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Vincent, and Grenada
24 December 2003 - 1 January 2004
by Jeff Hopkins
I recently had the opportunity to take a Christmas vacation around the
southern Caribbean. I had been to the Bahamas and Trinidad, but
never in between and I wanted to see that part of the world. The
choice was based on where I could get to on frequent flyer mileage,
where there was interesting birding and a reasonable number of
endemics, and where it was easy to get around. I chose to fly
into Barbados, then island hop to St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and
Grenada. I hired a birding guide on St. Lucia, and rented cars on
St. Vincent and Grenada. On Barbados I was at the mercy of public
Since it was my first trip to the area as a birder (my trip to Trinidad
was business and before I was a birder), even some of the more common
birds were lifers for me. However, I tended to focus on the
endemics, figuring the more common birds would come if I spent enough
time in the right habitat. For the most part that was true, as I
ended up with 33 life birds, though my approach did not give me a wide
number of species (61). I did get all of my single-island and
two-island endemic targets except the Grenada Dove. I also missed
Lesser Antillean flycatcher and pearly-eyed thrasher, both of which I
figured I'd see pretty easily.
I've used a convention I've seen in other trip reports. First
sightings are capitalized, subsequent sightings are not unless there
was something special or unusual about the second sighting. I've
also noted birds which were lifer's for me with an asterisk. A
species list with some remarks follows at the end.
Day 1 – 24
December 2003 - Barbados
I arrived at about 1:30 in Barbados after a rather uneventful BWIA
flight from JFK Airport. I had my first two lifers during the
taxi ride from the airport to my hotel in Dover. The first was a
CARIB GRACKLE* in the yard of a house. For the second , I hat to
wait until I got to the hotel and could check my field guide before I
could confirm it was a ZENAIDA DOVE*. These turned out to be the
two most common birds in the parts of the island I visited.
After checking in at my hotel (where a caged peach-faced lovebird had
me wondering if there was a parrot in the trees), I hopped into a cab
and told the driver to take me to Graeme Hall Swamp. "Isn't it
closed?" he asked. It turns out that the Bajan government has
decided to turn it into a more tourist friendly location, complete with
caged animals, aviaries, and the like. They also added a walled, gated
entrance. While doing the "upgrade" work, the main nature trail
that leads to the lake overlook was closed. He took me to a small
path into the swamp that was a few hundred meters west of the main
I started down the trail spooking a couple of doves and found my first
flock a short distance in from the road. In that group I found
LESSER ALTILLEAN BULLFINCHES*, BLACK-FACED GRASSQUITS* and a
BLACK-WHISKERED VIREO*, though instinctively I first thought it was a
red-eyed vireo. As noted in other reports, the Bajan subspecies
of bullfinch is unique as both are plumaged like the females, brown
with some rufous under parts. I also saw the first of many CATTLE
EGRETS on the trip. Walking further in, I saw more grackles and a
couple of large dark birds that I eventually made out as SCALY-NAPED
PIGEONS*. The brush on one side of the trail was thick and dark,
but I saw a couple of YELLOW WARBLERS along the edge. The ones I
saw looked pretty much the same as the birds in North America.
Eventually the trail ended at the corner of a big open area with water
filled channels on the sides of it. I didn't see anything
in the air over the reeds, but looked down to see a SORA walk out of
the reeds, cross the channel, and duck into the brush on the other side
– a spectacular look. As I left that spot, I heard a BELTED
KINGFISHER deep in the swamp.
I walked out the way I came, but found different birds. First was
a pair of GRAY KINGBIRDS* sitting side-by-side on a bare branch.
Then came a flyover SNOWY EGRET. A hummingbird zipped by and
perched in the shade. It was a carib, but I couldn't get any
other field marks in it. Although it probably was a
green-throated (purple-throateds are vagrant to Barbados), this would
have been a milestone bird for me (lifer #1500) so I wanted to be
sure. Coming back out the flock was gone, but more doves were in
the path – another Zenaida and a COMMON GROUND DOVE.
Before getting back to the road, I walked through a more open area
behind some houses and a school to see if I could find another way into
the swamp. That stretch was full of bullfinches and
grassquits. And every tree seemed to have a few grackles in
it. I reached another part of the swamp that looked artificial -
the canals were in neat little rows. I spooked a snowy egret out
of one, but not much else was there. After that I walked to the
main entrance - it was locked. I headed back in the diorection of
my hotel and tried a couple of other side streets to try to find
another access into the swamp, but no luck, though I did find more
kingbirds on the wires.
It was getting late and I wanted to see some of the area, so I cut
through the grounds of one of the resorts, to the coastal road.
The small park at the end of the Dover playing fields was full of
zenaida doves. Just as I was getting back to my hotel, another
small dark hummer shot by. I figured it was an Antillean crested
hummingbird, but again, I didn't see it well enough to count it.
I watched the sunset over the ocean that evening at my hotel. The
little dark things hawking insects over the ocean turned out to be bats
– though I tried to turn them into swifts.
Day 2 – 25
December 2003 – Barbados
As I left the hotel, an ANTILLEAN CRESTED HUMMINGBIRD* was feeding in a
a flowering bush. Lifer #1500 gave me a good long look. Of
course, there were more grackles and Zenaida doves along the walk to
the bus stop. I flagged down a minibus, and headed into
Bridgetown to do a little sightseeing even though it was
Christmas. As expected , everything was closed downtown except,
of course, the synagogue. There was very little bird life: a few
bullfinches around the Montefiore fountain and an occasional ROCK
PIGEON. What really surprised me was the lack of seabirds around
the harbor. When I visit the coast of North America, there are at
least gulls, even in the cities. There was nothing in the
downtown harbor area. No gulls, no terns, no seabirds.
I caught a ride out to Welchman Hall Gully on a public bus (Route #4
from the Jubilee Station, I believe). Welchman Hall Gully is one
of the few areas left on Barbados with its original native
vegetation. The gully is basically a limestone cave where the
roof collapsed a long time ago. Almost all of Barbados was
cleared for agriculture by the British, and it's also the most densely
populated island in the Caribbean. The walls of the gully were
too steep and rugged to farm, so the native vegetation stayed
intact. Of course, I got there and it was closed, too. I
know I shouldn't have, but the wall was only about half a meter high,
so I climbed over it and headed down into the gully.
