RARE BIRDS GALORE IN MARCH 2014!
March is turning out to be an interesting month for rare birds in St. Kitts, with five rare birds making an appearance! And one of these birds is a first for St.Kitts!
The first to be spotted was a White-crowned Pigeon sighted on March 3, by Glenroy Blanchette by the Fisherman’s Wharf restaurant area. Interestingly enough, I also saw a white-crowned pigeon right outside my house a couple of weeks later. The White-crowned pigeon was recently sighted in 2011, which was the first observation in St. Kitts for over 50 years! It was subsequently sighted a couple of times in 2013, and now in 2014, all in the Fortlands area.
The next bird to be spotted was a Purple Gallinule of March 8th, by Percy Hanley in the first major Pond on the Golf Course, close to the Frigate Bay main road end. This was the first sighting since 2012, and prior to that, only records of bone specimens were found.
Later that day, my 7 year old son Harry, called me by cell phone (no, he does not own a cell phone!) to tell me that there is a “white duck” in the swimming pool of the abandoned Fort Thomas Hotel. Somewhat skeptically, I went there and sure enough there was a white Muscovy duck in the pool! I assume it was a domesticated escapee from a neighboring island, or even perhaps from somewhere else in St. Kitts.
On Wednesday, March 23, Percy Hanley called me and said he was looking at a Little Egret just on the Frigate Bay main road in the water channel that connects the last Golf Course pond to the main Frigate Bay Pond. This was of particular interest to me as I had not seen one before, so out I went and managed to get a good look at it. This was only the second known sighting for St.Kitts, with the first being in 2006, also by Percy.
Finally, later that day Percy confirms that he saw a Tropical Mockingbird on the South East Peninsula, with its different calls and whitish-grey appearance. There has been no official report of a Tropical Mockingbird in St.Kitts as yet, but there was a sighting in Nevis in 2010 by M. Mark Ludlow. This sighting was only a matter of time as reports indicate that the range of this specie is gradually moving Northwards through the islands.
All in all, not a bad month for birding!