Monday, May 10, 2010


So I've seen some pretty cool birds since I moved to the island (snowy owl and common crane being the obvious goodies) but for the most part I haven't been finding the good stuff so much as taking advantage of the birding grapevine to find things. If I wanted to see something in the caribbean I had to find it myself as there was no-one there to share gen with. Here I've been finding common stuff and relying on others finding rarer stuff which has been a bit frustrating. I've been feeling for a while like I should find something genuinely rare sooner or later if I keep at it but I haven't found anything. I also began to wonder if my lack of familiarity with the European small passerines meant maybe I was missing good stuff. What I really needed to shore up my confidence was something rare but instantly recognisable. The sort of big delicious nut that even the blindest of squirrels could find. So early last saturday morning I opened the hide blind to see this.

spoonbill sideon2

holy crap! that looks like a spoonbill!

spoonbill faceon

Holy crap! that is a spoonbill! European spoonbill are pretty rare here. One or maybe two a year turn up and stay briefly whilst migrating. I was very pleased with such a bird. Also it looked cracking. Nice yellow detailing indicates this is an adult in breeding plumage. I emailed the news out using my blackberry and looked forward to others seeing such a spectacular bird whereupon this happened.

incoming spooner

Happily it did a big lazy circle and then returned and I've seen some great shots taken by other birders since (it stayed 2 days then did one). A fabulous bird and just what I needed to boost my confidence as the migrants start to settle. I'm a little disappointed that the grey heron is spoiling the background in that last pic. It has eaten all the ducklings on the reserve!


Levinson and Axelrod said...

Incredible bird.

irrigation systems said...

Great pics! Lucky you for finding it!