The gully was impressive. There was a lot of bird life in the
canopy, but it was way overhead and well out of sight. From what
I could tell, most of them were bananaquits, but there were a few
bullfinches, too. The only birds that came close to the ground
were grackles. I stopped anywhere there were flowering plants in
order to find hummingbirds. Finally, during one stop, a
GREEN-THROATED CARIB* perched on a bare branch. I walked out the
other end (the gate was open) and noticed a sign for the Flower Forest,
which gave me the impression it was close. I asked a local who
was opening coconuts for some tourists, and he said it was about 5
From there I started to walk to the Flower Forest. Not a great
idea as it was the middle of the day. In other words, brutally
hot and humid. And mostly uphill. And if it was 5 minutes
away it was 5 minutes by car, not on foot. Then it started to
rain. Then back to hot and humid. On top of that it was
incredibly unbirdy – just a couple of gray kingbirds the whole
way. I eventually reached the entrance road to the Flower Forest
and it went straight downhill. If it wasn't open, I'd have a
nasty steep slog back to the main road. As I started down, a taxi
full of cruise-ship tourists drove past me. Two minutes later
they came back up, so I flagged them down, and they confirmed it was
closed, and that there was no other way out other than hiking back up
I asked them for a ride to the nearest bus stop – I had to sit in the
trunk since their car was full. They took me to a small
town. While waiting for the bus, some men having a small
Christmas get together on their front porch invited me to join
them. I shared a quick beer with them, then caught a bus back to
Bridgetown (Fairchild Bus Station) and from there a minivan from there
to my hotel. It was time for some air conditioning. I spent
the rest of the afternoon relaxing at my hotel.
I wound up with only 17 species on Barbados, partly because of closures
and partly because I was confined to public transportation. In
retrospect, I wish I'd rented a car as I could have gotten to some of
the more birdy places or at least seen a few more shorebirds or heron
species. Unfortunately, I started looking for a car only a few
days before leaving, and the entire island was sold out. The desk
clerk at my hotel confirmed it when I arrived – no cars at all.
Day 3 – 26
December 2003 – St. Lucia
I had an early flight to St. Lucia this morning on Caribbean Star
Airlines and arrived at my hotel above Rodney Bay/Gros Islet at about 9
AM. I confirmed my arrangements for the next day with my guide
and then headed downtown to Castries. My goal was to catch a bus
to Soufriere to see the Pitons. Unfortunately, since it was
Boxing Day, there we very few buses to Soufriere, and getting home
would have been impossible (it's nearly impossible to get a bus in the
afternoon on a workday). So I hired a cab for a quick tour to the
sights around Soufriere. On top of that, as soon as we got south
of Marigot Bay it started to pour, and it didn't let up until we got
back to Castries. Needless to say, the only bird I saw the whole
time was a rock pigeon in downtown Castries.
I went back to the hotel for a rest and to dry out, but late in the
afternoon, I started to get a little stir crazy. Since a trip
report noted it was only a 45 minute walk from Gros Islet to Pigeon
Island, I figured I'd give that a go. Unfortunately, I did it by
walking along the main road, then turning along the road to Pigeon
Island. This was a much longer route. The 45 minute time
was apparently from "downtown" Gros islet along the shoreline.
Nevertheless, it turned out to be somewhat productive. There
wasn't much along the main road, but a quick diversion down a side
street found a couple of TROPICAL MOCKINGBIRDS, a small flock of SHINY
COWBIRDS, and some zenaida doves. Once I hit the road to Pigeon
Island and got into some thorn scrub, I found a CARIBBEAN ELAENIA* who
made me really work to see him, and a few more mockingbirds. I
also had an all black finch that constantly flicked its tail. I
knew it was the wrong habitat for St. Lucia Black Finch, but I didn't
see any red on it, so I wasn't sure. I'd have to talk to the
experts the next day.
As I got to the small park at the shoreline, it was starting to get
dark, so I decided to head back to Gros Islet along the coast.
There wasn't much to see along that route, probably because of all the
people there. Only a few grackles in the scrub. As I
crossed the creek into Gros Islet I spooked a SPOTTED SANDPIPER and
found a few ROYAL TERNS flying in the harbor. There was a flock
of small shorebirds on a sandbar offshore but they flew off across the
bay just as I noticed them. By then it was dusk and that was the
last of the birds.
Day 4 – 27
December 2003 – St. Lucia
Today was the big birding day in St. Lucia. About two weeks
before I left, I'd contacted Adams Toussaint, a birder who works in the
forestry department. He can be reached by phone at 758-450-2231
or via email at email@example.com. Adams was originally
recommended to me by a friend here as someone who could organize
birding guides for me. He quoted me a fee of $30 for the
rainforest and $20 to go after the thrasher at Praslin. After
making a few calls, he found out that a guide wasn't available to go
after the white-breasted thrasher, so he volunteered to guide me
himself. Adams also gave me the option of providing my own
transportation or having him drive me for $80. Given that I
really didn't know the thrasher spot, and the cost wasn't that much
more than renting a 4WD car myself, I decided to let Adams drive.
It was a good choice. Adams was a great birder and good
company. He's got a degree in Environmental Education from
Hartwick College in New York State and though he has only been birding
a few years, he knows his stuff. On top of that he's a good, safe
driver. And he went out of his way to make sure I saw all the
critical birds on St. Lucia, i.e. the 5 endemics and the
thrasher. I recommend his services highly.
Adams picked me up at my hotel in Gros Islet at 5 AM and we headed off
to the Millet rain forest hearing gray kingbirds all along the
way. Millet is a newer site being developed by the forestry
service. It's accessed from the west coast, and is somewhat north
of the Edmond Reserve so it's easier to get to if you're staying in the
main resort areas north of Castries. Adams had only been there a
few times, but knew it was a good place to find the parrots as well as
some of the other endemics. The road was not in great shape, but
I believe it could be driven in a regular car. On the way we
picked up Aloysius Charles, the official Forestry Service guide.
Because it was dark and I wasn't driving, I didn't get any of the
details of the route other than we accessed the road to Millet from the
main west coast road south of Marigot Bay. However, Millet
is shown on the standard tourist maps, so with a better map and some
directions from the Forestry Service, it should be easy enough to get
to on your own.
We got to the main Millet office and trailhead at about 6 AM.
Once there, Adams heard a bare eyed thrush calling from the nearby
trees and tried to pish it in, but it didn't come any closer.
