This afternoon, we took a spectacular trip up to Syndicate Forest with the bird expert for Dominica, Bertrand Jno Baptiste. He is a forester in his day job, but is an expert in the birds of Dominica and has even written a book on the subject. We didn’t wait until the forest to stop. Even on the main road out of Portsmouth, we saw a beautiful flycatcher on the side of the road in a bush. He had seen it going 30 mph down the road. We stopped and had a great view.
The highlight of the trip was seeing a lot of Jaco Parrots and two Imperial Parrots (aka Sisserou). The Jacos are quite common in the right spots. We even saw one yesterday on a hike out of Portsmouth. Here are two in a tree. They were even more impressive through Bertrand’s scope. If you look closely, you can see the red necks – they are also called the red-necked parrot.
We saw one Imperial flying from the road to the Syndicate Forest. The other, we saw from the lookout in the forest. They are quite large and have a beautiful, serene call that isn’t like the squawking of other parrots. Through the scope, the purple belly was really clear. It is easy to imagine why this parrot is at the center of the Dominican flag. It is a real treat to see them as there are only an estimated 300 or so in the wild and they live only in this part of Dominica from about 2000 ft and higher and nowhere else in the world.
We didn’t have any camera powerful enough to photograph the Imperial, but he eventually landed in the hills in the middle of this picture.
We loved waiting at this lookout and enjoying the view and the changing clouds. This is all primary rainforest meaning it was not cleared for plantations in the past. The walk to this spot was also amazing with 400 and 500 year old trees growing in the forest.
In addition to the parrots, we saw several types of hummingbirds, flycatchers, a hawk, an egret, a smooth-billed ani, warblers, and other birds.
If you are in Dominica and are even a little interested in birds, give Bertrand a call (767 446-6358). The tour was fabulous.