- Bird

Birding in a Refinery – 10,000 Birds

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 rather more at play than what is instantly discernible. A now largely defunct oil refinery encircles a verdant haven for waterfowl and plenty of different wetland-dependent birds – the Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Belief.

I gained’t get into the main points (for there are a lot of) on this put up, however for these all in favour of studying extra about this unimaginable (and personally vital) place, be happy to have a learn of this native 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 type or style implies that the encounters themselves are basically assured to be memorable – and never of fleeing chook behinds!

Witnessing unbothered Blue-and-yellow Macaws lazily perusing the larder of moriche palm fruit ensures that ideas of anything all disappear.

Whereas the P-a-P Wildfowl Belief’s most important thrust is the breeding and launch of 5 duck species, the habitat encourages plenty of native wetland birds to inhabit and proliferate the world. From Yellow-hooded Blackbirds to Purple and Widespread Gallinules, there are virtually too many birds to give attention to! 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.

Masked Cardinal

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.

As a result of plethora of chook species round, invariably we had been to expertise one thing breathtaking. Whereas strolling round the principle 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 had been grossly unprepared for when her mate abruptly appeared beside her and handed her a freshly caught fish. Earlier than we had time to collect ourselves, he flew off. Ruing our missed alternative, I eyed him by means of binoculars. Clearly, his actions had been spectacular as the feminine shortly joined him – and so they mated.

This time of yr marks the beginning of the breeding season for a lot of species of resident birds, and they’re due to this fact solely 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 tons of of those hefty geese over the many years into distant and infrequently 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 people who’re against visiting a spot like this, fearing that the birds aren’t really wild – and due to this fact might or might not depend on an official record. 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 may select to remain or go away as they please.

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