Adams and Aloysius had a conversation in the local patois, in which I
heard Adams mention "the long and strong fellas". I realized they
were discussing the possibility of encountering fer de lance vipers in
the underbrush between where we were and the thrush. Aloysius
said that that area had been cleared of snakes, but both Adams and I
preferred to play it safe. We didn't chase the thrush as we'd
have other opportunities to see it. But instead of heading
through the gate and up the road in front of us, we got back in the
jeep, and headed a few hundred meters downhill from the office.
From there we headed down a track – basically two wheel ruts in the mud
- through the banana plantations for a kilometer or so to a small
shelter or lean-to. That was our trailhead.
We walked for about 5 minutes though a fairly open area
along a very narrow, uneven, and muddy footpath – I only fell once - to
a point with a mountain immediately to our left, and an open valley
with a steep ridge beyond it on our right side. At this point we
found a feeding flock of passerines, but before we could examine the
flock we heard parrots. Two of them flew down the valley past
us. It wasn't a great look, because the sun wasn't fully up yet
but there was no doubt they were ST. LUCIA PARROTS*. Then another
lone parrot flew over our heads. This one was missing a primary
or two. Adams noted it was probably a juvenile bird – partly due
to the state of its feathers and partly because it was flying alone –
adults usually fly in pairs.
At this point we started examining the flock. Of course there
were lots of bullfinches and bananaquits, but Adams picked out a ST.
LUCIA WARBLER* which he got me onto. There was also a
PURPLE-THROATED CARIB flying around which I saw well after missing it a
few times. All during the time I was getting the carib, we were
hearing parrots. We realized they were flying up and down the
valley at and below eye level! First we picked off one pair
flying seeing good color on them. Then came a flock of about
5. We found a few perched in the trees at the base of the
ridge. Both Adams and I were thrilled and Aloysius had this
contented look that said "I told you this was a good spot!"
Then Aloysius heard a thrasher (pearly-eyed?) calling in a big fruit
tree, but it was on the far side of the tree, and I could barely see it
moving through the thick leaves, never mind see it well enough to ID
it. While we were looking at that, in flies a BROAD-WINGED HAWK,
which perched behind us. Next Aloysius heard a couple orioles in
the fruit tree, and after about five frustrating minutes of trying to
get me on them, one flew to a nearly tree and perched at the top.
My third endemic, the ST. LUCIA ORIOLE*, within a circle of about 5
meters. We went back to the flock, where I got a good look at a
SCALY-BREASTED THRASHER*. After that, we decided that rather than
continuing up the muddy track, and since we'd seen the key species that
we'd hoped to see, we'd head to the main rainforest trail which was in
better condition. On the way back to the jeep we saw another
warbler, a couple more orioles, and the same immature parrot we saw on
the way in. We also had a mongoose shoot across the path in front of
us. Then we drove back to the office with Adams and I both
commenting "That was a great spot!" and parked again.
The main trail was extremely well maintained. The level areas
were crushed stone, with stairs built into the bank at the steep parts
and bridges over the stream crossings. It went straight
down into a small bowl. Bananaquits were everywhere. Once
we got down into an area with lots of low brush, Adams started pishing
to bring in a black finch. The first bird other than a bananaquit
that came in to the pishing was a trembler – a rather strange looking
bird, but of which species? On other islands the brown
tremblers are very brown and look very different from gray tremblers,
but on St. Lucia the brown tremblers are very washed out so it's hard
to tell the difference between the two. After a significant
amount of discussion, we decided it was a BROWN TREMBLER*.
After that, Adams heard a finch calling so he pished again. This
brought in a scaly-breasted thrasher. Finally all that
pishing brought in a ST. LUCIA BLACK FINCH*. Now I saw that the
bird I'd seen the night before near Pigeon Island had to have been a
bullfinch. This bird was flicking its tail up and down like an
eastern phoebe. The bird I'd seen the night before wiggled its tail
from side to side, like a waterthrush. I was told that's a key
difference between the two.
We walked further down the trail looking for a pewee. Then
Aloysius stopped and said "There's a snake on the trail." I
looked down for a fer de lance, but Aloysius said "No, in the
tree." It was a small (about 2m long) boa curled up on the side
of a small tree. That I could deal with. We watched it
climb higher to get away from us as we got closer to it.
Moving on, we pished in another trembler, this time clearly a GREY
TREMBLER. It had no color to it at all. We also heard a
saltator singing but we couldn't pish it in. We walked a little
further along the trail, and spotted a MANGROVE CUCKOO* up in the
canopy. We did pish in a flycatcher but it was a Caribbean
elaenia. Since there didn't seem to be any pewees around, and we
still had to go for the white-breasted thrasher on the other side of
the island (and it had started raining), we turned around. Adams
said we'd have a good shot for the pewee at the thrasher spot,
too. We didn't have much else along the way back, although the
boa was still on the same tree. At the office, bullfinches were
coming in to the feeders that were set up and I saw a white breasted
hummer that had to have been a female crested hummingbird. After
that, I paid Aloysius the forest entry cost and his guiding fee ($30
altogether) and after dropping Aloysius off at his house, Adams and I
headed over to Praslin.
We driving down the east cost road when Adams said, "This is the spot"
and turned inland off the road onto a another set of two tire ruts
through the grass. To me, it looked like any other track on that
side of the island, so I have no idea what landmarks he used to find
it. Partway along, there was a fallen tree across the track, so
we turned the jeep around, and parked. Adams got out a machete
(!) and we walked over to a forested ravine beside the track and
started to pish for the thrasher. No luck. We climbed down
into the ravine and pished again. Adams thought he heard
something, so we climbed from rock to rock up the stream bed a
bit. A little movement up ahead was a thrasher, but we couldn't
get a good look before it scampered off. We climbed up out of the
ravine on the opposite side and Adams spotted another thrasher in the
low brush. Then he said there were two of them.
I could see some movement, but couldn't get a good look, even though I
was squatting as low as I could. The brush was very thick and
they were behind the base of some bushes on the back side of a small
rise. Finally, throwing my fear of chiggers to the wind, I gave
in and laid down on the ground, propped myself up on my left elbow and
held my bins up with only my right hand. Then I saw it hopping
around on the ground; black on top, clean white on the bottom. It
was a WHITE BREASTED THRASHER*. I could also see a second
bird with it, but that one was harder to see well. We watched the
birds for about 15 minutes, getiing better looks, but despite a lot of
pishing they never came any closer. Not wanting to bother the
birds any more, we got up and headed back downhill. On the way we
kept pishing to try to bring in a pewee. No luck there, but we
saw two more thrashers – Adams said he always sees them in pairs – and
a LESSER ANTILLEAN SALTATOR*, the only one of the trip.
