The full title of the article is “All the Reasons You Need to Visit the Winston Nanan Caroni Bird Sanctuary.” Here, Kamsha R. Maharaj MACO) writes “the only place in the world to catch a glimpse of the Scarlet Ibis.” Her essay is illustrated with fantastic photos by Pedro Lstara (Winston Nanan Caroni Bird Sanctuary Tours, Trinidad and Tobago). Here are excerpts:
The large pirogue, manned by an almost silent boatman/guide, veered onto the dark, mangrove lined Aquatic Avenue. Seemingly counterproductive to nature voyeurism, the boatman/guide played a deft hand by taking our rowdy group through a dimly lit section of the recently renamed Winston Nanan Caroni Bird Sanctuary in honour of the late pioneer who sought to preserve the area for decades.
As he slowed down, the pirogue grew dangerously close to the sharp mangrove roots and angry looking mangrove crabs. A few moments later, he shifted the pirogue about a slight hair-pin bend and in an instant a clear flat lake underneath a light blue sky burst through the end of the tunnel. The collective audible gasp of delight brought a knowing smirk to his face. Mr. Boatman knew what he was doing. [. . .]
On the flat expanse of the man-made lake (according to the guide), white egrets walk along the edges of marshland with leggy grace. But it’s the bright vermillion that we’re all looking for; the pride of the Swamp and Trinidad and Tobago’s national bird, the Scarlet Ibis. The sky is blotted with streaks red, pink and dots of grey as evening grows near. The Scarlet Ibis goes home for the night, but above the many boats that anchor to watch, herons and other birds join in the aerial bedtime routine. [. . .]
[Photo above: Ibis images by Pedro Lstara, Winston Nanan Caroni Bird Sanctuary Tours.]