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  #41  
Old January 16th, 2011, 06:30 PM
jdbirch jdbirch is offline
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Smile Birding locations

San Juan - if you go in a day or two early, you can catch a tour to the rain forest from any hotel. Take your Golden Eagle pass along for the forts. There's a nice walk around the cliffs. Ferry to Bacardi crosses the harbor and there are a lot of gardens to visit if you stay sort of sober.
St Martin/Maarten - tour the island and visit the ponds, some ship excursions will take you to the "farm" and a rain forest hike. For rain forests, you have to know the local calls to find anything.
book - birds of the West Indies.
Haiti & St Johns - never been there, but head for the parks. On Haiti, I think that's a cruise beach only at Labadee.
Guides: hard to find any, but email the local tourist places and try. You'd think there would be a least one taxi guy that's a birder, wouldn't you? If there was, he could make some good money. (idea for next reincarnation...)
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  #42  
Old March 19th, 2011, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by PABirder View Post
Went to Costa Rica back in '03. Was quite a trip! Just sitting outside the hotel in San Jose, I picked up about 10 new birds in about 7 minutes. Never did get to see a quetzal, though.

As for birds hiding in the Arctic Circle - they can be hard to see if it is very foggy! Although I've been to Alaska twice, never been as far as the circle (closest was Fairbanks). Did have some pretty foggy weather, though (in August-September).
I wanted to see quetzals too but from what I could see, their habitats are too far from cruise ship docks to make an easy shore excursion. We'll be going back to Costa Rica in 2013 for a land trip. We have birding excursions booked for Huatulco, Puntarenas and Ocho Rios. We won't be stopping in the Panama Canal so hoping to see some birds from the ship going through. We only get 4 hours in Colon from 5-9pm so probably no chance there.
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  #43  
Old April 23rd, 2011, 03:34 PM
jdbirch jdbirch is offline
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Smile birding in colon

Took an excursion through Celebrity that went to a national park and for a couple of walks through the jungle. One of the guides was a local birder (Louis I believe...) and we did ok - dozen or so. Got to see oropendola nests - think orioles the size of crows, nests 6 feet long! Sloths, some monkeys, and a dream shot of leafcutter ants marching along in column - right across the trail. As I was the one who noticed that (everyone else was looking up) I feel proud.
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  #44  
Old May 7th, 2011, 06:46 PM
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When I was in Costa Rica (2003), saw quite a few leaf cutters (right along the highway between the airport and downtown San Jose!), a few oropendolas, slothes, monkeys, too! Tons of tanagers and flycatchers of all different types!
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  #45  
Old December 3rd, 2011, 01:58 AM
Marshall38 Marshall38 is offline
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Strange as it might appear initially, someplace sunny and warm islands aren't similarly endowed along with features which appeal to birds. Elevation, bacteria, moisture and many other factors determine how numerous and what types of wild birds live in every isle. The following advice will show you the very best places to discover the birds you are seeking.

1. Karen Island destinations Character Reserve, composed of two small islands within the Ocean off the southeast coast associated with St. Lucia, is home to frigate wild birds, terns and doves. Vessel trips to the Book tend to be arranged by the Street. Lucia Nationwide Trust

2. Squealing peacocks, herons and brilliantly coloured parrots are residents from the large walk-in aviary from Barbados Wildlife Reserve at Farley Hill, St. Chris.

Three. The 2 streets via Washington/Slagbaai National Recreation area upon Bonaire tend to be well-marked, but so tough you need to generate slowly. Which makes bird-watching for many One hundred thirty varieties all of the easier. At the salt pad close by the park's gate as well as on the actual lagoon close to Playa Funchi, you will find flamingos roosting. Unique parakeets appear to like the territory at the foot associated with Mt. Brandaris.

Four. From Great Etang Nationwide Park (the chicken refuge and forest book with kilometers associated with hiking trails in the middle of Grenada) shows from the nearby wildlife at the Grand Etang Woodland Middle will give you advisable of what you may observe in your hikes.

Five. Along Francis These types of Path on Street. Steve, you will see white-cheeked pintails, wigeons,pelicans and frigatebirds.

6. Regarding 24 species of birds indigenous to Jamaica go to the bird sanctuary at Marshall's Penn Excellent Home. Around the actual sanctuary (by visit only; phone 809/963-8569) tend to be led by Jamaica's top ornithologists.

Seven. A lot more than Five hundred tropical birds reside in the aviary at Valombreuse Gardens within Petit-Bourg on the island associated with Guadeloupe.

