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A Report from

Anguilla, 15 January - 11 February 2000 ,

Julian Hughes

This report is the result of a one month trip to Anguilla in January and February 2000.  The purpose of the visit was to identify potential Important Bird Areas (IBAs) as part of BirdLife International's Americas conservation programme and to produce the first country checklist for Anguilla, on behalf of the Anguilla National Trust.  This meant that I was in the field almost every day and so was able to visit most of the sites more than once.  A full list of the birds seen during the visit is provided at the end of this report, but I am in the process (with the help of other birding visitors to Anguilla) of putting together a comprehensive list of the birds of the islands.  I hope that this will be available from the offices of the Anguilla National Trust (near the library in The Valley) from late 2000.


Anguilla is the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean.  The main island is 16 miles long and 3 miles wide (at its widest point), running almost east to west, 18 degrees north of the equator.  At 35 square miles, Anguilla is a small island, dominated by scrub, with 18 brackish ponds of various sizes.  In addition, there are several smaller islands, some of which are inhabited (Sombrero, by lighthouse-keepers; Prickly Pear east, by a restaurant; and Scrub Island, by a private house) and others which are not (Anguillita, Dog Island and Prickly Pear west).

Anguilla is one of five UK Overseas Territories in the Caribbean.  Responsibility for the administration of the island falls to the Governor.  However, for most Territories, there are limited data available on the birds and sites.  In Anguilla, some information about the birds of the islands was collated in 1996 by Roy Thomas, an American birder, with the help of local people interested in birds, and numeric information about the seabirds on Sombrero and the other islands were compiled as part of an Environmental Impact Assessment undertaken by Beal Aerospace in summer 1998 and 1999 and by a Rapid Environmental Assessment carried out by Tony Murray in November 2000.

Without doubt, Birds of the West Indies by Herbert Raffaele et al is the best field guide for the region.  It includes all the species known to occur in Anguilla.  I also found it useful to have a North American field guide (National Geographic, Peterson or the Golden Guide) to provide additional plates of waders (shorebirds), which are not well depicted in BWI.  There is no dedicated bird book for Anguilla, but the Anguilla National Trust has produced a Field Guide to Anguilla's Wetlands, which details the main ponds and the wildlife - not just birds - likely to be found.  It is available from the Anguilla National Trust offices in The Valley, where staff may be able to answer any additional queries about wildlife of the island.

Getting to and staying in Anguilla

Anguilla is not a cheap place for a holiday!  It is one of the more expensive and up-market islands of the Caribbean chain, with a handful of holiday complexes, which can cost upward of $300 per night.  There are a few smaller hotels in the main settlement The Valley - contact the Tourist Information Centre for details.

I found that the cheapest way to get to Anguilla was a flight from Heathrow to Paris and then the daily 747 flight to St Maarten, the Dutch/French island which lies a few miles to the south of Anguilla.  I took a US$10 taxi ride to Marigot Bay and then the 'ferry' (for another US$10) to Blowing Point on the south coast of Anguilla.  A plane also makes the journey from St Maarten to Anguilla, but is much more expensive.  The alternative, but more expensive routes, are from London to Anguilla via Florida and Puerto Rico, or London to Anguilla via Antigua.

Tourism is the principal source of money for the Anguillan economy.  There are relatively few things to do on the island: white beaches, sailing, snorkelling and diving are the main sources of daytime entertainment, and there are a handful of bars and a single nightclub for the evening - though the action doesn't get started until close to midnight.

For birders, there probably isn't a sufficient range of habitats to fulfil an entire holiday, but there is enough to keep an interest for a week, or perhaps for a fortnight if combining birding with water sports.

Principal habitats in Anguilla

Anguilla has a low karstic (weathered coral) structure, with spray-pitted and wave-washed limestone, in stark contrast to the more elevated, volcanic structure of neighbouring islands to the south.


