A FEW BIRD HIGHLIGHTS - LESSER ANTILLES - JAN 16-21, 2005

by Jeff Wells - Trip Leader

JANUARY 16

The first day out (Jan. 16) as we cruised from Barbados to Union Island we saw an amazing number of seabirds. We did a seabird watch from the wing of the bridge from 6:30-9:50 AM as the ship moved from about 40 miles south of Barbados to Union Island in the Grenadines . The most abundant species was Red-footed Booby. We had 134 brown-phase, 19 white-phase, and 41 immature. Also had Brown Booby (5 adult), Masked Booby (2 imm), Red-billed Tropicbird (1 adult), tropicbird sp. (2), Audubon's Shearwater (1), and Magnificent Frigatebird (4).

 

We were on Union Island from 1:30-4:30 PM on Jan. 16. Among other birds we had Brown Pelican (12), American Oystercatcher (1), Royal Tern (16), Scaly-naped Pigeon (2), Zenaida Dove (1), Grenada Flycatcher (3).

 

JANUARY 17

On 17 January we did another seabird watch from 6:30-9:00 AM east of Grenada. Again we had lots of Red-footed Boobies (74 brown-phase, 6 white-phase, 8 imm) but this time also lots of Brown Boobies (93 adult, 3 imm) and a single immature Masked Booby. Also more Red-billed Tropicbirds (12 ad, 3 imm) plus 22 tropicbird sp. The best birds though were two Cory's Shearwaters, one of which passed right under the bow!

 

On Grenada on 17 January we heard two Grenada Doves at Mount Hartman . Saw good numbers of Broad-winged Hawks around the island. Also saw 6 Yellow-bellied Seadeaters along the entrance road to Mount Hartman. I had been under the impression that they were not around in mid-winter so was a bit surprised to see them. Had three Grenada House Wrens, 4 Grenada Flycatchers, 8 Bare-eyed Robins, and 75 Barn Swallows among other birds at Mount Hartman . We were there from 2:30-5:00 PM .

 

JANUARY 19

On 19 Jan at the Vermont Nature Trail on St. Vincent we had about 50 St. Vincent Parrots, 2 Whistling Warblers, 1 Scaly-breasted Thrasher, 2 Brown tremblers, 1 Lesser Antillean Tanager.

 

JANUARY 20

On 20 Jan., on St. Lucia along the road up to the Edmond Forest Preserve we had among many species: 4-5 St. Lucia Parrots, 2 St. Lucia Pewees, 1 Lesser Antillean Flycatcher, 4 Rufous-throated Solitaires, 3 Scaly-breasted Thrashers, 1 Pearly-eyed Thrasher, 4 Gray Tremblers, 8 St. Lucia Warblers, 10 Lesser Antillean Bullfinch, 1-2 St. Lucia Black-Finch, 3 Lesser Antillean Saltator, 2 St. Lucia Orioles.

 

JANUARY 21

On 21 Jan., on Martinique we had 2-4 White-breasted Thrashers at the Caravelle Peninsula . In the harbor we had three immature Larus gulls that we tentatively had identified surprisingly as one each of Great Black-backed, Lesser Black-backed, and Herring Gulls.

 

On 21 Jan., the ship headed back to Barbados around 2:00 PM and we did a seabird watch from 2:30-6:00 . I was surprised at how different the species and numbers were from the cruise down from Barbados to Grenada . We had more jaegers this time (only a single jaeger sp. on the way down). With 6 Pomarine Jaegers, 2 Parasitic, and 2 Long-tailed plus several unidentified jaegers. Amazingly we did not have a single Red-footed Booby! The only boobies we had were 24 Brown Boobies. We had 2 adult Red-billed Tropicbirds and two Audubon's Shearwaters. Also 2 very distant adult Bridled/Sooty Terns.

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