18 - 25 February 2000
16 - 23 March 2001
By Roy Hargreaves
St. Kitts (click here to jump straight to the ANTIGUA account)
1 General Comments
1.1 The Island
St. Kitts, or St. Christopher as it is officially known forms a federation with the nearby island of Nevis. It is a volcanic island about 15 miles/24km long and 5 miles/7.5km wide. Its highest point is Mount Liamuiga at 3792ft/1150m high and this forms part of one of the two small mountain ranges that form the backbone of the island. The volcanic nature of the island is evident in the number of black sandy beaches found around the island - although in the southeast there are golden-coloured sandy beaches. Moist/Rain forest covers much of the ground above about 250m/800ft and the agriculture is mainly sugar cane. In February 2000 it was about 80°F or 27°C on most days and it usually rained at least once in the day, although this didn't usually last for long and tended to fall on the leeward side of the mountains. In March 2001 the island was experiencing an unusual dry spell - although it did rain briefly most days that we were there.
Further useful information about the island can be found on the web here, which includes maps as well as other tourist information.
We flew with Caledonian Air (now JMC) as they do a direct flight from London Gatwick to the Robert L Bradshaw Airport on St. Kitts. The aircraft then flies on to Grenada where it refuels with a stopover of about an hour to 90 minutes and then the plane returns to Gatwick. Something to note is that you have to pay airport tax on departure and it is EC$44 per person or US$16.5 - also this must be paid in cash. This tax is liable when going to other islands - except Nevis. As from 30th May 2001 this service is being suspended although it might be resumed in winter 2001/2002.
Travel to other islands can be easily undertaken using boats to some islands or by flying. During the 2001 trip we flew to Antigua for a day trip (see appendix) using LIAT but there are other companies that can be used as well.
Buses are cheap and frequent and it costs about EC$3 to travel from Basseterre to Sandy Point Town.
Taxis are also available but we did not use these at all as we had no reason to do so.
Car Hire is certainly possible and a reasonable choice of vehicles are available, although this is something that we haven't done ourselves. Driving is on the left-hand side of the road.
The official currency is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$) which was exchanging at about EC$4.2 to £1.00 in February 2000. The US$ is also accepted in a lot of places but it is best to carry EC$ and there is no real advantage to carrying US$ unless you have them already. It is easy to change travellers cheques and cash in the banks in Basseterre, but don't expect it to be a quick process.
St. Kitts is not affected by malaria although mosquitoes were a problem when we were there.
In our case we stayed with friends in Sandy Point Town and this also tended to bias where we saw most of our birds. There are a number of hotels and holiday complexes etc which are predominantly to the south-east of Basseterre.
Ghut - a stream/drainage channel. These are particularly noticeable where they cross the road or run down the middle of the road, they are usually shallow channels.
3 Birding Sites
In general it would seem that access is not a problem. The rectory is where we stayed is obviously not freely accessible, although the churchyard is not a problem, although all the birds seen at this site were readily seen elsewhere.
3.1 Sandy Point Town
All of the birds that we saw in Sandy Point Town were either in the rectory garden, the grounds of St. Anne's Church, or from the coast at the back of the churchyard. Please note that the rectory garden is private and that the birds seen there are all reliably seen elsewhere.
The following species were seen here: Brown Booby, Brown Pelican, Magnificent Frigatebird, Cattle Egret, American Kestrel, Royal Tern, Feral Pigeon, Zenaida Dove, Common Ground-dove, Caribbean Elaenia, Grey Kingbird, Caribbean Martin, Scaly-breasted Thrasher, Bananaquit, Black-faced Grassquit & Lesser Antillean Bullfinch.
3.2 Brimstone Hill Fortress
Brimstone Hill Fortress is on the south-west coast of the Island, about 15km from Basseterre. To get there follow the South Coast Road from Basseterre - by leaving Basseterre heading west on Cayon Street. The fortress is on a very obvious hill about 250m high that rises next to the South Coast Road between Half Way Tree and Sandy Point Town. Birding is good around the fort itself - particularly round the edges looking down into the trees and bushes on the slopes. It is also worth birding down the fortress' approach road in the woodland on the hill's slopes. This is the only place that we saw Black-whiskered Vireo and it was located by its song.
