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TRAVELLING NATURALIST TRIP REPORT

JAMAICA

18th– 26th January 2007




Black-billed Streamertail, Mockingbird Hill (KG)


Leaders / Guides:
John Fletcher (Forres Park)
Keith Grant (UK)
Ryan Love (Mockingbird Hill)

Driver / Assistant Guide:
Wayne Murdoch


Daily Diary:

Thursday 18th January Arrival
Those who were flying from London all duly met at Heathrow and the flight took off on time. Despite a headwind against us all the way, particularly over the Western Approaches where this sometimes reached 130mph, we made good time and were only marginally late arriving at Montego Bay. Unfortunately, an oil filter warning light on one of the engines delayed our departure and we ended up about an hour late at Kingston. We met with Wayne, our driver for the week, and, after a light dinner at a restaurant en route, we welcomed our beds for the night.

Friday 19th January Hope Botanical Gardens, Widcombe Road, Forres Park
Warm, some cloud.
Most awoke early despite the long journey yesterday and we gathered on the lawn soon after 6am. Birds came steadily, with Loggerhead Kingbird, American Kestrel and Northern Mockingbird. Both Red-billed Streamertail and Vervain Hummingbird were seen regularly over the next hour or so. Small numbers of Antillean Palm Swift flew low over the grounds. We did well for pigeons & doves, with White-winged, Zenaida and Common Ground Doves all being seen, and some excellent views of White-crowned Pigeons. Finally, the New World warblers were represented by American Redstarts, Prairie Warblers, Black-throated Blue, Palm and Yellow-rumped Warblers. A Jamaican Woodpecker and several Saffron Finches showed well, though a Jamaican Oriole proved more elusive. Our guide, John Fletcher, arrived, and after breakfast we drove to the Hope Botanical Gardens. Here a Black-throated Green Warbler was found immediately upon alighting from the bus, plus further Saffron Finches and a stunning Jamaican Tody. There were nice views of Yellow-billed Parrots and the numerous American Kestrels included both white- and chestnut-plumaged birds. On the small lake, a Least Grebe was amongst the Moorhens, and a Green Heron showed well. Numerous butterflies included swallowtails, whites and sulphurs. We then drove up the Widcombe Road and walked a short distance back down the hill. A Smooth-billed Ani showed distantly for a while, and we found several Orangequits. There were good numbers of the Heliconian butterfly, the Zebra Longwing Heliconius charitonius, at one point. On the way to lunch at the university, we collected our main baggage from the guest house, then made our way to Forres Park where the Red-billed Streamertails were stunning. After settling in, we walked a short way along a hillside trail, adding Black-and-white Warbler, further Orangequits, Jamaican Tody and Jamaican Orioles. Bob and Donna, whose flight from the US had been cancelled yesterday, arrived whilst we were walking, and we met each other on the hillside above the hotel.



Least Grebe & Green Heron, Hope Botanical Gardens (KG)

Saturday 20th January Woodside & Hardwar Gap
Sunny to start, though low cloud spilled over the ridge from the north
We all gathered at 6am for coffee, just as the eastern sky was lightening, and by 6.30 had set off in the vehicle for Hardwar Gap. En route, we picked up Ricardo, a very knowledgeable birding-naturalist friend of John’s and definitely a prospective guide for the future. This was quite a slow drive and with several brief stops, we arrived at Woodside soon after 8.30am. We walked down the hill on a side road. Crested Quail-dove was heard calling as we alighted but was not seen. Several Rufous-throated Solitaires were heard singing and there were several brief views. A Worm-eating Warbler was extremely difficult to spot as it hopped amongst the leaf litter underneath thick vegetation, though one or two of us did manage reasonable very brief views. Both Jamaican Tody and Jamaican Woodpecker again showed well. We eventually had to retrace our path, a Rufous-tailed Flycatcher heard calling but not seen, and then almost at the vehicle, a Greater Antillean Elaenia was watched by some. A little further on, our first Blue Mountain Vireo was found at eye level in a roadside bush. As we drove over the ridge, we immediately entered low cloud on the northern side, dramatically reducing visibility. We stopped along the road for our picnic breakfast, then walked slowly downhill, birding as we went. There were further brief views of Solitaires, then several excellent views of Jamaican Spindalis (=Stripe-headed Tanager). We eventually decided to return in the vehicle to the sunshine on the southern side, and explored the road below The Gap Café. Here we found White-eyed Thrush amongst others, and noted a Red-tailed Hawk drift overhead at treetop height. We had a relaxing lunch back at The Gap, watching Red-billed Streamertails coming to the feeders, and then repeated the walk down the road. Black-and-white Warbler, Jamaican Euphonia, Greater Antillean Bullfinch, Arrowhead Warbler and Jamaican Blackbird were all noted. We eventually had to return to Forres Park, and whilst some walked the trails up the hillside, others gathered on the veranda. The Red-billed Streamertails were stunning (I’m quite keen on Red-billed Streamertails [KG]!) and they were being chivvied about by three warblers – a male & female Cape May and a Prairie Warbler. The others walking the trails reported both White-collared and Black Swifts overhead at different times.