Eight. Easterfield Street as well as Menna Trace in the Mason Hall area of Tobago are both great trails with regard to viewing the actual Blue-Backed Manakin and the Collared Trogon. Within Parlatuvier, Crested Oropendola come by the hundreds in order to roost from sunset in a stand of bamboo bedding at the 4 way stop associated with two streams.

9. Other excellent birdwatching spots include the 36-acre animals sanctuary from Little Fort National Recreation area upon Virgin mobile Gorda; saving money route of Christoffel Recreation area within Curacao, house of White-tail Hawks, and then any of the Twelve national parks and five character preserves in the Dominican Republic.

Ten. Each and every isle has its citizen ornithologist. Information on where to find her or him is usually offered at tourist centers in the bigger populace facilities.
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  #46  
Old December 3rd, 2011, 05:56 PM
mtiffany24 mtiffany24 is online now
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I saw a brown-footed booby at St Thomas and a peregrine falcon landed on the stern of the ship as we left St Thomas and posed for me.I saw a brown-footed booby at St Thomas and a peregrine falcon landed on the stern of the ship as we left St Thomas and posed for me.
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  #47  
Old December 11th, 2011, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiffany24 View Post
I saw a brown-footed booby at St Thomas and a peregrine falcon landed on the stern of the ship as we left St Thomas and posed for me.I saw a brown-footed booby at St Thomas and a peregrine falcon landed on the stern of the ship as we left St Thomas and posed for me.

How neat!
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  #48  
Old January 4th, 2012, 10:48 AM
Rob's Chickadee Rob's Chickadee is offline
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Default Birding Eastern Caribbean - my strategy

My birding plan for my upcoming cruise (Feb-March 2012) involves several strategies:

1. Bird on my own with bins and scope from the decks while at sea for pelagics and hope others may join me ( the more eyes searching the better).

2. Book the services of a pro guide for a little serious birding at one port - set up for San Juan Puerto Rico for 3-4 hours late afternoon till dusk, just my husband and I for endemics and Caribbean specialties.

3. Labadee beach day- try and be among the first ashore and search the shoreline, trees, shrubery thickets ( if any), keep an eye on the skies and ear open and hope I find a few new species.

4. In St. Maartin, after a water activity shore excursion with family ( we are 16 people cruising together) where I will have an eye on the sky as much as possible, I plan to head to the nearby salt ponds.

Anybody know what I can expect to see there? Ducks, shorebirds, gulls, terns, herons, egrets, ibis, perhaps?

5. Sunday on Antigua is still not planned- I have the afternoon available.

6. St. Kitts - also still open. I'm leaning toward the rainforest excursion that includes a visit to the Batik place. I read the gardens there are lovely and I suspect could be quite birdy!

If anyone has experience birding these sites and can offer comment and a list of what species you have seen- I'd love to hear about it.
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  #49  
Old January 27th, 2012, 02:37 PM
jdbirch jdbirch is offline
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Smile cruise feb 25, 2012 plan

1. arrive couple of days early in San Juan, take the rain forest tour, check out the parks in town and near the harbor mouth.
2. St Croix - contact a member of the local Audubon (haven't done that yet) Got the number & name off the Christmas Bird Count data.
3. St Kitt's - 3rd time there; so get out to the Batik factory and do the gardens while the non-birding wife shops. Then the gardens outside of the town.
4. Dominica - take whatever ship tour offers the most jungle
5. Grenada - got a bird tour guide lined up, hope to split that with more birders on board (we always find each other - it's the bins!)
6. St Thomas - got an Audubon guy lined up, he's pretty cheap at $75 and maybe lunch.
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  #50  
Old January 27th, 2012, 06:30 PM
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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.
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  #51  
Old February 11th, 2012, 11:36 PM
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Default Bird Guide Puerto Rico

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdbirch View Post
1. arrive couple of days early in San Juan, take the rain forest tour, check out the parks in town and near the harbor mouth..
Last year I hired Gabriel Lugo as a guide during our cruise ship stop in San Juan. I was very pleased. He has a great ear and was excellent. You can read about him on trip advisor. You can also check his bird lists on ebird.pr
Happy birding!!
Cinda
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  #52  
Old February 16th, 2012, 09:02 AM
Rob's Chickadee Rob's Chickadee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texcin View Post
Last year I hired Gabriel Lugo as a guide during our cruise ship stop in San Juan. I was very pleased. He has a great ear and was excellent. You can read about him on trip advisor. You can also check his bird lists on ebird.pr
Happy birding!!
Cinda
I too found info on birding with Gabriel. He was already booked for the day I was to be in port, but he graciously gave me the name of a colleague so my husband and I will be birding San Juan parks with Julio instead.

