5 - 13, 2010
I was in Aruba from June 5-13, 2010 and had the opportunity
to bird Bubali and the surrounding area during my stay. I saw
the usual suspects for an early June visit and have some additional
interesting sighting information.
Sightings of Note
sighted landing at 9:00am on 2010-06-08 and foraging closely
together in the grasses along west coast just south of the Divi
Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort on Palm Beach, halfway between the
highrises on Palm Beach and the lowrises on Eagle Beach where
the land bulges out into the ocean and there is a square of
dirt roads along the water on the west side of J.E. Irausquin
Boulevard. Luckily, they stuck around for a while as I did not
have a camera on hand when I sighted them and had to run back
to my hotel to retrieve same and hope that they would not have
moved on by the time I was able to return. Sure enough, they
were still foraging nearby upon my return, and I was able to
photograph them both together extensively.
by Brian Daly
sightings of either a pair (one noticeably larger than the other),
or an individual, at Bubali between 2010-06-09 and 2010-06-10.
had a close study of both the distinct bill and the plumage
as one flew by right above me on the first morning I saw them
and of course their behaviour (prolonged skimming) was also
alone or together, they would always be skimming along the reed
line of the eastern side of the large lagoon, skimming up and
down, mainly sticking to the northeast end of the lagoon. They
would typically fly in, skim the lagoon for 15-20 minutes, and
then leave by flying over the trees between the Westin Resort
Aruba and the Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort, over Palm
Beach, to the ocean.
was able to photograph them extensively, both as a pair and
as individuals, from both the observation tower and from my
balcony on the northeast corner of the 17 th floor of the Westin
Resort Aruba, overlooking Bubali.
sightings of a pair at the waste water treatment facility.
reason I include this as a sighting of note is not simply because
it is a rare bird, but because of the unique location in which
this pair is located. Though I did not look for a nesting burrow,
this pair was on site every day that I arrived here. They
remained [nest location omitted] here even while people walked
about and the large trucks drove by along the inside of
the fence line. (In
response to Steve Mlodinow 's
trip report on surfbirds: How's that for both a hotel
and an airport-bus bird!)
Owls at wastewater treatment plant, photo by Brian Daly
and Sods (given time of year):
In white and light gray coloured plumage (lacking reddish-brown),
foraging along tideline on Palm Beach in late afternoon.
Turnstone: In plain
coloured plumage (lacking pronounced facial markings and reddish-orange
back), foraging under tables at Baby Beach in mid-afternoon.
- Non-breeding in Aruba
(Bubali) - using the “two-fingers pressed to lips kiss” technique,
I immediately had an adult appear from over the treetops and
hover in the clearing directly above my head until it realized
I was not an injured passerine and moved on. I also photographed
an adult and juvenile extensively at and around the terra-cotta-roofed
building at the
end of the road to the east of the Wind Mill at the northeast
corner of Bubali.
- responded heavily to standard “pishing”, which I noted sounds
somewhat like their buzzy vocalizations.
(various) - always came in close and perched on closest branch
for quite a while whenever I pished in areas I suspected would
hold them, and even some I didn't.
Emerald, photo by Brian Daly
(throughout) - it
was surprising when less than 2-4 individuals appeared anytime
I pished in appropriate habitat.
- coming in and then throwing its head from side to side to
give me a direct “one-eyed” close-up stare.