Sunday 21st January Castleton Botanical Gardens, Spanish River mouth
Fine & sunny, becoming humid on north coast
We gathered at 6am to walk up the hill before breakfast. With the sun just up, the hill slope was alive with small birds, most notably we had excellent views of two Jamaican Pewees and four Jamaican Euphonias. Six Olive-throated Parakeets flew over but alighted out of sight, and various pigeons and doves included Band-tailed Pigeons, again flying over without stopping. We returned down the hill for breakfast at 8:30am and awaited Wayne’s arrival in the bus. Two further Jamaican Euphonias were in the bushes out front, as was the female Cape May Warbler from yesterday. The seed feeder was also being much frequented by Black-faced Grassquits. We were away just before 10:30am, making brief stops to buy water, a quick look at the Castleton Botanic Gardens, restrooms and then a more prolonged look over the mouth of the Spanish River. Here, we quickly found several Killdeer and good numbers of Royal Terns. Both Grey Plovers (Sorry, Bob, but I did compromise with jaegers [KG]!) and a couple of Turnstone were seen on the pebble bank across the river mouth. Nearer to us, there were four species of heron and a couple of Spotted Sandpipers. We ultimately had to move on, arriving at Mockingbird Hill for a very late lunch, and after which we explored the immediate surroundings for an hour or so in the late afternoon, finding Yellow-faced Grassquits amongst others along a nearby track. The gates of the new house at the end of this track opened automatically as we approached and, being interested in the garden (or was it nosey!), one of the group walked in, at which point the gates promptly closed! We discussed whether to leave him there but ultimately had to press the intercom button and beg for him to be released! We did a circuit, walking down to the road, up another side road and through a small gate back into the hotel grounds. The only other bird of note was an American Kestrel making a meal of a lizard.



Birding the Hardwar Gap road & Jamaican Woodpecker (KG)


Monday 22nd January Ecclesdown Road, San San Road, Mockingbird Hill
Rain from dawn, clearing slowly mid-am
The rain started just before dawn and continued right through to mid-morning, slowly clearing to leave us with sunny spells, then wall-to-wall sunshine for the afternoon. We met at 6:30 and birded from the veranda as it got lighter. We had good views of Sad Flycatcher as it took the moths attracted to one of the pool lights. We then drove along the north coast to the Ecclesdown road. Here, we made several forays out of the bus and into the rain to walk and bird short stretches of road. These forays got longer as the rain eased and eventually cleared. Large numbers of Black-billed Parrots were flying over and we got good views of these and the relatively few Yellow-billed Parrots as they perched up on dead trees to dry off. Similarly, several Jamaican Crows flew across the valley and also perched up on a dead tree to dry off. We had several views of Ruddy Quail-doves as they flew off the road ahead of us. Small warblers included difficult views of Worm-eating and Arrowhead Warblers, these both appearing in the same tree soon after viewing a pair of Jamaican Becards. We had further views of both the warblers elsewhere, together with Black-and-white Warbler. Stripe-headed Tanagers were numerous and we found Jamaican Vireo. One of the numerous Turkey Vultures overhead was piebald in appearance, which initially gave us quite a start and prompted a comment, “Only an old black and white TV”! We retraced our steps occasionally, in order to check out patches of forest which we previously missed due the rain. Being tarred, this road enabled us to walk in the wet without getting muddy which we would have done walking a forest trail. By lunchtime, the clouds had largely cleared and we headed back down the hill to a beach restaurant and a thoroughly enjoyable cooling paddle in the sea. On the way back to the hotel, we detoured past the Police Station at San San and briefly explored another road into the forest. A small party of Green-rumped Parrotlets were feeding noisily in the trees above us and as we climbed up the hill, several Ring-tailed Pigeons flew over. We eventually found a Ring-tailed Pigeon sitting on a branch and that enabled most to view it through the telescopes. A little later, a Black-whiskered Vireo was found, the first of returning migrants from further south. Back at the hotel, tea and carrot cake was waiting for us, though one decided to walk all the way up the hill to the hotel from the road and another went straight to the swimming pool. Birds in the grounds included the usual gang of Greater Antillean Grackles, an exquisite Vervain Hummingbird singing from the very top of a dead tree and seemingly all the White-chinned Thrushes ‘chacking’ away at some unseen predator, just like all thrushes do throughout the world.


