Birding in Tobago

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#1
46 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
Anyone know of a tour operator in Tobago that specializes in birding tours that cater towards the cruiselines (in terms of time)? Alternatively-anyone know if there are good DYI birding spots for a day trip? Thanks!
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Carnival Valor,
2006 W. Caribbean

Norwegian Pearl, 2008 Bahamas
Celebrity Millenium, 2010 S. Caribbean
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RCCL Radiance, 2012 South Pacific



#2
Barbados
26,596 Posts
Joined May 2007
The Northern two-thirds of the island is rain forest
so it can't be too difficult.

A trip along their North Coast road going to Charlotteville at the far end of the island
will reveal many sweeping views from 200-300 ft. up
and I should think several birding opportunities.

There are also one or two roads that cross the high spine of the island
-through the real rain forest-
I'd suggest you get your island tour taxi driver to take you there.
Tell the guy what you're looking to see.


I saw Mot-mots just behind the golf course somewhere..

.
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#4
NC/SC
83 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
We hired GEORGE NEWTON for the entire day we were in port in TOBAGO- he drove us to the wonderful rainforest and called the birds to us- we saw at least 25 birds including the blue backed manakin & Jakana! We took about a 2 hour walk with him into the forest where we saw a few other "quiet" birders also spotting wonderful birds. It was the highlight of our entire week. Look him up on the web- he took us to the hummingbird farm at the end so we could just sit and watch the 6 hummingbirds on the island come to the feeders- and a few other wonderful birds as well. Really, if you love birds- don't miss this tour! Tell him Pam & Kevin sent you. The ships don't take people to this place- it really is wonderful to see so many birds in such a short period of time! By the way he was 1/2 as much as soem fo the other quotes I had and they were not private tours.
#5
Sarnia, Ontario Canada
4,515 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Originally posted by dive4pam
We hired GEORGE NEWTON for the entire day we were in port in TOBAGO- he drove us to the wonderful rainforest and called the birds to us- we saw at least 25 birds including the blue backed manakin & Jakana! We took about a 2 hour walk with him into the forest where we saw a few other "quiet" birders also spotting wonderful birds. It was the highlight of our entire week. Look him up on the web- he took us to the hummingbird farm at the end so we could just sit and watch the 6 hummingbirds on the island come to the feeders- and a few other wonderful birds as well. Really, if you love birds- don't miss this tour! Tell him Pam & Kevin sent you. The ships don't take people to this place- it really is wonderful to see so many birds in such a short period of time! By the way he was 1/2 as much as soem fo the other quotes I had and they were not private tours.
Can you tell me what tour you took with him; how long and about how much
Is it safe for two ladies
Thanks
#6
Sarnia, Ontario Canada
4,515 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Originally posted by servalgirl
Anyone know of a tour operator in Tobago that specializes in birding tours that cater towards the cruiselines (in terms of time)? Alternatively-anyone know if there are good DYI birding spots for a day trip? Thanks!
Would love to hear from people who have used him. Cost and tour you booked.
Thanks for any help you can give me.
#8
86 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
When we were in Tobago Easter 2009 on a Princess cruise we went to Cuffie River. Contact the owner Regina and she will organise the day for you including transport, a walk in the rain forest with Desmon looking a local birds and lunch. We had a fabulous time and my husband who is a keen birder was very impressed. www.cuffie-river.com
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#9
Midwest, USA
1,109 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
We had a great tour with Peter Cox Jan. 13. We had booked a bird-watching tour to Little Tobago for $80 each. The boat was rocking all the previous night, and we saw high surf when docking in Tobago, so we were not surprised when Peter recommended that we not take the glass-bottom boat to Little Tobago. Instead, he took us around the island in his air-conditioned car to various birding spots, including a hike at the Main Ridge Reserve. This is one of the oldest nature preserves in the world, dating to 1776! The trails were very muddy, so Peter rented plastic boots for us. Peter is a general naturalist as well as an avid birder, and he showed us much of island’s ecology. We were especially interested in the fascinating tale of how the leaf-cutter ants cultivate their fungus gardens, and we followed some of their trails to see how they organize their labor. Peter also told us stories about his work protecting turtles, rehabilitating birds, and studying the false coral snake.

The birding was not outstanding because of the wind, but among others, we saw: rufous-tailed jacamar, blue-backed manakin, blue-crowned motmot (both male and female), tropical kingbird, chachalaca, crested oropendola, anhinga, bananquit, cattle egret, magnificent frigatebird, smooth-billed ani, white-tailed sabre-winged hummingbird, yellow-crowned night heron, orange-winged parrot, and “johnny-jump-up” (blue-black grassquit). Peter knew all their calls and was often able to lure them out of hiding so we could see them up close. We spent considerable time at the Main Ridge Forest Reserve and Argyle Falls, then drove around the lush, beautiful island, stopping at various bays and beaches to admire the scenery. We visited a couple of brackish swamp areas looking for caimans, but only spotted one head. Peter kept us supplied with water and bananas, and stopped at tiny Gee Bee bakery to buy us delicious fresh coconut tarts and current buns. He was completely flexible about doing whatever we wanted for however long we wanted. We had a great day with him and learned a lot.
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Susan

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#11
Midwest, USA
1,109 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by bluewave
Your tour with Peter Cox sounds great! How did you get in touch with him? Any idea if he does a shorter (part day) tour?
His website is:
http://www.tobagonaturetours.com/

As you can see there, he has quite a few tour suggestions listed, but we also found him totally flexible about customizing the tour.

I don't think he has daily access to e-mail, so don't worry if you don't get an immediate answer. He did get back to us reliably each time we wrote, it just took a couple of days.

Hope this helps!
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Susan

Next - Windstar Star Pride Gems of the Leeward Islands, 2/18
Viking Alruna Rhine Getaway, 6/17
Celebrity Constellation Italy & Dalmation Coast, 5/15
Celebrity Summit Southern Caribbean, 3/14
Celebrity Constellation Scandinavia & Russia, 7/13
HAL Ryndam Western Caribbean, 3/13
Celebrity Summit Southern Caribbean, 1/11
HAL Noordam Western Mediterranean, 5/09
Celebrity Galaxy Eastern Mediterranean, 5/08
Celebrity Galaxy Southern Caribbean, 1/08
Holland America Caribbean, 3/00 & 3/01 & 5/02
#12
273 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Originally posted by CoralReef
His website is:
http://www.tobagonaturetours.com/

As you can see there, he has quite a few tour suggestions listed, but we also found him totally flexible about customizing the tour.

I don't think he has daily access to e-mail, so don't worry if you don't get an immediate answer. He did get back to us reliably each time we wrote, it just took a couple of days.

Hope this helps!
Thanks so much!
His website looks great. We are already snorkeling in the morning so hopefully we can work out the afternoon tour to fit the schedule. The one he has listed is 3:30 - 5:00 and the Summit is scheduled to depart at 5:00. Too close for comfort for me! We leave in 2 1/2 weeks so hopefully we will hear from him soon!
#13
Venice, Florida
1,979 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Originally posted by bluewave
Thanks so much!
His website looks great. We are already snorkeling in the morning so hopefully we can work out the afternoon tour to fit the schedule. The one he has listed is 3:30 - 5:00 and the Summit is scheduled to depart at 5:00. Too close for comfort for me! We leave in 2 1/2 weeks so hopefully we will hear from him soon!
When you hear from him, would you post info here or on the roll call? Sounds like a nice way to spend the afternoon!
See you on the roll call...

Liz