January 4, 2022 Bird Walk Report
Bird Walk Leaders Dale and Priscilla Doucette, Marie and Mike Murphy, Jeff Mendoza; Chuck Sklar
January is a good month for birding in Vieques. 16 people on the Trust’s bird walk on January 4 were able to spot migrating and endemic birds. We began on the Malecon across the street from the Trust where we saw the usual Royal Terns on buoys , 3 Brown Pelicans, and 1 Gray Kingbird along the street.
We drove to the entrance of Sun Bay. 2 Killdeer were feeding in the field on the right. Zenaida Doves, Northern Mockingbirds, House Sparrows, and Greater Antillean Grackles moved among the trees and over the fields. Again, we spotted the Gray Kingbird, and a not so common Loggerhead Kingbird which is easily identified by its dark blocky head.
Driving along the beach we spotted more Gray Kingbirds and Loggerhead Kingbirds. 1 Royal Tern, and 1 Brown Booby were flying and diving in the sea for a meal.
We parked at the East end of the beach and walked for about a half mile to a small lagoon. Along the way, we watched a Magnificent Frigatebird soaring above the bay, 2 more Brown Pelicans flying west, a Bananaquit darting from side to side of the trail, and 3 Barn Swallows passing overhead.
At the lagoon we were very careful not to frighten any shorebirds, and everyone was able to get good looks at 34 Black-necked Stilts and 3 Lesser Yellowlegs. This sight everyone agreed was a birding highlight.
Finally, we made our way to a remote spot on the Sun Bay Lagoon. Here we could see a large expanse of water and many birds near and in the distance: 28 Black-necked Stilts, 1 Lesser Yellowlegs, 2 Brown Pelicans, 1 Great Blue Heron, 1 Little Blue Heron, 7 Great Egrets, 2 Osprey and 1 Belted Kingfisher.
We were pleased to have 8 members of an extended family from Indiana and Maryland, a fellow named Jack from Florida, and Vieques winter resident, Joan Bennert on our walk. Attendees were urged to become members and supporters of VCHT.
As part of the Trust’s effort to support citizen science activities, the bird walk leaders report observations on eBird. We urge everyone to download the eBird application and report their observations.