Birding Aruba – Part 2

Tim SchreckengostBirdingLeave a Comment

See also: Part 1 | Part 3

 

I didn’t do much birding during our third day on the island, but I managed to hit a few spots as we explored the southeast portion of the island before dinner. As we were driving, I pulled off into a shady parking lot (eBird Checklist) to scan the beach and sea for anything interesting. Of course, Bananaquits and Carib Grackles were extremely active in the trees surrounding the car, but the most interesting bird came from the beach – an adult Killdeer. I don’t know much about Carribbean birds, but Killdeer is flagged on eBird, so I took the opportunity to document it.

Killdeer near Savaneta, Aruba on 25 June 2014. Digiscoped with an iPhone 5 + Vortex Razor HD 20-60x85 & Phone Skope Adapter. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.

Killdeer near Savaneta, Aruba on 25 June 2014. Digiscoped with an iPhone 5 + Vortex Razor HD 20-60×85 & Phone Skope Adapter. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.

From there, we moved to the southeastern most tip of the island – Baby Beach area (eBird Checklist). There were loads of Sandwich Terns and Brown Pelicans along the coast and a handful of Killdeer working the dirt away from the shore. As I was digiscoping the Killdeer, I noticed three smaller plovers that were immediately flushed by an American Kestrel. I finally got back on them and they turned out to be Collared Plovers, the first June eBird record for the island!

Collared Plover near Baby Beach, Aruba on 25 June 2014. Photo by Tim Schreckengost.

Collared Plover near Baby Beach, Aruba on 25 June 2014. Photo by Tim Schreckengost.

We ended the day watching Sandwich Terns, Brown Pelicans, and Laughing Gulls flying to roost as we ate dinner at Flying Fishbone (eBird Checklist). A few Green Herons flew past as well.

Flying Fishbone in Savaneta, Aruba on 25 June 2014. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.

Flying Fishbone in Savaneta, Aruba on 25 June 2014. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.

The next day’s festivities didn’t include a whole lot of birding, but I watched Shiny Cowbirds and Bare-eyed Pigeons from the balcony in the morning. Tropical Mockingbirds were “scaring” insects up throughout the grass at the resort too! I also picked up my island Least Tern while snorkeling in Catalina Bay in the afternoon.

Tropical Mockingbird at Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts, Aruba on 26 June 2014. Photo by Tim Schreckengost.

Tropical Mockingbird at Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts, Aruba on 26 June 2014. Photo by Tim Schreckengost.

The following day, I tried birding the pond at the Tierra del Sol golf course, but it was dried up. Rain has been nonexistent on the island for eight months. I was pretty bummed because I thought that was the only place to see Southern Lapwings on the island. Anyway, on the way back to the resort, I spotted a Crested Caracara along the road. I pulled over and it flew into a large dirt lot, allowing for a great digiscoping opportunity!

Crested Caracara along Malmok Weg, Aruba on 27 June 2014. Digiscoped with an iPhone 5 + Vortex Razor HD 20-60x85 & Phone Skope Adapter. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.

Crested Caracara along Malmok Weg, Aruba on 27 June 2014. Digiscoped with an iPhone 5 + Vortex Razor HD 20-60×85 & Phone Skope Adapter. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.

We ran into folks running a 5K, so the road back to our resort was shut down. With no place to go, I set up my scope at Malmok Beach (eBird Checklist) and enjoyed digiscoping a displaying Carib Grackle, a Black-faced Grassquit, and a Brown Pelican in perfect lighting!

Brown Pelican at Malmok Beach, Aruba on 27 June 2014. Digiscoped with an iPhone 5 + Vortex Razor HD 20-60x85 & Phone Skope Adapter. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.

Brown Pelican at Malmok Beach, Aruba on 27 June 2014. Digiscoped with an iPhone 5 + Vortex Razor HD 20-60×85 & Phone Skope Adapter. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.

That sums up Birding Aruba – Part 2! Check back in a few days for third and final part of Birding Aruba, which includes some of my favorite bird sightings of the trip.