Killdeer Olive-throated Parakeets, mating Jamaican Spindalis / Stripe-headed Tanager
(all KG)

Tuesday 23rd January Rio Grande & Fisherman’s Cove
Brief shower before dawn, sunny all day
We were awoken before dawn by heavy rain which fortunately didn’t last long. Gathering around 7am, we checked out the various flowering shrubs visible from the veranda. We then walked up the track from the main drive, checking again the clearing near the new house on the hill. Both Black-faced and Yellow-faced Grassquits were seen well, as did a pair of Olive-fronted Parakeets. We watched the male parakeet courtship-feeding his mate, and we then had to avert our eyes…….! Various doves included further views of Ring-tailed Pigeons. We walked back for a leisurely breakfast at around 8:30, all the while keeping an eye (or two) on the garden. This paid off when a Jamaican Mango appeared right below the breakfast table. Unfortunately, about half of the group had already finished and had left the dining room! Wayne then picked us up at 10am and we drove over to Berrydale to board the Rio Grande rafts. These long bamboo rafts, taking two people each and punted by the ‘Raft Captain’, are a relaxing and excellent way to explore the seven miles of river to the sea. Despite the fact that the five rafts got somewhat separated, we noted an excellent selection of species. Both Little Blue Heron and Snowy Egrets were in the majority, and we had views of both these species next to each other, enabling us to really get to grips with separating the all white immature Little Blue Heron from Snowy Egret. There were also a few Tricolored and Green Herons, and three Belted Kingfishers. Part way down the river, we alighted on the river bank for lunch, prepared for us over a log fire. A single Black-crowned Night-heron was sitting quietly at the water’s edge under an overhang, and as the river widened out and we approached the sea, there were a couple of Great White Egrets and a small roosting flock of Greater Yellowlegs. We found a Pied-billed Grebe fairly soon after boarding the rafts at Berrydale, and then another pair later on. We noted Red-tailed Hawk circling amongst the ever-present Turkey Vultures on three separate occasions, on the last of which it was joined briefly by a Peregrine. We alighted at the river mouth and had about 30 minutes to wait before Wayne was due to pick us up. It was whilst we were waiting that we found our second Jamaican Mango and immediately set off to find the three of us who had wandered off and still needed this species. We found them watching our third mango at the other end of the site! Once aboard the bus again, we stopped briefly at the marina at Port Antonio and viewed a party of Magnificent Frigatebirds perched on power cables running across the bay, and released a Smooth-billed Ani which had caught itself in a fish trap hauled up on the grass. Fisherman’s Cove was our final destination for the day, where some had a welcome dip in the sea and others birded the small area of parkland, finding Worm-eating and Black-and-white Warblers, amongst others. Back to the hotel to prepare for checklist and dinner, apart from a brief interruption when a Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo was found in trees near the front garden.

