From January 9 to January 12, 2009 I did a short trip with Bobby Rosetti to Barbados, Martinique, and Grenada to see the three single island endemics and hopefully the vagrant Eurasian Spoonbills on Barbados. Unfortunately we had little time on Barbados due to flight delays. We were lucky with the weather experiencing little rain except in the Martinique mountains. This trip was nearly as expensive as a longer multi-island trip that I did in 2002, where I visited 6 islands. Going to Martinique significantly increased the costs, as the taxes on inter-island flights are obscene. Our plane tickets on LIAT from Barbados to Martinique to Grenada had a base price of $250 each which with taxes increased to $440 each – by far the highest surcharges I have ever experienced. I speak French, so Martinique was not a problem, but without a basic knowledge of French you could have a hard time, especially ordering food. Other than Barbados, the trip went well. Bobby had not birded the Caribbean before and had more lifers than I did, about 24 to my three.
A note on Grenada and the Grenada Dove – Wheatley says December to February is the breeding season for the Dove, but Jerry says it’s actually earlier, with breeding complete by November, after which they don’t call much.
Wheatley also says to watch for chiggers, but Jerry said they don’t have them, and fortunately we didn’t have any. He feels the populations of both the Dove and Kite are stable at the moment, with Grenada having resolved a large development planned in Mt. Hartman to the satisfaction of both sides, at least for now. Grenada was hit hard by a hurricane in 2004, which changed some habitat as well as devastating the economy. Most trip reports and Wheatley say that you should visit two sites: Mt. Hartman and Grand Etang. From our experience I would say skip Grand Etang, as there’s not much there to see. Eddie Massiah has been there several times and said it was always very windy and muddy. The best bet for the Tanager and Hermit would probably be through the west coast road, taking the roads inland to various waterfalls, like Concord Falls. Apparently the tanager favors lower elevations anyway.
Articles & Trip Reports taken from
Lesser Antilles, Dec 2003 Jeff Hopkins – details on Grenada – captures the frustration of trying to find places using dated information and poor signage
Lesser Antilles, Nov 1999 Frank Frazier
Grenada, May 1999 – Mark Gawn – good, but out of date, especially on Mt. Hartman
Martinique, Dec 1999 – Mark Gawn
Guadaloupe & Martinique, March 2006 – Jan van der Laan
Brian Beers trip notes – Nov 2007 – unpublished as far as I know but has logistics, hotels, etc.
Lonely Planet Eastern Caribbean, 3rd Edition, Sep 2001 – also has good high level maps of each island. Get a more recent edition.
A Guide to the Birds of the West Indies – Raffaele, Wiley, etc – original 1998 – I recommend getting the later paperback edition, which certainly is easier to carry and I think might have updates
Where to Watch Birds in Central America, Mexico, & the Caribbean – Nigel Wheatley & David Brewer, 2001 – lists major sites, but has a few errors
NAMES AND CONTACTS
Barbados – Eddie Massiah - email@example.com
Grenada - Anthony “Jerry” Jeremiah - Tonydove200@yahoo.com 473-416-0191 or 473-440-0393
Charges by the hour and person, e mail for rates
CARS - I rented from Hertz and Avis, arranged in the USA before arrival. Arranging car rentals in your country of origin is recommended, as you can often get better deals and unlimited mileage, and also have a better chance of having complaints listened to, if not actually resolved. A 2-day rental with Hertz on Martinique with unlimited mileage, manual compact, was 101 euros with taxes. The highways were in good shape. On Grenada I rented from Avis, compact automatic in principle, but we received a small jeep, unlimited mileage, $51US for 1day. Avis closed at noon on Sunday so we could not get a car when we arrived. Jerry later informed us he could have arranged a car and we saw several car rental places while traveling, although Hertz, Budget, and Dollar did not have offices there. Budget initially rented me a car for Granada, Spain, so be careful when making reservations. Roads were quite narrow with 3-4 foot drainage ditches for shoulders in many areas, but were mostly in good shape, excepting Mt. Hartman.
