More Peewees and the Sandpiper got his Spots

April 3
It rained during the night last night and also some this morning. I got measurable rain in my rain gauge; just a bit over an inch. I wasn't sure I was going to get to go out, but the rain stopped and  I left at 10:35.  The temp was 80.7 and the sun occasionally peeked out of the clouds.  There are some pom-pom looking flowers on a tree here that just started blooming and it smells so good in the forest. It's not just the flowers that perfume the air, but also the rain washed leaves and barks and ground.

I had laundry to do so I had to make it a short birding day.  I decided to walk Kennedy Loop.  As I was leaving the marina, I saw the resident Spotted Sandpiper and he had Spots!  I've got so many pictures of him without spots, but he wasn't letting me photograph him today. 

[Time Out]I have to look back on my day lists to find out when I saw him last because it seems like only a few days ago and there wasn't a spot on him.  Maybe this isn't Spotty, but a migrant?  OK--I saw him on March 28th. Like the forest, Spotty's change seems instant.[Back to Blog]

The forest seemed to change in less than a week. We've had a few months of sunny, perfect days with only two or three nights of measurable rain. Day after day of sameness. Then bam--the days are suddenly way hotter, we get a few nights of real rain, and the sparsley clothed shrubs and trees that line the roads are suddenly dense and green and impenatrable in a few days. And Spotty has spots. The change is so sudden and so obvious it's weird to me.

As I head to the Loop, I see a Great Kiskadee dive bombing a Common Black Hawk.  Before I'm halfway around the loop, I see a familiar flycatcher; another Peewee.  I have a close encounter with a Coati Mundi but it is too dark for a good shot. I take in lungfulls of fragrant air and wish I didn't need to go back, but I have to do laundry. When I get to the clearing by the old church I see another Peewee and I hear the deep roll of thunder. It seems like years since I've heard it. Even though it means rain and confinement, I love it.  The first sprinkles start as I check out the laundry room.  The electricity had been out this morning and the place was a zoo. Not a machine available and the driers backed up. No laundry today.
Very distant, very cropped photo of a thrush high in the trees. Gray-cheeked or Swainson's?? Looks like a Gray-cheeked to me, but the photo could be misleading and the most common would be Swainson's.
Today's List:
Great Kiskadees
Black Vultures
Gray-breasted Martins
Great-tailed Grackles
Mangrove Swallows
Barn Swallows
Common Black Hawk
Spotted Sandpiper
Tropical Mockingbirds
Short-tailed Swifts
Red-crowned Woody
Thick-billed Euphonias
Variable Seedeater
Blue-gray Tanagers
Palm Tanagers
Streaked Flycatcher
Rusty Margined Flycatcher
Thrush high in canopy-Gray-cheeked or Swainson's??
heard Manikin's snapping wings
Blue-headed Parrots
Cocoa Woodcreeper
Mealy Parrots
Red-eyed Vireo
Orange-chinned Parakeets
Yellow-headed Caracaras
Eastern Kingbirds (2)
heard Crested Oropendola
Clay-colored Thrush
Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher?  Was high in the tree and the 'whited-out' sky made visibility bad, but I thought I could see a 'strap' under the chin.
Half a dozen vireos--again too high to see too well--Red-eyed or Yellow-green
Common Tody Flycatcher
Southern Beardless Tyrannulet
Turkey Vulture
Howler Monkeys
Coati Mundi


  1. Sue and Gene.It looks like you are having an amazing adventure. The birds you have seen are fantastic. I came across a post on another forum asking about the butterflies on St Lucia. You have cheered me up no end as we are going there over Christmas and I have been trying to find out about the butterflies that occur there, without any success. It is great to know that I have a lot to look forward to. I hope you enjoy the rest of your adventure.

  2. Hi Nick,
    Very nice to meet you. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I went to your butterfly blog briefly and saw you had a butterfly in Menorca that I also got there, only YOU have the ID ;). I will go back and browse when I finish posting tonight. For butterfly fans: