Tobago 2018


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 ecotourism. I traveled 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)

A juvenile Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea), Castara


Green Heron (Butorides virescens), Castara

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


Red-crowned Woodpecker - female, Tobago

Hummingbird tongue, White-tailed Sabrewing flicking 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





North of Speyside

On the boat to Little Tobago. Departing from a resort north of Speyside. It 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 ssp. leucogaster), Little Tobago


Red-footed Booby, white-tailed brown morph (Sula sula ssp. sula), Little Tobago

One of the main reasons to visit Little Tobago is to see the Red-billed Tropicbird


Red-billed Tropicbird (Phaethon aethereus ssp. mesonauta), Little Tobago

Red-billed Tropicbird


The Red-billed Tropicbird is breeding on Little Tobago

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


On Little Tobago. Towards Speyside and Tobago

Common Ground Lizard (Ameiva atrigularis), Little Tobago


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

Roxborough, Tobago


Roxborough, Tobago

Trinidad Motmot (Momotus bahamensis), Little Tobago


Trinidad Motmot, Castara

White-tipped Dove (Leptotila verreauxi)


Northern Waterthrush (Parkesia noveboracensis)

Pale-vented Pigeon (Patagioenas cayennensis), Castara Retreats


Pale-vented Pigeon

Barred Antshrike - female (Thamnophilus doliatus), Castara Retreats


Barred Antshrike - male, 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

Indian Dwarf Banana (Musa laterita), 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


Spectacled Thrush (Turdus nudigenis ssp. nudigenis)


Carib Grackle - female (Quiscalus lugubris)

Tropical Mockingbird (Mimus gilvus tobagensis), a subspecies only found in Trinidad and Tobago


Tropical Mockingbird tobagensis

Yellow-bellied Elaenia (Elaenia flavogaster), Castara


Yellow-bellied Elaenia


Probably Brown Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus tyrannulus), Little Tobago


Bananaquit (Coereba flaveola), 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 ever seen. I learned later that they are common in Castara Bay, and that the local fishermen feed them


Sea urchin in Castara Bay

White Encrusting Zoanthid (Palythoa caribaeorum) in Castara Bay


Yellow Tube Sponge (Aplysina fistularis) (orange) with White Encrusting Zoanthid (cream-colored). 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