Tobago 2018
   
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Tobago is part of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, a twin island country that is the southernmost nation of the West Indies in the Caribbean and only 11 kilometers (Trinidad) off the coast of northeastern Venezuela. Trinidad and Tobago obtained independence from Britain in 1962 and became a republic in 1976. Due to oil and natural gas resources, Trinidad and Tobago is one of the wealthiest countries in the Caribbean. The islands have a rich biodiversity being situated near Venezuela. Tobago, the northern-most and smallest island (300 km2), is a well-known destination for eco-tourisms. I travelled to Tobago primarily for this reason, and stayed at an eco-lodge in Castara on the western side of the island. For several days I hired a private driver to take me around the island, including a trip to Little Tobago to see the Red-billed Tropicbird and other seabirds.

 

 

 

 

View from the Firefly room at Castara Retreats, Castara, Tobago

 

Sunset at the restaurant at Castara Retreats

The Firefly Room at Castara Retreats

 

Firefly room at Castara Retreats. OK room, but no proper balcony with sea breeze

Main office, Castara Retreats

 

Castara town

Had breakfast at Cheno's Coffee Shop in the morning

 

Cheno's Coffee Shop

Castara town

 

"Milk", my private driver on Tobago. He drove me around on the island several days, and was also responsible for the airport transport

Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) and Laughing Gull (Leucophaeus atricilla), Castara

 

Brown Pelican

Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens), Castara

 

Laughing Gull, Castara

Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius), Little Tobago

 

Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)

Little Blue Heron - juvenile (Egretta caerulea), Castara

 

Green Heron (Butorides virescens), Castara

Red-crowned Woodpecker - male (Melanerpes rubricapillus), Tobago

 

Red-crowned Woodpecker - female (Melanerpes rubricapillus), Tobago

Hummingbird tongue, White-tailed Sabrewing fkicking it's tongue out, Tobago

 

Male Ruby-topaz Hummingbird in flight. The most spectacular hummer on Tobago

Hummingbird feeder. I visited three different feeding sites. Best place for hummer photography

 

Charlotteville

Charlotteville

 

North of Speyside

On the boat to Little Tobago. Departing from a resort north of Speyside. Took 20 min over to the protected island

 

Goat Island - Toward Little Tobago

Melon Cactus (Melocactus broadwayi), Little Tobago

 

Cactus (Pilosocereus lanuginosus), Little Tobago

Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster), Little Tobago

 

Booby fishing

Red-billed Tropicbird (Phaethon aethereus), Little Tobago

 

Red-billed Tropicbird (Phaethon aethereus), Little Tobago

Eastern side of Little Tobago, Saint Giles Island in the background

 

On Little Tobago. Towards Speyside and Tobago

Probably a Common Ground Lizard (Ameiva atrigularis), Little Tobago

 

Guided tour on Little Tobago. Looking at several species of boobys. The guide in yellow shirt

Roxborough, Tobago

 

Roxborough, Tobago

Trinidad Motmot (Momotus bahamensis), Little Tobago

 

Trinidad Motmot, Castara

White-tipped Dove (Leptotila verreauxi)

 

Tropical Mockingbird (Mimus gilvus)

Pale-vented Pigeon (Patagioenas cayennensis), Castara Retreats

 


Pale-vented Pigeon

Barred Antshrike - female (Thamnophilus doliatus), Castara Retreats

 

Barred Antshrike - male (Thamnophilus doliatus), Castara Retreats

Orange-winged Amazon (Amazona amazonica), Castara

 

Green-rumped Parrotlet (Forpus passerinus)

The national bird of Tobago, the Cocrico (Rufous-vented Chachalaca or Red-tailed Guan (Ortalis ruficauda)

 

Rufous-vented Chachalaca. Often hunted for the meat by the locals. It tastes great, according to my driver ...

Hibiscus flower, maybe Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Castara

 

Flower (Aphelandra pulcherrima), Little Tobago

Banana flower (Musa sp.), Tobago

 

Banana tree, Castara

Common Ground Lizard (Ameiva ameiva / atrigularis), Castara

 

Richard's Anole (Anolis richardii), Castara

Yellow-headed Caracara (Milvago chimachima), Castara

 

 

Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus), Little Tobago

Great Black Hawk (Buteogallus urubitinga)

 

 

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus), Little Tobago

Blue-grey Tanager (Thraupis episcopus), Castara

 

Blue-grey Tanager

Palm Tanager (Thraupis palmarum), Castara

 

Palm Tanager

White-lined Tanager - female (Tachyphonus rufus)

 

White-lined Tanager - male

Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis)

 

Giant Cowbird (Molothrus oryzivorus) - on a cow

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Spectacled Thrush (Turdus nudigenis ssp. nudigenis)

 

Carib Grackle - female (Quiscalus lugubris)

Brown Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus tyrannulus), Castara

 

Bananaquit (Coereba flaveola), maybe the most common bird species on Tobago?

     

Tropical Kingbird (Tyrannus melancholicus), Castara

 

Poor image of a Blue-backed Manakin (Chiroxiphia pareola), Tobago rainforest

     

Rufous-tailed Jacamar (Galbula ruficauda), Tobago rainforest

 

Rufous-tailed Jacamar

Fern species (Adiantum?), Tobago rainforest

 

Maybe Cocoa Tree (Theobroma cacao), Castara

Southern Stingray (Dasyatis americana). I was shocked when this massive stingray swam under me. It must have been almost 1.5 meter wide. Certainly the biggest ray I have seen. Read later that they are common in Castara Bay, and that the fishermen feed them

 

Sea urchin in Castara Bay

Coral in Castara Bay

 

Corals in Castara Bay

Having a couple of beers with a Canadian and a local rastafarian in Castara

 

Junior Thomas, a local bird guide on Tobago. He helped me find the Jacamar on my last day on the island

     

Local fish dish at Glasgow Bar / Paradise Point, Tobago

 

Afternoon shower in Castara