From the air, it is apparent how much of Anguilla is uncultivated.  An estimated 80% of the island is covered in scrub, in many places right down to the shoreline.  Across much of the island, this is interspersed with small agricultural holdings or housing, but in the Katouche Valley and across the north of the island, it is more complete.  Buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus), sagecop (Lantana involucrata), loblolly (Pisonia subcordata), white mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa), frangipani (Plumeria alba) and white cedar (Tabebuia pallida) are the dominant plants in the dry areas, while manchineel (Hippomane mancinella) and both red (Rhizophora mangle)and black mangroves (Avicenna germinans) are found around the wetlands; seagrape (Coccoloba uvifera) is more coastal.  Since European colonists arrived in the late seventeenth century, areas have been cleared for sugar cane, tobacco and cotton plantations during different periods (the latter flourishing until the 1930s to service the mills of Lancashire).  Low rainfall and poor soil meant that exploitation was never on the scale of neighbouring Caribbean islands.  The scrub would seem able to recover fairly quickly from low-input agricultural use: areas which were cultivated less than a decade ago have returned to scrub.


There are around 20 ponds around the island, varying in size from large, open ponds (e.g. Road Bay Salt Pond) to small ponds with considerable vegetation around the margins (e.g. Mimi Bay Pond).  For birds, the ponds are undoubtedly the most important habitat on the Anguilla mainland, used both for breeding and as passage/ wintering refuges.  All the ponds contain some salt, since there is no freshwater on the island (there are a few springs, but these are all reported to be brackish to some extent); most ponds are filled by run-off from rain in September-December, with coastal ponds 'topped up' by seawater during storms.  Some of the larger ponds were exploited for salt, generally for export to other Caribbean islands, but this ceased during the 1970s, causing major unemployment (the ponds were at their height of production when the petroleum industry changed its processing techniques and the market disappeared).  Experimental shrimp farming (at Long Pond) and desalination (Caul's Pond) also proved short-lived; there is no longer commercial exploitation of any of the ponds on the island.


There are three main coastal habitats: cliffs, sandy shore and rocky shore.  The main cliffs are on the north side of West End (mostly limestone, but some sandstone, rising to 60 feet); Isaac's Cliff, between Long Bay and Sandy Ground (rising to 100 feet); Katouche/Crocus Bay, between Road Point and Little Bay (rising to 200 feet); and east of Island Harbour (rising to 100 feet).  The sandy cliffs hold small numbers of (apparently) breeding red-billed tropicbirds.

There are 33 beaches around the island (accounting for 19 km of the shoreline's 113 km), most of which have tourist developments nearby.  Few of the beaches were very busy during this visit, even though it was the peak season (Mead's Bay being an exception), but the bird interest is generally limited to small numbers of turnstones and sanderlings; brown pelicans and royal terns use the shallow bays for feeding.

The remainder of the coast (particularly the north shore and the two extremes of the island) are limestone pavement, much of which is pocked and friable as a result of water-erosion (extreme care has to be taken when walking on it).  Scrub grows on the limestone where it can, but cacti (particularly Pope's Head Cactus Melocactus intortus) is the predominant vegetation, especially in exposed areas which even the seagrape cannot tolerate.  Again, the bird interest is limited to turnstones (for feeding) and brown pelicans (for resting).  It may be that magnificent frigatebirds and brown boobies use these areas to roost during or immediately after the breeding season.

Several of the offshore islands hold large numbers of breeding seabirds.  Difficult sea conditions (the swell to the north of Anguilla remains significant into February, with advisory warnings for small crafts on most days) limited my visits to Sombrero, Dog Island and Prickly Pear West.  The only islands viewable from the mainland are the western tip of Scrub Island and the east side of Anguillita.  No seabirds were observed using these latter two islands, though only a small proportion of Scrub Island can be seen from Westward Point.

Conservation in Anguilla

Biodiversity conservation is a relatively new concept in Anguilla.  Prior to 1988, there was little structured environmental activity on the island, though some legislation had already been introduced (e.g. Wild Birds Protection Ordinance, no.11 in 1972; Protection of Animals Act, no.8 in 1977, Marine Parks Ordinance, no.10 in 1982).