Wednesday 24th January Ecclesdown road
Generally sunny & humid, heavy shower mid-morning
After a cup of coffee, we were away in the bus just before 7am, returning to the Ecclesdown road. As the sun came up, we walked and birded further along the road than our previous visit. The usual array of species was noted, though today there were far fewer parrots with only a small number of Yellow-billed and even fewer Black-billed Parrots. The first species of note was a Rufous-tailed Flycatcher which showed well in a clearing just below the road. We had our picnic breakfast and continued on, noting a Jamaican Mango briefly and further Rufous-tailed Flycatchers. Sheltering from the shower, we took the opportunity to drive further up the road, getting out and exploring a couple of field tracks down into the valley. There was a White-eyed Thrush briefly on two occasions but seen only by one or two people, Ruddy Quail-dove several times, Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo twice, and a very close Jamaican Elaenia. A male Jamaican Becard was extremely confiding as was a small party of Greater Antillean Bullfinches, and eventually a Jamaican Lizard-Cuckoo showed very well but briefly. We returned for lunch and gathered again mid-afternoon, though some wandered the gardens before that, where a further Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo was noted by one person and a Yellow-shouldered Grassquit by another. Our late afternoon walk took us from the garden up the track to the new house where Black-and-white Warbler, Northern Parula and Prairie Warbler were all seen. A Common Yellowthroat was skulking in the weedy clearing and was seen briefly several times by different people. A further Yellow-shouldered Grassquit was found amongst the Black-faced & Yellow-faced Grassquits. A flock of White-collared Swifts flew over, followed soon after by a single Caribbean Martin. Finally a third Yellow-shouldered Grassquit was found in the garden.

Thursday 25th January San San road & departure
Sunny & humid, light shower before breakfast
Most of us gathered at 6:30am for a quick coffee before driving the short distance to the San San road. Olive-throated Parakeets and Green-rumped Parrotlets were noisy as we arrived. Walking slowly up the trail, we saw both Ring-tailed & White-crowned Pigeons in the treetops. An Ovenbird was seen briefly along the trackside ahead of us, but it quickly disappeared into the forest undergrowth. At the same time, a White-eyed Thrush perched up in full view behind us and some of us got caught between both, seeing neither well if at all! At the top of the trail where a plot of land had been sold and cleared of forest, we found various warblers feeding amongst the fallen trees and brush. Amongst these, a fine Hooded Warbler stood out. Returning down the hill, we came across an exquisite Rufous-throated Solitaire perched in bare branches just over the trail. Back to the hotel for breakfast soon after 8:30am.
A free morning enabled us to bird quietly by ourselves, pack ready for the flight home or simply to relax. We loaded the bus after our final excellent lunch and were away soon after 2pm. We stopped to overlook some cliffs for a little while but apart from some very distant terns, it was very quiet. Our next stop was to overlook Yallas Pond. This large body of water held about 30 Royal Terns and a few herons. We arrived at the airport in good time to check in for our overnight flight back to the UK, and bade our farewells to Wayne & Ryan, and to Bob & Donna who were staying an extra night.

Friday 26th January Arrival at Heathrow, midday




Species Lists:
The various species lists below use the following references:
Birds: We use the suggested worldwide English names and systematic order as found in World
Bird Species
Checklist: with alternate English & scientific names (Wells, M.G., 1998).
Also: Birds of the West Indies (Helm Field Guide, Raffaele, H. et al, 2003).
The North American Bird Guide (Sibley, D., 2000)
Mammals: We use the suggested worldwide English names and systematic order as found in
Mammals of the World, A Checklist (Duff, A. & Lawson, A., 2004).
Butterflies: A Field Guide to the Butterflies of the West Indies (Riley, N.D., 1975).

Alternate names are separated by ‘/’ and optional names are enclosed by ‘[..]’.

BIRDS:

GREBES - Podicipedidae

Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps : Three on the Rio Grande on 23rd.
Least Grebe Tachybaptus dominicus : One, Hope Botanical Gardens, on 19th.

PELICANS - Pelecanidae

Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis : Two as we approached the airport on 25th.

FRIGATEBIRDS - Fregatidae

Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens : Noted on 5 days with 1 on 21st, 3 on 22nd, 11 on wires Port Antonio on 23rd, 1 on 24th, 4 on 25th.

