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List of species seen

Brown Booby

These were seen regularly, both from the land and sea. Up to 10 were seen passing the hotel on any one day, but best numbers were from the Catamaran on the 5th (30) and the whale watching trip (10). One juvenile seen on the latter seemed to have too much white in the plumage for Brown Booby, so it is likely that other species can also be seen from the islands at this time of year

Magnificent Frigatebird

Small numbers seen only, with a maximum of 5 on the whale watching trip on the 7 days that they were seen. A few odd birds did pass over the hotel grounds

Little Blue Heron

These were most commonly seen in the area of the hotel, and all here were either feeding on the rocks next to the beach, or passing over the sea (both through the day and to roost). Amongst the birds were at least 2 white juveniles. 1 bird was fishing in the main harbour at Castries

Cattle Egret

Extremely common throughout the island, and predictably the first species seen – from the plane on landing. The most pleasant time to see them was when they were flying past the beach either singly or in small groups just before sunset

Green Heron

A single bird was seen regularly (on 7 separate days) below the deck of the adult swimming pool, or flying past just below tree top level. It was sometimes picked up by the noisy squawk often made in flight

Yellow-crowned Night-heron

One bird only was seen flying into a tree in the next bay from the hotel room balcony

Osprey

Single birds seen on 3 separate days

Broad-winged Hawk

5 birds were seen throughout the trip, all in the South of the island. 3 were at Millet over the rain forest, and singles were seen while travelling on the Soufriere road from Castries, and from the Land Rover on the way to Errard Plantation

American Kestrel

What was probably the same bird was seen twice on the beach of the hotel, the first time seen from the water while waiting for my turn water skiing, and both times it seemed to be hunting for small lizards (successfully on one occasion when it landed for a short time with its catch in the palm trees overhead). 3 more sightings of this species were made on separate days around the hotel grounds

Semipalmated Plover 

What was probably the same individual each time was feeding along the sandy beach of the hotel, and this was on 5 occasions

Spotted Sandpiper 

3 sightings of an individual feeding on the hotel beach

Turnstone

Up to 4 birds were feeding on the hotel beach on most days, and usually could be seen flying to roost in the next bay on an evening

Laughing Gull 

Only seen once – a group of 3 flying South from the hotel on the 8th

Sandwich Tern

Regularly seen feeding over the sea from the hotel, with a maximum of ~50 birds on any one day

Royal Tern

A small group of these returned to feed over the sea in front of the hotel on regular occasions (on 5 different days), usually being outnumbered by Sandwich Terns. Highest count was of ~12 from the boat on the whale watch

Brown Noddy

I had suspected that it was this species that I occasionally saw from the balcony of the hotel room early in the holiday, although they were a little too far out for even a telescope to help identify. However, over 100 were seen from the returning catamaran on a trip to Soufriere, some in large groups and close to the boat, and ~50 were similarly seen from the whale watch

Scaly-naped Pigeon 

4 were seen flying over the rain forest at Millet

Zenaida Dove 

Extremely common and very tame – some were almost stepped on in the resort grounds

Common Ground-dove 

Not as common as expected. They were only seen on 3 days, all in the hotel grounds, and were small numbers (2 on 2 days, and 4 on the other). They are also a lot less approachable than the numerous Zenaida Dove

St Lucia Parrot

This is probably the most prized of the endemics, and even the general population of the island are aware of their presence and importance. Numbers on the island fall short of 4 figures, but my impression is that they are not too difficult to see if the rain forest is visited. My trip to Millet seemed to be specifically for this species, and ~12 birds were duly seen. However, I arrived there shortly after first light, and the last of the birds was seen around half an hour later (probably before 7am). I was taken on a short walk from the forestry office to a point which is fairly open, and overlooked by a tree shrouded peak. All of the parrots were plying to and fro around this peak. Apparently, they are seen much closer to in the mango season (January to May), when they are too busy gorging on the fruits to worry about human intrusion

Black Swift 

~12 birds were seen over the rain forest at Millet, some of which were flying around the peak earlier populated by parrots. They are noticeably larger than the accompanying Lesser Antillean Swifts, with a much less fluttery flight

Lesser Antillean Swift  

~50 over the rain forest at Millet. Some of these birds were directly overhead at treetop level