AIR – NY to Barbados, and Grenada to NY on American was $584 each with taxes. As previously noted, the LIAT airlines flights turned out to be very expensive with taxes in the 75% range over the base price: $250 flights turned out to be $440 with taxes. Most LIAT flights were on time excepting the last leg of Barbados to Grenada, which was about 40 minutes late. You have to walk out onto the runways to board – pray it doesn’t rain. Flights have different rates at different times of the day, and also different routings between islands, so it’s worth asking for different options.
Grenada uses the Eastern Caribbean Dollar, fixed at $2.67 to the US dollar, but beware lower rates when using credit cards and at some hotels and restaurants. Barbados has their own currency, and Martinique uses Euros, although oddly they still list the prices in Francs as well as Euros. Grenada accepts US currency everywhere, usually at a lower rate of $2.50 per dollar. We used credit cards with little problem on all three islands, but you get hit with foreign currency surcharges and fees when you receive your bill at home.
ACCOMMODATIONS & FOOD
This is not a low budget place. Anything “moderate” will typically cost at least $70, often more. Food in local restaurants isn’t that costly. Water is usually safe to drink.
Most islands have one or two locations where you can find the endemics. They are in the trip report.
We saw 66 species, and heard one more, with 24 lifers for Bobby and 3 for me, and another 5 for the Caribbean. I saw all the single island endemics. Our biggest misses were Eurasian Spoonbills on Barbados, courtesy American Airlines, Lesser Antillean Tanager and Rufous-breasted Hermit on Grenada, and Rufous-throated Solitaire on Martinique. I had seen the tanager in 2002 on St. Vincent, so we didn’t go out of our way to find it.
Inquiries about specific species will gladly be answered at: firstname.lastname@example.org
January 8, Thursday – travel day to Barbados – no birding
We had a direct flight from New York JFK to Barbados, due to leave at 8:30 AM and arrive at 2:15. We had a tight schedule in that we only had that afternoon to bird Barbados and look for the Eurasian Spoonbills, over an hour’s drive to the north. We boarded on time, left the gate on time, but someone noticed a fluid leak so we stopped for over an hour to have it checked. Maintenance decided we had to change planes, so we did not leave until about 12:30, arriving around 6:45 PM, too late to do any birding. Paul Buckley, who co-authored the paper splitting Barbados Bullfinch, had given me the contact information for Eddie Massiah, who also participated in reviewing the paper, and lives on Barbados. Eddie had agreed to meet us at the airport and show us around. His family was away and we lucked out when he offered us accommodation at his house. The biggest regret of the trip was not being able to spend more time birding with Eddie, as he’s a good guy and very knowledgeable about Caribbean birds. Eddie took us to a night roost of Caribbean Martins, unusual for this time of year, and Bobby had his first lifer. We had dinner at an open air restaurant and retired to Eddie’s. Although Barbados only has one endemic it is a great migrant trap, with Little Egret, Western Reef-Heron, and Spotted Redshank being seen recently.
January 9, Friday – Barbados to Martinique
Eddie drove us to the airport early and we checked in about 6:15 for our 7:45 flight to Martinique. After checking in our luggage we saw Barbados Bullfinch at the airport, in the casuarinas trees to the right as you face away from the airport - probably the easiest lifer in the Caribbean. Eddie says the females have pale coloration at the base of the mandible. There were also Carib Grackles, Bananaquits, and Shiny Cowbirds around the parking lot. Eddie then drove us south to nearby Congo Road where there were a couple of pools owned by a hunting club. The hunters cage live shorebirds as decoys and I saw my first full breeding plumage Hudsonian Godwit in a cage with Red Knot, Whimbrels, yellowlegs, and other birds. In the pool were several herons including a Little Egret, and a lone Black-headed Gull flew around. After 15 minutes we returned to the newly constructed Barbados airport and went through security. The flight stopped briefly in St. Lucia and arrived in Martinique just around 9 PM, a little early. We checked in with Hertz, took the shuttle to the nearby site to pick up the car, and were on our way. Hertz gave us an excellent detailed road map.
