An intrepid group of eager birders and volunteer guides (Marie, Mike, Chuck, Cesar, Priscilla, and Dale) gathered on the Malecon under cover of a local shelter where, despite the rain, we could keep dry and still get good views of a few birds. We observed 5 species. 1 Eurasian Collared-Dove 3 Royal Terns 1 Brown Pelican 1 Great Egret 2 Red-tailed Hawk Next, we went to a roadside stop where we could see the freshwater wetland under the radio tower. Marie and Mike had made a brief stop there earlier and saw some birds. Fortunately, the rain stopped, and we all had good looks at 9 species with binoculars and scopes. Cesar located a Ruff, a bird that is extremely rare to see in Vieques, and we all had excellent scope views of it. Thanks to Cesar and Chuck's keen observation and identification, we also saw a Little Blue Heron in white form. Our list there included: 1 Eurasian Collared-Dove 3 White-winged Dove 2 Common Gallinule 1 Ruff 5 Stilt Sandpiper 2 Great Egret 1 Little 1 Blue Heron (white form) 5 Gray Kingbird 2 Northern Mockingbird 10 plus nasty biting ants (not in bird form, of course, but worth mentioning) Our final stop was at the east end of Sun Bay where we set out for the South side of the lagoon. We made our way around the puddles in the road and through the bush down to the small beach, where the water was higher than usual. The sky darkened and eventually, we were drenched. Hopefully, everyone was able to see the following birds before we left. 4 Stilt Sandpiper 2 Lesser Yellowlegs 1 Brown pelican 1 Great Egret 1 Yellow-crowned Night Heron 1 Osprey 1 Pearly-eyed Thrasher The weather was definitely a factor on this walk, but it was heartening to see the interest that everyone showed in birds and the environment in general. Despite the rain, we saw some excellent birds. Please take some time to stop in and visit VCHT and join us again when you are in Vieques.
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