Saturday, October 31, 2015

Trinidad - The Flag Tour -Caroni Swamp

WARNING - This blog posting has a snake pic.  I know, I know.  I do not like snakes either - in real life, videos or pictures.  BUT... I am trying to face a fear.  Actually our guide was kewl about it and asked if anyone was afraid of snakes before we even set off.  Carla and I shot our hands up high in the air proudly.  "Okay" he said.  However, he still made a point to showed us the snake in the tree.  A tree boa I think.  He explained a little about that type of snake and that after they eat, they sleep...often for a week or two in one spot.  This one had apparently had a big meal because he had been in this same spot for almost two weeks now and thus the guide could find it.  My thought was that it would wake up any second and start moving and I was therefore glad we moved along before it did..  On second thought, I really don't like when I open a magazine, or turn on the TV or open FB and suddenly see a snake pic with no warning and thus no way to avoid it so I am not going to post the snake pic.  :)  You're welcome!
Blue something bird

Guess what else we found?  Can you see him below?

How about now?  It is a caiman - small crocodile.  It was in the water and scrambled up on the bank when we came near.  We were actually able to get quite close. 
Not sure what is going on with the white on the tip of the tail
The swamp has several open areas of water with small, scrub islands of vegetation. 

So peaceful

These small islands provide a roosting place for the Scarlet Iibis, Trinidad's national bird and the reason we came to the swap.  When I say scarlet, I mean RED.  These birds are very red.  Not kind of- sort of, but completely RED.
Scarlet Ibis in flight
They fly in at dusk by the thousands.  They are approximately the size of the White Ibis.  bahahah.  Ok, the size of a smallish crane.
Settling in for the evening
The Scarlet Ibis will pick one island and then ALL land there.  Thousands!  There are four or so islands throughout the swamp that are used by the Scarlet Ibis but only one is accessible to tourist via guide boat.
Time for bed
1500 Scarlet Ibis or more.  The guide said at the height of the season, it can get to 6000.  WOW!  The island looked like a Xmas tree.  Pre-dawn, th ibis head out to feed, eating crabs that actually make them the brilliant red color.  Hatchlings are born brown and white....I think.  Once they start eating the crabs, they change color to the brilliant red and stay that way.    
Still more coming home to roost

 It was such an amazing sight and experience.

Below - another sort of bird spotted on the trip.  A funny little bird.  English I think.  Just kidding Claire!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, those Scarlet Ibis are gorgeous! Would love to see one -- or 1500 -- or 6000! The other bird is probably a Little Blue Heron.