Bobby was the driver since I don’t drive a stick (sad but true) and we set off for the mountains on the N3 highway. The exits are clearly marked, but often you have to make a sharp turn, in this case to the left, right after leaving the main highway. It took us just over 30 minutes to arrive at the Pitons du Carbet location noted in Wheatley. This is a little confusing. After a turn to the right there is an obvious picnic table to the right, with trails opposite on the left by a stream. There are no trail signs, although there is a sheltered area with benches a little further up the road on the left with a sign. It was raining off and on and the trails were very muddy. We walked the trail to the left of the stream for a couple hundred meters, but weren’t sure where it went and there was little activity, so we decided to drive up the road. I asked a taxi driver parked here with clients if the trail went to the top and he said no, so I was unsure if this was the location mentioned in a couple of reports. Brian Beers saw the oriole here but it was pretty quiet, except for a couple of Lesser Antillean Bullfinches. Five or ten minutes further up the road is Plateau Boucher with a building and a sign offering something for sale and parking on the left. There is a trail here that apparently goes to the summit, off to the left and signed. We continued, passing the D1 intersection, which was closed going east. A little further there was a small parking area on the right, with a trail on the right that initially paralleled the highway. This is the Trace de Jesuits Trail. We decided to give this a try as Jan van der Laan had mentioned seeing the Oriole here as well as the Solitaire. In two minutes you reach a small gazebo, after which there is a lookout of sorts over a washed out hillside. We could hear Rufous-throated Solitaire so decided to wait and watch for about 20-30 minutes. A dark hummer flew by which could have been either Blue-Headed or Green-throated Carib, as it did not have the bright green wing patch of Purple-throated Carib. I briefly saw a Trembler in a thicket below, an Elaenia made a brief appearance, and there were a few common birds like Bananaquit. Looking ahead the trail seemed to be in open second growth, so we decided to return to the picnic area. This was probably a mistake because we found out the next day that the trail enters good forest. At the picnic area there is short loop trail going from the right side of the stream to the covered area a couple of hundred meters up the road. We walked it and saw little of note. As it was now around 12:30 we decided to drive north towards Morne Rouge for lunch. We stopped at a restaurant on the left that caters to the bus crowd, and it had many people. We sat down and Bobby saw an oriole fly by into the garden, but the roofs cut off my visibility and I saw nothing. Since it was full, including another building in the garden and we didn’t even get a menu after several minutes, we decided to move on. There was another place a little further on the right that also catered to buses, but it wasn’t as full and we had a nice fish lunch here, although a little pricey. It was nearly 3 PM and we set off north on the N3, bearing right towards Le Lorrain near the coast onto the N1. Shortly after the fork is a dump on the left that had lots of Barn Swallows and Cattle Egrets but nothing else. The drive south on the N1 was pleasant if not eventful – mostly small towns and fields. Around La Trinitie there is a turn east towards La Caravelle peninsula on the D2 road through Tartane. It takes 20 minutes after the turn to reach the Chateau Dubuc ruins parking area where White-breasted Thrasher and the Oriole can be found. It took us maybe 75 minutes from Morne Rouge to Chateau Dubuc, with a short stop at the dump. The paved road ends and the road is a good dirt road for a mile or two until you can’t drive anymore, where there is a parking area. The road descends to the ruins entrance, although you are not supposed to drive it, and it’s gated after hours. In the parking lot was a ruficapilla race of “Mangrove” type Yellow Warbler chipping showing a beautiful chestnut head. At the ruins, which charge admission, there is a wide trail and steps to the left. We walked down through low trees until we reached a fork. The right fork says mangrove trail (manglar) and the left