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Short trip to Puerto Rico

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Old Monday 20th October 2014, 19:39   #1
seanalfi
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Short trip to Puerto Rico

Hi, I'm going to PR for 3 nights at the end of this month for a music festival. I'll be staying in the north east in Fajando. As I will have little time, no transport and I am already imagining the impending hangovers, I will obviously not have much time for birding!

However as it is one of my few trips across the Atlantic and the first in the Caribbean I imagine that most of the limited avian life I will see will be new and interesting. I am hoping to escape the resort (el conquistador) for a few hours and there will also be a day spent on the private island of palominos.

My question is.... What common birds might I be likely to see? Is there a chance for frigates? Tropicbirds? Are hummingbirds easy enough in resort areas/golf course type habitats? Are any of the endemics common enough to venture near coastal resorts?

I've read a couple of fantastic sounding trip reports and would love to spend more time on the island. As it goes i'll just be very limited - but even the common birds would be a treat! Grateful for any suggestions!
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Old Monday 20th October 2014, 19:45   #2
lewis20126
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Have a day out in El Yunque National Park - you will get many of the special (endemic) birds there. If you are not that familiar with forest birding it may be best to hire a local guide for a day.

cheers, alan
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Old Tuesday 21st October 2014, 07:49   #3
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Thanks Alan... alas I don't think I'll have the opportunity to get away for a full day. Just a few hours here and there around the resort itself.

I'm obviously not expecting many/any of the endemics but some hummers would be cool! Even grackles, doves, bannaquit and potentially some seabirds would be great. I'm really looking for an idea of what to expect as common in the area whilst expending minimal (read 'hungover') effort!
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Old Friday 24th October 2014, 01:04   #4
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Bq, some of the doves, and the more common hummers should all be possible. Frigates and other sea birds might be around where you are.

Niels
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Old Monday 3rd November 2014, 13:57   #5
seanalfi
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So - back from my trip. A 1.5 hour, jet-lagged walk around the grounds produced:

Gray kingbird
Bananaquit
Caribbean martin
Greater Antillean Grackle
Shiny cowbird
Puerto Rican flycatcher
Puerto Rican Woodpecker
Puerto Rican oriole
Snowy egret
Common gallinule
Green iguana
Some unidentifiable LBJs and very distant pair of ducks that I suspect were blue-winged teal

Lounging by the pool also produced frequent flyovers of:
Magnificent frigate bird
Brown pelican
American kestrel
Red-tailed hawk
Mourning dove


Not bad! I felt I would be lucky to get one endemic let alone three! I was admiring a stunning pair of orioles when 5 feet further along a pair of woodpeckers flew in. Fantastic experience! Have also heard that the oriole can be quite tricky to get?

Thanks to the posters above for your kind advice. Really is an island that I would love to go back to. Wonderful people as well as scenery. And birdlife, of course.
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Old Monday 3rd November 2014, 22:47   #6
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Just think if you had a week to bird there?! Puerto Rico is on my "do it soon" list. How's the rum?

Steve
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Old Monday 3rd November 2014, 22:55   #7
seanalfi
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I went for the Bacardi Triangle event. Basically the most ambitious party ever staged and they pretty much accomplished it! My internal organs are pretty much rum right now.
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Old Tuesday 4th November 2014, 00:05   #8
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I think most birding in PR is pretty easy and rewarding. There are a couple of places making rum, but the best in the world comes from Guiana -- where I have yet to go. If I do, it probably would have to be both tasting and birding!

Niels
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