Caroni Bird Sanctuary

Published: July 31st 2019
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Tuesday July 30* - It started to rain just before we were about to leave, and we waited for the downpour to end before heading out to Caroni Bird Sanctuary. We left at 3pm and it only took about 15 minutes to get there. But Ally said if we had left 15 minutes later, we might have been caught up in some serious traffic. The main thing to do at Caroni is to take a boat ride/tour out to see the Scarlet Ibis, who come in to roost for the night. There are about 20,000 of them in this mangrove swamp, but this is their breeding season, so most of the birds are paired up and nesting in other parts of the swamp. We were taken around many parts of the swamp for a couple of hours, ending at the spot where we would see some ibis stay for the night, and where we could see many others flying past in large groups. There were also flamingos, which are apparently new to the area in the last two years. Ally is a serious birder, and said Trinidad is great because they see a lot of migrating birds in the spring and fall, raising their species counts to almost 500.

When we first arrived, Ally told the guys we would be there, and then we drove in a little further to see if there was anything around. We did see a yellow-headed Caracara, but it didn’t let us get too close. We got out, but started to get eaten by mosquitos, so we drove back to the boat.

We got in with everyone when they were loading up, and were surrounded by this really large family with a bunch of kids. The ride itself was quite good, except for the frequent times when there were a million mosquitos and everyone was trying to kill them. I put repellent on several times, both mine and Ally’s, but I really need a good one with DEET. And boots. Sandals were killing me here. Trinidad is not like the rest of the Caribbean. It’s more like South America.

We were really lucky with rain. It stayed mostly cloudy, but it didn’t rain, which would have sucked in that boat. Towards the end, I think I got some good pictures of the ibis flying, and the skies were just gorgeous. Trinidad actually reminds me very much of Florida, in terms of heat, humidity, rain showers, skies, clouds and sunsets.

On the drive back, Ally took a hill to see how the car was driving, but we also stopped for the sunset view and… jerk chicken. I had food for tonight, but I don’t mind saving it. I got a box with jerk chicken, fries and mashed potatoes. It was about $7 and will also be two meals. So now I have leftovers actually sitting around! I feel like I’ve been here for days, and it’s only my second night. Crazy.

* continued from Port of Spain blog

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