Lesser Florican - August 2023

Total Pageviews

Sunday 20 February 2022

Jamaica: 7th – 15th February

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!

Jamaican Tody

Red-billed Streamertail

Black-billed Streamertail - only at high altitudes

Vervain Hummingbird - the 2nd smallest bird in the world!

Jamaican Spindalis

Jamaican Lizard Cuckoo

Yellow-billed Parrot

Northern Potoo

Jamaican Woodpecker

Rufous-tailed Flycatcher

Sad Flycatcher

Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo

White-eyed Thrush

Ring-tailed Pigeon

Jamaican Pewee

Least Grebe

White-collared Swift

Jamaican Becard

Jamaican Owl

Brown Pelican

Magnificent Frigatebird

Jamaican Crow

Long-tailed Skipper

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Ceraunus Blue

Gulf Fritillary

Jamaican Satyr

Julia Heliconian

Tropical Chequered Skipper

Great Pondhawk

Blue Mountains

The reservoir at Green Castle

Spanish Tower

Tuesday 15 February 2022

From Jamaica to Hill Road, Eastbourne

It was somewhat typical, that into my second day on Jamaica, I was greeted with the news of a major county rarity. The bird in question was of course the American Robin in Eastbourne, a county first no less, but there was little I could do but hope the bird would stay on site for my return. Scrolling the daily twitter feed which showed myriad photos of the bird in question certainly didn't calm my nerves.

This morning, on Gatwick's taxi-way, I found out the bird was still present, which initiated a few fist pumps (the Jamaicans alongside looked perplexed to say the least!) and the start of a mad dash down to Eastbourne before the rain arrived.

I was surprised to be the only one on site, but I soon found the American Robin on the grass section to the west of the houses, but its right leg appeared badly injured and the bird looked rather weak, but hopefully it'll be OK. Walking around in shorts and flip flops no doubt raised a few eyebrows from the already bemused local residents.

Anyway, Jamaica was excellent and photos will be on here in due course.