Maybe just a little extra shock-inducing and paradoxical than ideas of birding at sewage ponds or graveyards, an oil refinery appears to be the antithesis of a fascinating place for a birder. In southern Trinidad, nonetheless, there may be far more at play than what is straight away discernible. A now largely defunct oil refinery encircles a verdant haven for waterfowl and lots of different wetland-dependent birds – the Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust.
I gained’t get into the main points (for there are a lot of) on this submit, however for these enthusiastic about studying extra about this unimaginable (and personally vital) place, be at liberty to have a learn of this local newspaper article. I’ve been visiting right here since I used to be just a little baby, and it’s now such a satisfying feeling to take visiting birders to this awe-inspiring centre for progressive environmental motion.
Birding in a spot the place animals are assiduously cared for and never harassed in any kind or vogue signifies that the encounters themselves are primarily assured to be memorable – and never of fleeing hen behinds!
Witnessing unbothered Blue-and-yellow Macaws lazily perusing the larder of moriche palm fruit ensures that ideas of the rest all disappear.
Whereas the P-a-P Wildfowl Belief’s fundamental thrust is the breeding and launch of 5 duck species, the habitat encourages quite a lot of native wetland birds to inhabit and proliferate the realm. From Yellow-hooded Blackbirds to Purple and Frequent Gallinules, there are virtually too many birds to concentrate on! Final go to we loved very good views of a trio of Masked Cardinals, interrupted by the arrival of a Inexperienced Kingfisher that was so intent on looking, it hardly even forged an eye fixed in our route.
This Inexperienced Kingfisher stared on the water for a number of minutes, after which proceeded to pounce on a fish that was so shut we virtually obtained splashed!
Attending the ponds and waterways are all manners of piscivores together with Striated Heron, Cocoi Heron, Anhinga, Neotropic Cormorant, Osprey, and even some sizeable specimens of Spectacled Caiman. All of them coexist harmoniously, other than the fish perspective that’s.
Because of the plethora of hen species round, invariably we have been to expertise one thing breathtaking. Whereas strolling round the primary pond on the Belief we came across a Wattled Jacana with what will need to have been the tiniest chicks I had ever seen.
There are three Wattled Jacana chicks on this picture, however they’re designed to stay hidden.
Whereas having fun with the household of Wattled Jacanas, a feminine Inexperienced Kingfisher flew in to an overhanging department and sat there for a number of minutes. We weren’t paying a lot consideration and due to this fact have been grossly unprepared for when her mate abruptly appeared beside her and handed her a freshly caught fish. Earlier than we had time to assemble ourselves, he flew off. Ruing our missed alternative, I eyed him by way of binoculars. Clearly, his actions have been spectacular as the feminine shortly joined him – and so they mated.
This time of 12 months marks the beginning of the breeding season for a lot of species of resident birds, and they’re due to this fact completely consumed with the urge to procreate. Whether or not the courtship efforts of the Inexperienced Kingfisher or a showdown between Muscovy Geese, birds continued to hold out their enterprise unconcerned of human eyes.
These two Muscovy drakes brutally battled for about ten minutes proper in entrance of us. Generally domesticated, wild variations of the Muscovy Duck traditionally inhabited wetlands throughout Trinidad. The P-a-P Wildfowl Belief has launched a whole bunch of those hefty geese over the a long time into distant and sometimes inaccessible wetlands.
Bona-fide wild Muscovy Geese (with little to no white plumage) from one other mission many months in the past.
There are some of us who’re against visiting a spot like this, fearing that the birds aren’t actually wild – and due to this fact might or might not depend on an official listing. For me, there may be little distinction between this expertise and one other the place the birds are habituated to human presence, pelicans coming in to seize bycatch from fishermen or storks at a landfill even. They’re all free-flying and might select to remain or go away as they please.