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Notes on Birding

March 1998

by Mark Oberle

Giff Beaton and I birded in Puerto Rico to work on our introductory photo book and CD-ROM at various points with Jose Cordero and Carlos Ruiz (the outgoing president of the Sociedad Ornitologica Puertorriquenna).  A few highlights: The restaurant at the entrance to the Humacao wildlife refuge has closed and the site is fenced in, so there is plenty of parking to walk in on the beach road parallel to the canal and opposite the headquarters.  We had 2 Masked Ducks, 4 Least Bitterns, and dozens of Caribbean Coots there.

We got great looks and good audio, video and photos of 3 Elfin Woods Warblers, including an immature, at the usual site at PR 120 Km 16.2 (Mar. 18); and 3 Black Swifts there.  We had 8 WT Tropicbirds at the parador at Guajataca Mar. 21, far more than usual, and Jose had 9 a little later.  At Cabo Rojo salt flats we had 87 Stilt Sandpipers, 2 Whimbrels, and 80 or so Western Sandpipers, plus small numbers of Ruddy Turnstone, Wilson's Plover and both Yellowlegs Mar.  20.  We had a White Ibis overfly the highway just W of Ponce Mar. 17. 10 Sandwich Terns and one Sandwich/Cayenne hybrid 3/22 at the S end of the new Puente Moscoso in San Juan.  Heard about 15 PR Whip-poor-wills on the dirt track heading N from the end of the paved portion of PR 333 at dusk on Mar 19, also several flew close overhead, as is their wont.  One Lesser Antillean Pewee at Guanica forest Mar. 20 (many more higher up at Maricao)

For further details on these sites, see various trip reports posted previously on Birdchat by Gail Mackiernan and myself.  By the way, if anyone out there has good video, audio or photos of birds of PR, I would like to hear from them.  We have over 700 photos scanned to date, but can always use better ones.

Mark Oberle
2690 Briarlake Woods Way
Atlanta, GA 30345

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