The following species were seen here: Red-tailed Hawk, Zenaida Dove, Common Ground-dove, Antillean Crested Hummingbird, Caribbean Elaenia, Grey Kingbird, Caribbean Martin, Scaly-breasted Thrasher, Black-whiskered Vireo, Bananaquit, Black-faced Grassquit & Lesser Antillean Bullfinch.
3.3 Rainforest (Caribelle Batik)
The Caribelle Batik is based at Romney Manor and is situated inland from Old Road Town. To reach Caribelle Batik and the Rainforest take the South Coast Road from Basseterre and after about 9km you should reach Old Road Town. In the town there are two Ghuts which are quite wide and have small footbridges over them on the inland side soon after you cross the second Ghut there is a road heading inland that is signposted to Caribelle Batik. Follow this road and pull off to the left by the old, abandoned sugar mill before you cross the bridge. Once you cross the bridge the road is one-way and you end up at Romney Manor. By the bridge is a small grassy clearing that usually has taxis parked on it - particularly on Thursdays when the big cruise liners are in. The Batik factory is open from 8:30 to 4:00.
This grassy clearing is excellent and in an hour birding there from 10:00 to 11:00 - not necessarily a quiet time - I saw Scaly-naped Pigeon, Purple-throated Carib, Green-throated Carib, Antillean Crested Hummingbird, Lesser Antillean Flycatcher, Brown Trembler, Pearly-eyed Thrasher and Bananaquit. The hummingbirds and Bananaquits definitely liked the thin, tubular, red flowers (Firecrackers) - we saw most of our hummingbirds on or near these particular plants. A short walk down to the river from this clearing was also rewarding. It is worth avoiding this area when school is closed as you will attract children and although they are good-natured they are usually on the scrounge, although not in the overt way that some children are in Africa, and their presence will not help when looking for shy, retiring birds.
To get into the rainforest walk up the hill, to the left of the abandoned sugar mill, and follow the track to the right of the house. There are well-defined tracks into the rainforest and if you are sensible and keep track of where you are you shouldn't need a guide. The tracks in this area follow a river and so using that as a reference point should keep you on track. The first time we visited this site we went with Greg's Safaris and this was very good for learning about the plants in the forest. However, the only birds that we saw were the ones that I found - although that included Scaly-naped Pigeon, Bridled Quail-dove, Antillean Crested Hummingbird, Brown Trembler and Scaly-breasted Thrasher and so was not bad.
The following species were seen here: Cattle Egret, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Scaly-naped Pigeon, Zenaida Dove, Bridled Quail-dove, Purple-throated Carib, Green-throated Carib, Antillean Crested Hummingbird, Lesser Antillean Flycatcher, Grey Kingbird, Brown Trembler, Scaly-breasted Thrasher, Pearly-eyed Thrasher, Prairie Warbler, Bananaquit & Black-faced Grassquit.
3.4 Philip's Level
This site is reached by taking the road up to the Caribelle Batik and following the metalled road to the left of the abandoned sugar mill. Just carry on up until you find a suitable spot to park. The area is a mixture of farmland and forest that provides some fairly productive birding.
The following species were seen here: Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Scaly-naped Pigeon, Zenaida Dove, Antillean Crested Hummingbird, Caribbean Elaenia, Lesser Antillean Flycatcher, Grey Kingbird, Scaly-breasted Thrasher, Pearly-eyed Thrasher, Bananaquit & Black-faced Grassquit.
Basseterre is the capital of St. Kitts. The Marina by the bus station on Bay Road was the most interesting site and regularly held a roost of Royal Terns with Brown Pelicans, a few gulls and waders at high tide. The best views of Magnificent Frigatebird are usually obtained when the fishermen are throwing scraps whilst gutting their catch. To the west of Basseterre there was an Egretry next to the South Coast Road - it was right next to the road on the coastal side.