In 1988, the National Trust Ordinance was passed, setting up a quasi-statutory organisation, the Anguilla National Trust, half of whose Council members are elected by the membership and half appointed by the Governor.  Like much else in Anguilla, these political appointments slowed the process of development considerably, and it was not until 1993 that the Anguilla National Trust was formed.

In 1989, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) funded an environmental education co-ordinator, who started to organise a structured programme.  This undertook a series of tasks, including the incorporation of environmental issues into the school curriculum, the creation of environmental clubs in schools (some of which are still in existence) and, in 1993, a ballot to vote for a national bird.  The latter event, which resulted in one-third of the population casting a vote and the zenaida dove becoming national bird, remains one of the highest profile public-involvement environmental events in Anguilla.

In 1993, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) undertook an Assessment of the Critical Environmental Issues Facing Anguilla for the Government.  It made a series of recommendations, on education, land-use planning, biodiversity conservation, agriculture, fisheries, protected areas, coastal erosion/sea-level rise, water supply, pollution control, waste management, archaeology and built heritage.

Although some of the recommendations have been taken forward, the bulk have not.  In order to move biodiversity conservation and protected areas forward, WWF-UK and the Anguilla National Trust, funded by the UK government's Darwin Initiative, has appointed Tom McCarthy for 18 months (from January 2000) to look at ways to introduce new conservation legislation and to develop the capacity for both statutory agencies and NGOs to develop the structures necessary to protect the most important areas for wildlife in Anguilla.

The Anguilla National Trust has been the sole voice promoting wildlife conservation on the island, since funding for the UNEP programme ceased.  Among these has been a five year moratorium on catching turtles for food (this ends in 2001) and the production of a Field Guide to Anguilla's Wetlands, focusing on the birds to be found around the island's 20 ponds.

Birds in Anguilla

The wetlands and the offshore islands hold the main interest for birders.  The ponds hold a reasonable mix of shorebirds, ducks and other waterbirds, such as herons and egrets.  Many winter in Anguilla, but a few remain throughout the year (particularly plover species) and others are on passage from January to April and September to November.  There would appear to be a great deal of interchange of birds between the ponds.  During my visit, in the wake of one of the most severe hurricanes to hit the island during the twentieth century, the water level was high in most of the ponds - hence the variety and number of birds seen during winter 1999/2000 may not be typical.  The water level drops rapidly during spring so that, by summer, several are completely dry.

The breeding season for the seabirds varies according to species.  The boobies (brown and masked), for example, would appear to breed throughout the year.  The red-billed tropicbirds are winter breeders, with adults incubating during January.  The terns and noddies, on the other hand, arrive from South America in April (except for royal tern which is year-round) and breed during the summer months - by the tens of thousand.

Relatively few birds inhabit the scrub, but since passerines generally come off worst after a hurricane, my visit may not have been typical.  There were certainly plenty of bananaquits and grassquits and reasonable numbers of yellow warblers, some of which were breeding.  Hummingbirds, however, were very difficult to find, and one species may actually have been extirpated from Anguilla by Hurricane Luis in 1995.

Birding in Anguilla is about blazing new trails.  It has places that a rarely watched, so you could find almost anything - during my trip, I recorded four species that were new for the country (ruddy duck, hooded merganser, sora rail and red knot).  How many countries can you visit and do that?!  If you visit, please pass a copy of your sightings to the Anguilla National Trust to contribute to the national record.

The daytime temperature in January/February is generally in the high 20s/low 30s (centigrade).  I found that birding was best between dawn (around 6.30 am) and 9.30 am, and again from 4.30 pm until dusk (around 6.30 pm), with the hottest part of the day best spent in the shade or snorkeling.

Systematic list:

Pied-billed grebe, Podilymbus podiceps

Two, Grey Pond (21 Jan); two, Road Bay Salt Pond (27 Jan); two, Gull Pond (regularly); one, Merrywing Pond (24 Jan).

