Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 26th 2014 Contents A27
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Comedian Adam Sandler topped Forbes'
list of Hollywood's most overpaid actors for
a second consecutive year, nudging out
Johnny Depp and Tom Hanks for the
dubious honour, the magazine said on
Although Sandler's latest film Grown Ups
2 was a hit, pulling in US$246 million at the
global box office, it didn't go far enough to
make up for the 48 year-old's previous flops,
Jack and Jill and That's My Boy.
"We estimate that for every US$1 Sandler
was paid, he returned an average of
US$3.20," said Forbes, the lowest return on
investment of any actor whose record the
Depp, the star of the hugely successful
Pirates of the Caribbean films, came in
second, returning an average of US$4.10 for
each dollar paid, because of recent misses
like The Lone Ranger and Dark Shadows.
Comedian Ben Stiller, whose film Night at
the Museum: Secrets of the Tomb opened in
US theatres earlier this month, was No 3
with a US$4.80 return, due to Tower Heist
and The Watch, which did not perform well
at the box office.
Green Lantern star Ryan Reynolds, whose
action comedy film RIPD was one of the
biggest misses of 2013, was fourth with
US$4.90 for each dollar paid, followed by
dual Oscar winner Tom Hanks, who pulled in
a US$5.20 return, rounding out the top five.
Sandler heads Forbes' list of overpaid actors for second year
Visitors can expect
to see brown
pelicans at the
Celebrating life in one of Trinidad's most biologically diverse wetlands
L ike startling flames in a sea of swamp green, we
saw five Scarlet Ibises roosting far above us, in
the upper branches of a dense clump of really
tall mangroves. The Ibises were one of many species
spotted in a recent Christmas trip to the Caroni Swamp---
part of the T&T Field Naturalists Club annual Christmas
gathering held on December 7 at the Caroni Bird Sanctuary.
Sixteen field naturalists and assorted nature lovers boarded
the boat captained by tour guide Shawn Madoo shortly after
3 that afternoon. We soon set off, eager to explore the
With almost 15,000 acres of biodiverse marshland, tidal
lagoons, mangrove forests and intertidal mudflats, visiting
the Caroni Swamp is a wonderful experience for birdwatchers,
lovers of wildlife, or people who simply like the peacefulness
of gliding through the wetlands.
Located on Trinidad s northwest coast, the Caroni Swamp
is home to at least 20 endangered bird species, and is a
wetland of global importance (it is a Ramsar site). This
special place is not only a magnet for bird life---some 190
species of birds (nesting, resident and migrant) have been
reported here---but it is also a valuable nursery for many
freshwater and marine species of fish.
Our boat trip departed at 3.16 pm as a gawky young grey
and brown Scarlet Ibis and a dapper Blue Heron (both
perched on a jetty railing at the Visitor Centre) eyed the
water for tasty crabs---or perhaps a frog or two. We headed
west on the Number 9 Drain or Blue River.
An early sighting was a Tree Boa or Cascabel Dormillon.
His five-foot-long khaki-brown body looped like a Celtic
knot around an overhead branch of mangrove. He seemed
very at peace with his world; his sinuous curves looped
around himself as he slept in the trees. Tree Boas are mostly
nocturnal, solitary, territorial animals, I discovered later.
And they eat rats, birds, lizards and small birds eggs.
Shawn was friendly, engaging, and seemed personally
interested in the wildlife, telling tales of past experiences
(he s been cruising the swamps for many years) and educating
the newer field naturalists among us on the swamp s inhab-
At one point everyone on the left side of the boat had
to duck as we passed beneath some low-lying mangrove
branches. We paused there to observe a tiny Tree-climbing
or Fiddler crab. These humble little crabs are a great example
of the delicate interrelationships of life systems in the swamp:
they are a major food source for many species, including
the Scarlet Ibis. The crabs tiny bodies contain the red chem-
ical pigment B Carotene, which is what gives the Scarlet
Ibis its beautiful, startling red colour.
Shawn s practiced ear recognised many bird calls, including
the Yellow-breasted Flycatcher, the Northern Waterthrush,
and the Straight-billed Woodcreeper.
He told us about the wealth of fish species in the swamp,
including sardines, grouper, snook, herring, tilapia, and
catfish, not to mention mangrove oysters, mussels, clams
• Continues on Page A30
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