After numerous drives at midnight, scouring powerlines and treetops within the darkness for any sight of one among Tobago’s greatest stored secrets and techniques, we have been lastly rewarded a number of weeks in the past. It wasn’t an anticipated sighting by any means, due in no small half to a historical past of disappointment.
We had been hanging out – or as we are saying right here, liming – with some buddies on the distant northeastern tip of the island and started the 90 minute journey again to our (non permanent) base lengthy after nightfall had come and gone. Now there are a number of attainable routes we may’ve chosen from; these of you who assume like me would naturally gravitate towards the trail least travelled. And so we did. At that hour, we crossed paths with not more than 5 autos!
Speeds aren’t excessive on these bumpy, winding roads – and I not often shifted out of second gear. Sufficient time to swerve repeatedly to keep away from frogs on the street. The place there are frogs… I mused, finishing the sentence in my ideas, full with visions of desired sightings.
About midway by when the street lastly straightened on a gradual however deliberate descent towards one of many coastal villages, I shifted into third, then fourth gear. As we picked up velocity, I slouched again into the seat. Nearly instantly, I seen a plump, feathery anomaly on the powerlines – and hit the brakes. By the point I got here to a cease, I used to be instantly below it. Joanne checked out me, confused – however with the notice that I’d solely cease for some creature. I whispered to search for, and he or she was greeted by the underbelly of a Striped Owl.
I backed up fairly a bit and photographed the fowl from numerous angles. I do know it isn’t probably the most bothersome factor for many individuals, however having powerlines in my pictures is totally abhorrent to me. Ultimately I gave up and determined to attend, within the occasion it determined to alter perch. Maybe I’d have an opportunity with it on some shrub? Or possibly on the bottom? So we waited, and waited. It preened, seemed round, preened some extra, fluffed up a bit. After about half an hour, it started to vocalize – after which flew off into the darkness. Alas, I need to wait for one more alternative. Fortunately I had seen it earlier this year and there have been no powerlines round that point.
Right here’s the awkwardly composed and closely processed ensuing picture. However, this is among the most treasured sightings for any birder – Striped Owls on Tobago are an endemic subspecies and really occasionally reported.