Purple-throated Carib

This was the one Caribbean hummingbird of the 3 that I had missed in Antigua, but was quite easy to catch up with on St Lucia. Despite the information in the books that stated it was more of an upland species, I saw it in all habitats – including my first and some subsequent sightings in the hotel grounds. When the light strikes the seemingly black throat, the sheen looks more of a red than purple. 14 birds were seen in all, with most being present at Millet (up to 6 birds here)

Green-throated Carib

12 birds were seen through the week, and were seen in a variety of habitats and altitudes. The guides seem to point at the bill shape as being different to the Purple-throated Carib, but this can be difficult to use as a field mark at first. When the sheen on the throat is not seen (obviously diagnostic), the green on the back of the head and mantle compare easily with the black on the other Carib species

Antillean Crested Hummingbird 

This is a much smaller bird than the two Caribs, and at 28 birds seen over the trip, more commonly seen than either of them. The subspecies on St Lucia has a green sheen on the crest of the male, looking otherwise black all over. While most were seen around the hotel grounds, 2 were present at the higher altitudes of Millet

Caribbean Elaenia

Only 1 seen – on the canopy of one of the trees overlooking the forestry office at Millet

Lesser Antillean (St Lucia) Pewee

I had thought that this endemic would have been easier to see, but the guide at Millet mentioned a bird that had been present in the area a few days earlier, seemingly indicating that sightings were notable. However, since the single bird that I saw was in the bushes adjacent to the mansion house at Errard Plantation, my guess would be that any reasonable time spent in the rain forest would pick this species up

Grey Kingbird

Not only are these birds very common and approachable, but they occur at all altitudes and habitats that I visited. Maximum number was ~50 on the day of the visit to Millet, where they were almost constantly in sight throughout the trip

Tropical Mockingbird 

These were seen on every day but one, with a maximum of around 8 birds on one day, this being a day when we didn’t leave the hotel grounds. They were very easy to see at the hotel, and could usually be heard singing towards the end of the day

Grey Trembler

One or two were possibly seen while watching the parrots at Millet, but could not be pinned down for even half decent views. On the return to the office, at least 2 birds were eventually seen in the trees overhead very close to. They have only recently been split from Brown Trembler, which occurs a lot more widely in the Caribbean than the restricted St Lucia / Martinique range of Grey Trembler. They also don’t appear to have any diagnostic marks, but thankfully the St Lucia form has a much cleaner lighter breast than the more rufous coloured Brown Trembler, and is the only one of the two species on this island likely to occur in rain forest

Scaly-breasted Thrasher

These are quite a common bird on the islands, but I had only found one pair on Antigua – in the hills – so had assumed they were not too easy to see. The pair of birds watched gorging on berries at the adult pool disproved this, and they were seen almost daily. 3 were also present at Millet, where I unsuccessfully waited to try for Pearly-eyed Thrasher, which is reputed to come to feed around the forestry office

Black-whiskered Vireo

2 well marked birds were seen at Millet

St Lucia (“Adelaide’s”) Warbler 

The Adelaide’s super-species is not endemic to St Lucia, but its strange distribution restricts it to only 2 other islands – Barbuda and Puerto Rico, which are much less likely to be visited than here. It is not surprising therefore that the 3 have recently been split into separate species – the ones on St Lucia predictably being named St Lucia Warbler. After an initial bird was seen on a sightseeing trip to the volcano above Soufriere, ~8 birds were seen at Millet, most of which were very close to while feeding actively in nearby trees and low vegetation

Bananaquit

Very common

Lesser Antillean Bullfinch

Commonly seen, particularly around the hotel grounds

Lesser Antillean Saltator 

The first birds were around half a dozen in the rain forest at Millet, feeding on berries and quite close. I had thought they would be a species only seen when leaving the hotel, so was surprised at the 2 individual sightings on separate days from the comfort of one of the adult swimming pool loungers, the birds being just beyond the perimeter fence (about 10 metres from me)

Carib Grackle 

Abundant everywhere, and noisy with it!

St Lucia Oriole 

The third (or fourth, depending on status of St Lucia Pewee) of the endemics. They are only usually seen in the higher altitude rain forest, and I was lucky to see my first almost as soon as I stepped out of the Land Rover on arrival at Millet. This is an excellent spot for them, not only because they are quite easy to see (9 were seen during my stay), but they can also be very approachable, particularly around the forestry office, where they can tend to come to feed in the ‘garden’


Home

Paintings gallery

Video clips

Images

DVD

Contact

Site map

Links

Content

Introduction

Hotel

Millet

Whale watch

Species list

Text only