Red-billed tropicbird, Phaethon aethereus

Regularly seen around cliffs in Little Bay (7 max, 24 Jan) and west of Katouche (11 max, 24 Jan, but none there on 4 Feb).  Also, 7-15 birds flying south into strong headwind off Snake Point (25 Jan) and singles seen off Island Harbour and Sandy Cay.  Three confirmed nesting almost at sea level, Dog Island (6 Feb) and two on Prickly Pear East (10 Feb).

Masked booby, Sula dactylactra

Twenty occupied nests on Sombrero, including three with well-grown, downy chicks (1 Feb); ten occupied nests on Dog Island (6 Feb).

Brown booby, Sula leucogaster

c.400 apparently occupied nests on Dog Island, with an average clutch of 1.85 eggs per nest (6 Feb); c.300 apparently occupied nests on Sombrero, with an average clutch size of 1.8 eggs per nest (1 Feb).  Seen frequently from northwest coast of mainland, e.g. one from Little Bay (22 Jan); two in Crocus Bay (24 Jan); two feeding off the north side of West End Point (29 Jan); two roosting on the harbour light at Blowing Point (30 Jan).

Brown pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis

Common in small numbers (usually 2-3; max 5-6) around all coasts.  Occasionally fish in the ponds (noted at Road Bay Salt Pond regularly, and once each at Little Harbour Ponds and Gull Pond.

Magnificent frigatebird, Fregata magnificens

300 birds at west end of Dog Island: 10% breeding males, 25% other males, 20% fledged immatures, 5% unfledged juveniles, 40% females (6 Feb): estimated to be c. 70 pairs. 30 perched on west side of Sombrero, including four juveniles (1 Feb), but no evidence of breeding.  Seen regularly from mainland: e.g. five on thermals west of Little Bay (3 Feb); two, Katouche Bay (4 Feb); female, Cove Bay (21 Jan); pair, Snake Point (25 Jan); female over Junk's Hole Pond (26 Jan); female, high over West End Point (29 Jan); ten circling over Sandy Ground bay (1 Feb); female low northwest over Caul's Pond (1 Feb).

Great blue heron, Ardea herodias

Two at Little Harbour Ponds (3 Feb); singles at Badcox Pond, Road Bay Salt Pond, Forest Bay Ponds, Mead's Bay Pond, Blowing Point Pond and Caul's Pond.

Great egret, Ardea alba

Three at Forest Bay Pond (3 Feb); two at Caul's Pond (regularly), East End Pond (20 Jan) and Blowing Point pond (30 Jan); singles at Little Harbour Ponds (21 & 24 Jan, 3 & 6 Feb), Road Bay Salt Pond (21, 22 & 27 Jan), Cove Bay Pond (31 Jan) and Gull Pond (Cap Juluca) (2 & 5 Feb).

Snowy egret, Egretta thula

Singles seen around most ponds and occasionally on beaches.  Five roosts identified on the island: Road Bay Salt Pond: max 29 (22 Jan); Forest Pond (south): max 48 (29 Jan); Caul's Pond (northeast corner): max 17 (1 Feb); Gull Pond: max 13 (8 Feb); and Little Harbour Ponds: max 11 (6 Feb).

Little blue heron, Egretta caerulea

One seen regularly at Little Harbour Ponds.

Cattle egret, Bubulcus ibis

Roosts regularly at Road Bay salt pond, (though numbers vary: min.4, 22 Jan; max.33, 27 Jan) and at Caul's Pond (10, 1 Feb).  One at Long Pond (west end) on 5 Feb.  With cattle: three, South Hill Plaza (29 Jan); singles alongside road to Blowing Point and to Rendezvous Bay Hotel (26 Jan).

Green heron, Butorides virescens

Two at Mead's Bay Pond (20 Jan), at Gull Pond (5 Feb) and probably two at Little Harbour Pond (6 Feb); singles at Caul's Pond (18 Jan), East End Pond (20 & 28 Jan), Badcox Pond (20 & 27 Jan) and Road Bay Salt Pond (21 & 27 Jan).

