May 2009 was ‘Puerto Rico Month‘ here at 10,000 Birds, the celebration of which culminated in a giveaway of a free ‘Endemic Dash’ tour courtesy of Kevin Loughlin and Wildside Nature Tours. The fortunate recipient of that holiday was longtime friend Patrick Belardo of The Hawk Owl’s Nest. Now that he’s unpacked his adventure, we’re the fortunate ones. Here, Patrick provides a brief synopsis of his excellent Puerto Rican excursion with links to his more extensive trip reports:

Rewind back to last May when the 10,000 Birds crew captivated us with a month-long, in-depth look at the birds and nature of the island of Puerto Rico. As part of that month, Wildside Nature Tours generously donated two spaces aboard their Endemic Dash tour. Well, little ol’ me was the incredibly lucky winner of that trip and that trip happened at the end of January. And what a trip it was!

We spent 5 days exploring the island and seeking out the 16 Puerto Rican endemics including sought-after species like Elfin-Woods Warbler and Puerto Rican Spindalis. We also looked for the many Caribbean specialties that call Puerto Rico home like the Caribbean Coot and the splendid Antillean Euphonia. Along the way, we encountered breathtaking scenery, friendly people, and delicious food. It was a very well-planned and well-run tour and I can’t say enough good things about Wildside Nature Tours and our leaders, Kevin Loughlin and Lena Samsonenko. I have a series of posts with lots of photos detailing the great birds and sites we saw.

Enjoy! And again, a special thanks to 10,000 Birds for giving me the opportunity!

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