Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Digiscoping at Asa Wright

Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Crested oropendola.

I've heard several well-traveled friends say that Asa Wright Nature Centre in Trinidad is an excellent destination for a bird watcher's first tropical birding experience. All of the characteristics of a tropical birding experience are present at Asa Wright: jungle/rainforest, amazing plant and animal life, heat and humidity. But the diversity of bird species present is not overwhelming.

Whereas a first trip to Brazil might place you in a spot with 25 to 30 tanager species and close relatives, (Costa Rica has 45 tanagers, Panama 42) Trinidad has about 15 tanagers and relatives. And this holds true across many of the tropical bird families. So it makes for a less confusing introduction to tropical bird watching.

But I believe that Asa Wright is also ideally set up for digiscoping tropical birds. The feeders at Asa are teeming with visitors. The elevated verandah is surrounded by trees and perches used by the birds coming and going to the feeders. Farther out but in plain view are more distant trees used by toucans, tityras, tanagers, and raptors that don't visit the feeders. And the trails! The local nature trails have lekking manakins and singing bellbirds that are regular as clockwork. More on that tomorrow.

All of the images in this post were digiscoped from the verandah (that's how the locals spell it) at the Asa Wright Nature Centre in Trinidad. These are just my "keepers."

Copper-rumped hummingbird.

Male green honeycreeper.

Immature male white-necked jacobin.

Forest elaenia.

Adult male white-necked jacobin.

Swallow tanager.


On August 12, 2009 at 6:41 PM Dave said...

Outstanding photos! You should see if any magazines would publish them...

On August 12, 2009 at 6:53 PM Julie Zickefoose said...

That is just a superb set of photos. Weren't we told that the swallow tanager you photographed is possibly the first ever seen from the verandah? (More a high-altitude bird than lowland).
I love the baby jacobin--he's really young--looks like he's just out of the nest!

On August 12, 2009 at 10:06 PM zeladoniac said...

You were lucky to see the swallow tanager, and what a fantastic picture of it. The jacobin's a kick- a hummer in formal wear.

Can't wait to see more...

On August 13, 2009 at 1:29 AM Anonymous said...
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On August 13, 2009 at 12:21 PM Alan Pulley said...

Great photos Bill; I thoroughly enjoyed them!

On August 15, 2009 at 7:49 AM nina at Nature Remains. said...

Oh, oh, oh!
Those are magnificent--birds AND photos.

On August 21, 2009 at 1:41 AM Jack said...
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On August 5, 2013 at 7:23 AM phoneskope said...

Digiscoping is a unique kind of photography using a digital camera and a field spotting scope. Now you can expand your ability to photograph the wonders of nature by putting your digital camera to work with any spotting scope.