Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Birding Syndicate, Dominica, Thursday, 07 January 2016 1:45pm

Our plan for today was to look for the elusive parrots in the Morne Diablotin National Park. Birdwatching got off to a strange start as we were getting into our rental SUV: a hummingbird flew right into the open passenger door and ran into the seat. It sat on the ground looking stunned for about a minute, giving us a good look at its iridescent green feathers, and then hummed off.

On the drive over to the Syndicate Nature trail, we also saw a number of banded-tailed raptors, that we think are the Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus).

Seeing the actual parrots on the trail was significantly more difficult. It's hard to track anything in the rainforest canopy, and while you can hear birds, it's hard to see just where they are. We did see a Brown Trembler (Cinclocerthia ruficauda) in one of the lower branches, though. Its name is surprisingly apt.

There's an overlook point where you can sit and see across the river, which afforded a view of the treetops on the other side. We ended up sitting there for about half of the time we were in the park, hoping to spot some parrots. We did see three parrot-like birds, two of which we believed were Jaco parrots (Amazona arausiaca), due to their coloring, and the third of which we are almost positive was a Sisserou parrot (Amazona imperialis), due to its ungainly flight.

Amusingly, on the drive out of the national park, we saw more birds in a few minutes than we'd seen on the drive in, including a pair of Jacos.