Lisa Sorenson, President of the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds, recently carried out a few Caribbean Waterbird Census (CWC) counts on the wetlands of Union Island, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The counts included Ashton Lagoon (largest remaining mangroves in the Grenadines), and Belmont Salt Pond. This formed part of Sustainable Grenadines Inc. and Union Island Attackers’ World Wetlands Day celebration.
Local NGOs on the island—Katrina Collins of Environmental Attackers and Sustainable Grenadines Inc staff, have been carrying out counts and doing a terrific job.
The two wetlands are full of bird life – lots of migratory shorebirds and waterbirds as well as residents. The most interesting find perhaps was at Ashton Lagoon, where an American Oystercatcher was spotted several times. According to eBird Caribbean, two were observed in about the same location in December 2011 by Juliana Coffey (former SusGren intern) and team.
At Belmont Salt Pond (7.12 ha), the group found:
1) A banded Ruddy Turnstone. With the scope Lisa was able to read the light green flag on the left leg and will be reported to this website: http://www.bandedbirds.org/index.html
2) Twenty-three Whimbrels! They were all concentrated on the west side of the pond and busy feeding in the shallow water. Mixed in with them (and elsewhere on the pond) were 16 Willets, 23 Greater Yellowlegs, 21 Lesser Yellowlegs, 5 Black-bellied Plovers, 6 Spotted Sandpipers and 4 Ruddy Turnstones.
It would be great to hear from others about your CWC counts and any interesting findings. If you have not done a count yet, it is never too late. Counts conducted in February may also be included in the CWC regional count (although it would be great to have as many as possible during the 3-week period; Jan. 14th – Feb. 3rd). And we encourage everyone in the SCSCB network to count waterbirds on your local wetlands as often as you can throughout the year, especially during migration periods in fall and spring.