The following species were seen here: Brown Pelican, Magnificent Frigatebird, Cattle Egret, American Kestrel, Semipalmated Plover, Semipalmated Sandpiper, American Herring Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Black-headed Gull, Laughing Gull, Royal Tern, Feral Pigeon, Zenaida Dove, Common Ground-dove, Grey Kingbird, Bananaquit, Black-faced Grassquit & Lesser Antillean Bullfinch.
3.6 Frigate Bay Salt Pond
Frigate Bay is 3km south-east from the centre of Basseterre. To reach it head east on Cayon Street in Basseterre and follow signs for Frigate Bay or Turtle Beach. The salt pond has a golf course on two sides of it (west and north) and you can drive down to the beach on either side of it. We found that the best place for waders was in the south-east corner of the pond where there was the largest area of exposed mud.
The following species were seen here: Brown Booby, Brown Pelican, Magnificent Frigatebird, Little Blue Heron, Great White Egret, Cattle Egret, American Kestrel, Semipalmated Plover, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Zenaida Dove, Common Ground-dove, Belted Kingfisher, Grey Kingbird & Black-faced Grassquit.
3.7 South Friar's Bay Salt Pond
To reach this pond, continue beyond Frigate Bay towards Turtle Beach and you go up over Sir Timothy's Hill. As you come down the hill there is an area of rough ground on your right (it had two pipes on it when we were there), that gives an clear, but distant view of the salt pond. This is a good place to scan the whole pond. If you continue down the slope and turn right down a sandy track. Then go past the north-west side of the pond to the beach and turn left along another track and then left again to go along the south-east side of the pond from where you can overlook the southern end of the pond. It is worth noting that returning to the road by continuing along this track to return to the road requires some care as it is fairly steep and rough by the road. We managed this in a normal saloon car by all but the driver getting out. In 2001 this site was practically dry and had nothing of interest on it at all - it seemed that most of the birds seen on this site in 2000 were on Frigate Bay Salt Pond in 2001.
This spot was excellent and could easily produce rarities and species that you won't see anywhere else on the island. It might be possible to see Mangrove Cuckoo here as the pond is surrounded by Mangrove - which is why you can't see the pond from anywhere other than the vantage points mentioned. The mangrove also has impenetrable thorn scrub around it adding further to the difficulties. This is a good spot to see the introduced Mongoose and African Green Vervet Monkey.
The following species were seen here: Pied-billed Grebe, Magnificent Frigatebird, Great Blue Heron, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Ring-necked Duck, Common Moorhen, American Coot, Black-necked Stilt, Lesser Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Common Ground-dove, Belted Kingfisher, Yellow Warbler, Bananaquit, Black-faced Grassquit & Lesser Antillean Bullfinch.
3.8 North Friar's Bay
This site was only visited in 2001. It has limited appeal but did have up to 27 Wilson's Plovers on the beach - the only place that we saw this species on St. Kitts.
3.9 Great Salt Pond
The Great Salt Pond is reached by continuing past the South Friar's Bay Salt Pond. It is, unsurprisingly, the largest salt pond on the island. It is surrounded on the roadside by a thin band of largely dead looking mangrove.
The following species were seen here: Magnificent Frigatebird, Greater Flamingo, Great Blue Heron, Yellow-crowned Night-heron, Lesser Scaup, Common Moorhen, Lesser Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper, Zenaida Dove, Common Ground-dove, Bananaquit, Black-faced Grassquit & Lesser Antillean Bullfinch.
3.10 Other Salt Ponds
The other salt ponds visited included two between Turtle Beach and Cockleshell Bay. Cockleshell Bay also had a small pond by it that was very good for waders. This small pond can be reached by continuing on the road past the turning to Turtle Beach and the pond is on the left, just before the beach. This area was dry in 2001 and had no waders on it at all.
The following species were seen on these ponds: Great Blue Heron, Common Moorhen, Wilson's Snipe, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper, Zenaida Dove, Common Ground-dove, Bananaquit, Black-faced Grassquit & Lesser Antillean Bullfinch.
