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Birding Spots in the Caribbean?

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Old Tuesday 12th July 2005, 16:43   #1
Robert Bruce
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Birding Spots in the Caribbean?

Am looking for recommendations on good spots for photography of sea and shore birds in the Caribbean. Prefer sites that are easily accessible and do not require a good deal of walking, hiking, or climbing.
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Old Tuesday 12th July 2005, 21:09   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Bruce
Am looking for recommendations on good spots for photography of sea and shore birds in the Caribbean. Prefer sites that are easily accessible and do not require a good deal of walking, hiking, or climbing.
Which caribbean islands are you planning to go to?
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Old Wednesday 13th July 2005, 01:05   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andylovering
Which caribbean islands are you planning to go to?
Hi Andy and Robert,
Try Trinidad and Tobago, The Land of The Humming Bird, Scarlet Ibis, Pelicans, Gulls. I travelled around the region a little, but I always admire Trinidad as far as birds are concerned. Even though places such as Brazil and Venezuela have a larger variety of bird species, they are dispersed over large areas. However, the birds are more concentrated on TT. Few Bird Sanctuaries, but even you hotel room can be fun. They make so much noise outside in the morning. Yes, it is like one big competition to see who is louder. I usually get up and peep at them through my window every morning when I visit. The last time I was there, I watched from my hotel balcony over 20 different Tropical Birds taking turn in eating a fallen fruit. Some would perch nearby and wait until other, apparently more agressive species eat, then they would take their turn. Not far, within walking distance from a major highway, is the Caroni Bird Sanctuary, but most of the birds there are sea birds. The lovely Tropical Birds are found up the hills in the shady area. Good to watch is early morning and evening.
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Old Thursday 14th July 2005, 15:17   #4
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Originally Posted by andylovering
Which caribbean islands are you planning to go to?
Will go where the birds are and where it would be easy for me to photograph them.
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Old Thursday 14th July 2005, 18:50   #5
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I have not been there, but off the top of my head I would look into the salt ponds on islands like Antigua, St Martin, Puerto Rico, and maybe Guadeloupe? In several of these, and probably also for shore birds in T&T, going in the migration season is a must if you are to see and photograph these species. In Puerto Rico, in the South-West corner, there should be some places worth visiting. In Trinidad look at places like Caroni Rice-fields and Caroni Swamp, and Tobago, look at the area around Bucco march and the water treatment facilities.

I dont know if you include or exclude Florida from your considerations, but there were quite a few wintering shorebirds there during a visit I made some years ago.

HTH
Niels
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Old Friday 15th July 2005, 01:09   #6
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Some more information: Wauer in his "A birders West Indies" describe seeing boobies, fregatebirds and red tropicbirds in Saba, near the airport, and describes that Audubons shearwater breeds there. He also describes Anguilla as a place for sea- and waterbirds. A fairly large colony of frigatebirds breed on Barbuda, if my memmory doesn't cheat me. There are also tropicbirds and shearwaters on little Tobago, but that does take a boatride and some hiking.

I would like to support the notions raised by Mainland, that the Caribbean has many other birds to offer. The largest variety is in Trinidad (if you will allow Trinidad into the Caribbean, it probably better belongs in the South American life zone).

HTH
Niels
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Old Friday 15th July 2005, 12:11   #7
Robert Bruce
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Niels,
Thanks. This is most helpful.


Quote:
Originally Posted by njlarsen
Some more information: Wauer in his "A birders West Indies" describe seeing boobies, fregatebirds and red tropicbirds in Saba, near the airport, and describes that Audubons shearwater breeds there. He also describes Anguilla as a place for sea- and waterbirds. A fairly large colony of frigatebirds breed on Barbuda, if my memmory doesn't cheat me. There are also tropicbirds and shearwaters on little Tobago, but that does take a boatride and some hiking.

I would like to support the notions raised by Mainland, that the Caribbean has many other birds to offer. The largest variety is in Trinidad (if you will allow Trinidad into the Caribbean, it probably better belongs in the South American life zone).

