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August 19

Sam Williams, PhD | Aug 19, 2006


Arrgh there’s less than three weeks left before I return to the UK and there’s so much I still want to do with project things but I also hope to take some time off and relax. Maybe I’ll do that on the plane back! The Caribbean pace still eludes me after 5 months of trying to slow down.

There are now cleverly designed parrot traps high up in some almond trees where there are always parrots but it’s too early yet to know if they are eating the food in them. It seems like ages since Ro and I last caught any birds and indeed it is. I think we’ve tried plenty of options and we’ve definitely learnt some tricks that’ll help from the off next year but that doesn’t change the fact we haven’t got rings on birds and blood samples right now. It’s not through lack of trying though so I’m not going to lose sleep over it.

I’m trying to wrap up the habitat assessment work but that in itself is a long process. This week I spent a good bit of time doing some overdue plant identification. There were a couple of breakthroughs but there are so many “broad leafed deciduous” trees to try and work out and no English plant book to use. I worked out the “silver barked tree with pale green leaves” (you know the one right?!) and the great revelation was that it was the same species I saw some parrots feeding on months ago.

I was driving to one of my quadrats in the National Park and as I came over a crest a bunch of 6 or more Loras flew up from the ground at the trackside. I stopped and looked but I was already too close so they flew off a little way. So I got out and checked the tree but there was nothing obvious the birds would have been eating. On the ground there were what looked like lumps of soil. Closer inspection revealed the parrots were eating the seeds inside the old and hard fruit that had fallen beneath the tree long before. They are not just pretty they’re clever too eh!