Adams said that if I wanted to go, he sees pewees every day at the
where he works near Castries. If he still had time, who was I to
say no? So off we headed to the Union Forestry Station and up a
trail behind the office there. As we were driving he told me that
the whole time we were looking for the thrashers he was also watching
out for fer de lances. He method is to take a few steps, then
stop and scan everywhere for them. Once you were sure it was
clear to move, take a few more steps and scan again. Not to
mention he had the machete!
At Union Station, there was another well maintained trail, with a
couple of picnic tables right at the beginning. After that we
came to a creek and left the trail to walk a short distance along the
creek. First thing we saw was something large and dark that just
skimmed the surface of the creek. Adams said it was a fish-eating
bat. He seemed absolutely thrilled to see it. At that
point, we started pishing and pulled in both a Caribbean elaenia and a
ST. LUCIA PEWEE*. What a beautiful little bird!
Adams heard a bare-eyed thrush up the trail and off we went after
that. I heard a quiet clucking sound like an American
robin. We kept pishing for it and it came closer. Adams
commented that they're very shy. A gray trembler and
scaly-breasted thrasher responded to our calls. Finally after
about 10 minutes of us pishing and the thrush clucking in response, a
dark brown bird flew into a tree beside the trail, but as soon as it
did, the thrasher flew in and spooked it. I knew it had to be the
BARE-EYED THRUSH*, but it wasn't the look I'd have liked.
Unfortunately, we were out of time, so Adams gave me a quick tour of
the animals they keep in the rehab cages. There was a pair of St.
Lucia Parrots that they can't release to the wild and use as classroom
models, some agoutis, a few monkeys, an iguana, plus some exotic
parrots and parakeets. After that, hedrove me back to the hotel
and I collapsed. I spent the rest of the day just relaxing and
recharging my batteries.
And for the record – no chiggers. Whew!
Day 5 – 28
December 2003 – St. Vincent
Once again an early morning flight on Caribbean Star. I got to my
hotel in Villa Beach at about 8:30, where there was an EARED DOVE
perched on the wires over the driveway. The room wasn't ready
yet, so while they made it up, I went down to the pool patio which
overlooked the beach and Young Island. There were bananaquits in
the trees - the yellow/white breasted variety. As I looked out
over the many sailboats offshore, what I thought was a booby flew by
and perched on top of the mast of one. I ran back to my room, got
my binocs, and ran back down, but the bird was gone. Suddenly, it
flew back into view and went back to the mast of the same boat.
This time I could see it was a BROWN BOOBY*. After about 5
minutes, it flew off the mast and dove after a fish. Then it came
out of the water and flew back to its perch. It was using the
boat as a high lookout to find fish! I watched it dive a couple
more times, before heading up to my room and then into Kingstown.
I figured I'd do a little sightseeing in downtown Kingstown before
heading up to the botanic gardens, though being a Sunday, I suspected
they'd be closed and I'd have to do my birding from outside the
fence. Unfortunately, while wandering around town, I turned my
ankle rather badly on an uneven sidewalk. I tried to walk it off,
and while walking, strolled past a taxi queue. A conversation
with one of the drivers, confirmed the gardens were open, so I hopped
in. Once we got there, he told all the "faux guides" at the
entrance that I just wanted to walk around so I didn't need a
I limped in past the guides into a peaceful park with only a few other
people. I heard kingbirds and bananaquits calling, and
scaly-naped pigeons were flying around between the tall bare
trees. I headed to the forest on the opposite side from the
entrance, and the first time I pished, a couple of bare-eyed thrushes
came right in. I guess the ones on St. Vincent aren't as shy as
the St. Lucian ones. Throughout the gardens, I kept seeing
bullfinches and bananaquits, in this case the all black variety.
I decided to get off the ankle for a while and sat down on a
bench. Then two GRENADA FLYCATCHERS* flew into the high palm
trees nearby and flitted around the seeds at the base of the
fronds. Soon I heard a different kind of flycatcher call. I
spent about 10 minutes looking for it, and found a Caribbean elaenia
giving a much different call than the ones on St. Lucia.
I decided it would be best to relax for the rest of the afternoon,
since the next day I was planning to hike up to the parrot overlook at
Vermont Rain Forest. So I walked back to the entrance, finding a
broad-winged hawk on the way, and from there back down to downtown
Kingstown. I walked along the harbor, where I saw a few royal
terns and a soaring MAGNIFICENT FRIGATEBIRD, to the minibus
terminal. This was not a good idea as the hard pavement
aggravated the ankle injury.
I spent the afternoon hanging out on the porch of my hotel room staying
off my ankle. That gave me a chance to see an Antillean crested
hummingbird who was a regular visitor to a bush just off the
porch. He was of the subspecies with a blue crest. Or at
least the edges of the crest was blue. The actual forehead and
front of the crest was green. Also around was a green-throated
carib in great light. An absolutely gorgeous bird. The
field guides don't do it justice.
I'd reserved a car to drive up to Vermont Forest the next day. So
just before dinner, I went back to the airport and picked that
up. The good news was that Avis had upgraded me to a Toyota
RAV4. Now the bad news. By dinner time I could barely
walk. I took a few ibuprofen before bed, propped my foot up on a
couple of pillows, and went to sleep hoping for the best.
Day 6 – 29
December 2003 – St. Vincent
I woke up to find that although it was still hurting, my ankle had
improved significantly from the night before, so off I went to
Vermont. Using directions found in another report, I was looking
for an unmarked turn-off just past a river bridge about 5.3 km from the
Texaco station downtown. However, in the dim morning light I was
having a hard time reading the odometer. I drove on hoping I'd
see the river bridge, at which time I'd look for the turnoff. It
didn't happen. I hadn't crossed a river bridge, and I looked down
the seen the odometer was at 7+ km. I was about to turn around
when I saw a big white sign with a picture of a parrot that said
"Vermont Forest Reserve, 3-3/4 miles". That route took me up
through a small town and back down to a T, where I turned right.
After a short distance was another sign, this one for 1-1/2
I followed that road up to a right turn with sign that said something
about a water treatment plant. It looked like the plant was
straight ahead, so I turned right. Wrong! The water
treatment plant was to the right, the trailhead was to the left.
So I turned around, headed back up the right road, and the parking area
was just a bit further on.
