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A Report from

Caribbean Cruise 5/04/09 -12/04/09,

Mark Graham

This report may be helpful to anyone going on Carribean cruise who is interested in seeing some birds on the way.
Before going on the cruise I found it difficult to get any up to date information.
As it turned out the quality and quantity of birds was incredible. The birds could be found with little effort and in most cases by taking a walk from the ship.

The Helm Field Guide ‘Birds of the West Indies’ was indispensable.

The itinerary:

La Romana [Dominican Republic]
Day at Sea
Roseau Dominica
St.George’s Grenada
St.John’s Antigua
Phillipsburg St.Maarten
Road Town Tortola
La Romana

The Ship

The brilliant Thomson Destiny.A great ship with a wonderful atmosphere.

La Romana [Dominican Republic]

I was able to see a lot of birds at the beginning and end of the voyage simply by walking around the area just outside the cruise ship complex:

Magnificent Frigatebird,Royal Tern,Laughing Gull,Cattle Egret,Gray Kingbird,Antillean Palm Swift,Yellow Faced Grassquit,American Kestrel,Northern Mockingbird,Bananaquit,Hispanolian Parrakeet, Smooth -Billed Ani,Hispanolian Woodpecker, Antillean Mango

At Sea

Audubon’s Shearwater, Bridled Tern, Northern Gannet, Magnificent Frigatebird. There were lots of Flying Fish and Dolphins seen on the way.

Roseau Grenada.

In the harbour: Brown Booby, Magnificent Frigatebird, Royal Tern, Laughing Gull. Green Heron,Yellow Crowned Night Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Blue heron, Eared dove

Spice Farm on the way to Trafalgar Falls: Yellow Bellied Seed Eater, Black Faced Grassquit, Carib Grackle, Cattle Egret, Lesser Antillean Tanager,Yellow Bellied Elania,Tropical Mockingbird.

Around Roseau: Gray Kingbird,Rock Dove,Gray Kingbird.

St.George’s Dominica:

Red Billed Tropical Bird at sea from ship.

Harbour: Brown Booby,Magnificent Frigate Bird, Carribean Martin,

Botanical Gardens: A wonderful habitat. Aim for the Cricket Stadium.about 25 minutes from the boat. Look in the area behind the Parrot House.

Black Whiskered Vireo, Bananaquit, Zenaida Dove, Lesser Antillean Bullfinch, Lesser Antillean Flycatcher, Smooth Billed Ani, Blue Black Grassquit, Common Ground Dove, Gray Kingbird.

St John’s Antigua:

Harbour: Brown Pelican,Magnificent Frigatebird, Royal Tern, Peregine Falcon, Laughing Gull, Great Black Backed Gull, Cattle Egret,

Walk from St Johns to Dickinson Bay;

McKinnons Salt Pools at Dickonson Bay were amazing.It is well worth the 3 mile walk from the ship through the car park as you turn left out of the cruise terminal.Then walk through the less than charming housing area before taking a parallel course to the cruise ships.You will soon reach either a roundabout or a road going north past the old football stadium and a school.Once you get away from the more densely housed area there are lots of birds to see. Aim first for the big sea inlet lagoon type area.[if you want to avoid this walk simply take a taxi direct to Dickonson Bay]: Yellow Warbler, Antillean Crested Hummingbird, Green Throated Carib, House Sparrow, White Crowned Pigeon, Carib Grackle, Ground Dove,Zenaida Dove,Black Bellied Plover,Black Necked Stilt,

Mckinnon’s Pools: Brown Pelican,Magnificent Frigatebird,Great Egret,Snowy Egret,Cattle Egret,Green Heron,Little Blue Heron,Laughing Gull,Sandwich Tern,White Cheeked Pintail,American Coot,Common Moorhen,Ruddy Turnstone,Black Necked Stilt,Spotted Sandpiper,Semi Palimated Plover,Greater Yellowlegs,Lesser Yellowlegs,Black Bellied Plover,Bananaquit,Green Throated Carib.

Phillipsburg St.Maarten;

Harbour; Magnificent Frigatebird, Brown Pelican, Royal Tern, Laughing Gull.

Salt Ponds:[behind the shops] Great Egret,Snowy Egret,Cattle Egret,Little Blue Heron,Laughing Gull,Lesser Yellowlegs,Black Bellied plover,Spotted Sandpiper,Ruddy Turnstone,Black Necked Stilt,American Coot,Common Moorhen,White Cheeked Pintail,Bananaquit,Common Ground Dove,Zenaida Dove,Gray Kingbird.

Road Town Tortola; Red Bellied Tropical Bird [well out to sea on the way in].

Harbour: Little Blue Heron,Cattle Egret, Laughing Gull,Magnificent Frigatebird, Brown Pelican, Royal Tern.

Around town including the Botanical Garden: Pearly Eyed Thrasher,White Winged Dove, Scaly Naped Pigeon, Killdeer [on fields adjacent to cruise ship area] Bannaquit, Green Throated Carib, Spotted Sandpiper


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