Visit your favourite destinations
Western Europe
North America
Eastern Europe
South America
Middle East
East Indies

A Report from

Isla de Margerita (Venezuela), March 19 - April 2, 2009 ,

Jan Landsverke

My wife and I “jumped” on a cheap charter trip to Isla Margerita (less than half the prize) – a place and a country we hadn’t been before. This trip wasn’t planned at all as we booked it just a couple of days before we left. This wasn’t a bird trip at all. My wife isn’t that keen on birds. But just in case I checked out which birds I could expect to see.

We ended up in Playa Agua at a nice hotel on the northeastern side of the island. We spent the days relaxing and doing very little. Early mornings we walked half the beach, which is 3 km long, and later in the day we spent the day there.

We found the climate to be close to perfect. this time of year is 29-30, which never feels hot at the beach because of the nice breeze and also because it is not so humid. 25-26 and in the pool we measured it to be 33 and in the ocean 26 degrees.  At this part of the island it rains rather regularly so the vegetation is green. At the western part it is a different story. Here it comes much less rain and it can be described as a kind of semi-desert with a lot of cacti. Actually it is two different islands connected by a bridge.

I spent some mornings and afternoons bird-watching at the hotel – on top of the roof (terrace), which was just as high as the trees. From here the same birds were seen most days and a lot of pictures were taken. I had a goal of getting at least 5 ticks out of the total of ten I could get on this island, which I managed. Already when we arrived, I was lucky enough to see one of them: Saffron Finch – at the lawn outside the airport. Around the hotel I saw Yellow-shouldered Parrot – a Parrot in danger of being extinct. I saw at least three of them at the same time every day – very noisy birds. Another species was Buffy Hummingbird, but also Glaucous Tanager was seen most days.

Only one day did we go on an organized tour/safari – by a jeep around the island. But it was not a bird-excursion, so I wasn’t able to watch birds much. I had hoped to see at least Vermilion Cardinal, but I got only a glimpse of it along the road – sitting there eating something. We went all the way to Punta Arenas, but didn’t see many birds. We also took a boat trip into the mangroves at La Restinga, but because of too many people and the fact that we were there in the middle of the day, very few birds were around. But this area is very good for many species, including two species of Parrots/Parakeets  and many waders and terns, but we saw none of them.

On our way back we stopped in Juan Griego to observe the sunset. It was here we saw all the Laughing Gulls.

Jan Landsverk
3812 Akkerhaugen

The following species were observed on this southern Caribbean island.

Magnificent Frigatebird X
Brown Booby 3
Brown Pelican X
Neotropic Cormorant 10+
*Cattle/Snowy Egret 2
*Laughing Gull 100+
Royal Tern 50+
Black Vulture X
Turkey Vulture X
*Osprey 4
Crested Caracara 6
Merlin 1
*Raptors sp. 10+
Feral Dove X
Scaled  Dove 10+
Common Ground-Dove 10
*Ruddy Ground-Dove ?  1
*Eared Dove
White-tipped Dove 2
Spotted Sandpiper  1
Barn Swallow 50+
Gray-breasted Martin  10+
Buffy Hummingbird  7  (new)
*Blue-tailed Emerald 1
Yellow-shouldered Parrot 3+ (new)
Barred Antshrike  2
Tropical Mockingbird X
Smooth-billed Ani   10
Bananaquit 10+
Tropical Gnatcatcher  3
*Vermilion Cardinal  1 (new)
Brown-crested Flycatcher  1
Tropical Kingbird 5
Palm Tanager 8
Glaucous Tanager  2+ (new)
Yellow Oriole 4
Carib Grackle X
*Saffron Finch 6 (new)
Blue-black Grassquit  1
Black-faced Grassquit  10

* = not seen around the hotel or from the beach.
X = the birds aren’t counted, but the number is higher than ten.
The number behind the species means the total observed on the island, not necessarily only those seen at Playa Agua.


Why not send us a report, or an update to one of your current reports?