3.11 Turtle beach
To get here continue down the road past the Great Salt Pond and turn left off the road onto a well-defined track. We first visited this site in the extreme south-east of the Island to see Booby Island which unfortunately didn't have a single booby on or near it. Whether this is the case at other times of the year we don't know. The birds seen were in the bushes and scrub near the Turtle Beach Bar & Grill. This area is also referred to as Mosquito Bay on some maps - a warning perhaps?
The following species were seen here: Brown Pelican, Magnificent Frigatebird, Zenaida Dove, Common Ground-dove, Grey Kingbird, Yellow Warbler, Bananaquit, Black-faced Grassquit & Lesser Antillean Bullfinch.
3.12 Other unexplored sites
We did not extensively explore the rainforest, nor did we go to the crater. Further exploration would probably result in a wider range of species being seen.
The north side of the island is typically drier and a visit to the forest there might produce some different species again. Also the beaches have rougher seas and as a consequence are less disturbed and might yield more waders.
|Species Name||Scientific Name||Comments|
|Pied-billed Grebe||Podilymbus podiceps||Two seen on South Friar's Bay Salt Pond. According to the recently published 'The Birds of the West Indies' this species is unrecorded on St. Kitts. (Only seen in 2000)|
|Brown Booby||Sula leucogaster||A small number were seen at various points along the coast. There appears to be nowhere you can definitely see them.|
|Brown Pelican||Pelecanus occidentalis||Common in Basseterre in the bay and on the ruined pier. They also seen erratically anywhere along the coast.|
|Magnificent Frigatebird||Fregata magnificens||Common along the coast and often concentrated at Basseterre when the fishermen come in.|
|Little Blue Heron||Egretta caerulea||Four birds were seen at the Frigate Bay Salt Pond and on the adjacent golf course in or near the ditches.|
|Snowy Egret||Egretta thula||Between two and five seen on the Frigate Bay Salt Pond in 2001. Interestingly none were seen in 2000.|
|Great Blue Heron||Ardea herodias||Four seen on the pond between Turtle Beach and Cockleshell Bay with one on the South Friar's Bay Salt Pond that was probably one of these birds having moved.|
|Great White Egret||Egretta alba||Several seen on the Frigate Bay Salt Pond and the surrounding ponds and even in the cemetery in Basseterre.|
|Cattle Egret||Bubulcus ibis||Common - particularly in the fields near Basseterre.|
|Yellow-crowned Night-heron||Nyctanassa violacea||Five were seen in a roost at the Great Salt Pond in the middle of the day in the mangroves by the road where there is a very short section of crash barrier in 2000. Several seen around the salt ponds by Frigate Bay in 2001.|
|Greater Flamingo||Phoenicopterus ruber||One seen on the Great Salt Pond in 2001 - a vagrant.|
|Blue-winged Teal||Anas discors||About 30 seen on the South Friar's Bay Salt Pond in 2000. In 2001 there were up to 16 on the Frigate Bay Salt Pond and none on the South Friar's Bay Salt Pond.|
|Northern Shoveler||Anas clypeata||One on the South Friar's Bay Salt Pond - unrecorded according to the new 'The Birds of the West Indies'. (Only seen in 2000)|
|Ring-necked Duck||Aythya collaris||Six on the South Friar's Bay Salt Pond - unrecorded according to the new 'The Birds of the West Indies'. (Only seen in 2000)|
|Lesser Scaup||Aythya affinis||Two were seen on the Great Salt Pond - a vagrant according to the new 'The Birds of the West Indies' book. (Only seen in 2000)|
|Red-tailed Hawk||Buteo jamaicensis||A pair seen around the Brimstone Hill Fortress and one seen near the Caribelle Batik section of rainforest. Other individuals seen around the island.|
|Osprey||Pandion haliaetus||One seen offshore from the South Coast Road as we were driving along it in 2000. One seen around salt ponds near Frigate Bay in 2001.|