HERONS, EGRETS & BITTERNS - Ardeidae

Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias : One, Rio Grande on 23rd.
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis : Noted each day.
Great [White] Egret Casmerodius albus : Noted on 4 days with 3 on 21st, 1 on 22nd, 3 Rio Grande on 23rd, 1 Yallas Pond on 25th.
Tricolored Heron Egretta tricolor : Noted on 2 days with 1 on 21st, 4 Rio Grande on 23rd.
Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea : Noted on 4 days with 2 on 19th, 6 on 21st, many on 23rd, several en route on 25th.
Snowy Egret Egretta thula : Noted on 3 days with 2 on 20th, many on 23rd, 2 en route on 25th.
Green Heron Butorides virescens : Noted on 3 days with 1 on 19th, 2 on 21st, 7 Rio Grande on 23rd.
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax : One, Rio Grande, on 23rd.

SWANS, GEESE & DUCKS - Anatidae

Blue-winged Teal Anas discors : Five at the Spanish River mouth on 21st.

NEW WORLD VULTURES & CONDORS - Cathartidae

Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura : Noted each day in varying numbers, including piebald individuals on 22nd.

HAWKS, EAGLES & allies - Accipitridae

Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis : Up to three noted most days.

FALCONS & allies - Falconidae

American Kestrel Falco sparverius : Regularly noted each day.
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus : One, Rio Grande, on 23rd.

RAILS & COOTS - Rallidae

Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus : Noted on 2 days with 7 on 19th, 2 on 21st.

PLOVERS & LAPWINGS - Charadriidae

Grey/Black-bellied Plover Pluvialis squatarola : Noted on 2 days with 5 at Spanish River on 21st, 1 Port Antonio on 23rd.
Killdeer Charadrius vociferus : Noted on 2 days with 3 at Spanish River on 21st, 1 Rio Grande on 23rd.

SANDPIPERS, SNIPES & allies - Scolopacidae

Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca : Eight, Rio Grande, on 23rd.
Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius : Noted on 3 days with 2 at Spanish River on 21st, 6 Rio Grande on 23rd, several en route on 25th.
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres : Noted on 2 days with 2 at Spanish River on 21st, 1 Yallas Pond on 25th.

TERNS - Sternidae

Royal Tern Sterna maxima : Noted on 3 days with 28 at Spanish River mouth on 21st, 1 on 22nd, at least 30 Yallas Pond plus others elsewhere on 25th.

DOVES & PIGEONS - Columbidae

Rock Dove / Feral Pigeon Columba livia : Noted each day in towns & villages.
White-crowned Pigeon Columba leucocephala : Noted each day in small numbers.
Ring-tailed Pigeon Columba caribaea : Noted on 5 days in small numbers.
Zenaida Dove Zenaida aurita : Noted each day.
White-winged Dove Zenaida asiatica : Noted on 5 days in small numbers.
Common Ground Dove Columbina passerina : Noted each day.
Caribbean Dove Leptotila jamaicensis : Noted on 2 days with 1 Mockingbird Hill on 22nd, 1 San San road on 25th.
Crested Quail-dove Geotrygon versicolor : Heard calling at Woodside on 20th.
Ruddy Quail-dove Geotrygon montana : Noted on 2 days with at least 6 Ecclesdown road on 22nd, plus several there again on 24th.

PARROTS & allies - Psittacidae

Olive-throated Parakeet Aratinga nana : Noted in small numbers on 5 days with at least 7 Forres Park & Mockingbird Hill on 21st, 4 Mockingbird Hill on 22nd, regularly seen on 23rd, several on 24th, several San San road on 25th.
Green-rumped Parrotlet Forpus passerinus : Noted on 4 days with at least 6 San San road on 22nd, 4 Mockingbird Hill on 23rd, 2 Mockingbird Hill on 24th, several San San road on 25th.
Yellow-billed Amazon [Parrot] Amazona collaria : Noted on 4 days with at least 10 Hope Botanical Gardens on 19th, at least 20 Ecclesdown road on 22nd, at least 6 Ecclesdown road on 24th, several flew over San San road on 25th.
Black-billed Amazon [Parrot] Amazona agilis : Noted on 3 days with at least 50 Ecclesdown road on 22nd, several Ecclesdown road on 24th, San San road on 25th.