The trail map at the parking area showed two main loops. The one
called the "River Trail" leads up one side of the Buccament River about
a half mile then turns around and goes right back to the parking
area. The other is the loop up to the parrot overlook. This was
shown branching off the River Trail just after it started, climbing a
short leg up to the parrot overlook then coming down a much longer leg
to join up with the river trail where it turned around. Given the
state of my ankle, I wanted the shorter route. Beside the trail
map was a concrete stairway with a sign that said "Trails." I
went up those stairs and found myself at the water treatment
plant. Great! I'd heard finding the right trail was
difficult, but this was ridiculous. But just then I heard a
couple of parrots. I saw them flying up the valley, white heads
and all. If I hadn't headed up there, I wouldn't have seen my
first ST. VINCENT PARROTS*.
I was about to head down the stairs when a local farmer came up.
I asked him if that was the trail. He pointed out a gate in the
far side of the fence and said the trail went down from that. OK, maybe
it was the right way. I headed through the gate and down a very
muddy trail. The first place I stopped to pish I brought out a
brown trembler. It was a warm chocolate brown – much browner than
the one on St. Lucia. Of course there were bullfinches and
bananaquits (all black ones).
After a while, I realized that the trail was hugging the river when it
should have been climbing. I was on the River Trail! And it
wasn't especially birdy. This meant if I was going to get to the
overlook, I'd have to take the longer route. Since I'd already
seen the parrots, I decided to keep going and see how my ankle felt
when I hit the branch to the loop trail. As the trail started to
climb a bit, I heard a sharp buzz, and turned around to see a
purple-throated carib. And just before I got to the fork, a dark
brown bird flew across the trail. When it perched I saw it was a
COCOA THRUSH.* It encouraged me to keep going. As I climbed
higher, I heard more parrots, though I couldn't see them through the
After a while I reached a clearing with an interpretive trail
sign that read "Welcome to parrot country." There was a small
bench, that looked like the parrots had been gnawing on it, but it was
completely covered by the canopy. This couldn't be the
"overlook", could it? I could hear parrots close by but couldn't
see them through the canopy. I also saw a RUFOUS-THROATED
SOLITAIRE* and heard a wonderful whistling song that sounded
familiar. I tracked it down to find a very rufous HOUSE
WREN. At this point I realized the song was like the wrens I
heard in Belize (which sound nothing like North American house
wrens). If my vote counts, I vote for a separate species.
I stayed there for about a half hour and decided to continue down the
trail. Or rather up the trail, because after it went down
slightly it started climbing again. I stopped at an opening with
a railing and found a LESSER ANTILLEAN TANAGER* and a black-whiskered
vireo. Then the trail crested for good and started back
down. This made me think that the bench was the overlook.
But right after that, on a steep downslope, I came to the real
overlook. It's a two tiered set of benches at an opening in the
trees that overlooks a valley (there's also a sign saying it's
sponsored by a local beer). I took a seat and started seeing
parrots flying up and down the valley. First two, then another
two, then a flock of 7, then a couple more pairs. They weren't
especially close, but the light was perfect and you could see all the
Unlike in other reports, there were no other birds around the overlook,
other than a single female crested hummingbird, and at this point I
still hadn't seen a whistling warbler. So after a while, I
started down the trail, pishing all the way. I turned up lots of
bananaquits and bullfinches, and at one stop another house wren.
I actually found myself thinking about this report: "Notable
misses: whistling warbler." Finally, I pished at a fairly
open area and up popped a male WHISTLING WARBLER*. He didn't stay
up for long, but that was good enough. I had the last target bird.
And good thing too, as the rain forest decided to live up to its
name. The sky opened up and it started to pour. I didn't
bother birding on the way down. I was just trying to keep the
rain out of my eyes and not lose my footing in the mud. The
runoff was actually flowing down the trail. Finally I crossed
over a small bridge, came up a small rise and there was my car. I
hadn't missed a turn on the way up. The "Trails" sign pointing up
the stairway points to the River Trail. The shortest trail to the
parrot overlook is directly in front of you when the road ends at the
parking area (with the trail map and stairway on your right):
I wrung the rainwater out of my shirt and hopped into the
car and tried to dry off a bit. When the rain let up, I started
back to town. Partway down, I saw a large dark bird in the middle
of the road. I thought it might have been a scaly-naped pigeon,
but once I got the bins on it I saw it was a GREEN HERON. Strange
place for it. After that, the drive back to my hotel was
uneventful, though the traffic in Kingstown was horrendous.
I spent the afternoon relaxing around the hotel. Both the crested
hummingbird and green-throated carib showed up at their perches near my
room as well as my only carib grackles on St. Vincent. There were
also some terns, I assume royals, offshore on some distant channel
markers beside Young Island.
Day 7 – 30
December 2003 – Grenada
I was supposed to take an 8:15 AM flight to Grenada on Caribbean
Star. However, it was 8:30 before I was even checked in for the
flight, and it didn't get off the ground until 11:30. It turns
out, for some reason, at the time I had checked in, the plane was on
St. Vincent, but had to fly to Barbados, St. Lucia, and back to St.
Vincent before continuing on to Grenada.
Anyhow, once I arrived in Grenada, things settled back down. I
checked into my hotel in Morne Rouge, had them arrange for a rental
car, and by 1:45 was heading down the road in another Toyota
RAV4. My first stop was the Mt. Hartman Estate to see if I could
find a Grenada Dove.
I followed what I thought were the
directions in Mark Oberle and Giff Beaton's 1999 trip report. In
that report, they mentioned that they were unsure whether their
odometer read miles or kilometers. I assumed it was kilometers,
but it turned out to have been miles. Therefore when I tuned down
a road that I thought was on the east side of Mount Hartman, it really
was on the west side. Also the pig farm that they mentioned is no
longer there, so there was nothing to indicate I wasn't on the east
Anyhow, the right hand turn for Mt. Hartman was about 0.7 km east of
the second roundabout from the airport (the green-and-white painted
roundabout near the headquarters of the National Credit Bank).
The turn to Mt. Hartman is unmarked, but it is at a left hand bend in
the main road – it's almost a T – and at that point there is a sign
that says something like "Welcome to the Grand Anse Region."
After you turn right, you'll go a few hundred meters down a bumpy dirt
road to a large sign with a picture of a Grenada dove on it. At
that point the road worsens to an uneven, rocky, rutted track with
water from some leaky outdoor plumbing flowing down the 4-6" deep
eroded ruts. There's thick thorn scrub on both sides right up to
the edge of the road. Needless to say, you won't get down it
without a high clearance vehicle.
