Showing posts from May, 2011

Birds of the Dominican Republic

Dates: May 9-17, 2011

On my trip to the Riu Bachata in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic I spent some of my time looking for some of the island's wildlife.  A variety of lizards were plentiful in some areas of the resort around dusk, but may of the birds took some extra searching.

Most of the birds I was able to find were around the resort, and this included a couple of endemics: the Hispaniolan woodpecker and the palmchat.  The Antillean grackles and red-legged thrushes, a close relative of the American robin, were commonly seen in grassy areas.  Gray flycatchers were always flying in open areas along the rock cliffs and seemed unfazed by people.

I wanted to see at least one of three species on Hispaniola: the Hispaniolan trogon, broad-billed tody, or narrow-billed tody.  The only one I was able to find was the broad-billed tody (picture here), another endemic in a family that exists exclusively in the Greater Antilles.  I also found West Indian whistling ducks in a swamp near th…

Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Dates: May 9-17, 2011

In May 2011 I stayed at the Riu Bachata in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic for a little over a week.  The resort is in a rural area a few miles northwest of the city of Puerto Plata, which is the third largest city in the country.  The Riu Bachata is an all-inclusive resort and a part of a three hotel complex that includes the Riu Mamba and Riu Merengue.  Guests are able to go anywhere at the three hotels, which includes several pools, restaurants, bars, and many other features.

While in Puerto Plata there were three excursions that I went on.  The first and best was the trip to the 27 waterfalls of the Rio Damajagua.  This trip started with a ride on a dirt road through a rural area in the mountains where we stopped in a village where they grew coffee and cocoa.

When we arrived at the site of the waterfalls we first took a short walk through the forest before we reached a narrow canyon similar to the slot canyons of Utah but much lusher.  Once in the canyon we…