Thursday, July 23, 2009

HEY!!!! We're back!!

From the Asa Wright Nature Centre in Trinidad, Kim Writes:

Well, as indicated by our total lack of blog presence in recent weeks, Kenn and I were totally wiped out by the spring season this year. (and hey, to all those who sent loving, caring messages saying that they missed our posts...THANK YOU! --- and to all those who actually sent us hate mail...can I just say, "GEEZE, HATERS! GO OUTSIDE AND LOOK AT BIRDS, FOR GOODNESS SAKES!) There...I just had to get that off my chest.

So, anyway....

We were thrilled beyond belief by the record visitation to our magical area this spring! But, we were both beginning to wonder if we'd ever get out from under the avalanche of work that collapsed on us in mid-June. We held it off as long as we could, but it eventually came crashing down, and by the first of July, we were both ready for a little down time, and trying to decide where we could go for a little R.R&B. (rest, relaxation, and birds!) Enter our friend Jeff Bouton, and Leica Sport Optics.

Jeff sent us an invitation to come along on a special field trip to Asa Wright Nature Centre (AWNC) in Trinidad. Leica is a sponsor of of the Centre, and doing a marvelous job of introducing birders to this far too well kept secret. When he first mentioned it, I must sheepishly admit that I had no idea where Trinidad even was. But, I do now! And I am totally smitten with AWNC too! I’m writing this post from the spectacular veranda at the back of the Centre, with the sweet calls of dozens of adorable Bananaquits bubbling up over the railing from the feeders below. Kenn and I just came back from swimming in a mountain stream with a gushing waterfall in the background, while Bay-headed Tanagers dangled above our heads like jewels. So, yeah, THIS PLACE ROCKS!!

We've been treated to the most delicious food, the best of company, and absolutely gorgeous views of birds like White-necked Jacobins, the bizarre, yet handsome White-bearded Manakins, and the totally far out and mystical Bearded Bellbird! The bird viewage was supremely enhanced by the use of the creme de la creme of Leica optics, and I’ve taken the digiscoping plunge BIG TIME! I wasn’t the only one on this trip who hadn’t gone down the digi-road, and I teased Jeff that we were all Leica-virgins. (Sorry Madonna!)

We’ll be posting lots more details about the birds and the centre in the days to come, but for now, check out just a few of the astounding things we’ve seen in this amazing place. And, I hope that you're all singing "Like A Virgin" right now, like I have been for four days! aghhhhhh......

Check out these birds:

White-necked Jacobin

White-bearded Manakin

Bearded Bellbird

Hey, it's good to be back. We'll be posting lots more from Trinidad, so stay tuned. We might even finish telling you about our trip to the Antarctic. But, only if you're good! : )


  1. Welcome back! Oh that little bearded fella!

  2. YEA!!!! It's nice to hear from you kids again. Get some rest!

  3. Great to see a post from you and so glad you've had a chance to rest and enjoy. Beautiful hummingbird! A friend of mine recently gave me a look through her new Leica binoculars and they were truly awesome. Look forward to more of your images.

    Hate mail? You've got to be kidding!

  4. Great digiscopes, and good to see you back online!

    I already left a comment with "Bill of the Birds," but obviously I better do it here, too. I love your posts, but Trinidad-based posts pique my interest: we'll be headed there for a family and birding trip in the fall, so I'll be peppering you guys with questions!

  5. Good to have you back! Great birds -- looking forward to more.

  6. hurrayy you are still alive and well.

  7. Without a doubt, my favorite place - and I've only been the one time a few months back.
    I came home with thousands of photos (well maybe a few hundred once I deleted blurry ones, doubles, etc)and some videos. I still love going through them regularly, and reliving that wonderful trip.
    I can't wait to see more posts and your photos!