Antigua is a reasonably small island (100 square miles) in the northern part of the Caribbean Lesser Antilles. It is also relatively dry when compared with other neighbouring islands. Due to this combination of size and distance from the nearest continental land masses of North and South America, the bird life is restricted in number of species. It does host an interesting spectrum, however, and there are a few species which can be even more difficult elsewhere (such as the 2 Quail Doves and Scaly-naped Pigeon). There are many other better birding spots in the Caribbean, and I would thus see the island as a family holiday destination primarily, but with some decent birding available as a side benefit - as this holiday was.
Birding on the island is roughly divided into 4 types - seawatching, the forests, inland waters, and incidentals around the resorts and other inhabited areas. While not exactly overpopulated, most of the island has given way to habitation, leaving the hilly area in the South-west as the most unspoilt. These hills are well forested, with open grazing areas cutting into the valleys between. Wader and waterbird watching can be surprisingly good - there are some well known sites such as the Potsworks Dam in the South-east, but there are many pools and lagoons dotted around (I saw a number, ranging from ponds to open lagoons and mangroves from the coastal road in the South-west). The area covered for birds and the mode (or lack of) transport was mainly governed by the other holiday activities that we had planned as a family. We had intended to hire a car for some time (costing around $50 per day, plus $20 for CDW per day, and a one off payment of $30 for an Antigua license), and use some of that time to visit birding sites. However, I decided that using the local buses was a much more interesting way to see the island (and a lot cheaper), and to concentrate the birding on the immediate area in which we were staying. This proved an excellent choice. Our hotel was the Jolly Harbour Villas, situated in the South-west, and this is the ideal location for birding. It is possible that the majority of the birds potential to the island are actually within walking distance of here, since I covered all the suitable types of habitat without any form of transport.