Km from what is a Oil and Container Terminal (and not at all a likely berth for a Cruise Ship) there was this endless expanse of dense and very prickly terrain where the search would start.
A flash of brilliant red crossed my eyes as I watched a male VERMILION CARDINAL disappear, and never return, into the tangle of bushes.
Undeterred, I tried pishing which only brought the female out but only this far.
Plenty of CACTUS here, while just up the road the local rubbish tip was attracting a good number of both
and BLACK VULTURE neither of which close to any decent range.
However, all was not lost as I turned to see just a slight movement in a nearby bush reviling this nifty
with a freshly caught LIZARD
The Raptor was also having an effect on the smaller birds and was being continuously being 'attacked' by this TROPICAL GNATCATCHER.
About the closes any BLACK VULTURE came today.
and a Black BUTTERFLY
With the recent elections in the country it was no surprise to find this CHAVES graffiti all over the place.
TROPICAL MOCKINGBIRD were once again well represented, but it was now a case of the heat becoming oppressive. I sought some temporary sanctuary in a local garden under the shade of a huge tree, while the family brought me water which I poured over my head to cool down. The arrival of a family friend, in his 'beat up' pickup truck was fortuitous as I was more than ready to return to the ship for a short siesta. He drove me back!
While resting Peter Davies had slipped a note under my cabin door suggesting I should try the sand and mud flats between the container berth and the sea-shore which proved profitable.
First up were these NEOTROPIC CORMORANT
followed by c3
Any Owl is a bonus to me so they were most welcome and obliging.
Also on the foreshore were good numbers of LEAST SANDPIPER
along with what looked like a SEMI-PALMATED SANDPIPER, right of picture.

A decent size group of about 50
were next but at long distance.
Local Fishermen

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