Posted March 9th, 2012, 03:53 PM
jdbirch, please let us know how your Audubon led tour goes.We will be in St. Thomas in May. I'd love to go birding! Thanks.
Birding on the Celebrity Summit February 25 out of San Juan
San Juan: booked a tour to the rain forest. Saw the usual Zenaida Doves, Gray Kingbirds, Frigates, Brown Pelicans, and Carib Grackles all over – as on almost every trip and island. Got a Pearly-eyed Thrasher at the visitor center. Walk along Princesa below the city walls had Hispaniolan Parrots in the trees, Greater Antillean Grackles too.
St Croix: bird to left of pier – open park behind the fort, then along the creek full of trash for a couple of hundred yards until it runs into the hills/ open fields behind the town. Little blue heron, best Yellow-Crowned Night Heron I've ever seen, Spotted Sandpiper, Green throated Carib. Use breakfast rolls to bait in the Z Doves, a gray kingbird (who knew?), pigeons, and a friendly Cattle Egret. Tie points in the harbor had a pair of Brown Boobies, lots of Royal Terns, Lesser Black-backed Gull, a flock of Lesser Terns.
St Kitts: off to the right of the pier you can see an open field that is used for a dumping ground for trash – decent birding, cattle egrets and a pair of lifer Scaly-naped Pigeons, usual others. Then I went inland to Independence Park in front of the Catholic Cathedral and saw more Scaly-napeds, some Z doves and kingbirds, Eurasian-collared doves, and a lone Kestrel atop the broken palm tree.
Dominica: I took the tour to the Emerald Pool. Someone in another group saw parrots passing at the overlook point (it's supposed to be a flyway in the canyon). I baited in some Lesser Antillean Bullfinches at the Emerald Pool visitor center with bread crumbs. Birds heard in forest, but I don't know the local calls. Birded in the park a hundred yards to the right of the ship for an hour or so – the local yellow warbler (with a rufous crown!), house wrens, bananaquits, usual. Carib martins flying over, looking like swifts but not. Wander around a couple of streets, but nothing different. There's supposed to be a bird guide on Dominica, ask Jerry (Grenada) for the name.
Grenada: booked a tour from 8-3 with Anthony Jeremiah (Jerry) Anthony Jeremiah <[email protected]> Jerry picks me up at the pier, and we're off to Mt. Hartman Park for Grassquits, the elusive Grenada Dove, Cocoa Thrush, Black(!) sp of Bananaquits; then up Mt Williams on a two track that requires 4wd and high clearance to see Antillean Crested Hummingbirds, Rufous Hummingbirds, Broad winged Hawk, Hook-billed Kite, Lesser Antillean Tanager, Merlin, Tropical Mockingbird. Driving around, here's a Green Throated Hummingbird sitting on a branch right beside the road. Off to some ponds near the airport for Yellow-bellied Seedeater, Smooth-billed Ani, Snipe, Blue-winged Teal, Spotted Sandpiper, Common Gallinule(Moorhen), Snowy Egret. Little Egret, Great Blue Heron, and a bunch of the regulars not worth mentioning. 12 lifers in the bunch for one day of birding, and a bonus with the Peregrine Falcon cruising out the window of the cafe in the harbor!
Day at Sea: Brown Boobies and Masked Boobies fly around the ship for 20 minutes or so, and I see a pod of about 20 dolphins/porpoises in mid-Caribbean.
St Thomas: booked a morning of birding with Mario Francis <[email protected]> and we go around the island – the inlet behind the Marine Sciences building on the UVI campus, a couple of hotel ponds near the east end of the airport, and a Salt Pond back in the woods someplace. Mostly the usual and the only new lifer is the White-cheeked Pintail.