PR Diaries: Trip to Cabo Rojo on September 7, 2019 with Sociedad Orintológica Puertorriqueña Inc.

Hi there! I am sorry that posts are getting delayed. The new place, new school with lot of school work and many activities are keeping me busy. Also, we are exploring the new island for more birding activities. This post is about birding with Sociedad Orintológica Puertorriqueña Inc. (https://www.sopipr.org).

Since we moved, me and my mom keeps researching about the local Puerto Rico organizations we could go birding with. So, my mom found about SOPI on facebook and were happy to figure out a shorebird walk and workshop on 9/7/19 at Cabo Rojo. Cabo Rojo is 2.5 hours drive from our place in Guaynabo and the birding start time was 7:30 am. We started early at 5:00 am and my dad drove us right in time to participate in our first exploration with SOPI.

Our birding guide and workshop instructor was Gabriel Lugo. Gabriel is a well-experienced birdwatcher and birding guide and he knows almost all places for birdwatching in Puerto Rico. Gabriel works with SOPI and also runs Wildside nature tours for birding in Puerto Rico. As I’m in Puerto Rico and people speak Spanish here, the birding tour and workshop is expected to happen in Spanish. But language is not the barrier if you are really interested in birding. Gabriel and few others helped translate for us in English whenever it was needed.

So for the real trip, we were near the salt flat beds at Cabo Rojo where we could see many shorebirds. There were many shorebirds, but the ones that are new to me are the Semipalmated Sandpipers, Semipalmated Plovers, and a Snowy Plover. My photos aren’t so good because of the lighting, but seeing them was just a treat.

Semipalmated Sandpiper
Semipalmated Plover
Snowy Plover

Other than shorebirds, it was the home for Troupials. We saw few on the electric pole and flying around.

Troupial

From there on, we went in for a presentation. It was completely in Spanish, so i didn’t understand a thing. But luckily, there were captions in English and Gabriel helped answer questions in English.

After that we drove little further to visit a lighthouse and also saw a Caribbean Elaniea and a Yellow Warbler. They were so cool!

Caribbean Elaniea
Yellow Warbler

From there, it took us 9 minutes to go to a bird festival at the wildlife refuge. There I got a few English and Spanish field guides for the birds of Puerto Rico. They looked helpful for my start of birding in Puerto Rico.

One of my dream bird to see was Red Bishop and I asked Gabriel if he could guide us where to find it. Gabriel guided us to the spot where we can possibly look for Red Bishops. It was nearby so we decided to visit.

When we reached there, it looked exactly the habitat of a bishop: tall grass and wired fence. I was a rice field. We saw the Red Bishop, as well as the Smooth-billed Ani and Cave Swallow. There was one cartoonish moment: there were multiple swallows on a wire. You mainly see that on cartoons!

Smooth-billed Ani
Red Bishop
Cave Swallow
Swallows in a group

And that’s all for today! I will see you next time!

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