I was very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to lead a Naturetrek group to Jamaica during the second week of February. Thankfully, the group were great with varied interests in many aspects of natural history and good fun to be with. What also helped was the birding, which was fairly easy, especially at our accommodation within the 1600-acre sites of Green Castle, situated on the NE coastline.
All 28 endemics which are currently recognised as such were seen, and in total, 108 species of bird, 20 species of butterfly and three species of dragonfly were found. For me, I saw 47 lifers which far surpassed my expectations from this Greater Antillean island.
On two of the seven days, we had excursions into either the Blue Mountains or John Crow mountains for the higher altitudinal endemics, with all proving relatively easy to find.
Besides the Caribbean species, it was great to come across a wealth of North American wood-warblers: Ovenbirds, Northern Parulas, American Redstarts, and Black-and-white, Myrtle, Yellow (Mangrove), Cape May, Blackburnian (one), Prarie and Yellow-throated Warblers were all seen well.
It truly was a great week away and refreshing to once again be on a foreign birding trip and I would thoroughly recommend Jamaica for a safe and bird-filled destination!
|Black-billed Streamertail - only at high altitudes|
|Vervain Hummingbird - the 2nd smallest bird in the world!|
|Jamaican Lizard Cuckoo|
|Tropical Chequered Skipper|
|The reservoir at Green Castle|