Yellow-crowned night-heron, Nyctanassa violacea

Adult and immature at West End By-the-Sea Pond (5 Feb); adult at Little Harbour Ponds (3 Feb); immature at Badcox Pond (20 Jan).  An adult on the beach at Mead's Bay was reliably reported by two American tourists (29 Jan).

Green-winged teal, Anas crecca

Seven, Little Harbour Pond (23 Jan); male, Badcox Pond (27 Jan).

White-cheeked pintail, Anas bahamensis


Number of adults

Brood sizes

Max count date

Grey Pond


10, 9, 8

28 Jan

Badcox Pond


15, 9, 6, 5, 4

9 Feb

Road Bay Pond



21 Jan

Stoney Bay Pond, Dog Island



16 Feb

Caul's Pond


7, 2

1 Feb

Gull Pond



5 Feb

Mead's Bay Pond



23 Jan

Little Harbour Pond



27 Jan

East End Pond


14, 9, 3

28 Jan

Forest Bay Ponds



29 Jan

Rendezvous Bay Pond



8 Feb

Long Pond



30 Jan

West End Ponds



5, 8 Feb

Black Garden Pond



18 Jan

Mimi Bay Pond



31 Jan

Long Bay Pond



5 Feb

Katouche Pond



24 Jan

Junk's Hole Pond



26 Jan

West End By-the-Sea Ponds




Blowing Point Pond



3 Feb

Northern pintail, Anas acuta

Two pairs, Grey Pond (until 28 January at least); presumed same, Caul's Pond (7 Feb).

Blue winged teal, Anas discors

Maximum counts.

Mimi Bay Pond: 143 (7 Feb)
Badcox Pond: 52 (20 Jan)
Little Harbour Ponds: 50 (6 Feb)
Grey Pond: 35 (21 Jan)
Stoney Bay Pond, Dog Island: 26 (6 Feb).
Forest Bay Ponds: 8 (23 Jan)
West End Salt Pond: 4 (24 Jan, 8 Feb)
Long Bay Pond (west end): 4 (5 Feb)
Road Bay Salt Pond: 4 (27 Jan)
Caul's Pond: 4 (31 Jan)
East End Pond: 3 (20 Jan)

American wigeon, Anas americana

Flock of 18, Caul's Pond (31 Jan, 7 Feb).

Ring-necked duck, Aythya collaris

One pair at Caul's Pond (7 Feb).

Lesser scaup, Aythya affinis

22, Caul's Pond (7 Feb); three, Road Bay Salt Pond (27 Jan-5 Feb).

Hooded merganser, Lophodytes cucullatus

Two females, Road Bay Salt Pond (27 Jan-5 Feb).

Ruddy duck, Oxyura jamaicensis

Three pairs (inc. one male displaying), Caul's Pond (1 Feb); one male, Grey Pond (7 Feb).

Osprey, Pandion haliaetus

One drifting southwest from Snake Point (25 Jan); one perched at edge of Little Harbour Ponds before flying east (27 Jan); one flying north towards Sandy Ground (2  Feb); one reported over Sandy Ground, 29 Jan.

American kestrel, Falco sparverius

Seen frequently around Anguilla, usually perched on telegraph wires.  Estimated 16 pairs, though there may be more (singles or pairs were seen at 9 sites west of Lower South Hill).

Merlin, Falco columbarius

Two females, Caul's Pond (31 Jan); one seen at same site (1 Feb); female hunting over East End Pond (4 Feb); one over Badcox Pond (9 Feb).

Peregrine falcon, Falco peregrinus

One flying south over Crocus Hill (22 Jan) (one has been hunting over Road Bay Salt Pond throughout the winter).  Adult male, Sombrero (1 Feb).

Sora, Porzana carolina

Singles at East End Pond (20 Jan), Road Bay Salt Pond (21 & 30 Jan), Badcox Pond (20 Jan) and Prickly Pear Pond (10 Feb).

