69 BIRDS SPOTTED OVER 2 DAYS
In what is now an annual event in St.Kitts to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day in the Caribbean, a two day survey of Bird Species was undertaken by the author on Wednesday, October 5th and Monday, October 10th, 2011. A total of 17.5 hours were spent over the two days, in spite of a late start on the Wednesday. I.M.B.D. is officially celebrated in the Caribbean on the second Saturday of October every year.
The first day was spent at most of the 9 ponds which are all within a total distance of 10 miles and can be comfortably visited by car. The second day was spent in the rain forest near to the Zip line at WingfIeld Level and Caribelle Batik, (both in the Old Road Town area), the Bayfords area North of the Capital, and subsequently on the South East Peninsula ending at Banana Bay. I am pleased to advise that a total 69 different species were seen over the two days, surpassing the 67 seen in 2010 and the 62 seen in 2009. It included a new bird for the island’s list (and the author’s!) in the sighting and later confirmation of a Cinnamon Teal, a very rare visitor to the region.
This year the common resident birds were surprisingly very few and far between, and while most were eventually sighted, there were seen in much smaller numbers than normal. It was an excessively hot day on the Monday, and so this may have contributed towards their scarcity. The Waders were observed in normal numbers.
Surprisingly, (or perhaps not so surprisingly) a few common species were not seen over the two days including no sightings of any Green- Throated Hummingbirds, Scaly-Breasted Thrashers, Caribbean Elanias, or Snowy Plovers.
Interestingly, the penultimate bird to be sighted on day two was the Peregrine Falcon, the flagship specie of the 2011 celebration of the I.M.B.D.
The 69 species were:
Blue-winged Teal X Over 20 were observed.
Cinnamon Teal X One Cinnamon Teal was observed and photographed, confirmed a couple of days later by Whatbird.com. Sighted on South East Peninsula in an artificial pond created by developers. First sighting for St.Kitts!
White-cheeked Pintail X At leaast 10 were observed. They are seen all year round in St.Kitts.
Ring-necked Duck X One observed in the Golf Course pond.
Helmeted Guineafowl (Domestic type) X Three seen on the South East Peninsula.
Red Junglefowl (Domestic type) X Several seen in the villages & towns.
Pied-billed Grebe X Two seen in the Frigate Bay Pond.
Magnificent Frigatebird X Common
Brown Booby X Two seen in the Basseterre Harbour.
Brown Pelican X Common.
Great Blue Heron X Only one observed which is low for this time of year.
Great Egret X 3 were observed.
Snowy Egret X Over 12 were observed.
Little Blue Heron X At least 5 were observed.
Cattle Egret X 5 plus observed.
Green Heron X At least 5 were observed in different locations.
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron X At least 5 were spotted including juvs.
Osprey (American) X At least two were spotted.
Red-tailed Hawk X Only one spotted and it was the very last bird to be seen.
American Kestrel X Very Common.
Peregrine Falcon X One seen at Banana Bay late in the afternoon.
Common Gallinule X Very common.
Black-bellied Plover X Over 10 spotted in the various ponds.
Wilson’s Plover X Surprisingly, only a couple were spotted.
Semipalmated Plover X Common.
Killdeer X At least 10 seen in different locations. They are often seen and are considered common for much of the year.
Black-necked Stilt X Very common every year.
Spotted Sandpiper X A few seen in most ponds.
Solitary Sandpiper X Only two seen.
Greater Yellowlegs X Fairly Common.
Willet (Eastern) X At least 5 observed in Half Moon Bay Pond.
Lesser Yellowlegs X Common.
Hudsonian Godwit X At least 5 observed in the Half Moon Bay Pond.
Ruddy Turnstone X Common.
Semipalmated Sandpiper X Very common, seen everywhere.
Least Sandpiper X Just one observed.
Pectoral Sandpiper X Many were observed at most locations.
Stilt Sandpiper X Not seen in great numbers.
Short-billed Dowitcher X Faily common.
Wilson’s Snipe X One seen at the Major’s Bay Pond.
Laughing Gull X A few seen in the Basseterre Harbour.
Least Tern X A couple seen in the Basseterre Harbour.
Royal Tern X A couple seen in the Basseterre Harbour.
Rock Pigeon X Many seen in Basseterre & Old Road Town areas.
Scaly-naped Pigeon X Only two seen at Wingfield level.
Eurasian Collared-Dove X Very common at Fortlands.
White-winged Dove X One seen at Conaree and over 30 seen on the zipline wire in the area obove Old Road Village.
Zenaida Dove X Common.
Common Ground-Dove X Common.
Bridled Quail-Dove X One seen in the Rain Forest close to Caribelle Batik gardens.
Yellow-billed Cuckoo X Two were observed. Normally faily common.
Purple-throated Carib X One observed at Caribelle Batique Gardens.
Antillean Crested Hummingbird X Several seen during the course of the two days.
Belted Kingfisher X A couple observed.
Stolid Flycatcher X Only two observed.
Lesser Antillean Flycatcher X Surprisingly, only two were seen at Wingfield level.
Gray Kingbird X Very common.
Black-whiskered Vireo X Just one observed (and surprisingly, none heard!).
Barn Swallow X A couple of dozen observed.
Pearly-eyed Thrasher X Several observed, but less than “normal”.
Brown Trembler X Two onserved, one at Rain forest by the Zip line and the other at Wingfiels level.
Louisiana/Northern Waterthrush X One Northern waterthrush was sighted at an artificial new pond at the South East Peninsula.
American Redstart X One seen at Bayfords in the same tree as last year!
Yellow Warbler X Several seen and heard.
Blackpoll Warbler X Three observed. Normally dozens cn be seen at this time of the year.
Bananaquit X Common.
Black-faced Grassquit X Common.
Lesser Antillean Bullfinch X Common.
House Sparrow X Several observed in their breeding area at Bird Rock, Basseterre.
Submitted by Michael Ryan (March 2, 2012))