trail went uphill a bit. Frank Frazier mentioned an area below the ruins with mown grass and an amphitheatre like structure with bleachers, which I was looking for. We later found out this was within the ruins area proper where you have to pay admission. We took the mangrove trail to the right, hoping to get near this area, but after a little while it opened into mangroves and a boardwalk. This did not look right for the thrasher so we returned back to the castle. We decided to pay the 3 Euros each admission. The ruins are pleasant enough, and are surrounded by forest, so there’s some good edge habitat. Below and to the right was the amphitheatre area that Frank had described, where he saw both the Oriole and Thrasher in 1999. It was getting near the end of the day, and I tried a tape of the Thrasher from Hardy’s Thrashers of the New World, although it was the St. Lucia race. After pishing and squeaking a bit we had some birds respond, including a Trembler / Thrasher type that stayed hidden. I finally got a rear look at a bird with heavily streaked undertail coverts, indicative of Scaly-breasted Thrasher I believe. No luck with the oriole or WB Thrasher, so we left the area as it was getting dark. We made out a calling Bare-eyed Thrush just past the entrance. I had made reservations with the Camellia Residence in the Trois-Ilets area, and it took us about 90 minutes to reach it with a wrong turn or two. I had problems with the reservation but after about 30 minutes we checked into our room, which had a balcony overlooking the harbor. The price was supposed to be 168 Euros for 2 nights but we were charged another 20 Euros. The room was pretty nice, although the bathrooms had an unpleasant “bad plumbing” smell. Some restaurants are walking distance down the hill, and we ate at the first restaurant to the left on the beach at the beginning of Pointe du Bout for about 59 Euros with a couple of beers. We were offered excellent cognac-like rum on the house after dinner.
January 10, Saturday – Martinique
The strategy was to get to La Caravelle peninsula early for the thrasher and possibly the oriole, then go to the mountains. First light wasn’t until about 6:15. It took about an hour from our hotel; we left at 5:30. In Tartane there is a bakery on the right that was open – good croissants and pastries as well as canned juice. This was completely different from the previous afternoon. Walking down to the ruins from the parking lot we could hear birds along the way, but we wanted to get to the thrasher area. Walking down the path to the left of the ruins we found a White-breasted Thrasher at the bottom of a gully. This is a “mini-habitat” with minimal ground scrub and leaf litter on the ground, and is present just around the first gully, well before the fork in the trail. The Thrasher was feeding unconcerned, and watching this beautiful clearly marked bird was probably my trip highlight, even though it wasn’t a lifer. It has a dark gray cap which contrasts with the brown upperparts. The underparts are clean white except the rear flanks, vent and undertail coverts, which are dark brown, like the upperparts. We heard a noise in the tree and saw another bird. We had the target bird, but decided to walk a little further since bird activity was pretty good. We saw the Saltator, LA Flycatcher and a few others. After a while we decided to head for the Pitons du Carbet forest. We took the route back towards the airport and back up the N3, about 75 minutes to the picnic area. This time we decided to try the trail at Plateau Boucher. It was very wet and muddy and after only 100 or 200 meters became narrow and went uphill. However, after a minute’s walk at the beginning of a small clearing the Martinique Oriole flew right past us to the left. Although it landed fairly close, it stayed in the middle of dense vegetation before flying off, not giving us a good look. We decided to stay in this small clearing and wait, but it did not return in the 30 minutes that we waited. I did have brief views of a Trembler a couple of times, Antillean Crested Hummers were interacting, and a few other birds were present. Again we could hear one or two Solitaires singing further up, but no sight views. We decided to park at the D1 intersection and walk the closed highway east. It was intermittent sunny and cloudy, and fortunately the rain held