I stopped the car just at the sign and got out to inspect the road
ahead to see if I could make it. The road was full of eared doves
with a couple of common ground doves. Bullfinches and black-faced
grassquits were flitting around in the scrub. There were a few
SMOOTH-BILLED ANIS on a bush in a nearby pasture, and a GRENADA
FLYCATCHER in another low tree.
I decided I could make it down the road – carefully. After that
first part, it sommothed out a bit, and went through some thick scrub,
then passed what looked like a small garbage dump on the right with
what looked like a bare area behind some scrub just past it. It
continued into some more open scrub used for cattle grazing where I
noticed a broad-winged hawk soaring. After about a kilometer from
the sign, the road turned right and went steeply uphill. I missed
it, but this is the point where the road fork that's mentioned in
Oberle and Beaton's report is. I continued on to where the road
levelled out, parked and started to walk the road.
There were lots of mockingbirds in the open scrub along with
bullfinches and grackles. I walked in both directions from the
car and into the scrub, but didn't turn up any doves. I drove a
little further until it looked like the road was coming to a more
wooded area (with water on the far side). I heard some calls in
the woods beside me, and pished out a yellow-bellied elaenia and a
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH. At this point, I turned around and headed
back the way I came stopping every so often to get out and walk the
road. At one point I heard one or two low downward "hoooooos" on one of
the hillsides, which I believe was a Grenada dove, but there was no way
I was going to find it if it wasn't calling regularly. I didn't
turn up anything different until I got back to the badly rutted
section, where the previous two species of doves were joind by a
zenaida dove – the only one I saw in Grenada.
Since I still had time before sunset, I decided to go to LaSagesse
Nature Center. However, I made a wrong turn off the Coastal Road
and wound up in St. George's. Rather than try to find my way
back, I decided to change plans and go to Perseverence Estate, north of
The Oberle/Beaton report noted that the Perseverence Estate was across
from a garbage dump and a green shed either 5.2 kilometers or 5.2 miles
north of the intersection of the West Coast Road and the River
Road. There's a tiny roundabout at the intersection of the
two. I drove for about 5 km and saw no sign of the dump or
shed. At about 8½ km (almost 5 miles) I saw both the shed
and dump. Across from them was a small house in a fenced off
area, with the same sign as at Mt. Hartman. The problem was, the
gate was locked with a rather sturdy chain and padlock and the fence
was barbed wire (in other words, no sneaking in). I asked the men
at the dump if they knew of a trail, but they didn't. They said
"De doves in de bushes" and also added that in the morning you could
occasionally see one fly out, though I suspected they didn't
distinguish between species in flight.
I walked south along the road looking for an opening into the scrub but
didn't find one. The entire hillside was fenced in with barbed
wire. I turned around and headed north and eventually I came to a
row of small houses extending up the valley with a muddy footpath that
led beside the fenced in scrub area. I decided to hike up that to
see if anything was at the edge of the scrub. Unfortunately two
noisy dogs at one house didn't help things. As I was walking, one
of the residents was sitting on his porch and asked "You lookin' for de
national dove?" When I said yes, he also said "De doves in de
bushes." We talked a bit about finding the doves, and while we
were talking, I noticed a small group of GRAY-RUMPED SWIFTS* flying
around the ridge tops. However, if there was anything in the
fenced off scrub area, it wasn't making its presence known.
I walked back down and found a barly noticeable path through a low area
that went a short distance into the scrub. I found a house wren
and another northern waterthrush there, but not much else. By
this point, it was getting to be dusk, and I had to drive back to Grand
Anse, so I gave up for the night.
Day 8 – 31
December 2003 – Grenada
My main goal today was going to be the Grand Etang area, but I wanted
to take another shot at Mt. Hartman, now that I knew the Oberle/Beaton
distances were in miles, and the road I took the night before was on
the west side, not the east side, of Mt. Hartman.
The visit was uneventful. I did notice the small signs with doves
on them hidden in the thick scrub at the base of Mt. Hartman, but as at
Perseverence, the scrub was fenced off with barbed wire. I took
the left fork, and found what looked like a path. I walked that a
bit, dodging a surly bull at one point, until it dead-ended at some
thick scrub. Then I drove on, as the road turned to two ruts with
30 cm high grass between them stopping occasionally to listen for a
calling dove. Eventually, the track came out on a paved, concrete
road – the road on the east side of Mt. Hartman. However, where a
few years ago, this road would have led to a mangrove area, it now
leads to the "Clarke's Court Bay Marina" and the "Oasis
Restaurant". Several men were walking the hillside above it with
weed whackers trimming the grass that had replaced the scrub.
After this disappointing discovery, I headed off for Grand Etang.
When I got to the visitor center, there was a policeman and another
man, but nobody to take my entry fee. I drove past the visitor
center where a sign on the left pointed to "Grand Etang Lake."
That road came to a parking area on the lakeshore. I scanned the
lake several times hoping for some kind of water birds, but found
nothing. On top of that it was extremely windy and very quiet.
I walked a short distance on the shoreline trail which was extremely
muddy and wet. I heard a house wren and a few bananaquits, but
not much else. Since I figured the wind was keeping things
hidden, I decided to move on. However, on the way back out to the
main road I noticed a few flowers in the yard of a the one house.
Thinking that might get me a hummingbird, I parked. I pished a
bit and a RUFOUS-BREASTED HERMIT* flew in. It hovered in front of
me, then flew straight at me, causing me to duck! I pished some
more, and pulled in a bare-eyed thrush and a caribbean elaenia making a
"pwee" call like a red-eyed vireo, as well as the usual suspects.
I stayed there for about 20 minutes during which time I saw a few more
hermits, then I headed off.
Since I was half-way there, I headed for Levera Pond at the north end
of the island. After getting lost a couple of times on the way, I
got there only to discover that the area was being developed for
housing and also for the "Levera Beach Resort." Much of this was
still under construction, but it appeared to include a golf course and
several landscaped ponds, I assume drawing water from the main
pond. I drove past the lake on a dirt road to Levera Point in
time to see a couple of BROWN PELICANS and a frigatebird fly by.
