Alright, we’re back to our regularly scheduled programming! Scott helped me with my technical difficulties with the very large photo files and I’m done the show. So – let’s talk Trinidad and Tobago!
Roger is a top notch birder who knows both islands intimately, so he knows where the birds are. He also enjoys teaching bird/nature photography to anyone with a DSLR and is very generous with his knowledge. But really, you get so much more with Roger – his repertoire of bird calls, sense of humor, unflagging enthusiasm, and his unbridled love for his country. We packed a lot in during the five days that we were with Roger and saw a lot more of the country than if we had tried to do it on our own.
For the first day we got off easy – meaning Roger picked us up at 8 am – since we didn’t get to Thanna’s until after midnight the night before. Roger took us to Asa Wright Nature Centre, which is THE place birders want to go in Trinidad (and the Caribbean). It’s a nice introduction to Trinidad birds, since they basically come to you – or at least a bunch of fun colorful ones do! We birded (well, I birded, they took photos) in the morning and had lunch at Asa Wright (which is a Trinidadian buffet!).
Asa Wright was originally a cocoa plantation, and the nature centre was established in 1967 when Mrs Wright sold the land to the trust. One of the reasons it is such a popular birding spot is that Mrs Wright started feeding the birds near the veranda in the 1950s; so generations of birds have been habituated to the feeding stations and are comfortable with people around. Because our time was limited we spent most of our time on the veranda or on the path just below it.
Oh, and in case you are wondering about the long pants and proper shoes in such a hot climate… well, Trinidad has 4, yes 4, poisonous snakes. Fer de lance, Bushmaster, and two species of coral snake – you wear long pants and socks and shoes; and let Roger scope out a safe place in the bush to pee!!
After Asa Wright we took the road over the Northern Range to Blanchisseuse and on past Maracus Bay beach (which is the most popular beach on Trinidad). Of course, we stopped along the way for birds, scenery, flowers and whatever else was eye catching.
Then it was back to Port of Spain, where Roger dropped us off at Thanna’s. We had dinner at an Indian restaurant – Apsara. After dinner we went to Queens Park Savannah to listen to a little bit of the Panorama (which is the competition for steel bands leading up to Carnival). Then it was back to our guest house to rest up for the next day’s adventure. (Once again, in case you were wondering – we aren’t foolhardy, we consulted with our host, Anna, and she assured us that it was safe to walk at night in Port of Spain during Carnival.)