off. A few hundred meters along there was a car down the side. We had great close views of a Mangrove Cuckoo and further along heard another couple of Solitaires up the mountain to the right. At a sharp curve after about a kilometer we had great looks at a pair of Gray Tremblers in a bush with berries ¼ ways up the hillside. The Trembler situation is confusing regarding the location of Brown Trembler on Martinique. The Raffaele book lists it as being there, but Clements and the Handbook of the Birds of the World Vol. 10 says only Gray Trembler is there. Also Raffaele says a distinguishing factor is the white or pale yellow eye of Gray Trembler compared to the yellow eye of Brown. The birds we saw looked like Gray – pale underparts – but the eyes were distinctly yellow-orange, clear even at a distance. We returned to the car and went to the Trace de Jesuits, now with a full parking lot, probably because it was Saturday and a popular hiking path. After the gazebo the wide trail goes into forest that completely surrounds it. It was also muddy, but not nearly as bad as the picnic area and Plateau. I highly recommend this path for anyone with limited time in the mountains. It goes 5 km or more, ending along the D1. Again we heard but did not see the Solitaire. We only walked about ½ km, then headed back, and I spotted an oriole fairly high up, almost creeping up a tree trunk, very reminiscent of a foliage-gleaner. We watched it for a couple of minutes until it flew a bit higher and out of view. It was darker than I thought, more like an Orchard Oriole than the full page bright colored painting in Raffaele. We now had the two target birds and decided to return to the hotel for a break. Around 4 PM we drove west on the D7 around the southwest part of the island. Mark Gawn had seen a pair of Orioles in the dry forest near Le Diamant in 1999. We saw the only Kestrel of the trip on a wire, but didn’t see much of note until we stopped at the Pointe du Diamant to look at the offshore rock. We could see a couple of Tropicbirds (Red-billed is the only one supposed to be there) and Boobies, probably Browns. A scope would have helped. We stopped at Le Diamant for a beer on the beach where a bandstand had the local church choir singing by the beach. We returned to the hotel after dark and had a very nice dinner at La Villa Creole.
January 11, Sunday – Martinique to Grenada
We intended to try a quick visit to the Le Manzo reservoir, just 6 km east of the airport on the N6 to le Francois, but decided we didn’t have enough time. This is a large body of water and could hold some surprises, at least for the Caribbean. We returned the car and caught the 9:30 flight to Grenada through St. Lucia. We had a delay in St. Lucia of about 40 minutes, and arrived about 12:45. We had arranged to have Anthony “Jerry” Jeremiah of the Forestry Department for the day and he met us at the airport after a few minutes. I usually prefer to find birds myself, but by reading trip reports I realized some people miss the dove, so we opted for a local guide. Since it was hot and in the middle of the day, we had Jerry take us to the room and a nearby supermarket for drinks and snacks. Jerry had arranged a very nice second floor of a house above Grand Anse, owned by Jude, a friend of his, usually rented out for weeks or months. Jerry then took us to an overgrown field near the beach in the La Sagesse area I think where we had Blue-black Grassquit and Yellow-bellied Seedeater, the only place in the Caribbean for these otherwise common birds. Grenada Flycatcher and both Elaenias were here as well as Mangrove Cuckoo and Bananaquits. They have both the yellow and all black forms of Bananaquits in Grenada. A couple of soaring raptors were Broad-winged Hawks, although Jerry thought he had a Kite briefly. We headed back west towards Mt. Hartman and the Dove. Note that there have been some changes in Grenada since the trip reports that I found. Most seriously in September of 2004, Hurricane Ivan swept the island taking a large part of Grenada’s infrastructure with it and devastating the spice and tourist industries; something like 80% of the nutmeg trees died. It destroyed a lot of the forest in Grand Etang National Park. The pig farm at Mt. Hartman mentioned in some reports from the nineties is long gone, and one of the roads around the hill is now gated.