Common moorhen, Gallinula chloropus

Maximum counts. East End Pond: 10 (20 Jan) including 2 young (4 Feb), Road Bay Salt Pond: 4 (21 & 30 Jan, 5 Feb), Little Harbour Ponds: 4 (23 Jan & 6 Feb) carrying nest material (3 Feb), Caul's Pond: 2 (18 Jan), Badcox Pond: 2 (20 Jan, 9 Feb).

American coot, Fulica americana

Maximum counts.  Caul's Pond: 9 (31 Jan), East End Pond: 2 (regularly), Little Harbour Ponds: 1 (regularly), Forest Bay Ponds: 1 (regularly).

Black-bellied plover, Pluvialis squatarola

Maximum counts. Long Pond: 62 (26 Jan), Blowing Point harbour groynes: 43 (30 Jan), Blowing Point Pond: 8 (3 Feb), East End Pond: 5 (4 Feb), Road Bay Salt Pond: 2 (27 Jan).

Snowy plover, Charadrius alexandrinus

Seen only at Long Pond (seaward end): max. four (4 Feb).

Wilson's plover, Charadrius wilsonia

Seen only at Long Pond (seaward end): 22 (26 Jan) and Rendezvous Bay Pond: 1 (8 Feb).

Semi-palmated plover, Charadrius semipalmatus

Seen regularly at Long Pond (seaward end): max. 35 (30 Jan); and on the south shore of Road Bay Pond: max 12 (27 Jan).  Also, 14 on Stoney Bay Pond, Dog Island (6 Feb), eight at Blowing Point Pond (3 Feb), three on groynes at Blowing Point (dusk, 30 Jan), three at Badcox Pond (4 Feb).

Killdeer, Charadrius vociferus

Maximum counts. East End Pond: 12 (20 Jan), Badcox Pond: 4 (4 Feb), Forest Bay Ponds: 1 (23 Jan), Mead's Bay Pond: 1 (23 Jan), Long Pond: 1 (26 Jan), Grey's Pond: 1 (26 & 28 Jan) and Junk's Hole Pond: 1 (2 Feb).

American oystercatcher, Haematopus palliatus

Three on groynes, Blowing Point Harbour (25 Jan); two, Dog Island (6 Feb); one, Black Garden Bay (28 Jan); one, Sandy Ground (1 Feb); one, Katouche Bay (4 Feb).

Black-necked stilt, Himantopus mexicanus

Maximum counts. Gull Pond: 87 (31 Jan), Forest Bay Ponds: 84 (29 Jan), Mimi's Bay Pond: 82 (20 Jan), Road Bay Salt Pond: 40 (30 Jan), Badcox Pond: 34 (20 Jan), Little Harbour Ponds: 18 (21 Jan), East End Pond: 9 (18 Jan), Mead's Bay Pond: 2 (20 Jan), West End By-the-Sea Ponds: 1 (31 Jan), Caul's Pond: 1 (18 Jan).

Greater yellowlegs, Tringa melanoleuca

Maximum counts. West End Salt Pond: 9 (24 Jan), Mead's Bay Pond: 6 (5 Feb), East End Pond: 5 (20 Jan), Blowing Point Pond: 5 (25 Jan), Grey Pond: 3 (28 Jan), Gull Pond: 3 (31 Jan & 2 Feb), Long Pond (seaward end): 3 (31 Jan), Badcox Pond: 2 (20 Jan), Junk's Hole Pond: 2 (26 Jan).

Lesser yellowlegs, Tringa flavipes

Maximum counts.

