February 20, 2015. Tobago Visit and Nearly in the water.

David Batten
Thu 26 Feb 2015 14:11
Tuesday 10 Feb and we set off for the Cuffie River Resort, Tobago to look at birds. The traffic is unbelievably heavy going to Piarco International Airport which the taxi driver tells us it is normal, but otherwise it is a very easy journey.

Tobago is busy and well developed on the Atlantic side, much more unspoilt and beautiful on the Caribbean site. Cuffie is quite unlike Asa Wright, but lovely in its own way and we have been give the posh room at a normal price, very spacious! The food is excellent. We watch the humming birds and some Americans who arrive from a day's twitching and set up a serious humming bird studio, with huge cameras, a screen and heaven knows what other equipment. They make one of the feeders look like a fashion show shot, much to the disgust of everyone else and, possibly, the humming birds. The photographers are there for hours.

We spend the next day with our guide, Newton George, in the rain forest, trying to learn the bird calls, spotting hard to see fly catchers, wood peckers, wrens and manakins, while the Motmots and jacamars provided easy to see and stunning colour entertainment. Newton is one of the top bird guides on Tobago and we were lucky that he could fit us in to his busy schedule, early booking recommended! Another more relaxed day at Cuffie and then another day with Newton looking at water and prairie birds and then Newton's humming birds at his gallery. Fantastic.

The skipper has to go back to Trinidad on the Friday to be ready to drop the keel on Saturday morning, The boat yard have kindly agreed (at a price) to leave the boat in the travel hoist, keel down, so we can sort out the bow area and patch the antifoul during the weekend and carnival, as there will be no work done at the boatyard (or anywhere in Trinidad) until Carnival is over. The Skipper's wife and sister-in-law spend another night in Tobago as Sepyside and more time at the humming bird gallery trying to get a good picture of the 5 resident species on humming birds, the antshrike and the woodpecker before returning to Trinidad and more work on the boat.


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