Jeff Hopkins gives some good directions and a map in his report, but it’s changed a bit since then. If you’re driving from the airport you take the second roundabout – it has green and white striped walls – and go right about .7 km. At a sharp left bend there is a Tourist sign, maybe with the dove, and you go right here down a bumpy dirt road a few hundred meters. There is a fork and a sign with a picture of the dove – take the left fork (we never tried the right fork) and in a short distance you will reach the Mount Hartman visitor’s center where a new metal gate blocks passage. The center is not visible from the road, and is behind the only house on the left by the gate. Paths into the scrub start behind the visitor center. Jerry took us along the right side of the fence and into the scrub. After only a couple of minutes there is a small hill and Jerry suggested waiting there, since the visibility into the scrub wasn’t too bad. After only a couple of minutes I saw movement at the top of the hill and it was a Grenada Dove walking on the left side. It started down the trail but turned off to the left. Unfortunately Bobby never got a good look and we did not see it again, although Jerry saw it walk off down the trail. At the top of the hill the scrub gets denser and it’s hard to see very far. Jerry then led us off to the right at a small clearing, eventually reaching a wide dirt road, maybe the one that was gated off. We had the good luck to see the Hook-billed Kite at close range perched in the scrub trees about 4 feet off the ground, spotted by Jerry. We walked into the mangroves, good for shorebirds in the right season, but did not see much else of note. Around 5:30 Jerry took us back behind the visitor center to the left, where there are remnants of farm or animal buildings, and one with walls and a stone cinder block floor. Jerry told us the doves roost in the trees in the evening. We now could hear one or two. We spooked one which flew down to the ground, giving Bobby a brief look. We waited until dark, but only had Scaly-naped Pigeons flying around above the canopy, not seen well. Around dusk we waited by the road near the house for the Barn / Ashy-faced Owl that can be seen. Bobby spotted one flying by, but I only had a rear view of it flying away. We waited a while then left for St. George’s where Jerry said he knew a place. We waited on a stairway in a residential neighborhood where Jerry said they sometimes perch on a roof, but no luck. We went to another area where one was calling constantly near a private house, maybe a young begging food, but never saw it. We had dinner together after 8 and returned to the house and said goodbye to Jerry.
January 12, Monday – Grenada
We left the house around 7 and walked to the main road where we caught a local bus for $5 EC total to the Shell gas station where the Avis office is located. They drove me to the St. George’s police station where I bought the mandatory temporary driver’s license for $30 EC, then returned to the Shell station. Our reservation was for a compact automatic but we had a nice small SUV, an Izuzu I think. We set off for the Grand Etang Forest Reserve in the middle of the island. The roads were very windy and narrow, but otherwise OK except for some steep drop-offs on the shoulders, problematic as I was not used to driving on the left. I believe we reached the reserve around 8:30. You are always passing small houses and the parking area comes up suddenly, not in the middle of forest as on Martinique. We drove down to the lake. It was very windy and cloudy, poor weather for birding. We walked along the very muddy trail along the lake for about 20 minutes, but gave up and returned, boots coated in mud. The trail was flooded in many places where it was not muddy, the wind was strong even in the forest, and we saw nothing much besides Bananaquits, a couple of bullfinches, and the back end of a monkey. A couple of tame introduced monkeys were at the visitor’s center parking lot. No birds were on the lake. This was the low point and biggest disappointment of the trip, after the delayed flight to Barbados. Crap weather and no birds. The habitat is secondary forest and apparently the hurricane dealt the forest quite a blow. The two birds we were hoping to see were Rufous-breasted Hermit and LA Tanager, but no luck. I recommend skipping this place. We continued north through Grenville and Tivoli to the northeast coast, with a few wrong turns along the way. We turned