Grey Pond: 75 (21 Jan)
Road Bay Salt Pond: 40 (21 Jan)
West End Ponds: 34 (5 Feb)
Blowing Point Pond: 33 (30 Jan)
Gull Pond: 30 (2 Feb)
Badcox Pond: 12 (9 Feb)
Long Pond (seaward end): 13 (4 Feb)
Mead's Bay Pond: 11 (20 Jan)
Junk's Hole Pond: 11 (26 Jan)
Prickly Pear Pond: 11 (10 Feb)
Long Pond (west end): 9 (26 Jan)
East End Pond: 7 (20 Jan, 4 Feb)
West End By-the-Sea Ponds: 7 (2 Feb).
Forest Bay Ponds: 6 (29 Jan)
Rendezvous Bay Salt Pond: 3 (26 Jan)
Little Harbour Ponds: 2-3 (21 Jan)
Merrywing Pond: 1 (24 Jan)

Spotted sandpiper, Actitis macularia

Maximum counts. Four at Blowing Point Pond; three at Rendezvous Bay Salt Pond; two at East End Pond, Mead's Bay Pond, Grey Pond, Little Harbour Ponds, Road Bay Salt Pond, Badcox Pond, Long Pond (seaward end), West End By-the-Sea Ponds; singles at Caul's Pond, Black Garden Pond, Merrywing Pond, Junk's Hole Pond, Forest Bay Pond and Gull Pond (Firefly Lane).  Also occurs on coast, e.g. Little Bay (1).

Whimbrel, Numenius phaeopus

Two, East End Pond (20 Jan); one each at Little Harbour Pond (21 Jan, 3 Feb) and Blowing Point Pond (25 Jan, 3 & 6 Feb).

Ruddy turnstone, Arenaria interpres

Maximum counts. West End Pond: 24 (2, 8 Feb), Blowing Point Pond: 18 (3 Feb), Grey Pond/beach: 16 (21 Jan), Prickly Pear East Pond: 14 (11 Feb), Prickly Pear Pond: 14 (10 Feb), Shoal Bay: 12 (20 Jan), Dog Island: 9 (6 Feb), East End Pond: 8 (20 Jan), Road Bay Salt Pond: 7 (21 Jan), Long Pond (seaward end): 7 (4 Feb), Blowing Point Harbour: 6 (30 Jan), Sombrero: 6 (1 Feb), Cove Bay jetty: 4 (31 Jan), Junk's Hole Pond: 3 (26 Jan), Rendezvous Bay Pond: 3 (26 Jan), Merrywing Pond: 2 (24 Jan), Island Harbour: 2 (18 Jan), Gull Pond: 2 (8 Feb).

Red knot, Calidris canutus

One, Long Pond (seaward end), 30 January.

Sanderling, Calidris alba

Maximum counts. West End Pond: 20 (8 Feb), Road Bay Salt Pond: 7 (27 Jan), Grey's Pond: 5-6 (21 & 28 Jan), Stoney Bay Pond, Dog Island: 5 (6 Feb), Island Harbour: 3 (28 Jan), Blowing Point Pond: 3 (24 Jan), Long Pond (seaward end): 2 (31 Jan, 4 Feb).

Semi-palmated sandpiper, Calidris pusilla

Maximum counts. West End Salt Pond: 21 (8 Feb), Long Pond (seaward end): 20 (30 Jan), Blowing Point Pond: 3 (3 Feb), Grey Pond: 1 (28 Jan), Road Bay Salt Pond: 1 (5 Feb).

Least sandpiper, Calidris minutilla

Maximum counts. Long Pond (seaward end): 132 (4 Feb), Blowing Point Pond: 50 (3 Feb), Stoney Bay Pond, Dog Island: 18 (6 Feb), Road Bay Salt Pond: 13 (22 Jan), Prickly Pear Pond: 3 (10 Feb), West End Salt Pond: 1 (8 Feb).

White-rumped sandpiper, Calidris fuscicollis

Maximum counts. Blowing Point Pond: 25 (3 Feb), Long Pond (seaward end): 7 (26 Jan), Road Bay Salt Pond: 5 (30 Jan); West End Salt Pond: 3 (24 Jan).

Stilt sandpiper, Calidris himantopus

Maximum counts. Blowing Point Pond: 372 (6 Feb), Long Pond (seaward end): 160 (31 Jan), West End Salt Pond: 43 (8 Feb), Grey Pond: 30 (28 Jan), Gull Pond: 14 (31 Jan), West End By-the-Sea Ponds: 11 (2 Feb), Junk's Hole Pond: 1 (26 Jan),.