|American Kestrel||Falco sparverius||Commonly seen - interestingly often in or near churchyards.|
|Common Moorhen||Gallinula chloropus||Several seen on the Great Salt Pond and South Friar's Bay Salt Pond.|
|American Coot||Fulica americana||Four on the South Friar's Bay Salt Pond - a vagrant according to the new 'The Birds of the West Indies'.|
|Black-necked Stilt||Himantopus mexicanus||Up to 70 on the South Friar's Bay Salt Pond in 2000 with roughly the same number on the Frigate Bay pond in 2001.|
|Grey Plover||Pluvialis squatarola||A single bird was seen on the Frigate Bay Salt Pond in 2001.|
|Semipalmated Plover||Charadrius semipalmatus||Four seen on the Frigate Bay Salt Pond in 2000, 11 seen on walls of marina is 2001.|
|Wilson's Plover||Charadrius wilsonia||Up to 27 were seen on the beach at North Friar's Bay - this was only in 2001 but in 2000 this locality was not checked at all.|
|'Wilson's' Snipe||Gallinago g. delicata||One seen on a small muddy pond near Cockleshell Bay - a vagrant according to the new 'The Birds of the West Indies'. (Only seen in 2000)|
|Greater Yellowlegs||Tringa melanoleuca||Several around the various salt ponds.|
|Lesser Yellowlegs||Tringa flavipes||Several around the various salt ponds - commoner than Greater Yellowlegs.|
|Spotted Sandpiper||Tringa macularia||Several around the various salt ponds.|
|Ruddy Turnstone||Arenaria interpres||Six seen on the Frigate Bay Salt Pond - not seen anywhere else. (Only seen in 2000)|
|Short-billed Dowitcher||Limnodromus griseus||Four on the South Friar's Bay Salt Pond in 2000 and 1 on Frigate Bay Salt Pond in 2001 - a rare bird according to the new 'The Birds of the West Indies'.|
|Sanderling||Calidris alba||One seen on the Frigate Bay Salt Pond and two past the beach near the airport.|
|Semipalmated Sandpiper||Calidris pusilla||One seen on the Frigate Bay Salt Pond in 2000, several in 2001 and two seen on walls of marina in Basseterre.|
|Western Sandpiper||Calidris mauri||One seen on the Frigate Bay Salt Pond in 2001.|
|Least Sandpiper||Calidris minutilla||Two seen on the Frigate Bay Salt Pond in 2000 and one in 2001.|
|Ring-billed Gull||Larus delawarensis||One seen once in 2001 from Basseterre.|
|American Herring Gull||Larus a. smithsonianus||Two seen at Basseterre on the remains of a pier on several occasions.|
|Black-headed Gull||Larus ridibundus||One or two seen from Basseterre in 2001 on one date only.|
|Laughing Gull||Larus atricilla||One seen at Basseterre on the remains of a pier - only seen on one occasion in 2000.|
|Royal Tern||Sterna maxima||Up to 30 roost on the remains of a pier at Basseterre and also seen along the south coast in small numbers.|
|Feral Pigeon||Columba livia||Seen in towns.|
|Scaly-naped Pigeon||Columba squamosa||Approximately five seen in the rainforest by the Caribelle Batik. Some were seen in the treetops near the abandoned sugarmill. Only seen on tops of trees or in flight. In 2001 they were also seen in Sandy Point Town and this species is described as being found in towns and villages on St. Kitts in 'The Birds of the West Indies'.|
|Zenaida Dove||Zenaida aurita||Common at all sites visited and also commonly seen while travelling around the island.|
|Common Ground-Dove||Columbina passerina||Not as common as Zenaida Dove, but still seen in small number every day - very easy in scrub near Turtle Beach.|
|Bridled Quail-Dove||Geotrygon mystacea||Two seen when we walked in rainforest near Caribelle Batik. Unlike Scaly-naped Pigeon was seen low down in the trees, rather than in treetops, or when flew across path and then re-located in trees. (Only seen in 2000 not seriously searched for in 2001)|
|Purple-throated Carib||Eulampis jugularis||One or two seen near bridge to Caribelle Batik in bushes by the parking area and down by the river. (Only seen in 2000 not seriously searched for in 2001)|
|Green-throated Carib||Eulampis holosericeus||One or two seen near bridge to Caribelle Batik in bushes by the parking area and down by the river. (Only seen in 2000 not seriously searched for in 2001)|