left at Lake Antoine and shortly arrived on a small hill overlooking the lake below. We could see Pied-billed Grebes and a couple of Caribbean Coots. There was a narrow dirt road to the right which we took for a short distance, parked, and birded a bit. Grenada Flycatchers were here but nothing else of note. The road goes through forest and has steep drop-offs towards the lake which looked good for quail-doves. This area definitely warrants exploration. As we were unsure of where the road went or if there would be a place to turn around we only stayed about half an hour and backed out. We continued up towards Levera Hill, reaching one grassy area next to the beach. A short stop had only a Frigatebird but we had a Portuguese Man-of-War on the high tide line in the strong surf. A little ways past the buildings we passed a gated area to the left, with a small pond visible. We drove further along the road but it ended by a development. We returned to the gated road, parked, and walked to the pond where we saw Moorhens. There was al least one more pond to the right hidden by the foliage. A walk along this road could also be productive, as there was scrub forest. I think the Kite is sometimes seen here and the habitat seemed good. We continued along the main road west towards Sauteurs, stopping for a snack and ice cream. Next was the highway south and east towards Victoria to look for seabirds. We passed a couple of Brown Boobies flying north near the road. Past Victoria there was a group of fishermen with their catch on the beach accompanied by a flock of Laughing Gulls, Brown and Red-footed Boobies. The drive south was uneventful. We stopped by the dump at Perseverance Estate where Jeff Hopkins had seen Gray-rumped Swifts. All we saw was Barn Swallows. The area is mostly fenced off, but is supposedly an area for the Dove. We didn’t bother looking for a trail and headed through St. George’s for a brief stop to repair Bobby’s glasses (replace screw) and headed back to the house for a brief stop. While proofreading this I realized we should have visited Concorde Falls for the Hermit, reached from the west side near Halifax Harbor. The plan was to return to the Hartman estate for the Dove and Owl. We arrived around 5 PM but neither was seen, although we heard several doves behind the visitor’s center in the brush behind it and to the left where the old animal houses were. We did hear the Owl, probably two, but never saw one despite waiting until 7:30. The local guy in the house was friendly but his thick patois was hard to understand. We had a nice dinner at the Siesta Hotel restaurant. As we returned to the house we heard an owl call nearby. I spent some time in the neighborhood looking for it but despite hearing one or two never saw it.
January 13, Tuesday – Flight to Miami, then New York
We returned the car after filling it with gas and they drove us to the airport where we flew to Miami, then New York.
ENDEMICS or near endemics are in capitals and underlined
B=Barbados, G=Grenada M=Martinique
Pied-billed Grebe – G - several on Lake Antoine in the northeast
Red-billed Tropicbird – M – a few in the distance at Rocher du Diamant flying around the rock
Brown Pelican – G – a couple seen while driving around both days
Red-footed Booby – G – a couple with Brown Boobies in a small feeding frenzy near fishermen around Victoria – all brown with pink / red feet
Brown Booby – M, G – distant birds at Rocher Diamant presumed this species, also several along the west coast of Grenada
Magnificent Frigatebird – M, G – a couple on Grenada both coasts while driving around
Great Egret – B
Snowy Egret – B
LITTLE EGRET (CB) – B – Congo Road
Little Blue Heron – G – flyby from the bus on Grenada
Cattle Egret – all islands
Green Heron – B – flyby
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron – G – one immature flew out of the mangroves Mt. Hartman area
Osprey – G, M – only one on each island
HOOK-BILLED KITE (CB) – G – Great looks at this endemic subspecies with its rufous collar and strong barring in the Mt. Hartman scrub. It feeds on tree snails
Broad-winged Hawk – G, M – one or two each day on both islands, several Mt. Hartman area
American Kestrel – M – one only on telephone wire southwest Martinique
Common Moorhen – B, G – endemic subspecies on Barbados, a couple at Levera Hill area on Grenada
Caribbean Coot – B – one or two on Lake Antoine, white bill shields extending onto forehead noticeable even at a distance
Black-bellied Plover – B
