Wednesday, April 14, 2010

WINGS Tour to Jamaica: Day 3, Northern Coast and Port Royal Mountains

An early morning walk around our lodging near Port Antonio on the northeastern coast was a nice way to start what became a terrific day. We returned to the lovely panorama looking over San San Cove.

A Peregrine Falcon was perched in the highest tree of the islet just off shore.

This Spotted Eagle Ray was swimming just below the surface of the water. This may be the first ever digiscoped ray, which I did from the overlook above. Good spotting, Suann.

Walking up the road behind the lodge, we spotted this Cassius Blue.

We had our best views of Greater Antillean Bullfinch here.

We then made the hour-and-a-half drive westward along the scenic coastal highway (perhaps the best road in all of Jamaica) to the Green Castle Estate. Bob Lockett and Adrienne Wolf-Lockett, friends of friends, are Peace Corps Volunteers in the area and offered to show us some trails and arrange to have lunch made for us.

A stakeout Northern Potoo on its day roost was a highlight here. Find the potoo in this wide angle shot!

The wonders of digiscoping bring it forward.

They still harvest cacao – this is the plant that produces the seeds used to make chocolate.

It took some sleuthing to identify this as a Potrillo Skipper, Cabares potrillo potrillo. I had not seen one in Jamaica before.

This Ceranus Blue was in the grass near a reservoir that held one pair each of American Coot and Caribbean Coot.

There were quite a few damseflies and dragonflies here. This is the widespread Familiar Bluet, Enallagma civile.

 This is a Three-striped Dasher, Micrathyria didyma.

This looks a lot like Roseate Skimmer, Orthemis ferruginea, but is still apparently an undescribed species.

Finally, this is a Slough Amberwing,  Perithemis domitia. Many thanks to Dennis Paulson for identifying the odonates for me.

We finished the day with a drive to Kingston and then up a very winding road up into the Port Royal Mountains. The lower slopes are mostly deforested with much invasive grass and bamboo preventing regeneration of many native plants. But this lovely golden-flowered agave is probably native to the island and has managed to hang on. It was full of Bananquits feeding on the nectar.

Just about 10 minutes from our hotel in the cool cloud forests at 3500 feet elevation, I stopped to look for Crested Quail-Dove for just a few minutes, and almost immediately one flew in and landed on an open perch. It was a very dark, overcast late afternoon, so photographing it wasn't possible. See my photos from last year's tour to see almost exactly the same view we had this year

1 comment:

  1. Rich,
    It was a pleasure to meet you and your tour participants at Green Castle! Thanks for coming by. It's intriguing that, in the space of a few hours, you found an apparently undescribed odondate. Makes us wonder how many other plants and animals on the 1600 acre property are undescribed.
    --Bob & Adrienne