ANIS - Crotophagidae

Smooth-billed Ani Crotophaga ani : Noted on 3 days with 1 Widcombe road on 19th, 2 on 21st, 7 Port Antonio on 23rd.

NEW WORLD CUCKOOS - Coccyzidae

Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo Hyentornis pluvialis : Noted on 4 days with 1 briefly by one member of the group on 22nd, 1 Mockingbird Hill on 23rd, at least 3 Ecclesdown road & 1 Mockingbird Hill on 24th, 2 San San road on 25th.
Jamaican Lizard-cuckoo Saurothera vetula : Noted on 2 days with 2 briefly Ecclesdown road on 24th, several San San road on 25th.

OWLS - Strigidae

Jamaican Owl Pseudoscops grammicus : Noted on 3 days with calls heard at Mockingbird Hill during early morning on 22nd & 23rd, seen by torchlight after dinner on 24th.

SWIFTS - Apodidae

Black Swift Cypseloides niger : Noted on 3 days with 5 over Forres Park late afternoon on 20th, at least 5 probably this species on 21st, at least 10 probably this species on 22nd.
White-collared Swift Streptoprocne zonaris : Noted on 3 days with 2 over Forres Park late afternoon on 20th, 14 Mockingbird Hill on 23rd, 43 Mockingbird Hill on 24th.
Antillean Palm Swift Tachornis phoenicobia : Noted on 3 days with at least 15 on 19th, several over Forres Park late afternoon on 20th, several on 21st.

HUMMINGBIRDS - Trochilidae

Jamaican Mango Anthracothorax mango : Noted on 3 days with 4 throughout the day on 23rd, at least 3 Ecclesdown road on 24th, Mockingbird Hill on 24th & 25th.
Red-billed Streamertail Trochilus polytmus : Noted on 4 days, regularly seen Forres Park 19th - 21st, plus a male with full streamers & red bill with small black tip Mockingbird Hill on 25th.
Black-billed Streamertail Trochilus scitulus : Noted on 5 days, Mockingbird Hill, 21st - 25th.
Vervain Hummingbird Mellisuga minima : Noted each day.

KINGFISHERS - Alcedinidae

Belted Kingfisher Ceryle alcyon : Noted on 3 days with 1 Hope Botanical Gardens on 19th, 3 Rio Grande on 23rd, 1 en route on 25th.

TODIES - Todidae

Jamaican Tody Todus todus : Noted each day in small numbers.

WOODPECKERS - Picidae

Jamaican Woodpecker Melanerpes radiolatus : Regularly noted each day.

TYRANT FLYCATCHERS - Tyrannidae

Jamaican Elaenia Myiopagis cotta : One, Ecclesdown road, on 24th.
Greater Antillean Elaenia Elaenia fallax : One, Woodside, on 20th.
Jamaican Pewee Contopus pallidus : Two, Forres Park, on 21st.
Sad Flycatcher Myiarchus barbirostris : Noted in small numbers most days.
Rufous-tailed Flycatcher Myiarchus validus : Noted on 3 days with a bird calling at Woodside on 20th, 1 seen by one member Forres Park on 21st, several Ecclesdown road on 24th.
Loggerhead Kingbird Tyrannus caudifasciatus : Noted each day, common.
Jamaican Becard Pachyramphus niger : Noted on 2 days with a pair, Ecclesdown road, on 22nd, then a pair very close, again along the Ecclesdown road, on 24th.

SWALLOWS & MARTINS - Hirundinidae

Caribbean Martin Progne dominicensis : Noted on 2 days with 4 over Mockingbird Hill on 22nd, 1 Mockingbird Hill on 24th.

MOCKINGBIRDS & THRASHERS - Mimidae

Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos : Regularly noted most days in small numbers.