|Antillean Crested Hummingbird||Orthorhyncus cristatus||One seen on flowering bushes at Brimstone Hill Fortress. 6+ seen on walk through rainforest with Greg's Safaris. Best looked for where there are banks of Firedragons (bright red tubular-shaped flowers - they seem to be a main food plant)|
|Belted Kingfisher||Ceryle alcyon||One seen at Frigate Bay Salt Pond and a different bird seen at the South Friar's Bay Salt Pond. (Only seen in 2000)|
|Caribbean Elaenia||Elaenia martinica||One seen several times in rectory garden, one seen at Brimstone Hill Fortress and one in the churchyard of St. Thomas's near Half Way Tree. Three seen at Philip's Level.|
|Lesser Antillean Flycatcher||Myiarchus oberi||One seen near bridge to Caribelle Batik in bushes by the parking area and on wires there. Four seen at Philip's Level.|
|Grey Kingbird||Tyrannus dominicensis||Very commonly seen on telegraph wires etc next to the coast roads etc all round the island. More than 20 seen daily on most days.|
|Caribbean Martin||Progne dominicensis||One seen flying over the Brimstone Hill Fortress and two seen over sea from churchyard at Sandy Point Town. Parties of 4+ were seen over Sandy Point Town in 2001 on several occasions.|
|Brown Trembler||Cinclocerthia ruficauda||One or two seen on walk through rainforest near Caribelle Batik and one seen by the bridge leading to Caribelle Batik. (Only seen in 2000 not seriously searched for in 2001)|
|Scaly-breasted Thrasher||Margarops fuscus||Seen in the rectory garden. Also seen at Philip's Level and above the gorge with the petroglyphs in it and also near the Caribelle Batik clearing.|
|Pearly-eyed Thrasher||Margarops fuscatus||One seen on walk through rainforest near Caribelle Batik and a pair seen by the bridge leading to Caribelle Batik. At least two possibly four seen above gorge with petroglyphs in it.|
|Black-whiskered Vireo||Vireo altiloquus||One seen at Brimstone Hill Fortress in woodland on slopes of hill - located by its song and two in the gorge below petroglyphs.|
|Yellow Warbler||Dendroica petechia||One seen at South Friar's Bay Salt Pond in the mangrove and several in scrub at Turtle Beach - probably common in these areas but not extensively searched for.|
|Prairie Warbler||Dendroica discolor||A single bird seen in trees above the dried-up river near the clearing described under the Caribelle Batik site.|
|Bananaquit||Coereba flaveola||Very commonly seen in gardens and rainforest and in bush and tree habitats across the island.|
|Black-faced Grassquit||Tiaris bicolor||Very common in gardens, rainforest edges at least and bush / scrub habitats.|
|Lesser Antillean Bullfinch||Loxigilla noctis||Less common than the Black-faced Grassquit, but found in similar habitats.|
5 Antigua Appendix
We travelled to Antigua from St. Kitts on a flight booked with Liat. This flight took 26 minutes and left at 8:50 - the first flight to Antigua from St. Kitts. The return flight was theoretically at 18:40 getting back at 19:05 but it was delayed - this is not unusual judging from listening to announcements in the various airports we have waited in within the Caribbean.
We hired a taxi for the day, which cost us US$140 ($20 per hour). This was a good way to get around if you have limited time and the taxi was a minibus type that could have held about 6 people comfortably. Hiring a car probably would have been cheaper but more hassle and we could easily have wasted time navigating around the poorly sign-posted island.
The sites mentioned here are those that we had time to visit in a single day being taken around by taxi.
5.2.1 Potsworks Reservoir
This reservoir is the largest stretch of freshwater on the island. It is just to the east of the island's centre and at the far eastern end of it the road looks out over the whole reservoir and this is probably the best point to start from.
