Trinidad is a popular destination for serious birdwatchers from all over the world. Caroni Swamp is one of the specific places birders flock to in order to see the Scarlet Ibis, trinidad's national bird. The interesting thing about this bird is it's a commuter. The ibises live mostly in an area on the west coast called Caroni Swamp. Each morning they fly across the Gulf of Paria to Venezuela, about 11 miles. Each evening they return home to Trinidad to roost for the night. Because of their migration patterns the best times to see the birds are at dawn and dusk.
For a pretty nominal fee you'll be taken out into the swamp. The guides will point out other interesting flora and fauna along the way in the mangroves. They will gladly share their mosquito oil with you even as they chuckle over the mosquitoes getting to feed on fresh tourist flesh. Trust me, it's the tropics and it may be crazy hot, but if you go to the swamp you will want to wear long pants and long sleeves. Make sure the fabric is thick too. These mosquitoes are industrial sterength, remember what I told you last week about the insects? The wild flailing of a poorly prepared visitor swatting madly at mosquitoes will make the boat rock, scare off the other animals you might see, and generally irritate fellow passengers. If you ignore this advice and wind up dumped into the swamp or covered head to toe in bug bites don't come crying to me.
Like flamingoes, scarlet ibises develop their distinctive color over time as a result of the crustaceans they eat. A scarlet ibis is a good bit smaller than a flamingo. As you sit quietly on the swamp watching the sun dip the sky will become red with birds. First a few lead birds in small flocks will arrive. More and more follow until the sky is thick with ibises. It's an exciting and distinctive Trinidad experience that every visitor, even those who are not birdwatchers, should enjoy.
*Taken from http://www.richard-seaman.com/
Happy Trini Tuesday!