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Puerto Rico in spring

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Old Monday 17th March 2014, 19:51   #1
Larry Sweetland
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Puerto Rico in spring

Might just get a chance to do a quick couple of weeks in Puerto Rico before the summer kicks in. Eagerly following Peter C's report as he now writes it!

Any more gen gratefully received. Been scanning a few reports, and looks like a few birds can be pretty tricky, so very grateful for ANY gen,(and views on April/May birding), especially:-
PR Parrot
Plain Pigeon
W I whistling Duck
Elfin Woods Warbler
Antillean Nighthawk (anyone see this on PR?)
PR Nightjar
PR Screech Owl
C Coot
Anything else that might be useful

many thanks
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Old Tuesday 18th March 2014, 08:21   #2
Larry Sweetland
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..ooo, and Black Swift

and the hummers, as I've just read a report where people found some of them tough in April.
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Old Tuesday 18th March 2014, 10:51   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Sweetland View Post
Might just get a chance to do a quick couple of weeks in Puerto Rico before the summer kicks in. Eagerly following Peter C's report as he now writes it!

Any more gen gratefully received. Been scanning a few reports, and looks like a few birds can be pretty tricky, so very grateful for ANY gen,(and views on April/May birding), especially:-
PR Parrot
I'll give you a quick 'spoiler' - PR Parrot is, basically, impossible.

(Shhh! Don't spoil the suspense for everybody else.)

Unless you have some extraordinary "in" with somebody in the U.S. Forest Service (which manages the birds' sole habitat, a restricted area in El Yunque), there's simply no way to get anywhere near them. Sorry.

Peter
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Old Tuesday 18th March 2014, 10:56   #4
Hamhed
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This could be a helpful link:

http://www.birdingpal.org/Puertorico.htm


Steve
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Old Tuesday 18th March 2014, 13:57   #5
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Here is a link to my own report for PR in end of April: http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=36763

I have been back on a second, guided tour for which there is no report, but as result, I can say that if you are in for example Guanica Dry Forest by the end of day, the Antillean nighthawks are easy if you are there late enough that they have started displaying. They do seem to migrate away, look at Ebird to see when they come back. The same area is good for PR nightjar (I heard but did not see it on my initial visit, confirmed when I caught up with it on my second visit), but you may need a guide to gain access. The sound reminds me a little of the calls sometimes given by (female?) Eur nightjar, rrryyp with an increasing pitch. Use of a guide may be necessary to get info on the Owl.

In my report, I have a possible heard PR Parrot at El Yunque, that sound got confirmed when I heard them on the second visit. They are doing much better in the second (more lowland) breeding area, which when we visited was closed to the public.

For many of the other species, Ebird will be your best friend

Niels
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Old Tuesday 18th March 2014, 14:22   #6
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Without saying more than you can see in ebird, take a look at this location: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/puerto-r...l-de-rio-abajo

Niels
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Old Tuesday 18th March 2014, 14:49   #7
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I went to PR many years ago. The Owl was our first endemic, photographed on roadside wires through El Yunque when we arrived after dark on our first day. They seemed quite common.

I agree on the Amazon; all the best areas are closed to visitors. I'm told people have seen "wild ones" sat on top of the captive breeding cages, but even that requires trespass I think. These "wild birds" are also likely releases in any event. The chances of seeing wild ones anywhere are very close to zero.

cheers, alan
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Old Tuesday 18th March 2014, 16:07   #8
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If you want to see reintroduced, free-flying parrots (plus lots in cages!), my book tells you the contacts you need to make in order to do that. No guarantees, but I had no insider track and managed it without much difficulty in 2009. For now, I'd forget El Yunque, although they were still there when I made my first visits in the late 1990s, and we included some tips about the (former) best places in the book.

Your other targets are all easy in the appropriate spots, with the exception of Black Swift (which I have never managed to see on Puerto Rico; easy on Jamaica and harder, but far from impossible, on mainland Cuba). The coot I increasingly don't believe in as a species.
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Old Tuesday 18th March 2014, 16:51   #9
Larry Sweetland
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thanks for all your help folks
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Old Tuesday 18th March 2014, 17:16   #10
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I had a single Black Swift in what looked more like a fly-by than a place where they would be frequently.

They are easy in Dominica in the right season!

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Old Tuesday 18th March 2014, 17:18   #11
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Guy, do you know anything about recent breeding success? When I visited (a couple of years before you, I believe) the released birds had started successful breeding if I recall correctly.

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Old Tuesday 18th March 2014, 18:27   #12
Larry Sweetland
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I had a single Black Swift in what looked more like a fly-by than a place where they would be frequently.

Niels
I think it was reading this in your report that put the sp on my radar for PR Niels. I wondered whether there was a known site for them that most visiting birders don't bother fitting in, as maybe a high proportion of visiting birders have seen them in the USA. Guy's post hasn't given me much hope in that department!
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Old Tuesday 18th March 2014, 21:09   #13
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Guy, do you know anything about recent breeding success? When I visited (a couple of years before you, I believe) the released birds had started successful breeding if I recall correctly.

Niels


Yes, they were breeding pretty well at the time of my visit, indeed I saw several nest-holes near Ricardo Valentin's house. But, like all such projects, it has been a lot of work to reach this point.
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Old Wednesday 19th March 2014, 01:08   #14
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But, like all such projects, it has been a lot of work to reach this point.
I know!

Niels
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Old Thursday 27th March 2014, 19:37   #15
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Ok, sent off for Guy's book, and now looking hopeful that we'll go in early May (our first birding trip with 9 month old baby).

Not sure if there are sites for these in Guy's book, so:-

Yellow-breasted Crake? Do visiting birders ever see this? (Any sites?)

Bridled Quail-Dove? Any sites on Vieques? (and what are the chances?)
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Old Friday 28th March 2014, 21:32   #16
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Easiest place for that quail dove I know is in Guadeloupe, so a bit off your route One of my friends saw (if I recall correctly) Key West QD in the dry forest in PR. I have never seen the crake.

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Old Saturday 29th March 2014, 20:47   #17
Larry Sweetland
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Thanks Niels,

Since last post I've found a trip report of someone seeing the crake in 2007 at Humacao. Also a report of 3 x Bridled Quail-Dove on Mt Pirata, Vieques.

I think if I see either though it would be a miracle, and there will be much shocked whooping.
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Old Friday 4th April 2014, 20:19   #18
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yikes, flights booked so no going back now...May the 4th be with us. Hope babies like birding
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Old Saturday 5th April 2014, 19:18   #19
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Good luck!

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