We saw the following species here: Pied-billed Grebe, Snowy Egret, Great Blue Heron, Great White Egret, Cattle Egret, Ruddy Duck, Mallard, White-cheeked Pintail, Ring-necked Duck, Osprey, Peregrine Falcon, Caribbean Coot, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper, American Herring Gull, White-crowned Pigeon, Zenaida Dove, Common Ground-dove, Caribbean Elaenia, Grey Kingbird, Black-whiskered Vireo, Bananaquit, Black-faced Grassquit and Lesser Antillean Bullfinch.
5.2.2 Dark Wood Beach Salt Pond
There are two ponds near Dark Wood Beach and it is the one nearest the beach itself that is most interesting. Dark Wood Beach is at the south-west corner of the island and is marked on maps and known to the taxi drivers. The salt pond is unremarkable and had no Caribbean specialities present.
We recorded the following species here: Brown Pelican, Magnificent Frigatebird, Tricolored Heron, Little Blue Heron, Snowy Egret, Great Blue Heron, Great White Egret, Cattle Egret, White-cheeked Pintail, Osprey, Black-necked Stilt, Semipalmated Plover, Wilson's Plover, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Western Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Grey Kingbird, Bananaquit and Black-faced Grassquit.
5.2.3 Hawksbill Beach Resort
The Hawksbill Beach Resort is located on Hawksbill Bay to the west of the southern part of the capital St. John's. The best point to look from is just by the entrance to the resort on the brow of a hill. From here you get a good if distant view of the sea and can look over a pond that was also quite good. In addition this was a good spot to get nice close views of the White-crowned Pigeon as it was common here.
We recorded the following species here: Red-billed Tropicbird, Brown Pelican, Magnificent Frigatebird, Little Blue Heron, Great Blue Heron, Cattle Egret, Broad-winged Hawk, American Kestrel, Common Moorhen, Black-necked Stilt, Lesser Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper, Royal Tern, White-crowned Pigeon, Zenaida Dove, Common Ground-dove, Caribbean Elaenia, Grey Kingbird and Bananaquit.
5.2.4 Runaway Bay Salt Pond
There are an extensive series of ponds here that were fairly dry. Runaway Bay on the west coast a few miles north of St. John's and is marked on maps and known to the taxi drivers. These ponds had large numbers of waders on them.
We recorded the following species here: Little Blue Heron, Snowy Egret, Great Blue Heron, Great White Egret, Cattle Egret, Blue-winged Teal, Black-necked Stilt, Grey Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Wilson's Plover, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Western Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, Ruff, Zenaida Dove, Grey Kingbird and Bananaquit.
5.3 Systematic List
|Species Name||Scientific Name||Comments|
|Pied-billed Grebe||Podilymbus podiceps||1 seen distantly at Potsworks Reservoir.|
|Red-billed Tropicbird||Phaethon aethereus||1 seen flying past the Hawksbill Beach Resort.|
|Brown Booby||Sula leucogaster||1 seen from Devil's Bridge.|
|Brown Pelican||Pelecanus occidentalis||30 seen mainly on pond at Hawksbill Beach Resort|
|Magnificent Frigatebird||Fregata magnificens||10 seen mainly over pond at Hawksbill Beach Resort.|
|Tricolored Heron||Egretta tricolor||2 seen on salt pond at Dark Wood Beach - seemingly a regular site.|
|Little Blue Heron||Egretta caerulea||3 on salt pond at Dark Wood Beach, 2 on pond by Hawksbill Beach Resort and 3 on salt ponds at Runaway Bay.|