I also had an OSPREY come from over the trees to the ocean and turn
around again! I drove back to the sign for the resort and down
their construction road looking for a trail or road to Levera
Pond. No such luck. The pond was fenced off to prevent
construction silt runoff from getting into it. I drove through
the construction site with not a bird in sight until I hit the beach
At this point I got out and started scanning the ocean again. I
found a brown booby flying out over the water and the pelicans came
back from where I'd seen them fly a few minutes before. At one
point I saw a few swallows or martins flying around along the beach,
but by the time I got close enough to ID them they were gone. I
suspect they were BARN SWALLOWS, though I was hoping for Caribbean
martins. At this point it was raining, and not wanting to brave
the construction site as mud instead of dirt, I headed out. Just
as I started out, I found a lone barn swallow which sat on the road in
front of me.
Next stop was LaSagesse Nature Center. Frankly, I was
disappointed. The "Nature Center" is a beachside restaurant and
hotel that's along a creek that flows into the ocean. There was
nothing moving near the sand bars at the creek mouth except
sunbathers. There's supposed to be a salt pond lined by
mangroves, but I couldn't find it. I found a path to the creek a
little further upstream, where I noticed that there was lots of garbage
along the banks. I did find a YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT HERON that
flew up into the tree above me, but that was about it. So I
headed back to the hotel for a rest, once again getting lost on the way.
After a brief rest, I headed back out, this time to look for
waterbirds. My first stop was the large lake next to Point
Salines Airport. I didn't have much in the way of waders other
than cattle egret, but had an unusual find, a EURASIAN COLLARED DOVE on
a bare tree beside the lake. It's not on the Grenada list, so I'm
not sure if it was naturally occurring or an escapee, but Raffaele
suggested it's only a matter of time before they show up
there. There were also a few anis in the brush along the
lake, and the typical grassland birds in the scrub.
I also noticed swallows flying around the runway, so I drove around the
dirt track at the airport perimeter trying to find some martins.
No such luck. Every bird I found flying around the runway was a
barn swallow. At one point a security jeep asked me to get out of
the road. I wasn't a security risk, just in their way. At
the east end of the runway there were a few BANK SWALLOWS flying above
the brush. It was interesting to note that the bank swallows
never flew out onto the runway area. They always stayed above the
bushes. An occasional barn swallow would mix in above the bushes
but most of them stayed out on the open runways.
I also had a small group of quite yellow finches. They were
larger than the grassquits I'd been seeing, and kind of reminded me of
a dull American goldfinch. The best match for them was GRASSLAND
YELLOW-FINCH, which again is not listed on the Grenada lists I
have. I continued around the airport to the southwest corner, but
really didn't add anything exciting. I doubled back, and headed
up the road past LaSource resort on the north side of the
airport. The only new bird was a GREAT BLUE HERON at the pond in
front of LaSource.
A quick run to True Blue Point and Lance au Epines came up empty, so I
gave Mt. Hartman one more pass. At the point where I previously
saw the broadwinged hawk flying, I saw another one, this time harassing
a HOOK-BILLED KITE. At that same place I heard something that
sounded more like a thrasher than a mockingbird, but it refused to come
in to pishing. The only thing that responded was a flock of shiny
Day 9 – 1
First bird of the new year was a tropical mockingbird singing outside
my hotel room window. A pleasant change from previous years – my
first bird of the year is usually a crow.
I had an 11 AM Caribbean Star flight back to Barbados via St. Vincent
to meet up with my BWIA flight back to JFK, so I first ran down to the
Careenage in St. George's to take a few pictures. I saw a royal
tern along the way. Then, glutton for punishment that I am, I
made one more pass through Mt. Hartman Estate, where the only new
sighting was a spotted sandpiper at a muddy area.
My Caribbean Star flight went off without a hitch. However, when
I got to the BWIA counter I was told "The plane isn't coming to
Barbados today." The inbound flight had mechanical problems at
Kennedy, so they were shifting planes around. To get home, they
were putting all New York bound passengers in Barbados onto flights to
Trinidad, from where they'd board a flight to New York. Instead
of arriving at JFK at 10:30 PM, we got in at 1:00 AM on the 2nd.
Not a happy way to end the trip, but what can you do? After all,
this is the Caribbean.
Brown Booby (sula leucogaster) – One seen fishing from the boats off
Young's Island (SVG), one flying off Levera Point (GR)
Brown Pelican (pelicanus occidentalus) – Two flying together off Levera
Magnificent Frigatebird (fregata magnificens) – Singles flying over
Kingstown Harbor and Young's Island (SVG), One flying off Levera
Yellow-Crowned Night Heron (nictanassa violacea) – One immature bird in
a tree along the creek at LaSagesse Nature Center (GR)
Snowy Egret (egretta thula) – Two individuals seen at Graeme Hall Swamp
Great Blue Heron (ardea herodias) – One seen at the pond at LaSource
Resort and another, or possibly the same bird, seen at the pond at
Point Salines Airport (GR).
Cattle Egret (bubulcus ibis) – Common in any field or pasture.
Seen frequently on all four islands.
Green Heron (butorides virescens) – One standing in the road down from
Vermont Rain Forest (SVG)
Osprey (pandion haliaetus) - One flying off Levera Point (GR).
Hook-Billed Kite (chondrohierax uncinatus) – One being harassed by a
broad winged hawk at Mt. Hartman Estate (GR)
Broad-Winged Hawk (buteo platypterus) – One at Millet Rain Forest
(SLU), one at Kingstown Botanic Gardens (SVG). Seen both days at
Mt. Hartman Estate (GR).
Sora (Porzana carolina) – One seen well at Graeme Hall Swamp (BD)
Spotted Sandpiper (tringa macularia) – One near Gros Islet (SLU), one
at Mt. Hartman Estate (GR).
Royal Tern (sterna maxima) – small flocks in Gros Islet Harbor (SLU),
Kingstown Harbor and on a channel marker near Young's Island (SVG), and
a single bird at the marina in St. George's (GR).
Rock Dove (columba livia) – A few in the cities on all four
islands. Not seen outside the cities.
Scaly-Naped Pigeon (patagioenas squamosa) – Several at Graeme Hall
Swamp (BD) and Kingstown Botanic Gardens (SVG) and one or two at Mt.
Hartman Estate (GR).
Eared Dove (zenaida auriculata) – Common at my hotel in St.
Vincent. The most numerous dove at Mt. Hartman Estate (GR).
Eurasian Collared-Dove (streptopelia decaocto) – One bird seen at the
pond at Point Salines Airport (GR). Note that this species is not
listed on the Grenada checklists I've seen, but was suggested by
Raffaele, et. al. to be likely to be invading the remaining Lesser
Antilles "in the near future."
