We met two of the members at 6:30 a.m. at the back of UWI. The plan was to go to Arena Forest. However, apart from us, no-one else turned up, so the two birders said it wasn't a good idea to go with such a small group into the remote forest. Instead, we went to look at shorebirds near the Caroni Swamp. The SWARMS of mosquitoes that met us there were about as large as the birds ... and they were relentless. Insect repellent did not phase them. Even when we drove down the dirt track with the car windows rolled up, the monster mosquitoes were banging against the glass trying to get in, quite like something from a horror movie. To make matters worse, they were aedes aegypti, the kind with the striped legs that spread yellow fever and dengue. They were biting us, swarming against our pants and mating in mid-air.
In between slapping mosquitoes, we saw lots of scarlet ibis (the national bird) and other birds (can't recall the names). The birders had binoculars and a small telescopic instrument on a tripod which enabled us to get close up views.
Finally deciding to escape from the mosquitoes, we then went to a fishing depot at Carlsen Field where we saw more shore birds: scarlet ibis, pelicans, laughing gulls and a host of other birds whose names I can't recall. They were all mingling and feeding on the mud flats. An interesting sight.
Birding is definitely a passion for some people, but for us it was simply a pleasant excursion ... something different to do on a Sunday morning.