High noon birding doesn’t work well when it’s over 90 and extremely humid, so the High Noon Birding Society moved its adventures to tea time, waiting until after 4 pm when the sun began to dip toward the water. Despite being a desert covered with cactus, Aruba has a lot of birds. One of the most fun is the national bird of Venezuela, the Troupial, that lives in the local trees and may be sitting in the branches over your head if you sit in the shade anywhere.
There is a native variety of brown throated parakeet, called the prikichi. We saw the parrots zoom overhead though we never got a good at them. Our experience in Colombia was similar, the parrots never seemed to perch near us.
The Bubali bird reserve and the other ponds that parallel the shore inland from the big hotels were where we saw black-bellied whistling ducks, white cheeked pintails and our most enjoyable sight–roseate spoonbills. These big birds look like a flamingo with a spatula instead of a beak. The flock of ten included some with bright red patches on the wings. They sat and groomed themselves with their wide beaks, looking as incongruous as you can imagine. They were close enough to get a picture. None of the other bird photos are by us. Taking good photos of birds is a special art. It takes lots of patience and a long lens.
After seeing the spoonbills, we were out of time. We could have spent many more hours waiting for parrots to perch or flamingos to arrive. Instead we went home to pack.