Zenaida Dove (zenaida aurita) – The common dove on Barbados. Also
numerous on St. Lucia in scrub habitat. One seen at Mt. Hartman
Estate (GR) with a flock of eared doves.
Common Ground Dove (columbina passerina) – Seen occasionally in scrub
habitat on all islands.
St. Lucia Parrot (amazona versicolor) – 10-20 birds seen flying and
feeding neat the Millet Rainforest.
St. Vincent Parrot (amazona guldingii) – Two birds seen in flight from
the parking area at Vermont Rainforest. 10-20 seen from the
overlook platform on the loop trail.
Mangrove Cuckoo (coccyzus minor) – One bird seen on the main trail at
Millet Rainforest (SLU). One bird heard at Perseverence Estate
Smooth-billed Ani (crotophaga ani) – Small flocks of 4-10 birds seen in
open areas on Grenada.
Grey-Rumped Swift (chaetura cinereiventris) – Approx. 10-20 birds
flying at Perseverance Estate (GND).
Rufous-Breasted Hermit (glaucis hirsuta) – 3 or 4 on the entrance road
to Grand Etang Lake (GR).
Purple-throated Carib (eulampis jugularis) – One seen at Millet (SLU),
one at Vermont (SVG). By my experience, this is the carib more
likely to be seen in forest habitat.
Green-throated Carib (eulampis holosericeus) – One at Welchman's
Hall Gully and another probable at Graeme Hall Swamp (BD). Also
in the bushes at my hotel in St. Vincent. Per Adams Toussaint,
this bird can be found in the more tourist-visited areas of St. Lucia,
but I didn't find it there.
Antillean Crested Hummingbird (orthorhyncus cristatus) – The most
common hummingbird. Seen in all habitats except the most urban
areas. Blue-crested subspecies seen at my hotel in St. Vincent.
Belted Kingfisher (megaceryle alcyon) – One heard at Graeme Hall Swamp
Caribbean Elaenia (elaenia martinica) – Seen around the Gros Islet Area
and Millet Rainforest (SLU), Kingstown Botanic Gardens and Vermont
Rainforest (SVG), and at Grand Etang Lake (GR). Often heard, but
hard to find in the lower canopy.
Yellow-belied Elaenia (elaenia flavogaster) – One seen at Kingstown
Botanic Gardens (SVG) and one seen at Mt. Hartman Estate (GR).
St. Lucia Pewee (contopus oberi) – One seen well at Union Forestry
Station after missing it at Millet and Praslin (SLU).
Grenada Flycatcher (myiarchus nugator) – Two seen in the palms at
Kingstown Botanic Gardens (SVG) and one seen at Mt. Hartman Estate (GR).
Gray Kingbird (tyrannus dominicensis) – Common in open areas on all
islands. Usually starts making noise before dawn.
Black-Whiskered Vireo (vireo altiloquus) - One at Graeme Hall
Swamp (BD), one at Millet Rainforest (SLU), and one at Vermont
Bank Swallow (riparia riparia) – 5-10 flying above the scrub at the
east end of the runway at Point Salines Airport (GR)
Barn Swallow (hirundo rustica) – A few seen at Levera Point and 40-50
hawking insects along the runway at Point Salines Airport (GR).
House Wren (troglodytes aedon) – Two seen well on the loop trail at
Vermont Rainforest (SVG); one seen and one heard at Grand Etang Lake
(GR) A potential split.
Rufous-throated Solitaire (myadestes genibarbis) – One seen near the
crest of the loop trail at Vermont Rainforest (SVG)
Cocoa Thrush (turdud fumigatus) – One seen well and a couple others
shooting across the trail at Vermont Rainforest (SVG).
Bare-eyed Thrush (turdus nudigensis) – Heard at Millet Rainforest and
seen badly at Union Forestry Station (SLU), several easily seen at
Kingstown Botanic Gardens (SVG) and one at Grand Etang Lake (GR).
Tropical Mockingbird (mimus gilvis) – A few seen in scrub near Gros
Islet (SLU) and at my hotel in St. Vincent. Common in Grenada,
especially so at Mt. Hartman Estate.
Brown Trembler (cinclocerthia ruficauda) – One seen at Millet was
thought to be this species (SLU). Also seen well at Vermont
Gray Trembler (cinclocerthia gutturalis) - Two birds seen well.
One on the main trail at Millet and one at Praslin (SLU).
White-breasted Thrasher (ramphocinclus brachyurus) – One pair found at
the ravine at Praslin after a lot of effort. A second pair found
easily after the first (SLU).
Scaly-breasted Thrasher (margarops fuscus) – Only seen on St.
Lucia. A couple of birds at Millet Rainforest and one at Union
Yellow Warbler (dendroica petechia) – A couple birds in the mangroves
at Graeme Hall Swamp (BD).
St. Lucia Warbler (dendroica delicata) – Several seen at Millet
Whistling Warbler (catharopeza bishopi) – One male seen on the way down
from the parrot overlook at Vermont Rainforest (SVG).
Northern Waterthrush (seiurus novoboracensis) – One seen at Mt. Hartman
Estate and one near Perseverance Estate (GR).
Bananaquit (coereba flaveola) – Seen everywhere though uncommon in dry
areas on Grenada. Melanistic race seen at Kingstown Botanic
Gardens and Vermont Rainforest (SVG) and in some areas on Grenada.
Lesser Antillean Tanager (tangara cucullata) – Only one seen on the
loop trail at Vermont Rainforest (SVG).
Grassland Yellow Finch (sicalis luteola) – Assumed this species at Mt.
Hartman Estate and at the pond at Point Salines Airport (GR).
Black-faced Grassquit (tiaris bicolor) – Common in open and scrub
habitats on all islands.
Lesser Antillean Bullfinch (loxigilla noctis) – Common on all
islands. Note that males of Barbados race are plumaged like
St. Lucia Black Finch (melanospiza richqrdsoni) – One seen (and others
heard) on main trail at Millet Rainforest (SLU).
Lesser Antillean Saltator (saltator albicollis) – One seen at the
ravine at Praslin. Another heard on main trail at Millet
St. Lucia Oriole (icterus laudabilis) – Several seen at Millet in more
open areas (SLU).
Carib Grackle (quiscalus lugubris) – Common everywhere except Grenada
where only a few were seen at Mt. Hartman Estate. Note the
subspecies on Barbados are smaller with females plumaged like males.
Shiny Cowbird (molothrus bonariensis) – One small flock in the thorn
scrub near Gros Islet (SLU) and a flock of 10-20 birds at Mt. Hartman