The new year began with our Annual General Meeting on 8 January where we reviewed the highlights of the year gone and some of the plans for the year to come. At this point we also held elections for the 2015 management committee and the results were as follows:
- President: Kris Sookdeo
- Vice President: Palaash Narase
- Treasurer: Selwyn Gomes
- Secretary: Amy Deacon
- Assistant Secretary: Eddison Baptiste
- Committee Member: Dan Jaggernauth
- Committee Member: Renoir Auguste
- Committee Member: Darshan Narang
The 2015/16 management committee
The January field trip would see members overnighted on Chacachacare Island off the north-west coast. Several noteworthy observations were made of the island’s flora and fauna, particularly birds, fungi, butterflies and moths. Sadly, the condition of the old leprosarium (and related structures) continues to deteriorate.
The old nun’s quarters and related structures.
February started off with an excellent lecture by Lori Lee Lum of the Institute of Marine Affairs entitled “The Sargassum event and the RBG algae of T&T” in which we learned not just about the different species of algae that inhabit our waters but also on the extraordinary sargassum invasion affecting our coasts at present (link to lecture)
The February field trip to the Tamana Caves was well attended and naturalists were able to see the caves and observe the surrounding forest. They were also rewarded by a sweeping view at the top of Mt Tamana of the plains below.
A small contingent of birders visited Gran Couva on Carnival Sunday to look for raptors and other birds. A massive Ficus shumacheri was in fruit and attracted scores of forest birds including toucans and tanagers. The highlight of the day was an immature black hawk eagle.
The lecture for the month of March highlighted the work of the bug group in Christopher K. Starr’s presentation “Colony Cycles and What do they Mean”.
Following February’s lecture on algae, the botany group decided to capitalize on what they learned by visiting Saline Bay in search of algae. They were led by Professor Julian Duncan (UWI) and Lori Lee Lum (IMA).
The botany group examines a specimen.
The schedule March trip to Madamas was changed to facilitate the horticultural society’s show on that day. Instead, members visited La Laja Waterfall.
The bird group overnighted in Brasso Seco in March. The area offers sweeping views of the forest and allowed us to record several species of raptors. The night was unusually quiet and not a single night bird was heard or seen (save for an early flying short-tailed nighthawk). The birders were not the only ones about that night as two light traps were operated and we were able to record in excess of 125 species of moths.