ICTERIDAE photos on Flickr | Flickr

Last night, I posted a few extra photos taken on our hike downhill from the Asa Wright Nature Center main building to the Dunstan Cave, to see the very special Oilbirds. This outing was one of the highlights of our holiday. One that I was not sure I would be able to manage, after reading endless accounts and descriptions of how difficult the trail was. In the end, I decided I would go, I was sure we would see things on the way, even if I was not able to do the whole hike. As it turned out, the hike could have been a lot more difficult, so I was really glad I went after all.

This morning, I just added one photo, as I ran out of steam last night to look for and edit two more. Though I am not a fan of taking feeder shots, I will gladly take anything I can get. It was not easy to get a photo of this colorful Yellow Oriole. In the background is a little Purple Honeycreeper male, waiting its turn to fill up with nectar from the feeder. Apparently, the Yellow Orioles build a 40 cm-long hanging basket, suspended from the end of a branch. Males and females are similar, with the female slightly duller. Given the brightness of the bird in my photo, I would think this is a male.

"Although it does have black in its plumage, the Yellow Oriole derives its common name from the large extent of yellow in its plumage relative to all other orioles, with its black restricted to the tail, a narrow yellow bib, and the wings The Yellow Oriole is a common resident in lowlands below 500 m in northern South America and adjoining Caribbean islands from northeastern Colombia to The mouth of the Amazon.It occurs in a variety of open forest habitats such as deciduous woodland, scrub, and in urban areas.This is only icterid in its range with the combination of all yellow back and white wing bars. From Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Neotropical Birds.

Richard Zusi, Emeritus Curator, Division of Birds, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, NMNH
Structural Adaptations of the Head and Neck in the Natural History Bulletin of the Siam Society , 23 (3): 393-407 Zusi, Richard L. An Intergeneric Hybrid Hummingbird (Heliodoxa-Leadbeateri X Heliangelus-Amethysticollis) from Northern Colombia.

Six birding / photographer friends and I decided that we would take this exciting trip together (from 12-21 March 2017), spending the first two or three days on the island of Tobago and then the rest of the time at the Asa Wright Nature Center on the nearby, much larger island of Trinidad. We decided to take a complete package, so everything was included - flights (we were very lucky to get Black Friday prices, which were 50% off!), Accommodation at both places, all our food, and the various walks and day trips that we could choose from Two of my friends, Anne B. and Brenda, saw all the planning of flights and accommodations, which was very much appreciated by the rest of us. I could never have done all this myself!

What a time we had, seeing so many beautiful and interesting things - and, of course, everything was a lifer for me. Some of these friends had visited Costa Rica before, so may have been familiar with a few of the birds. There was a lot more to see on Trinidad, so we were glad that we chose Tobago to visit first and then spend a longer time at Asa Wright. It was wonderful to be right by the sea, though, at the Blue Waters Inn on the island of Tobago. Just gorgeous.

Even after almost three months, I still miss the great food that was provided every single day at Asa Wright and even the Rum Punch that appeared each evening. I never drink at all, so I was not sure if I would even try the Punch - glad I did, though, it was delicious and refreshing. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were all served buffet-style, with a great variety of dishes from which to choose. To me, pure luxury.

This is a video that I found on YouTube, taken by Rigdon Currie and Trish Johnson, at many of the same places we visited On Trinidad and Tobago. Not my video, but it made me feel like I was right there still. Posting the link here again, so I will not lose it.