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Barbados, St. Lucia, St. 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 transportation.

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 entrance. 

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 minutes away.

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 the hill. 

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  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.


Millet Map

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 guide.  Nice.

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 miles. 

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 thick canopy.

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 colors.  Spectacular.

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):


River Trail Map


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. 

Mt. Hartman Map

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 side.

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 St. George's.

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 again.

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 cowbirds.

Day 9 – 1 January 2004

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.

Jeff Hopkins
Whitehall, PA

Species Accounts

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 Point (GR)

Magnificent Frigatebird (fregata magnificens) – Singles flying over Kingstown Harbor and Young's Island (SVG),  One flying off Levera Point (GR).

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 (BD)

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 (GR).

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 (BD).

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 Rainforest (SVG)

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 Rainforest (SVG).

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 Forestry Station.

Yellow Warbler (dendroica petechia) – A couple birds in the mangroves at Graeme Hall Swamp (BD).

St. Lucia Warbler (dendroica delicata) – Several seen at Millet Rainforest (SLU)

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 females.

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 Rainforest (SLU).

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 Estate (GR).

Jeff  Hopkins