Short-billed dowitcher, Limnodromus griseus

Ten, Blowing Point Pond (3 Feb); four, Gull Pond (Firefly Lane) (2 Feb); two, Long Pond (seaward end) (30 Jan); one, Little Harbour Ponds (24 Jan).

Common snipe, Gallinago gallinago

Maximum counts. Little Harbour Ponds: 4 (21 Jan), Caul's Pond: 1 (18 Jan), Grey Pond: 1 (28 Jan).

Laughing gull, Larus atricilla

One, Badcox Pond (15 Jan)

Ring-billed gull, Larus delawarensis

One immature south over Dog Island (6 Feb).

Royal tern, Sterna maxima

Present in small numbers, particularly off southern coast: 11 roosting, Blowing Point harbour (30 Jan); singles at Cove Bay (21, 24 & 31 Jan), Rendezvous Bay (26 Jan), Island Harbour (28 Jan) and West End Point (29 Jan).

Zenaida dove, Zenaida aurita

Common throughout Anguilla, especially around human settlements.

Common ground-dove, Columbina passerina

Scarce, but occurs locally in scrub throughout island - Shoal Bay to Brimigen would appear to hold the greatest concentration.

Mangrove cuckoo, Coccyzus minor

Seen at Cap Juluca nature trail (2 Feb), Blowing Point Pond (3 Feb) and Little Harbour Ponds (possibly two, 3 Feb).  Also four heard around Black Garden Pond (11 Feb) and Caul's Pond (31 Jan).

Green-throated carib, Eulampis holosericeus

One in scrub above Little Bay (22 Jan), but individuals reported in gardens in centre and east of island.

Belted kingfisher, Ceryle alcyon

Blowing Point Pond, Road Bay Salt Pond and Mead's Bay Pond were the only sites where two were seen together.  Singles seen at Caul's Pond, Little Harbour Ponds, Forest Bay Ponds, Black Garden Bay, Sandy Ground bay and Little Bay.  Also seen at several inland locations, perched on roadside telegraph wires.

Caribbean elaenia, Elaenia martinica

Scarce, but occurs locally in scrub throughout island - Shoal Bay to Little Bay would appear to hold the greatest concentration.  Also several on Prickly Pear East.

Gray kingbird, Tyrannus dominicensis

Seen frequently around Anguilla, usually perched on telegraph wires.  Observed singles or pairs at 22 sites over four weeks.  The most seen at one place was four at Low Ground (inland from Little Bay) on 25 January.

Bank swallow, Riparia riparia

Two over Badcox Pond (15 January).

Barn swallow, Hirundo rustica

14 on east side of East End village (18 Jan); seen on several occasions over Blowing Point Pond, max. 40 at dusk (25 Jan).

Pearly-eyed thrasher, Margarops fuscatus

Locally common throughout Anguilla, in scrub and trees around human settlements.   The north and west of the island appears to contain the highest numbers.

Yellow warbler, Dendroica petechia

Few seen or heard during this trip, even though the species is generally vocal.  Scrub in northwest part of  Anguilla and on Prickly Pear East contained almost all of the records.

Bananaquit, Coereba flaveola

The commonest passerine on the island.  Found (albeit at low densities) in every part of the island (including a pair using the plants inside the Serenity restaurant at Shoal Bay!).

Black-faced grassquit, Tiaris bicolor

The second-commonest passerine on the island.  Found at low densities in all parts of the island, especially where there is a mixture of scrub and open ground.  Also, the only passerine noted on Dog Island: 12 (6 Feb).

Lesser antillean bullfinch, Loxigilla noctis

Difficult to confirm at some sites owing to its mobility.  The best area was scrub around Black Garden Bay.  Outside this area, numbers were very low, though a very confiding bird landed on the wing mirror at Cap Juluca!

Julian Hughes

23 Edward Road, Eynesbury, St Neots, Cambridgeshire PE19 2QF, UK.


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