THRUSHES - Turdidae

Rufous-throated Solitaire Myadestes genibarbis : Noted on 4 days with birds heard and seen briefly several times at Woodside & Hardwar Gap on 20th, heard singing Ecclesdown road on 22nd, heard again Ecclesdown road on 24th, 1 seen very close San San road on 25th.
White-eyed Thrush Turdus jamaicensis : Noted on 3 days with 1 seen briefly twice on 20th, 1 again very briefly on 24th, 1 seen well San San road on 25th.
White-chinned Thrush Turdus aurantius : Noted each day.

CROWS, JAYS & MAGPIES - Corvidae

Jamaican Crow Corvus jamaicensis : Noted on 2 days with 3 Ecclesdown road on 22nd, a pair Ecclesdown road on 24th.

STARLINGS - Sturnidae

Common/European Starling Sturnus vulgaris : Noted on 2 days with several on 19th, ca10 over Castleton on 21st.

BUNTINGS & NEW WORLD SPARROWS - Emberizidae

Saffron Finch Sicalis flaveola : Several in hotel garden & Hope Botanical Gardens on 19th.
Yellow-faced Grassquit Tiaris olivacea : Noted in small numbers on 5 days with 2 on 19th, then up to 4, Mockingbird Hill, 21st & 23rd - 25th.
Black-faced Grassquit Tiaris bicolor : Regularly noted most days.
Yellow-shouldered Grassquit Loxipasser anoxanthus : Noted on 2 days with a female at Mockingbird Hill on 23rd, and 3 different birds by various people on 24th.
Greater Antillean Bullfinch Loxogilla violacea : Noted on 2 days with at least 2 near The Gap café on 20th, at least 9 along Ecclesdown road on 24th.

TANAGERS & HONEYCREEPERS - Thraupidae

Jamaican Stripe-headed Tanager Spindalis nigricephalus : Noted in small numbers most days.
Jamaican Euphonia Euphonia jamaica : Noted on 5 days with several near The Gap café on 20th, excellent views at least 6 Forres Park on 21st, 1 Fisherman's Cove & heard Mockingbird Hill on 23rd, several on 24th, several Mockingbird Hill on 25th.
Orangequit Euneornis campestris : Commonly noted most days

BANANAQUIT - Coerebidae

Bananaquit Coereba flaveola : Regularly noted each day.

NEW WORLD WARBLERS - Parulidae

Northern Parula Parula americana : Noted in small numbers each day.
Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia : Ones & twos noted each day.
Black-throated Blue Warbler Dendroica caerulescens : Regularly noted in small numbers each day.
Arrowhead Warbler Dendroica pharetra : Noted on 4 days with seen briefly at near The Gap café by one person on 20th, 3 Ecclesdown road on 22nd, 1 Mockingbird Hill on 23rd, 2 Ecclesdown road on 24th.
Black-throated Green Warbler Dendroica virens : One, Hope Botanical Gardens, on 19th.
Prairie Warbler Dendroica discolor : Ones or twos regularly noted each day.
Palm Warbler Dendroica palmarum : Noted on 2 days with at least 2 in hotel garden on 19th, 1 Rio Grande on 23rd.
Cape May Warbler Dendroica tigrina : Noted on 4 days with 1 on 19th, a pair Forres Park on 20th, a female Forres Park on 21st, a male Mockingbird Hill on 23rd.
Yellow-rumped Warbler Dendroica coronata : One in hotel garden on 19th.
American Redstart Setophaga ruticilla : Commonly noted each day.
Ovenbird Seiurus aurocapillus : One seen briefly, San San road, on 25th.
Worm-eating Warbler Helmitheros vermivorus : Noted on 3 days with 1 seen (very well by some) at Woodside on 20th, 2 Ecclesdown road on 22nd, 1 Fisherman's Cove on 23rd.
Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas : One, Mockingbird Hill, on 24th.
Hooded Warbler Wilsonia citrina : One, San San road, on 25th.

VIREOS - Vireonidae

White-eyed Vireo Vireo griseus : One, very briefly, Ecclesdown road on 24th.
Jamaican Vireo Vireo modestus : Noted on 2 days with 2 Ecclesdown road on 22nd, 1 Ecclesdown road on 24th.
Blue Mountain Vireo Vireo osburni : Noted on 3 days with several on 20th, 1 Ecclesdown road on 22nd & again on 24th.
Black-whiskered Vireo Vireo altiloquus : One, San San road, on 22nd.