Semipalmated Plover – B
Spotted Sandpiper – B
Ruddy Turnstone – B
Semipalmated Sandpiper – B
Least Sandpiper – B
Laughing Gull – G – a small flock of winter plumaged birds south of Victoria
BLACK-HEADED GULL (CB) – B – one immature flying over the pools at Congo Road
Royal Tern – G, M – one on Martinique’s south coast, a few on Grenada’s west coast
Rock Dove – G, M
Eurasian Collared Dove – M – both days, a few
Scaly-naped Pigeon – B, G – flybys on Barbados and Grenada, several in Mt. Hartman area, not seen well
Eared Dove – B, G - one flyby on Barbados, common on Grenada
Zenaida Dove – all islands, common on Martinique and Barbados, heard only on Grenada
Common Ground-Dove – G - common
GRENADA DOVE (L) – G - one seen briefly but well by Jerry and me Mt. Hartman, another seen poorly flying out of an evening roost, several heard only at dusk day two. Easily missed
Mangrove Cuckoo – G, M - rain forest on Martinique, scrub forest on Grenada
Smooth-billed Ani – G
Barn / Ashy-faced / Lesser Antillean Owl – G - one flyby at dusk Mt. Hartman, others heard there, in St. George’s and house in Grand Anse. A confusing taxonomic situation. The AOU considers it a subspecies of Barn Owl, Clements (who usually follows the AOU) and the HBW consider it a subspecies of Ashy-faced Owl, otherwise considered a Hispaniola endemic. Others think it might be a separate species, Lesser Antillean Owl, found on Grenada, St. Vincent, and Dominica
Lesser Antillean Swift – M – a small group flew overhead on the N3 while driving to the rain forest
PURPLE-THROATED CARIB - M – several seen well, the bright green wing patch is striking
Green-throated Carib – M - possible, not counted. See note on BT Hummer
Antillean Crested Hummingbird – G, M – fairly common, also in hotel gardens on both islands
Blue-headed Hummingbird – possible, not counted – on two occasions a small dark hummingbird was seen which could have been either this or GT Carib
Caribbean Elaenia – G, M – seen briefly on Martinique, well on Grenada (martinica race)
Yellow-bellied Elaenia – G
GRENADA FLYCATCHER – G – a few in several locations, vocal like many myiarchus
Lesser Antillean Flycatcher – M – a few
Gray Kingbird – all three islands, the Caribbean equivalent of Tropical Kingbird in terms of abundance
Caribbean Martin – B – a group of 35-40 at night roost in town
Barn Swallow – G, M
House Wren – G – common. The Martinique race apparently is extinct
Tropical Mockingbird – G, M – fairly common
WHITE-BREASTED THRASHER – M – nominate race, the trip highlight for me. Two birds, one seen very well at close range in the early morning on the Caravelle Peninsula. This race has a dark gray crown, not illustrated or mentioned in my copy of Raffaele
Scaly-breasted Thrasher – M – One glimpsed briefly at Chateau Dubuc ruins near dusk
GRAY TREMBLER – M – More taxonomic confusion. The Raffaele book lists both Brown and Gray Tremblers as present on Martinique, but the HBW and Clements do not. Raffaele lists the iris color as a distinguishing factor, however the 2 Gray Tremblers that we saw well had a bright yellow-orange iris with the paler underparts looking like Gray Trembler. Two or three other Tremblers were not seen well enough
Rufous-throated Solitaire – M - heard only. Hard to see. A disappointment to not see this race
Bare-eyed Thrush – G, M – only glimpsed by me on Grenada, seen well by Bobby
Black-whiskered Vireo – G, M
Yellow Warbler – M – endemic ruficapilla race, complete chestnut hood, near Chateau Dubuc ruins
Bananaquit – all 3 - black form on Grenada as well as yellow form, common
Blue-black Grassquit (CB) – G – overgrown fields in southeast, only place in Caribbean for it
Yellow-bellied Seedeater (CB) – G – as above, mostly females
Black-faced Grassquit – all three, common
LESSER ANTILLEAN BULLFINCH – G, M – common
BARBADOS BULLFINCH (L) – B – several at airport
LESSER ANTILLEAN SALTATOR – M – one at Chateau Dubuc ruins early morning
Carib Grackle – all three, common to abundant
MARTINIQUE ORIOLE (L) – M – One seen well Trace du Jesuits, 2 other flybys. Although widespread in habitat preference, it’s tough to find. Behavior is more like a Foliage-Gleaner than an oriole
Shiny Cowbird – B, G – Supposedly this bird is a contributing factor to the decline of Martinique Oriole, however we did not see any on the island
MAMMALS / Other
Mongoose – Grenada
Monkeys – Grenada – visitor’s center Grand Etang
Bats – several species, but I have no idea which, all islands.
Portuguese Man-of-war on Grenada beach