St. Lucia Warbler Photo: Stuart Elsom
A small but beautiful island, St. Lucia epitomizes everyone’s image of the Caribbean—a sun-drenched tropical island fringed with beautiful coves and hidden beaches. We’ll visit all the important bird areas as well as the nearby island of St. Vincent, home to its own colorful endemic parrot and the delightful Whistling Warbler. This relaxed tour will give us some much sought-after endemics, including St. Lucia Parrot and St. Lucia Warbler, and near endemics such as Lesser Antillean Bullfinch and Purple-throated Carib, while also allowing us to enjoy the islands’ comfort and typically warm Caribbean hospitality.
Day 1: Our tour begins this afternoon at Hewanorroa International Airport on St. Lucia. We’ll head north along the island’s scenic east coast to Rodney Bay seeing our first birds of this tropical paradise along the way, possibly including Zenaida and Eared Doves, Carib Grackle, Tropical Mockingbird, and Scaly-naped Pigeon. Night in Rodney Bay, our base for five nights.
Days 2–5: The east coast of St. Lucia holds one of the very much sought-after endemics, the White-breasted Thrasher, and we’ll devote some time in the early morning to getting good views of this range-restricted endemic.
We’ll then move on to Des Cartier Rainforest Trail, where we’ll undertake a leisurely walk up the gently sloping track. Here we’ll look for such species as Rufous-throated Solitaire and Lesser Antillean Flycatcher as well as three species of hummingbird—Green-throated and Purple-throated Caribs, which are forest-dwelling species, and the smaller and even more spectacular Antillean Crested Hummingbird. We could also see our first St. Lucia Amazon, a large and splendid endemic parrot.
The wetlands in the south of the country are an internationally important migratory stop-off for many Nearctic migrants. This time of year the Aupicot Wetlands can hold up to ten different species of wader including Lesser Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper, and Willet. Also present should be Caribbean Coot, Little Blue and Tricolored Herons, Great and Snowy Egrets, Osprey (of the distinctive Caribbean form ridgwayi), Belted Kingfisher, Caribbean Martins, and perhaps our only ducks of the trip, which are likely to include American Wigeon and Lesser Scaup. A short distance along the coast are the magnificent cliffs at Moule a Chique, where we hope to view the graceful Red-billed Tropicbird and perhaps its rarer White-tailed cousin. We’ll also keep our eyes open here for Bridled Tern and Brown Noddy.
One day we’ll skip the minibus in favor of a leisurely boat trip with Captain Mike along the island’s west coast to Soufrière. Along the way we’ll keep our eyes peeled for seabirds, which could include both Red-footed and Brown Boobies, Cabot’s (Sandwich) and Royal Terns, and the first of many Laughing Gulls. Once back on land we’ll travel to Bouton, where the forest should produce Gray Trembler, St. Lucia Oriole, and Gray Kingbird, while both Pearly-eyed and Scaly-breasted Thrashers frequent this area, as does St. Lucia Amazon, the charming St. Lucia Warbler, and Mangrove Cuckoo.
The dry forest of Grand Anse is home to many special birds, including the island form of House Wren, which is likely to be split sometime in the future as St. Lucia Wren. This morning we’ll travel a rough track in a specially adapted four-wheel-drive safari vehicle to see if we can find Spectacled Thrush, Rufous-throated Nightjar, and St. Lucia Pewee, while on the nearby beach we’ll scan for Black Swifts working their way along the coast. Nearby at Pigeon Island Causeway on the northwest coast we’ll look for Bridled Tern, Brown Booby, and Zenaida Dove among others. Nights in Rodney Bay.
Day 6: We’ll drive to the small internal airport at Castries for a short flight out to the neighboring island of St. Vincent. Located in the Caribbean Sea between St. Lucia and Grenada, St. Vincent lies about 100 miles west of Barbados and is composed of partially submerged volcanic mountains. Its largest volcano, and the country’s highest peak, La Soufrière, is active, having last erupted in 1979. The territory was disputed between France and the United Kingdom in the 18th century and only gained independence the year of that last eruption. Night in St. Vincent.
Day 7: St. Vincent is a very small island just 18 miles long and 11 miles wide. We’ll spend the whole day here, moving from site to site and hoping to record such species as the delightful endemic Whistling Warbler, Grenada Flycatcher, Cocoa Thrush, Caribbean Martin, Gray Trembler, Lesser Antillean Tanager, and of course the superb St. Vincent Amazon, the island’s endemic parrot. There are also island forms of both House Wren and Common Black Hawk, which are both potential future splits. Night in St. Vincent.
Day 8: This morning we’ll reluctantly leave our hotel and the island of St. Vincent with a short flight back to St. Lucia. Here we’ll spend the rest of the day looking for species we may have missed, trying to get better views of those we saw earlier, or just savoring island life, which will be rounded off with a farewell meal. Night in Rodney Bay.
Day 9: We’ll have a leisurely day today, taking in some of the key birding sites in the north of the island before heading south to pay another visit to the Aupicot Wetlands to look for any new arrivals. We’ll remain in the south of the island before traveling to the airport where our tour concludes in the mid-afternoon.
Created: 12 September 2015
- 2018 Tour Price Not Yet Available
- (2016 Tour Price $4,900)
This tour is organized by our British company, Sunbird. Information on Sunbird and an explanation of Sunbird tour pricing can be found here.
* Tour invoices paid by check carry a 4% discount. Details here.
Maximum group size 10 with two leaders