HTH
Niels
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Old Friday 15th July 2005, 16:52   #8
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A little more info from Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Wildlife viewing guide:
The area in SW PR is Cabo Rojo salt flats; great numbers of shorebirds, especially in september to november. Culebra Natl Wildlife Refuge (east of PR) has breeding boobies and tropicbirds (winter) and terns (late spring). Mona and Desecheo islands (west of PR) has similar birds. I dont know how accessible these places are?

Niels
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Old Friday 15th July 2005, 23:53   #9
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Hi Robert

Try Nigel Wheatley and David Brewer's excellent book "Where to watch birds in Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean". It has detailed logistical information, species lists, climate and timing notes, and much more for all islands in the Caribbean. With this book you can decide for yourself where best suits your birding needs.

Brad
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Old Saturday 16th July 2005, 21:28   #10
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Just saw this thread so thought i'd make best use.............. i am going to Barbados in December, and am still uncertain of what i'll see, or even where to see it, so any information anyone has on the birds of Barbados is greatly appreciated. Also if you could reccommend some useful books to help me out, that would be superb.

Many thanks,

Dan
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Old Saturday 16th July 2005, 23:43   #11
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Hi Dan

Since I have Wheatley's book beside me, I'll try to help some.

Not a lot of diversity on Barbados, but there are some specialties of the Caribbean such as Scaly-naped Pigeon, Zenaida Dove, Caribbean Elaenia, Caribbean Martin, Black-whiskered Vireo (though perhaps not in December), Black-faced Grassquit and Carib Grackle. Also two very nice hummingbirds to look for, both regional endemics, Green-throated Carib and Antillean Crested Hummingbird.

The most abundant bird on the island is the Lesser Antillean Bullfinch, it only exhibits female plumage on Barbados.

Sites include:

Oistins Bay, east of the airport, for Magnificent Frigatebird and a few other species attracted to the fish market.

Welchman Hall in the centre of the island - the botanical gardens and Turners Hall Woods hold some of the specialties mentioned previously.

Cluff's Bay, extreme northern tip - a small islet 100m offshore holds a small breeding colony of Audubon's Shearwaters.


There is more information than this in the Wheatley book - probably worth a look.

hope it helps

Brad
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Old Sunday 17th July 2005, 19:41   #12
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Thanks much. I'll get the book.
RB


Quote:
Originally Posted by sclateria
Hi Robert

Try Nigel Wheatley and David Brewer's excellent book "Where to watch birds in Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean". It has detailed logistical information, species lists, climate and timing notes, and much more for all islands in the Caribbean. With this book you can decide for yourself where best suits your birding needs.

Brad
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Old Monday 18th July 2005, 20:50   #13
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The Barbados bullfinch now is seen as a separate species. Another interesting thing is that Barbados is the place on this side of the Atlantic to see Little Egret, but if you are from UK, that is probably not that interesting

Niels
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Old Tuesday 19th July 2005, 20:28   #14
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Thanks alot to the Sclateria and Njlarsen, some really useful info there, and Niels, plenty of Little Egret over here these days, interesting about the Bullfinch though. Will purchase the book you mention Brad, sounds as if it should be of great use.

Happy birding,

Dan
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Old Friday 22nd July 2005, 20:19   #15
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Dan,
We were in Barbados last November, during a a stop on our cruise. We went to the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary, which has resident and migratory birds, including some shorebirds. Here are 3 websites with some more info for you.

http://www.graemehall.com/
http://www.barbados.org/graemehall.htm
http://www.birdtours.co.uk/triprepor...es-ant2003.htm
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Old Friday 22nd July 2005, 20:21   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njlarsen
The Barbados bullfinch now is seen as a separate species. Another interesting thing is that Barbados is the place on this side of the Atlantic to see Little Egret, but if you are from UK, that is probably not that interesting

Niels
Hi Niels - can you give me a reference to the bullfinch info, as I have yet to write up my list for the cruise last November. Would be nice if I can put it down as another lifer.
Thanks
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Old Sunday 24th July 2005, 01:14   #17
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Hi Helen and others:
http://www.ibispub.com/updates.html near the bottom (use a search within the web-page for Barbados). A journal paper is referenced therein.

HTH
Niels

Last edited by njlarsen : Sunday 24th July 2005 at 01:18.
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Old Wednesday 27th July 2005, 14:59   #18
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Thanks all of you for your help,

Dan
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