|Snowy Egret||Egretta thula||15+ on salt pond at Dark Wood Beach, 5+ seen at Potsworks Reservoir and 5+ on salt ponds at Runaway Bay.|
|Great Blue Heron||Ardea herodias||5|
|Great White Egret||Egretta alba||15 seen at all the ponds visited but commonest at Dark Wood Beach.|
|Cattle Egret||Bubulcus ibis||Commonly seen around the island.|
|Ruddy Duck||Oxyura jamaicensis||20 seen at Potsworks Reservoir.|
|Mallard||Anas platyrhynchos||1 with White-cheeked Pintail at Potsworks Reservoir.|
|White-cheeked Pintail||Anas bahamensis||20 seen at Potsworks Reservoir and a few on salt pond at Dark Wood Beach.|
|Blue-winged Teal||Anas discors||10 on salt ponds at Runaway Bay.|
|Ring-necked Duck||Aythya collaris||18 seen at Potsworks Reservoir mixed with Ruddy Ducks.|
|Broad-winged Hawk||Buteo platypterus||1 seen over the entrance to the Hawksbill Beach Resort.|
|Osprey||Pandion haliaetus||1 seen at Potsworks Reservoir, 1 also at Dark Wood Beach Salt Pond.|
|American Kestrel||Falco sparverius||3 seen around the island.|
|Peregrine Falcon||Falco peregrinus||1 seen at Potsworks Reservoir.|
|Common Moorhen||Gallinula chloropus||4 seen on the ponds at the Hawksbill Beach Resort.|
|Caribbean Coot||Fulica caribaea||30 seen at Potsworks Reservoir.|
|Black-necked Stilt||Himantopus mexicanus||200 mainly seen on salt ponds at Runaway Bay but also at Dark Wood Beach and Hawksbill Beach Resort.|
|Grey Plover||Pluvialis squatarola||20 seen on salt ponds at Runaway Bay.|
|Semipalmated Plover||Charadrius semipalmatus||6 on salt pond at Dark Wood Beach.|
|Wilson's Plover||Charadrius wilsonia||2 on salt pond at Dark Wood Beach.|
|Greater Yellowlegs||Tringa melanoleuca||5 on salt pond at Dark Wood Beach and ponds at Runaway Bay.|
|Lesser Yellowlegs||Tringa flavipes||50 seen at Runaway Bay but also at Dark Wood Beach and Hawksbill Beach Resort.|
|Spotted Sandpiper||Tringa macularia||10 seen at Potsworks Reservoir, Runaway Bay, Dark Wood Beach and Hawksbill Beach Resort.|
|Ruddy Turnstone||Arenaria interpres||2 on salt pond at Dark Wood Beach.|
|Semipalmated Sandpiper||Calidris pusilla||100 seen mainly on ponds at Runaway Bay but also in small numbers at Dark Wood Beach.|
|Western Sandpiper||Calidris mauri||2 on salt pond at Dark Wood Beach, 3 on ponds at Runaway Bay.|
|Least Sandpiper||Calidris minutilla||10 on salt pond at Dark Wood Beach and on ponds at Runaway Bay.|
|Stilt Sandpiper||Micropalama himantopus||50 on salt ponds at Runaway Bay.|
|Ruff||Philomachus pugnax||1 on salt ponds at Runaway Bay.|
|American Herring Gull||Larus a. smithsonianus||1 at Potsworks Reservoir.|
|Royal Tern||Sterna maxima||5 seen from Hawksbill Beach Resort.|
|White-crowned Pigeon||Columba leucocephala||1 briefly seen at north end of Potsworks Reservoir. 5+ seen by entrance to the Hawksbill Beach Resort.|
|Zenaida Dove||Zenaida aurita||Very common across the island.|
|Common Ground-dove||Columbina passerina||Locally common in scrubland areas.|
|Caribbean Elaenia||Elaenia martinica||5 seen at Potsworks Reservoir and Hawksbill Beach Resort.|
|Grey Kingbird||Tyrannus dominicensis||Common and very visible.|
|Black-whiskered Vireo||Vireo altiloquus||1 seen at Potsworks Reservoir at north end in bushes.|
|Black-faced Grassquit||Tiaris bicolor||Common|
|Lesser Antillean Bullfinch||Loxigilla noctis||Common|
|Carib Grackle||Quiscalus lugubris||2 seen separately while we were travelling around the island - seemed distinctly uncommon.|