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A Report from

St Lucia, October 23rd to November 6th 2005,

Chris Grimshaw

I stayed at the Sandals Halcyon Beach Hotel in the northern suburbs of Castries on the the above dates. This is an excellent smallish hotel with beautiful grounds situated in Choc Bay. Its sister hotels the Regency and the Grand are also worth looking at if you are thinking of St Lucia for a holiday 

My birdwatching took place generally from 06:00 (which was dawn) to about 08:15 each morning and occassionally in the late afternoon. The area I covered was the half mile between the Halcyon Beach and the St James Club Hotel . A deep narrow inlet below the St James Club (this hotel is being renovated) stopped me gettineg any further. There are also some sandpits surrounded by trees at the St James end of the walk. These are between the palms at the beachside and the busy main road that runs from Castries to Rodney Bay
The weather was generally hot and humid with some some torrential (and I do mean torrential) showers on all but one day. Luckily these tended to last only a few minutes 
37 species were identifed with only Cattle Egret, Osprey, Turnstone, Moorhen and Rock Dove not being lifers 

Species List

Brown Booby

These birds could been seen fairly regularly off the beach in small numbers with the aid of a telescope or binoculars or on a boat trip

Magnificent Frigatebird

7 or 8 could be spotted most days well off-shore by my accommodation. Also seen closely at the Sandals Grand Hotel which is just below Pigeon Point and at the beautiful Pitons on a catamaran trip

Royal Tern

Up to 38 seen on 28 October and 5 November sat on posts close to Sandals Grand Hotel. Amazingly confiding

Roseate Tern

Every day fishing in Choc Bay in small numbers

Little Blue Heron

1 or 2 could be seen most days in the inlet by the St James Club Hotel. These birds went about their feeding as though I wasn’t there. Very confiding

Snowy Egret

Small numbers seen generally around the sandpits

Cattle Egret

Everywhere on the island and very confiding. I was amazed to have one take bits of a burger out of my hand in the hotel grounds early in my holiday

Green Heron

Seen every day in small numbers (1 to 4) either at the St James Club inlet or in the sandpits

Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron

1 disturbed roosting in the beach side palms occasionally by me or a small dog that befriended me

Semipalmated Plover

Seen each day on the beach in small numbers (5 was the maximum count) and on odd occasion around the sand pits

Semipalmated Sandpiper

One seen at the sandpits on the 24th of October and another on 4th of November

Spotted Sandpiper

Small numbers (upwards to a dozen) seen every day by the inlet below the St James Club or at the sandpits

Greater Yellowlegs

One seen on three or four occasions

Ruddy Turnstone

Occasionally seen in small numbers foraging in the beach debris. Four were seen one  morning and six seen later that afternoon


One was seen in the inlet on several occasions


Still gives a thrill to see one. One seen on the 24th and on 26th in the same dead tree and one flying in front of the hotel on the 31st of October. I then saw two fly over the sandpits on the 4th of November. One of these eventually landed in the same dead tree giving stunning views. One of my travelling companions told me that she had seen two the day before this sighting but I had been somewhat sceptical!

Broad-winged Hawk

2 seen in the hills on a jeep safari into the rainforest on the 29th

Rock Dove

Large numbers in the grass at the side of the runway at Castries airport

Plain Pigeon

Other reports say that this bird is supposed to be common in the area but I only saw them on one occasion. This is by the side of the Grand Hotel. This area which seemed good for birds if only I had a little seems destined for development

Common Ground-Dove

4 seen on the 1st of November at the sandpits

Zenaida Dove

Common and confiding around hotel grounds

Mangrove Cuckoo

Seen reasonably regularly around the sandpits but was somewhat secretive

Antillean Crested Carib

Common in the hotel grounds

Purple-Throated Carib

The least common of the three Caribs seen around plants

Green-Throated Carib

Common in the hotel Grounds

Belted Kingfisher

Some nice views of this bird perched on branches in the inlet and the sandpits

Gray Kingbird

Common around the island

Tropical Mockingbird

Seen reasonably regularly

Blackpoll Warbler

Only seen once in the trees between the beach and the sandpits

Yellow Warbler

A pair seen twice in trees below the St James Club Hotel


Everywhere and beautiful with it

St Lucian Oriole

One only seen in the rainforest where I answered a call of nature. A stunning bird

Shiny Cowbird

Several seen just once at Pigeon Point the day before we returned home

Carib Grackle

Abundant and extremely noisy with it. Fairly confiding

Black-Faced Grassquit

Small numbers seen in the grassy areas of the sandpits

Lesser Antillean Saltator

Only seen once and briefly at the sandpits on the 31st of October

Lesser Antillean Bullfinch

Common around the hotel grounds which would accept food out of the hand. With their red throat and their black body these were very pretty


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