NEW WORLD ORIOLES & BLACKBIRDS - Icteridae

Jamaican Oriole Icterus leucopteryx : Noted in small numbers most days.
Jamaican Blackbird Nesopsar nigerrimus : One seen well, near The Gap café, on 20th.
Greater Antillean Grackle Quiscalus niger : Noted each day, very common.




MAMMALS - MAMMALIA

Small Indian Mongoose Herpestes auropunctatus : Noted on 4 days with several at Hope Botanical Gardens on 19th, 1 en route on 20th, several en route & at Mockingbird Hill on 24th & 25th.
Feral Pigs Sus [scrofa] domesticus : Several, Ecclesdown road, on 22nd.






BUTTERFLIES - LEPIDOPTERA
SKIPPERS - Hesperiidae

Jamaican Astraptes Skipper Astraptes jaira : One inspecting flowering shrubs on roadside near The Gap Café on 20th, photographed.

APOLLOS & SWALLOWTAILS - Papilionidae

Bahaman Swallowtail Papilio andraemon : Several, Hope Botanical Gardens, on 19th.
False Androgeus Swallowtail Papilio thersites : Noted on 2 days with 1 at Hope Botanical Gardens on 19th, 1 Mockingbird Hill on 23rd.
Polydamus Swallowtail / Gold Rim Battus polydamus : Noted on 3 days at Mockingbird Hill, 22nd - 24th, photographed.

WHITES, YELLOWS & SULPHURS - Pieridae

Florida White Appias drusilla : One, Widcombe Road, on 19th.
Jamaican Sulphur Eurema nise : One, photographed, San San road, on 25th.
Guayacán Sulphur Kricogonia lyside : Commonly seen along roadside, Forres Park, on 20th.

HAIRSTREAKS, COPPERS & BLUES - Lycaenidae

Cassius Blue Leptotes cassius : One, caught & photographed, Forres Park, on 20th.

BRUSH-FOOTED BUTTERFLIES - Nymphalidae
Pashas, Gliders & Emperors - subf : Charaxinae, Limenitinae & Apaturinae

Mosaic Colobura dirce : Noted on 2 days with 1 Mockingbird Hill on 22nd, 2 flew over Rio Grande on 23rd.
Cadmus Historis acheronta : One, photographed, Mockingbird Hill, on 21st.
Orion Historis odius : One, photographed, Ecclesdown road, on 24th.

Vanessids & Smaller Fritillaries - subf : Nymphalinae

White Peacock Anartia jatrophae : Noted on 2 days with several @ Hope Botanical Gardens & elsewhere on 19th, many Rio Grande on 23rd.
Malachite Siproeta stelenes : Noted on 2 days with 1 Rio Grande on 23rd, 1 Mockingbird Hill on 24th.

Larger Fritillaries & Heliconians - subf : Heliconiinae

Flambeau Dryas iulia : Noted on 4 days with several @ Hope Botanical Gardens & elsewhere on 19th, several Ecclesdown road on 22nd, common on 23rd, common Mockingbird Hill on 24th.
Zebra Longwing Heliconius charitonius : Noted on 3 days with at least 8 along parts of the Widcombe road on 19th, common on 23rd, common Mockingbird Hill on 24th.

Browns, Ringlets & Satyrs - subf : Satyrinae

Jamaican Ringlet Calisto zangis : Several on roadside near The Gap café on 20th.




Red-billed Streamertail Mosaic, Colobura dirce Orion, Historis odius (all KG)



I’m sure you have all taken away your own particular memories from this trip, whether it be the two species of exquisite Streamertails around the hotel gardens, the really excellent views of some of the other endemic species, or even the very frustrating glimpses of some of the more elusive species!

Particular thanks must go to John, Ryan and Wayne for guiding, driving and keeping us more or less on track, if not to time!

Well done to all of you who made this trip the success it was, and I hope to see you all on another trip, sometime in the not-too-distant future.

Keith Grant, January 2007


© The Travelling Naturalist 2007