I purchased 'Birds of the West Indies' by Herbert Raffaele, and have been studying the island endemics and tropical species I don't get to see at home in Canada.
My hope is to get 30 or more lifers and some much needed added experience with migrants and the local more common tropical species.
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  #53  
Old February 20th, 2012, 10:53 AM
jdbirch jdbirch is offline
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San Juan, St. Martin, St. Thomas & Labadee, Haiti. We will dive @ one site and I get to bird (officially) @ one stop. Any recommendations or guides?

Order up a copy (used) of the Birds of the West Indies on Amazon. In San Juan, there are parks all over the Old Town (which is quite pretty) and you can take an excursion to the rain forest (private vendors about 60 dollars). St Martin - there will be an excursion to the top of the mountain and another one that goes around the island or hire your own taxi so you can stop at the salt ponds, too. Haiti - never been, but this is a private cruise ship beach kind of place. There might be an excursion to a park?
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  #54  
Old March 9th, 2012, 02:53 PM
jdbirch jdbirch is offline
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Originally Posted by logburn View Post
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 <tonydove200@yahoo.com> 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 <mfrancis_253@yahoo.com> 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.
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  #55  
Old March 10th, 2012, 06:52 AM
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Excellent report - thanks for sharing!
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  #56  
Old March 11th, 2012, 08:39 PM
Rob's Chickadee Rob's Chickadee is offline
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Default Birding report Part 1

Birding from Explorer of the Seas RCI out of Bayonne New Jersey Feb 27-March 9 2012:

Now I wish I had kept better notes... my memory begins to fail me..but I will relate what I remember...

Gulls were abundant around the pier at Bayonne and the extreme wind out on deck made birding difficult as we left port.
Great Black-backed Gull
Herring Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Canada Goose on the grass at Tear of Grief Park

Labadee Haiti:
Gray Kingbirds common
White-winged Doves
Black-whiskered Vireos singing in many trees
2 Red-tailed Hawks soaring on thermals overhead
Northern Mockingbird
Banaquits
Palm Chat perched on the top of a dead tree near entrance to Barefoot Beach Club
Village Weaver colony in a tree beside the floating mat station for Barefoot Beach Club
approx 200 Cave Swallows hawking bugs over the beach at Columbus Cove
House Sparrows near the Dragon's Cafe

Puerto Rico:
Old San Juan - Greater Antillean Grackle, Rock Pigeon, Bananaquit,

Bayamon- Julio Enriques Monagues NP
Bananaquit
Black-faced Grassquit
Red-legged Thrush
Pearly-eyed Thrasher
Northern Mockingbird
White-winged Dove
Scaley-naped Pigeon
White-crowned Pigeon
Zenaida Dove
Puerto Rican Spindalis
Puerto Rican Woodpecker
Puerto Rican Flycatcher
Green Mango
Northern Parula
Greater Antillean Grackle
Shiny Cowbird
Black-whiskered Vireo

Heard but not seen:
Mangrove Cuckoo
Adelaide's Warbler
Puerto Rican Bullfinch

More later...
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  #57  
Old April 2nd, 2012, 09:52 PM
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Rob, sounds like your memory served you quite well!
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  #58  
Old February 1st, 2013, 08:58 PM
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Default We birders need to stick together!!

Hey ya'll,

I have 3 cruises set for the Caribbean this year and plan to bird in several areas:

Dominica: 19 endemics! I've hired Bertrand Jno Baptiste. Very reasonable. Supplies transportation from Roseau

Puerto Rico: Hilda Morales! Staying one day post cruise for endemics in the North. Hilda requests birder to (rent a car) provide own transportation. (Gabriel Lugo is not available ;(()

Jamaica: 28 endemics! Hired Wendy Lee. Great conservationalist for the island. Supplies transportation from Falmouth Port to Cockpit Country.

St. Lucia: 2 endemic parrots! Still working on it!!

Happy Birding,
Cinda
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  #59  
Old February 4th, 2013, 08:40 AM
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jdbirch had the right idea -- just the wrong spelling.

http://birdingpal.org is a great place to start, listing local birders willing to give information or take you out for the day. Lower down on each location's page they have links to local birding societies, publications, and even bird guides who charge for their services.

Good luck and happy birding!
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  #60  
Old March 10th, 2013, 10:29 PM
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Agru, thanks for the link to Birdingpal!
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