Monday, April 15, 2013

More Bugs, Birds, and Flowers from Jamaica – 26 Endemics on Day Two

We haven't had a single peep from a Jamaican Becard. But no worries mon, we'll see them. Something of a relief is that everyone had at least a glimpse of a Crested Quail-Dove that flew in without warning, perched for a full second, and then vanished, only to call back to my playback from deep within the increasingly disturbed forest on the Ecclesdown Road. We'll have to trust the better forest at higher elevation in the Blue Mountains. Most people still need better view of Yellow-shouldered Grassquit too. And we'll have our work cut out for us to get a bunch of other subspecies, such as the Rufous-throated Solitaire and Bahama Mockingbird in the next days. And who can ever get enough of the Jamaica Tody? I got some great recording of its calls today, but no luck with digiscoped photos.

After seeing the Jamaican Lizard-Cuckoos at dusk yesterday, we were glad to get great views of one this morning. They certainly sit long enough for digiscoping.

I talked about the great variety of melastome plant and flower forms today, having seen the endemic Blakea trinervia and pointing out lots of this Arthrostemma fragile on the roadsides.

And I just couldn't remember the name of this flower, though I see it every time I'm here. It's Hippobroma longiflora, related to Lobelia. Its generic name is Greek for "horse food," but it's supposedly quite toxic.

This lovely, high-gloss flower chafer caught my attention. It looks to be fairly obviously a member of the subfamily Cetoniinae, but I don't know enough to get to tribe or genus on it. It reminds me of Euphoria, but that big triangle in the back seems distinctive.

Back at Goblin Hill for the rest of the afternoon we took a rest; here's the view from my bedroom window, a healthy sea breeze keeping it comfortable enough without using the AC.

From this window (while booking my final air tickets for my upcoming Borneo and Lombok trip...) I heard the screaming of a Peregrine Falcon. On our afternoon outing shortly thereafter, I walked my group down to the overlook, and there it was, perched on tree on its own little islet just offshore. We drove past it on our way to Folly Point and back, and an hour and 45 minutes later it was still there. It probably has its fill of White-crowned Pigeons every day.

There aren't a lot of moths around here, so I grabbed quick photo of this one after dinner. It looks to be a pretty widespread noctuid, Mocis disseverans.

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