St. Lucia and Trinidad
When looking at organising a weeks break to Trinidad, we considered going to Tobago for a couple of days, but the number of species found there but absent or more difficult on Trinidad that would be lifers was only three. Once I found out that the BA flight from Gatwick to Trinidad stopped at St. Lucia it was an easy decision to have a couple of days there looking for St. Lucia and Lesser Antillean endemics. Motmot Travel organised the whole trip including arranging for a guide (Adams Toussaint) on St. Lucia for us.
Looking back at the trip now the only change to the itinerary I would have made would have been to stayed one or two nights at Grande Riviere on Trinidad, where per David Ramlal the Trinidad Piping-Guan is practically guaranteed and the birding is generally excellent.
Arrived in St Lucia early afternoon and it had just stopped raining, we were through the airport in 30 minutes and the taxi that had been organised for us was ready and waiting, along with Eared Doves and Carib Grackles in the car park. It was a 45 minute drive to the La Haut Resort along winding roads, plenty of Grey Kingbirds on the wires and a Broad-winged Hawk were the only birds of note.
Whilst checking in Purple-throated Carib, Bananaquit and Black-faced Grassquit were all seen, unfortunately it also started to rain. Headed down to the rooms and the rain got heavier so the rest of the afternoon was spent birding from the balcony that overlooked the Pitons.
Lesser Antillean Bullfinches were common and an Antillean Crested Hummingbird kept returning to the same perch. Purple-throated Carib was also joined on the list by a Green-throated Carib to complete the hummingbirds available. Hirnudines and Swifts were brought close on the front of a passing shower, enabling us to identify them as Caribbean Martin's and both Black and Lesser Antillean Swift.
Scaly-breasted Thrasher, Lesser Antillean Saltator and Scaly-naped Pigeon were all lifers seen from the balcony before it got too dark to bird. A total of 9 lifers in a few hours, far more than we could have got by visiting Tobago.